The semester course credit is the unit of credit. One semester course credit is normally equivalent to 4 semester hours elsewhere. Upper-class seminars and colloquia are usually given for 2 semester course credits. A few courses are given for 0.5 credit.
Courses are numbered as follows:
|001 to 010
|011 to 099
|Other courses (Some of these courses are not open to first-year students or sophomores.)
|100 to 199
|Seminars for upper-class students and graduate students.
The numbers for yearlong courses are joined by a hyphen (e.g., 001-002) and must be continued for the entire year. For introductory language yearlong courses, credit is not given for the first semester’s work only, nor is credit given for the first semester if the student fails the second semester. In cases where credit is not earned for the second half of a yearlong course, the first semester is excluded from counting toward degree credit, although the registration and grade for the first semester remain on the permanent record.
Course listings in this catalog are intended to facilitate planning, but are subject to change. A better guide to course offerings in any particular semester is the schedule of courses available at the Registrar’s website www.swarthmore.edu/registrar/.
Academic Period: Swarthmore College uses the semester course credit system, and lists semester course credits on the official Swarthmore College transcript. Excluding holidays, Swarthmore College has two semesters of fourteen or fifteen weeks, thirteen or fourteen instructional weeks including a mid-semester break, and one week of final examinations. For the 2020-2021 academic year, Swarthmore has shortened the fall and spring semesters to 12 weeks of instruction each, and added a 4-week January term, for 28 weeks of instruction over the year, with finals in addition. The Fall 2020 semester normal load is 3-3.5 credits, with a maximum of 4.0 credits. The January 2021 term is 1-1.5 credits. Spring 2021 follows the usual load described in chapter seven. Eligibility to enroll in the January term depends on being enrolled in either the Fall or the Spring semester.
Recommended instructional time: Our official normal student work load is four course credits per semester. One unit of Swarthmore College credit normally represents three to four hours of class or seminar time, with conference sessions and laboratory periods in addition. Conference sections, professor-lead additional study sessions, and laboratories are usually three hours or more in length, and are not reflected on the transcript, but occur in many courses.
Recommended out of class time requirements: We advise students to plan to spend two to three hours of work for every hour of class attended. Our research shows that Swarthmore College students typically work at least two hours outside of class preparing for every hour of class attended. The typical student attends class or seminar for 12 or more hours per week, and prepares for class or seminar at least 24 hours per week.
Subject Code Key
|Gender and Sexuality Studies
|Latin American and Latino Studies
|Modern Languages and Literatures
|Chemistry and Biochemistry
|Peace and Conflict Studies
|Sociology and Anthropology
|Film and Media Studies
|French and Francophone Studies
1 Absent on leave, fall 2023.
2 Absent on leave, spring 2024.
3 Absent on leave, 2023-2024.
4 Absent on administrative leave, 2023-2024.
5 Fall 2023.
6 Spring 2024.
7 Affiliated faculty.