Placement, Credit, and Registration

Receiving Credit for Work Elsewhere

After matriculating at Swarthmore, students desiring to receive Swarthmore College credit for work at another school must obtain preliminary approval and after-the-fact validation by the chair of the Swarthmore department or program concerned. Preliminary approval depends upon adequate information about the content and instruction of the work to be undertaken. Preliminary approval is tentative. Please refer to the Registrar's Transfer Credit Policy page for details.

Final validation of the work is required to receive degree credit, and depends upon evaluation of the materials of the course, including syllabus transcript, written work, exams, indication of class hours, etc. Work in other programs, especially summer school programs, may sometimes be given less credit than work at Swarthmore, but this will depend upon the nature of the program and the work involved. Validation may include an examination, written or oral, administered at Swarthmore. All decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

An official transcript from the other school must be received by the Office of the Registrar before validated work can be recorded for credit. By College policy, in order for work done elsewhere to be granted Swarthmore College credit, the grade for that work must be the equivalent of a straight "C" or better, but a better than "C" grade does not in itself constitute Swarthmore accreditability.

Credit originating from elsewhere is recorded toward the Swarthmore degree as follows:

  1. The course subject, number, and credit are Swarthmore's, reflecting the approval of the department validating the credit.
  2. The course title and grade are recorded from the other school's transcript, although the other school's grade does not factor in to Swarthmore's graduation grade average requirement.

Requests for credit normally must be made within the semester following the term in which the work was done. Credit is lost if a student takes a course at Swarthmore that essentially repeats the work covered by the credit.