Academic Resources and Support
An adviser is assigned to First-Year students by the Office of Academic Success based on academic preferences and personal interests that students have shared on the advising forms. Typically, students stay with their initial adviser until they are accepted into a major during the spring of their sophomore year, when they are then advised within their major and minor department(s) and program(s).
Changes in advisers during the first three semesters will be freely granted, subject to availability and advising load. Reassignments may also be made based upon faculty leaves or shifts in duties.
An advisee must meet with their academic adviser during the advising period, prior to course registration. Advisees must also consult with advisers for all add/drop decisions and for withdrawals from courses after the add/drop period. It is each student's responsibility to contact their adviser to schedule advising meetings.
In addition, an advisee can expect their adviser to:
- Meet at least once per semester.
- Provide guidance in course selection, degree requirements, majors and minors, add/drop decisions, etc.
- Discuss academic-related questions, including academic support and other College resources.
- Engage in initial conversations about applying for Honors study, Off-Campus Study, fellowships & prizes, and other academic matters.
Many academic advisers may also provide guidance beyond academics. Students seeking further guidance are also welcome to reach out to their assigned student dean.
All disability-related accommodations must be arranged through Student Disability Services. Support in the form of department clinics and peer support, the Writing Associates Program, and Student Academic Mentors (SAMs) are also available. Peer tutors are provided free of charge, within reasonable use and when the tutor resource is available. Student Deans, professors, and other professional staff can help students access these resources.
The Swarthmore Campus & Community Store is owned and operated by Swarthmore College for the benefit of the College and the surrounding community.
Through the Textbook Affordability Program (TAP), each registered student receives $750 store credit each year to support the student’s purchase of course materials.
The Swarthmore Store has course materials in a variety of prices and formats, including new, used, rental, and digital textbooks. Swarthmore students have access to a personalized list of course materials, based on the courses in which they have enrolled. Once online ordering is open for the semester, course materials can be ordered online for in-store pick-up. For the first two weeks of the semester there are designated online order pick-up hours.
The Swarthmore Store also carries school supplies, general interest reading material, technology peripherals, Swarthmore College imprinted clothing and gifts, greeting cards, snack foods and cold beverages, residence hall room accessories, health and beauty aids, laundry and cleaning supplies, and a wide selection of gifts. In addition, the Swarthmore Store carries compostable products that can be purchased and have been approved for use by our composting hauler. All products in the Store are sold at or below manufacturers’ suggested list prices.
The Swarthmore Campus & Community Store is located at 4 South Chester Road, in the same building as the Swarthmore Inn, next to the Swarthmore train station.
Career Services empowers students from all majors, identities, and backgrounds to explore their interests, leverage their liberal arts education, and articulate their skillset to successfully navigate the world beyond Swarthmore. Career Services fosters career development through one-on-one advising, programming, and engagement opportunities with employers and alumni.
We collaborate with students in developing strong application materials, interviewing and networking skills and in building students’ cultural and social capital as they design their life and meaningful work. Career Services can help students:
- Assess their skills, interests and values
- Explore majors, career opportunities and graduate school options
- Identify internship, job & experiential learning opportunities
- Articulate the value of their individualized and unique skill sets
- Connect with alumni and employers
- Tailor resumes, cover letters and personal statements
- Prepare for and practice interviews
- Negotiate offers and develop professional communication skills
There is no wrong time to engage with Career Services, though we encourage students to touch base early in their journey at Swarthmore. Students can schedule an in-person or virtual appointment using Handshake through single sign-on or by calling (610) 328-8352. Start by exploring career pathways and resources on our website or learn more about what Swatties do after graduation.
The Information Technology Services (ITS) department offers comprehensive support to the community, both in-person and remotely via drop-ins or appointments. Students can access centralized support resources, accessible through support.swarthmore.edu, via phone at extension 4357 (HELP) from on-campus, or 610-328-8513 from off-campus to address their computer, network, telephone, and other technology needs.
Students will be expected to adhere to all expectations posted in physical computer spaces and the Garnet Pledge.
