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 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. 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 $700 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. To ensure Swarthmore students are getting the best prices possible, the Store’s website Store.Swarthmore.edu includes a service comparing the Store’s prices for course materials to prices at other online sites. Course materials can be ordered online for in-store pick-up or purchased in person.
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. 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.
The Information Technology Services (ITS) help desk provides students with a single point of contact for computer, network, and telephone help services at email@example.com, ext. 4357 (HELP) from on campus, or 610-328-8513 from off campus.
Due to modifications of campus operations related to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the ITS Department at times may be serving the community remotely and by appointment. Students will be expected to adhere to all expectations posted in physical computer spaces and the Garnet Pledge.
ITS maintains about 400 computers for student use in the libraries, computer labs, classrooms, and residence halls. The Swarthmore wireless and wired computing network extends to every building, and access is provided in each residence hall room. The College network provides access to academic software, library resources, and network storage as well as email and the Internet. Use of the College’s computer systems and Networks is governed by the Acceptable Use Policy described 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 and engagement, and 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 libraries on campus: McCabe Library for Humanities and Social Sciences, Cornell Science Library, and Underhill Performing Arts Library. 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.
Students can drop by the desk, email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or chat (https://www.swarthmore.edu/libraries/help-research) with any questions.
Additional services include technology lending, printing, and scanning. Swarthmore partners with Bryn Mawr and Haverford College Libraries in a shared library catalog, Tripod (https://tripod.swarthmore.edu). In addition to an impressive breadth of books, journals, and databases, the collections also include films, CDs, 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 Off-Campus Study Office is the on-campus clearinghouse for information on study abroad, and normally is the starting place for exploration and planning. The Off-Campus Study 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 Off-Campus Study 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 Off-Campus Study 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 Off-Campus Study program. The Off-Campus Study Office and the Dean of Students Office review student standing and determine eligibility. Students must also meet the eligibility requirements of the programs to which they apply.
Off-Campus Study participants must comply with the OCS payment plan. Students continue to pay Swarthmore’s comprehensive fee for tuition, room, and board. The College then pays for the tuition fees, room and board 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 students with disabilities to participate fully in all aspects of college life. Our mission is to ensure that students with physical, learning or psychological 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’ clinical and educational documentation, and collaborate with students, faculty and staff to arrange reasonable accommodations that support students’ individual needs. Students are encouraged to connect with Student Disability Services as early as possible.