Skip to main content

All About Credits

sea and clouds reflected in sea

Photo credit: Maria Ingersoll Valadez '20 (Mexico, Ifsa-Butler, fall 2018)

By College regulation, to receive credit for college level work done elsewhere, domestic or abroad, it must be evaluated upon completion by the appropriate Swarthmore academic department(s) or credit granting program(s) to determine how much Swarthmore credit it may receive. The only exception is work done at Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and the University of Pennsylvania under the four-college agreement.

Students must take all courses abroad for a grade; pass/fail grades are not permitted. To be eligible for evaluation for Swarthmore credit, a course done elsewhere must receive a grade of straight “C” or better. The grades earned abroad will be entered on the Swarthmore transcript but will not be part of the Swarthmore GPA. The transcript from the program is the official record of the work completed on the program.

Requesting Credit from Academic Departments & Programs

Before departure, you get your proposed courses pre-estimated for credit. When selecting a program, keep in mind that each academic department or program at Swarthmore has its own rules concerning granting study abroad credit. Usually these policies are available on the department or program websites, or you can contact your academic advisor. It is important to make sure that you understand all credit-related considerations, both at your program and at your home department, such as total amount of transfer credit allowed, or necessary pre-requisites, major/minor requirements. Depending on various approvals, coursework you do abroad can count toward completion of specific requirements (e.g. major, minor, distribution, twenty course rule), as well as towards the thirty-two credits needed to graduate.

In some cases you will submit your coursework to be evaluated by the department for final credit. With proper planning, most Swarthmore students get full credit for the work done abroad upon return from abroad. No worries - at Global Engagement we will assist you throughout the credit process!