Majors, Minors, and Honors
Course minors are available to students with certain restrictions as to the number of majors and minors that a student could pursue. Departments and programs were invited (but not required) to develop minors. Please refer to the Registrar's webpage on Majors and Minors for options and restrictions for choosing a major (or majors) and possible minor (or minors), including discussion on the overlap constraint and sample programs.
Students are encouraged to take full ownership of their academic experience and to make deliberate decisions about their academic careers. This is well illustrated by the process of applying for a major at Swarthmore. Students in the spring of their sophomore year should meet with departments in which they may major to learn about the opportunities and expectations of each department. Students should then submit a Sophomore Plan of Study, including a brief narrative reflecting on their interests in the field and their goals for their education, as well as a list of courses they plan to take in their remaining time at Swarthmore.
All students are expected to have an approved major by the end of their sophomore year. Students may apply for a departmentally based major, a major in an established interdisciplinary program, or a special major. Students who want to minor in a subject and/or participate in the Honors Program normally include these applications at the same time they submit their Sophomore Plan of Study.
More information on the Sophomore Plan of Study is available on the Academic Affairs Office webpage.
Students who wish to drop a major or minor should be instructed to talk to their department advisors. They will be required to fill out the appropriate form, which includes getting approval from the department and indicating a new plan.
Swarthmore's Honors Program began in 1922 under the leadership of President Aydelotte. It was modeled on the tutorial system at Oxford where Aydelotte had been a Rhodes Scholar. Many of the program's features remain what they were in 1922: faculty working with small groups of dedicated and accomplished students; an emphasis on independent learning; students entering into a dialogue with peers, teachers, and examiners; a demanding program of study in major and minor fields; and an examination at the end of two years' study by outside scholars. The Honors Program rests on the principle that judgment concerning the achievement of honors at the College should be based on an independent evaluation of a student's work, and it is from this principle that the external examination derives. Please find more details about the Honors program in the college catalog and online at: Swarthmore College Honors Program