Transferring Credits

Transferring Credits

Criteria for Earning Swarthmore Credit(s) Away from Swarthmore
(at foreign or domestic schools) 

It is a College regulation that Swarthmore credit for academic work done away from Swarthmore during the academic year can only be awarded to students who, for their semester or year abroad, comply with the provisions of the payment plan of Swarthmore's semester/year abroad program. There are no exceptions. For more information, contact the Off-Campus Study Office in Cunningham House.

Students wishing to study away from Swarthmore should consult with the department chair far enough in advance of such study to effect proper planning of a major or minor. In determining which courses of study will meet department criteria for requirements or to receive credit toward a major or minor, the department will rely both on its experience in evaluating the work of students returning from these programs and on careful examination of course descriptions, syllabi, and schedules. Students may undertake preparations for papers in the Honors Program while studying away from Swarthmore, but should consult carefully in advance with the appropriate department faculty.

Course credits for literature in English, or film classes, should be approved before you leave, but NO COURSE CREDITS ARE FINALLY AWARDED UNTIL YOU CONSULT WITH THE DEPARTMENT UPON YOUR RETURN.

To evaluate the course(s) that you took, the Course Credits Consultant for English Literature needs a copy of each syllabus and any other material (including a re-creation of the syllabus by you, if necessary). We will compare the course's work load with that of an average one-credit Swarthmore English course, based on the following criteria for one credit:

  • approximately 36 class hours or more
  • the equivalent reading load for a full semester course
  • at least 15pp. of writing, preferably closer to 20pp.

Partial credit will be given for courses whose classroom time and workload is less than that of an average Swarthmore English course, such as .50 credits. Extra credit (to bring partial credit up to 1 full credit) can earned by writing a new paper (or other appropriate work) based on the course materials; the length of this new paper and the amount of credit awarded for it will be determined by the department in consultation with you. In unusual cases, more than one credit can be given for a class if the workload warrants it. Credit may be given for a creative writing class or a composition class or other such courses, but only when the format and the course work are approximately equivalent to a Swarthmore course and do not duplicate work already taken here.

A warning regarding incompletes: Students who incur incompletes in courses taken at other schools should not expect to be able to finish their coursework for credit upon returning to Swarthmore.

After evaluating each course's workload, the English Department will be in touch with you and the College registrar about entering these course(s) and credit(s) onto your Swarthmore College record (your course and grade transcript). It is your responsibility to arrange to have a certified transcript of your courses and grades sent to Swarthmore's Registrar from the school you attended.  Sometimes this takes a good deal of time, so plan ahead.  A photocopy of your transcript will NOT be acceptable to Swarthmore's registrar.

Note: courses where the majority of literature studied was written in a language other than English (including courses using translations) should normally go to modern languages or classics for credit evaluation.

To get in touch with the Course Credits Consultant for English, contact the Department Chair.