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Off-Campus Opportunities

off-campus opportunities

Community-Based Learning

Students often report that their most profound learning experiences occur when they are able to apply what they have gleaned from academic work to real-word situations. Community-Based Learning courses build the bridge from theory to practice by connecting students and faculty directly with local communities to tackle projects addressing the course subject.

Examples of Community-Based Learning courses include: Documentary Filmmaking; Topics in Statistics: Data Analysis Projects in Public and Social Policy; Democratic Theory and Practice; Socially Responsible Computing; The Arts as Social Change; Urban Education, Law and Society; and Race and Poverty in the U.S.

The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility supports Community-Based Learning opportunities at the College.

Domestic Exchange Programs

To provide variety and a broadened outlook for interested students, Swarthmore offers student exchange programs with Middlebury College, Mills College, Pomona College, and Tufts University. With each institution, there are a limited and matched number of exchanges. As with study abroad, students may apply financial aid for which they are eligible toward participation in a domestic exchange.

The Registrar's Office manages the domestic exchange application process.


Externships are one-week job-shadowing experiences that are designed to offer a glimpse into a career path. Swarthmore alumni, parents of students and friends of the College offer assignments in diverse professional environments, including laboratories, museums, art galleries, theaters, issue-based interest groups, publishing companies, labor unions, economic think tanks, and other work situations. Externships are organized for the last week of winter break each year in a variety of cities, including Baltimore, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

Career Services manages this program, with the support of Alumni Council.


Students often engage in internship experiences so that they can spend a summer exploring a career path and building their resume.

Career Services supports students in their search to find and apply for internships.

Lang Center Social Action Grants

The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility manages a number of funds that support the social change initiatives of students, faculty, and staff.

Visit the Lang Center site for more information about funding for students, faculty, and staff.


In addition to students collaborating with Swarthmore faculty on campus, students may also submit proposals for field research, internships, archival research, creative arts work, preparation for thesis or honors work, faculty-student collaborative research, and independent research. Under certain circumstances, students seeking special training and mentorship, or volunteer opportunities may qualify for a grant.

Learn more about summer research opportunities.

Study Abroad

Study abroad offers an enriching intellectual experience and an opportunity for personal growth and professional development. The College encourages students to spend at least one semester abroad, and the Off-Campus Study Office works with students to help them identify the best program for their goals and academic program. In most cases, a student's financial aid is automatically applied toward the cost of their study abroad program.

Learn more about study abroad.

Tri-College Consortium and University of Pennsylvania Course Enrollment

Consortium agreements with Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges and the University of Pennsylvania broaden the opportunities available to Swarthmore students. With the approval of their faculty advisers and the registrar, students may take courses offered at these institutions. A shuttle connects the Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford campuses, and the train from Swarthmore stops at the University City station, linking students with the University of Pennsylvania.

Learn more about taking courses at Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and the University of Pennsylvania from the Registrar's Office.

Tri-Co Philly Program

The Tri-Co Philly Program offers Swarthmore students the opportunity to join a cohort in engaging with Philadelphia through urban-focused courses, as well as frequent co- and extra-curricular activities in the city. In this one-semester program, participants will – with students from Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges – take two classes taught by Tri-Co faculty at the Friends Center in Philadelphia. Students will live on Swarthmore's campus and the program's transportation costs to and around the city are covered. Through the program, participants will explore the diversity of the world we inhabit, better understand the links between scholarship and lived experience, and appreciate cities as vital sites of innovation, creativity, and complexity.