Curious and Intellectually omnivorous

Swarthmore College, a highly selective college of liberal arts and engineering, has empowered students to pursue their intellectual interests with purpose for more than 150 years. What lies at the heart of our community? It’s passion. Students resist easy answers and insist on better solutions, mastering many modes of thought and tools of influence. Everyone at Swarthmore embarks on an intellectual journey. Our first semester pass-fail program encourages all first-year Swatties to be academically curious. Students are compelled to find their calling —undauntingly and unceasingly.

Premier research opportunities 

Our world-class faculty is inspired to collaborate with undergraduate students on joint research projects, which helps students  call on their diverse backgrounds to envision themselves as problem finders and problem solvers. That sparks the kind of discussions you can’t stop thinking about, or for that matter, stop talking about. Before long, you're thinking of ways to apply your ideas, to make them more relevant to the world. Whether that means engineering with new technology, advancing sustainability research, starting a microfinance incubator, or holding a mirror up to your country or century, as a Swattie, you'll have what it takes to apply your knowledge with meaning and purpose.

An Honors Program like no other

The Honors Program brims with intellectual exploration, celebrating the free and critical exchange of ideas through small-group interactions and challenging students to assert leadership during discussions. Honors Program candidates complete their senior year with written and oral evaluations by visiting examiners who are leading scholars and experts in their fields.

Life outside the classroom

Swatties are just as passionate about life outside the classroom as they are about academic pursuits. Free time at Swarthmore means throwing a surprise birthday party for a friend, dancing at the Hogwarts-themed Winter Formal, taking the train from campus into Philadelphia to see a concert, or just tossing a Frisbee with friends on Parrish Beach. Almost half of the student body enjoys playing sports, whether it’s at the competitive Division III level, or in more informal club and intramural sport teams.

Quaker roots 

Sustainability is an integral part of the Swarthmore community, on a strategic level as well as in daily life. Even before the College began purchasing renewable energy credits in 1999, Swarthmore faculty and students demonstrated a commitment to environmental sustainability. Today’s efforts include internal carbon pricing that is used to fund renewable and energy-efficient projects, a goal of diverting 80% of Swarthmore’s waste from a nearby incinerator by 2022, and sustainable building standards for new construction and major renovations of existing buildings.

Also, Swatties embrace the Quaker concept of collaboration instead of competition. There's no GPA or class rank, and Swarthmore's thriving peer mentoring programs demonstrate that we're all invested in each other's success.

Affordability & Financial Aid

Swarthmore’s robust financial aid program ensures affordability — without loans. Swarthmore makes admissions decisions for U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and undocumented/DACA students graduating from a U.S. high school without considering a family’s ability to pay. International students are admitted on a need-aware basis. All admitted students are offered 100% of a family’s determined need. Fifty-five percent of students received aid in 2019-2020, and the average aid award for students in the Class of 2023 was $56,326 for the 2019-2020 academic year. Tuition includes a $700 allowance for all students to help cover the cost of required course materials.

Application Deadlines

Fall Early Decision

  • Application Due: November 15
  • Admission Decision: December 15

Winter Early Decision

  • Application Due: January 4
  • Admission Decision: February 15

Regular Decision

  • Application Due: January 4
  • Admission Decision: April 1

Required Application Materials

  • Application
  • Swarthmore College Short Answer (250 word limit.)
  • $60 Application Fee or Fee Waiver
  • School Report
  • School Counselor Recommendation
  • High School Transcript
  • Mid year Grades: If your school does not have midyear grades, please provide a mid year progress report from your teachers.
  • Two Academic Subject Teacher Evaluations

Standardized Testing Policy and Test-Optional Details

Students who apply to Swarthmore in the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 admissions cycles are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores. Students have the option to submit scores, and may request that Swarthmore not consider scores that may have been submitted already. There is no penalty in the admissions process for students who either did not take a test or choose not to share results with Swarthmore.

If submitting, applicants may self-report their standardized test scores on the application for admission. In addition, they may self-report or update their standardized test scores via a link in the applicant portal, which is available after an admission application is submitted. Swarthmore accepts self-reported scores in lieu of official scores for all applicants. Students who choose to submit official test scores should have score reports sent to the Admissions Office office via email, fax, or postal mail directly from a school counselor, principal, another school official, or directly from the testing agency. Our testing codes are 2821 (College Board), 3722 (ACT), and 2821 (TOEFL).

Swarthmore does not require or consider the optional essay section of the SAT or the optional writing section of the ACT. The Admissions Office superscores SAT results — that is, the highest section scores submitted from multiple SAT test dates are the scores that are considered. Similarly, Swarthmore only considers the highest section scores submitted from multiple ACT test dates, as well as the highest ACT composite score submitted.

If the majority of a student’s education has been taught in a non-English language curricula, Swarthmore encourages the submission of results from the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test.

Please review the details of Swarthmore's Standardized Testing Policy on our website.