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Sophomore Plan

Educational Studies is a recognized academic discipline and an important lens for understanding contemporary society. The department’s curriculum contributes to the College’s mission to critically examine important social structures and issues and to engage in community based learning. Our curriculum includes courses in the fields of learning; urban education and policy; child and youth studies; literacy, bilingual and immigrant education; comparative education; gender studies; and social and cultural constructions of educational institutions and partnerships. Many of our courses are cross-listed in other departments and programs, and our faculty participate in the programs in Black Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Most of our courses include fieldwork and a research component.

Students who pursue course work in Educational Studies at Swarthmore develop richly informed perspectives on the role of education in society. Our alumni surveys suggest that graduates become leaders in a wide-range of fields: higher education in various disciplines (e.g., anthropology, English, linguistics, psychology, sociology, math education, science education, computer science); general education including teaching, school leadership and policy; community organization and development; clinical psychology, counseling, English as a second language, special education, social work; medicine; and law.

Pathways through the department

Students can complete a major or minor in Educational Studies (course or honors), a special major in Educational Studies (course or honors), and/or teacher certification (elementary or secondary). Students planning to get secondary certification must be special majors - or major in their discipline - rather than Educational Studies majors in order to complete the content requirements for state certification. Each pathway is outlined briefly below.

Educational Studies major (course):
Prerequisites for admission to the major (counted toward the 8 credit major)

  • EDUC 014. Pedagogy and Power: An Introduction to Education
  • One additional Educational Studies course.

Requirements

  • 8 credits in Educational Studies (includes the two prerequisites)
  • A 1-2 credit senior thesis, which counts toward the 8 credits.
  • A methods course, drawn from one of the following (the two education courses contribute to the 8 courses toward the major):
    • EDUC 65 Qualitative Methods for Educational Change
    • SOCI 16B Research Methods in Social Science
    • EDUC 21 Educational Psychology

Educational Studies major (honors):
Prerequisites for admissions to honors major (counted toward the major)

  • EDUC 014. Pedagogy and Power: An Introduction to Education,
  • 1 additional Educational Studies course, and
  • an average grade of B+ in all Educational Studies courses at the time of application. Students are expected to have a B+ average in their Educational Studies courses

Requirements

  • 9 credits in Educational Studies (includes the two prerequisites)
  • Three Honors preparations including:
  • A two credit thesis
  • Two honors seminars

Special Major (course)
Students may complete a special major that integrates work in Educational Studies with their study in another campus department. Special majors with other disciplines can be pursued with the approval of both the Department of Educational Studies and the second department or program. Both departments collaborate in advising the student.

Prerequisites:

  • EDUC 014. Pedagogy and Power: An Introduction to Education
  • One additional Educational Studies course

Requirements:

  • 10 to 12 credits, at least 5 of which must be in Educational Studies. (EDUC 092: Practice Teaching and EDUC 093: Curriculum and Methods Seminar are not counted as part of a special major.)
  • A one or two credit thesis or a comprehensive examination/research/practicum experience integrating work in their two fields of study.
  • Recommended:  EDUC 065: Educational Research for Social Change

Special Major (honors)
Students may pursue an Honors special major in Educational Studies and another department. The Honors special major, like the Course special major, requires a total of 10 to 12 credits, at least 5 of which must be in Educational Studies.

Prerequisites:

  • EDUC 014. Pedagogy and Power: An Introduction to Education,
  • 1 additional Educational Studies course, and
  • an average grade of B+ in all Educational Studies courses at the time of application. Students are expected to have a B+ average in their Educational Studies courses to complete an Honors special major.

Requirements:

  • Four Honors preparations, including three (two-credit) Honors preparations, at least one or two of which must be in Educational Studies and one or two in the other discipline.
  • A two-credit special major thesis, which counts as one preparation.

Notes on requirements:

  • The department prefers that students take department seminars for their preparation, although course and attachment preparations can be negotiated.
  • EDUC 092: Practice Teaching and EDUC 093: Curriculum and Methods Seminar are not counted as part of a special major.
  • Each of the special major partnering departments also provides specific seminar and course requirements for the completion of an Honors special major

Course Minor
The Educational Studies minor requires at least 5 credits in Educational Studies. Students identify a focus when they apply for the minor and then explain how their coursework supports this focus. Possible foci include but are not limited to Teaching and Practice, Educational Policy, Educational Psychology, School and Society, Urban Education, Environmental Education, Literacy, and Special Education. The prerequisite for acceptance to the Educational Studies minor program is EDUC 014. Pedagogy and Power: An Introduction to Education and one additional Educational Studies course. Course minors may also pursue teacher certification.

Honors Minor
The Honors minor requires five credits in Educational Studies, including EDUC 014. Pedagogy and Power: An Introduction to Education (1 credit), one Honors seminar (2 credits), and two additional credits of the student's choice. Students are expected to have a B+ average in their Educational Studies courses and to complete the necessary external Honors examination(s). The prerequisite for acceptance to the Honors educational studies minor program is EDUC 014. Pedagogy and Power: An Introduction to Education and one additional Educational Studies course.

Teacher certification
Swarthmore offers a competency-based teacher preparation program in elementary and secondary education. Pennsylvania certification is transferable to all 50 states; after PA certification, a few states may require additional exams or content.

Requirements:
Each Pennsylvania certification has a specific set of requirements. You can see current requirements for elementary certification and secondary discipline-based certification by going to the Department of Educational Studies website.

Students pursuing secondary certification must complete either a special major or a major in the department/field of certification. Students pursuing elementary education may complete any major.

Ninth Semester:
Students who have completed all of the requirements for certification in their discipline and in Educational Studies, except for Practice Teaching and the Curriculum and Methods Seminar, may apply to return following graduation to complete the teacher certification program during a ninth semester. During this semester, they take EDUC 093: Practice Teaching (2 credits) and EDUC 092: Curriculum and Methods Seminar (2 credits).

In the spring of their sophomore year, students meet with the departments in which they may major and write their Sophomore Plan of Study, which includes a brief narrative discussing their interests in the field and their future goals, as well as a list of the courses they plan on taking during the rest of their time at Swarthmore. Although not a basis for evaluating your major application, you should include a resume. Your resume will be reviewed by your major advisor during the April advising period, and by Pattie Kim-Keefer (Career Services Assistant Director, Internships and Technology). FAQs about the resume can be found on the How to Write a Sophomore Plan page. For more information on the Sophomore Plan, go to the Academic Advising and Support page.