Transfer Students FAQs

Are there requirement exemptions for transfer students?

Students who enter Swarthmore as transfer students must fulfill Swarthmore's requirements for the first 2 years, including the natural sciences and engineering practicum. Transfer courses can be applied toward these requirements, if specifically approved by the registrar. Transfer students who enter Swarthmore with 8 credits of college work are exempted from one of the three required writing courses and have the credits-at-Swarthmore requirement reduced from 2 in each division to 1 in each division. Transfer students who enter Swarthmore with, at most, four semesters remaining to complete their degree are exempted from two of the three required writing courses and are exempted from the requirement that in each division 2 credits be taken at Swarthmore.

Transfer students can either apply transfer Physical Education (PE) units toward the 4-unit PE requirement or opt for a reduction in the PE requirement based on the student's transfer status. However, transfer students cannot both transfer PE units and receive a reduction in the requirement. The optional reduction in PE units depends on the transfer class of the student. Transfer students who enter Swarthmore as sophomores can opt to complete 3 units of physical education and pass a survival swim test (a reduction of 1 PE unit). Transfer students who enter Swarthmore as juniors can opt to complete 2 units of physical education and pass a survival swim test (a reduction of 2 PE units).

How am I assigned an academic advisor?

Transfer students are assigned to a faculty member who will act as your academic advisor. This assignment is based on your intended major or area of study. You will learn who that person is when you arrive in August and pick up your orientation packet. If you are arriving as a junior, then your advisor will, in most cases, be the chair of the department in which you intend to major.

How do I choose courses, especially for the Fall semester?

In July, you will receive all the academic information that we send to incoming first-year students. Most of it will be just as relevant for you, so please read it carefully. You should discuss this with your academic advisor and think in advance about placement issues as necessary. Registrar Martin Warner is also available for individual sessions to discuss your past work and to help ensure a smooth academic entry into Swarthmore.

Transfer students must meet as soon as possible with the chairs of any departments in which you plan to major or minor. This is critically important in any department where a sequence of courses is necessary, such as Engineering or any of the natural sciences. Please begin planning now.

Are First-Year Seminars open to transfer students?

No, they are not open to transfer students.

How do I get my student ID?

We are hoping that everyone will submit their photos online, and that we will be able to provide your IDs in your orientation packet upon arrival. If, however, you do not submit your photo online, you will be asked to take time during Move-In Day to visit the Benjamin West House, our Public Safety building, to attain an ID.

Will I be able to meet with other transfer students?

There will be special sessions for transfer students in the orientation period. At those session, you can ask questions and meet other students also transferring to Swarthmore this year. Your orientation group will be comprised of transfer students. The transfer student sessions include:

•    Tuesday August 29, 5:00 pm (Sharples) – dinner with Transfer students & student leaders
•    Wednesday August 30, 9:30-11:30 am (LPAC 301) - meeting for new Transfer Students
•    Wednesday August 30, 12 noon  (Sharples) -  lunch with Transfer students and student leaders
•    Friday September 1, 10-10:45 am (Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility) – learn about opportunities and resources available through the Lang Center