Skip to main content

Program Reviews

Faculty legislation requires that Interdisciplinary Programs be reviewed every eight years. These reviews are internal only; the Associate Provost and Program Coordinator present program self studies to the Curriculum Committee, chaired by the Provost. The Curriculum Committee can recommend that a program continue for another eight years, be reviewed again in a shorter amount of time, or be disbanded.  (See "Schedule of Reviews.")

The legislation approved by the faculty explains that: "Criteria for... renewal of an Interdisciplinary Program [should] include an intellectual rationale for its presence in undergraduate education in general and at Swarthmore in particular, as well as evidence of substantial faculty and student interest and of departmental willingness and ability to commit to [continuing to offer] the necessary courses in the coming 5 years."

Self study

The written self study should include:

  1. a statement of the program's goals
  2. background information on the program
  3. a description and analysis of the program's current curriculum and an explanation of how it fits into the larger Swarthmore curriculum
  4. an exploration of how the program addresses the needs of a range of students (including Honors and non-Honors students if applicable)
  5. an analysis of the current health (status) of the program, including specific levels of student and faculty participation (number of students involved in the program in recent graduating classes, number of faculty involved in teaching courses, number of courses offered, course enrollments, etc.)
  6. an exploration of future goals, challenges, plans, and available and needed resources
  7. a summary of budgetary needs and the availability of funds to meet those needs

The self study should draw on (and include as appendices):

  1. data on enrollment and faculty involvement
  2. evaluation letters from faculty and students (and alumni if they are available) involved in the program
  3. letters from chairs of related departments


The Curriculum Committee normally reviews requests for renewal starting in February.

  • Fall: Gather data and write self-study report
  • December: Provide Associate Provost with a draft of narrative report
  • January: Complete revisions and submit final report to Associate Provost, who shares it with Curriculum Committee
  • February/March/April: Meet with Curriculum Committee to review report