Skip to main content


New student registration and advising typically occurs in late August. Students are advised and register for courses at Swarthmore as part of the Orientation process, not ahead of time. Please wait to ask your registration questions until the Orientation process.

Registrar's OFFICE Welcome

The Registrar's Office is in charge of Registration and Grades. We write letters of enrollment certification, and we manage and advise on the Graduation Requirements.  In brief, our job is to help you register for courses and eventually, to graduate on time.

Research the academic departments and their course offerings

Learn about the many different academic departments and programs, and importantly, learn the difference between the departmental web pages, the catalog, and the course schedule. Here are three tools to help you:

  1. Explore the departmental home pages of all the departments or programs you are considering majoring in, minoring in, or otherwise intensively studying. Departmental home pages express not just key content but also some of the personality of the department.
  2. Explore the Catalog (also called the Bulletin -- same thing). There are two reasons to read the catalog: the catalog is the authoritative source of academic rules, so look there for the academic rules. Preparing for registration, use the catalog as a list, by department or program, of all the courses that might ever be taught. Use it for course planning in general and for multiple semesters.
  3. Review the Tri Co Course Guide, which lists the courses actually being offered this semester -- including days and times. Use the Course Schedule to plan which courses you will actually take, and when they are scheduled.

General principles for first year

  1. Consider the Academic Planning guidance for new students, to help lay an excellent foundation for your years at Swarthmore.
  2. Understand the Credit No Credit Semester - Let every course you take matter.
  3. Placement tests: When in doubt, take the placement test!  It cannot hurt, and it can really help. You will receive info about placement tests in July.
  4. In your course planning, avoid time conflicts by using the Weekly Schedule Grid. The computer does not prevent time conflicts. You have to prevent time conflicts.
  5. Email is Official - Check your email every weekday. If an advisor or professor asks you a question, answer it promptly and politely.