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student at commencement

Lee Martin '19, transfer student

As a transfer student, you will be assigned an academic advisor and a student dean. Both people can be potential mentors and can invest in your overall personal and intellectual development. 

Academic Advisor

Your academic advisor's primary focus and role tends to be academic planning, course selection, and related future planning. You are required to talk with your academic advisor before course registration each semester. Typically, transfer students learn their advisor’s name in late August. If you are transferring in a junior, your academic advisor is usually the chair of the department of your prospective academic major. For details on academic requirements and transfer credit for transfer students, please visit the Registrar's transfer credit website for transfer students and their advisors.

Student Dean

Your student dean's role tends to be more connected to your personal development and growth. Your assigned student dean can help you navigate Swarthmore and life beyond Swarthmore. If you experience academic, personal, health, or other difficulties, your dean is usually your point person to help along the way. 

Some students work closely with their deans, but not all do. The dean for new transfer students is Liz Derickson, Associate Dean of Academic Success. She will reach out to you in July after you commit to attending Swarthmore, and feel free to reach out to her if you have questions.


The registrar will work with you on your transfer credits and help you plan for graduation by completing a holistic and credit-by-credit evaluation of your courses.

Student Academic Mentor

Student Academic Mentors (SAMs) are sophomores, juniors, and seniors specially selected and trained to work with students on the development of skills necessary for academic success at Swarthmore and on academic planning. Students often talk with SAMs when they have questions related to things like time management, organization, study strategies, reading techniques, and course selection. Transfer students often serve as SAMs in their second year (and thereafter) at Swarthmore. There is specific SAM whose role is to support transfer students.

Your SAM, registrar and dean are all part of the Office of Academic Success. For general information about academic advising and support, please visit the Office of Academic Success website.

Transfer Student support

Liz Derickson ’01


Associate Dean, Academic Success

Student Affairs


  1. Phone: (610) 328-8475
  2. Parrish Hall 109
photograph of Dean Liz Derickson smiling and standing outside of Parrish Hall

Kristen Smith


Registrar's Office


  1. Phone: (610) 328-8299
  2. Parrish Hall 132
  • Strategic direction and oversight of the College's registration policies and procedures
  • Compliance
Kristen Smith