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Apply as a Transfer Student

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Each year, the Swarthmore community welcomes incoming transfer students who join our Sophomore and Junior classes from two- and four-year colleges and universities. The information below reflects the admissions, financial aid, and credit evaluation processes. For more about our transfer student experiences and to connect with a current transfer student at Swarthmore, please visit our Transfer Student webpage.

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Eligibility for Transfer Admission

Swarthmore admits transfer students for fall enrollment only. You may apply for transfer admissions if you have completed the equivalent of two or more semesters of college or university-level coursework by the end of the current academic year. 

You are not eligible for transfer admission if you have already completed a bachelor’s degree or higher, and we discourage transfer applications from students who have completed the equivalent of six or more semesters of college coursework. International students who require financial aid to attend Swarthmore are also not eligible to transfer.

We make admissions decisions on a case-by-case basis. Competitive candidates typically have earned mostly A’s and B’s in a liberal arts curriculum. For more on how we evaluate applications and the qualities and attributes we elevate in our admissions process, see our Apply to Swarthmore page.

International Transfer Applicants

If you are an international student and have matriculated at another university in the U.S. or abroad, you must apply as a transfer student to Swarthmore, even if you are willing to forego the credit you earned elsewhere. International transfer applicants must document all courses taken for credit or non-credit at all secondary and tertiary educational institutions prior to enrollment. International transfer students who require financial aid to attend are not eligible for transfer, and admitted international transfer students must document complete financial independence for their total time at Swarthmore.

Undocumented Transfer Applicants

If you have graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a high school equivalency diploma in the U.S. as an undocumented student or with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, you may apply for transfer admission, regardless of your financial need. Application review for undocumented and DACA transfer students is need-blind, as it is for domestic applicants.

Veteran Transfer Applicants

Swarthmore College encourages transfer applications from veterans and military service members. For more information on campus support for military-connected students, visit our Veterans Admissions page.


Transfer Application Materials and Deadlines

Transfer applicants may apply to Swarthmore via the Common Application or the Coalition on Scoir Application. Our transfer applications will go live in the fall. The deadline to apply for fall entry is April 1. Admissions decisions are released online in mid-May.

Required Application Materials​​​​​

  • Common Application or Coalition Application
  • $60 application fee or fee waiver (Swarthmore College does not charge an application fee for any student currently enrolled in a community or junior college.)
  • Official final high school transcript(s)
  • Transfer College Report from your most recent college/university
  • Official college transcript(s) from all colleges or universities previously attended or currently attending
  • Two academic evaluations, including at least one recommendation from a recent college instructor
  • Transfer Mid-Term Report, which is required for applicants who are currently enrolled in a college or university

Optional Application Materials


Financial Aid for Transfer Applicants

Swarthmore’s financial aid decisions meet 100% of determined financial need without loans. In addition, all transfer applicants are automatically considered for our McCabe Scholarship, which covers a minimum of full-tuition costs during your time at Swarthmore. For more information and to find our Net Price Calculator to help you to estimate the amount of aid you might receive, visit our Financial Aid website.

Only transfer applicants who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or students who are undocumented or have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status and graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a high school equivalency diploma in the U.S. are eligible for financial aid. International transfer students who require financial aid to attend are not eligible for transfer. Please review our financial aid application instructions and deadlines for more details.


Credit Evaluations

Swarthmore’s Registrar’s Office individually reviews admitted transfer students’ credentials to award transfer credit; we do not currently hold any articulation agreements with other institutions. Admitted transfer students receive their credit review with their admissions decision.

Typically, Swarthmore awards transfer credit for liberal arts courses that fit within or reasonably supplement Swarthmore’s curriculum. Most pre-professional courses such as Nursing or Accounting will not transfer, and Swarthmore will not transfer more than four semesters (equivalent to approximately 16 Swarthmore courses) of college or university coursework for credit.

Please visit the Registrar’s Guide for Prospective Transfer Students for more information.


Learn More

We encourage you to explore our Visit Admissions page to view our upcoming virtual programs and join our mailing list to receive information about transferring to Swarthmore. If you would like to talk to a current student, visit Ask a Swattie to find student biographies and contact information. If you have questions about the transfer process, please email our Transfer Admissions Coordinator.