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2020-21 Academic Information for New and Transfer Students

Dear New Students and Transfer Students,

Welcome to the Swarthmore community! We hope you are excited as we are to begin your studies at Swarthmore.

We are the Registrar and the Dean of Academic Success at the College. Today, we are writing to provide a timeline of academic events between now and the beginning of the semester. 

Much of what we describe below will be new information for many of you, but please rest assured that we will reach out to you again with additional details in the weeks ahead. You can also find more information about registration and academic support on the Registrar’s and the Office of Academic Success’ websites. 

We have also prepared this 2020-2021 Academics FAQ, which we developed in close consultation with the Office of the Provost and Dean of Faculty. 

Academic departments and programs are currently coordinating with the Registrar’s Office to map out the course offerings according to the new academic year structure. 

Here is the advising and registration schedule for the Fall 2020 semester and January 2021 term: 

Mid-late July Online placement exam info sent via email
July 28 Announcement of amended Fall 2020 and January 2021 Course Schedules. Fall 2020 will indicate remote or hybrid. The January 2021 term (J-term) is all remote. Some new courses may be added.
August 1 Deadline to complete online placement exams.
Mid-August Academic advisor assignment notification via mySwarthmore
August 24-28

New student advising and registration (conducted remotely):

  • Monday, August 24 (time and structure to be determined): Virtual Advising Fair, including asynchronous component 
  • Monday, August 24, and Tuesday, August 25: New Student Advising (new students meet individually and virtually with academic advisors)
  • Wednesday, August 26, 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. EST: Registration for Fall and J-term via mySwarthmore
  • Thursday, August 27: Course lotteries
  • Friday, August 28: Add/Drop begins for new students using Add/Drop form in mySwarthmore
September 7 First day of fall classes
September 14 Last day of Add/Drop for Fall 2020 courses. Deadline 11:59 p.m. We also expect to have a supplemental J-term Add/Drop later in the semester.
November 6 CR/NC and Course Withdrawal deadlines
Dates to be determined Advising and Pre-Registration for Spring 2021
November 20 Last day of on-campus experiences
November 20–22 Phased departure of on-campus students
November 21–29 Thanksgiving break
December 4 Last day of classes
December 5–7 Reading period
December 8–15 Final exams
December 16–January 3 Winter Break I
January 4-29 January Term
January 29 All papers/projects due; all final exams
January 30-February 14 Winter Break II

In the coming weeks, you will receive information about Orientation and further information on advising, lotteries, and much more.  

If you have any questions, we encourage you to read the FAQ or ask us. We look forward to helping you and getting to know you.

Martin Warner, Registrar
Tomoko Sakomura, Dean of Academic Success and Professor of Art History