ITS maintains approximately 500 computers available for student use in libraries, computer labs, classrooms, and residence halls. The Swarthmore wireless and wired computing network covers all campus buildings, ensuring access throughout. Each residence hall room is equipped with network connectivity. The College network grants students access to academic software, library resources, network storage, email, and the Internet. It is important to note that the usage of the College’s computer systems and networks is governed by the Acceptable Use Policy outlined in the Academic Policies section of this handbook.
As a partner in the educational mission of the College, the Libraries foster critical inquiry, scholarly discovery, innovation and creativity - a dynamic forum for people and ideas. The Swarthmore College Libraries are committed to providing a safe, productive environment for study and research.
There are three main libraries on campus: McCabe Library for Humanities and Social Sciences, Cornell Science Library, and Underhill Music and Dance Library; as well as four special collections: Friends Historical Library, Peace Collection, College Archives, and Rare Book Room; and extensive online collections available through the libraries' website. Each library has a variety of study spaces, including individual carrels, open tables, and group study rooms -- suited to a student’s needs on any given day. The McCabe Research & Information Desk is staffed with subject specialist librarians and peer Research and Information Associates (RIAs), who are available for consultation on everything from daily coursework to most complex research projects.
Additional services include technology lending, printing, and scanning. Swarthmore partners with Bryn Mawr and Haverford College Libraries in a shared library catalog, Tripod. In addition to an impressive breadth of books, ebooks, online journals, and databases, the collections also include streaming video and audio, and comic books.
The College emphasizes the importance of study abroad and encourages all students to explore possibilities for doing so as integral parts of their degree programs. Approximately 40 percent of all students take advantage of this opportunity. In addition to semester and year abroad options, each year some courses taught at Swarthmore include an abroad component. The Global Engagement Office is the on-campus clearinghouse for information on study abroad, and normally is the starting place for exploration and planning. The Global Engagement Office will help all interested students at every stage of the process: planning, study abroad, and return. Proper planning begins with attendance at a general information meeting, and then a study abroad advising appointment, as early as possible in one’s college career.
Participants in the Global Engagement program remain registered at Swarthmore and are subject to the rules and regulations of the College while abroad. Students may study abroad up to two semesters, beginning spring of the sophomore year, and during the junior year. Fall semester seniors may participate in study abroad with the permission of their major department as long as they meet all other eligibility requirements.
To be accepted for credit toward the Swarthmore degree, courses taken abroad must meet Swarthmore academic standards, and be preapproved through the Global Engagement Office’s procedures.
Generally, it is expected that students will be in good standing concerning both their academic program and student conduct in order to participate in the Swarthmore College Global Engagement program. The Global Engagement Office and the Division of Student Affairs review student standing and determine eligibility. Students must also meet the eligibility requirements of the programs to which they apply.
Global Engagement participants must comply with the Global Engagement payment plan. Students continue to pay Swarthmore’s comprehensive fee for tuition, housing, and food. The College then pays for the tuition fees, housing and food costs, travel health and assistance insurance, and the round-trip travel of participating students (with Philadelphia as the gateway city). Normally, financial aid is automatically applied toward meeting study abroad fees. Additional covered costs include books (following the College plan) and visa costs.
The Registrar’s Office is responsible for course registration and maintenance of all official records related to student enrollment. This includes recording course registration and final grades, monitoring students' graduation requirements, and issuing Swarthmore College transcripts. The Registrar’s Office also coordinates course and final examination schedules, coordinates the honors program, and maintains the content of the College Catalog. The Registrar also serves as the FERPA officer for the College.
Swarthmore College welcomes disabled students to participate fully in all aspects of college life. Our mission is to ensure that students with documented disabilities or chronic medical conditions are provided with equal access to all college programs, activities and services. The Student Disability Services staff advise students about the College’s policies, procedures and resources, review students’ disability accommodations requests, and collaborate with students, faculty and staff to arrange reasonable accommodations. Students are encouraged to contact Student Disability Services staff as early as possible.