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Advice to Social Seniors

Related Link: Instructions for Remote Degree Finishers

Procession Rule: Swarthmore tradition and policy holds that in order to participate in Commencement exercises -- including robing, processing, and crossing the stage -- a senior must be completely finished with degree requirements and be approved by vote of the faculty, and graduate in the given year.

Social Seniors: Students who will finish in December and are currently living on campus and not eligible to graduate this year but wish to stay on campus as "social seniors" and celebrate their successes as well as the successes of their classmates.

Here's how it works being a social senior:

  • Approved social seniors are  welcome to participate in senior week. 
  • For the in-person celebration, social seniors are not allowed to robe, process, sit with the class, or cross the stage.  The celebration seating area is open to graduates only, and the guest area is limited to their QR code invited guests.
  • Social seniors must obtain the permission of the Dean's Office if they wish to attend senior week, etc.
  • Social seniors follow the student conduct and Garnet Pledge guidelines for seniors.
    • For more information about residence life options for social seniors, please contact that office directly.
  • Social seniors who violate policy during Senior Week may be asked by the College to leave campus.

  • Spring seniors who want to defer graduation in order to take advantage of a scholarship opportunity that requires they not be graduated follow the rules for social seniors. To defer graduation, email the registrar the intended date of graduation and obtain approval of the new date from your major chairs.

  • When you are completely finished, hopefully next year, you are welcome to return to robe and march at the commencement honoring your completion.
  • As soon as you become completely finished and this is documented for the registrar, the registrar can write an official letter certifying degree completion, and this letter normally has the force of the diploma with regard to employment and graduate school admission. In this way, we can acknowledge your fulfillment as soon as possible, even though technically you won't be graduated by the College until the next commencement after you are done.
  • Once graduated, you are welcome to inform the Alumni Office that you would like to be associated with your social class, and so invited to their events and so on. From many perspectives you will be the year of your social class, although technically your graduation year will be different.

Remember to stay in touch with the registrar as you finish your degree. We look forward to your finishing and we are here to help as needed.