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Off-Campus Study

Swarthmore College encourages its students to include study abroad as part of their educational experience. The Psychology Department recognizes that international study has an important place in the educational programs of its students. Each year, many students take psychology courses while studying abroad. 

If you are planning to take psychology classes while abroad, we recommend discussing your plans with your faculty advisor in psychology and also with the department chair. The department usually recommends that psychology majors with strong research interests complete their study abroad experience during the fall semester of their junior year so that it does not interfere with applications for summer research fellowships or with the development of senior thesis proposals. 

If you are seeking Psychology Department pre-approval (and are interested in receiving psychology course credit) for a course that you plan to take while studying abroad, you will need to complete (1) The Off Campus Study Office pre-approval process AND (2) The Psychology Department pre-approval application (available at the bottom of this page). The Psychology Department begins its review after both applications are complete.

With prior approval from the department, students are usually able to apply one credit of psychology coursework from a study abroad program towards the psychology major. This course can occasionally count as a core course in psychology (i.e., as one of the four core courses required for the major) if it covers similar content as a core course. The course can sometimes serve as a pre-requisite to a seminar. Normally, however, core courses that are part of honors preparations (core + seminar prep) must be completed here at Swarthmore. Off campus study courses do not count towards the minor in psychology. In general, all coursework for the minor must be completed here at Swarthmore.

Students who would like to receive psychology credit for a psychology course taken at another institution must have taken PSYC 001 or a relevant first year seminar in psychology, or placed out of this requirement through AP or IB work. The department may consider exceptions for students who have taken COGS 001 (Intro to Cognitive Science) when taught by a member of the psychology department. See the Catalog.

The Psychology Department policies related to off campus study are available here. 

If you have any questions about the Psychology Department's policies, you may reach out to the Psychology Department Chair, Dan Grodner, at

Pre-Approval Application for Off Campus Study Psychology Courses

To submit a course to the Psychology Department for a pre-estimation of credit, please submit this form