Swarthmore College, a highly selective college of liberal arts and engineering, has supported thinkers and doers for more than 150 years. Since 1864, it has lifted students to their full intellectual and personal potential so they can apply their knowledge with meaning and purpose.
Located 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, Swarthmore has been co-educational since its founding by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Our Quaker founders believed in the practical application of knowledge for the common good. While Swarthmore is no longer a religious institution, these Quaker roots anchor and inform how Swatties learn and work.
The College offers two degrees: the B.A. in the arts and sciences and the B.S. in engineering. With a student/faculty ratio of 8:1, Swarthmore ensures that its students have close and meaningful contact with their professors.
Swarthmore’s alumni body is small (about 20,000 living alumni) but distinguished. Five Swarthmore graduates have won the Nobel Prize; Swarthmore is also among the top five highest producers of doctorate recipients in the humanities, life sciences, and all sciences combined, with 20 percent of Swarthmore graduates going on to earn a doctorate degree. Some prominent Swarthmore alumni are acclaimed artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby ‘04, novelist Jonathan Franzen ’81, Ashesi University founder Patrick Awuah ’89, Chris Van Hollen ’83, U.S. Senator from Maryland, fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra ’05, and noted sociologist Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot '66.
As of June 30, 2016, the College has an endowment of approximately $1.7 billion. Swarthmore's robust financial aid program ensures the College’s commitment to providing access to an exceptional liberal arts education for all qualified students without regard to their ability to pay and allows the College to meet each admitted student's demonstrated financial need. With one of the most generous financial aid programs in the country, Swarthmore awards aid -- without loans -- to more than half of its students.
True to its Quaker heritage, Swarthmore maintains a commitment to service and the common good. Students find support for service projects through the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility and in the nearby communities of Chester and Philadelphia and around the world. In addition, Swarthmore is one of 10 charter members of Project Pericles, which supports students who propose and implement projects to identify issues and advance solutions.
Swarthmore's residential campus features more than 425 wooded acres, including rolling lawns, a creek, wooded hills, and hiking trails which are maintained by staff horticulturists as the nationally registered Scott Arboretum.
Swarthmore College, a highly selective liberal arts college located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, has supported thinkers and doers for more than 150 years. Swarthmore has a strong institutional commitment to excellence through diversity in its educational program and employment practices and actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world.