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Life After Swarthmore

View of Clothier Hall across Parrish Beach

No matter what you study or what you do outside of class, no matter where you come from or where you might be headed, at Swarthmore, you will:

  • Shape ideas alongside people who will challenge and inspire you
  • Channel thoughts into action, innovation, and positive change
  • Master many modes of thought and tools of influence
  • Think and work harder than you ever thought you could
  • Resist easy answers and insist on better solutions
  • Be dogged and daring—and extraordinary

Which is to say, wherever life after Swarthmore takes you, you will be ready.

Next Steps for Swarthmore Graduates

When you learn how to contribute to the common good, you make an exponential impact on society, whether as an educator, an investor, a scientist, an activist, an artist, an engineer, a physician, an attorney, or a parent.


Graduating seniors enter a variety of careers, including business, public service, scientific research, economics and policy research, law, writing/editing, technology, engineering, and education. The most popular geographic destinations for alumni to begin their careers include:

  • New York City: 20%
  • Philadelphia: 19%
  • Washington, D.C.: 14%
  • Outside of United States: 8%
  • Northern California: 6%

First-job fields of alumni (Classes of 2014—18):

  • Business: 25%
  • Research: 24%
  • Technology/Engineering: 18%
  • Education: 10%
  • Public Service: 10%
  • Law: 6%
Graduate school

Swarthmore alumni regularly attend the nation’s finest graduate and professional programs, and 75 percent enroll within five years of graduation.

In a recent national survey, Swarthmore alumni ranked third highest in the country for earned doctorates across all disciplines, first in social sciences, third in life sciences, fourth in humanities, and top 10 in education, math and computer sciences, and physical sciences.

Among Swarthmore alumni who enter graduate school immediately after graduation, the top destinations are:

  1. Harvard University
  2. University of Pennsylvania
  3. Yale University
  4. Princeton University
  5. Stanford University
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  7. Cornell University
  8. Oxford University
  9. Columbia University
  10. University of Chicago

How We Help

Swarthmore cultivates interdisciplinary collaborations that enable students to pursue fascinating careers. We offer a wide-ranging, valuable set of programs and resources that help Swatties figure out how to apply their knowledge in practical and meaningful ways after graduation.

Google quote

“It’s pretty fun to hang out with current students. They exhibit all of the characteristics I associate with Swatties: grab bags of divergent interests (‘I want to write code, do a master’s in machine learning, and have a journalism career!’) and lots of intensity.” - Gil Jones ’01, senior software engineer at Google

Swarthmore students visit the Google campus.