Skip to content

Swarthmore College

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
500 College Ave
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081
(610) 328-8000
School Information
"Since its founding in 1864 by the Religious Society of Friends (aka Quakers), Swarthmore College has given students the knowledge, insight, skills, and experience to become leaders for the common good...With a curriculum unmatched among liberal arts colleges of its size, Swarthmore offers more than 600 courses and undergraduate research opportunities—from the humanities and performing arts to the social and natural sciences and engineering." The college enrolls over 1,600 students, employs over 190 faculty, and offers over 40 courses of study. (Source: (Source:
General Information
Swarthmore College has not yet implemented college-wide measures to support anti-racism. However, the college is offering a course titled, "Is God a White Supremacist?" for students to take. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • On June 29, 2023, Swarthmore's President issued a statement in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action which reads in part: "While we will comply with the law, let me be clear: We will not allow today’s decision to erode our steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion. Swarthmore’s own imperfect history underscores the transformative impact that considering race as one of many factors in a holistic admissions review can have on an institution of higher learning...I want to say directly to those of you from historically marginalized communities who may find today’s decision particularly painful — you belong here."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The President of the college “selected eight courses to support as part of the President’s Fund for Racial Justice.”
Program and Research Funding
  • The Inclusive Excellence Fellows Initiative at Swarthmore is a "peer-based" diversity initiative and is "designed to foster a campus climate of inclusive excellence, increase diverse recruitment/retention, create opportunities for development and programming, and improve communication and coordination for DEI [Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion] work."
  • As part of Swarthmore's Faculty Diversity and Excellence program, "[c]urriculum development grants support the creation of new courses or [the] enhancement of existing courses."
  • The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program at Swarthmore College "help[s] remedy the serious shortage of faculty of color in higher education" by assisting "fellows with graduate school preparation and provides an enriched undergraduate experience" through a "network of mentorship, workshops, guest lectures, and skill-building."
  • The President's Fund for Racial Justice "supports Swarthmore programs focused on transformative racial justice." The fund was established after the death of George Floyd in 2020 and since then, the college has reported that "[a]s of February 2023, 904 alumni have given to the President's Fund for Racial Justice (PFRJ), with contributions totaling $521,310.50."
  • College is offering a course titled, "Is God a White Supremacist?"
  • The college offers a course In Educational Studies on how educational research can be anti-racist and anti-colonialist (Educ 065).
  • On April 26, 2023, Swarthmore held an event titled "Plant Medicine and Black Women’s Healing Traditions: A Roundtable," which is described as follows: "Bridging emergent conversations in public health, critical race theory, public policy, environmental justice, and ancestral spirituality, the Black women healers presented on this roundtable draw upon African Diasporic sacred principles of ecology...."
  • As part of Swarthmore's Inclusive Excellence Fellows Initiative, the Anti-Racism Project provides advice and resources on how to become an anti-racist. Suggested reading materials include "How to be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi and "The New Jim Crow" by Michelle Alexander. 
  • The college provides resources and recommendations in order to "integrate diversity more fully into campus culture, governance, recruitment, and hiring and retention at Swarthmore." Resources for faculty search committees include "Interrupting Bias In the Faculty Search Process" and "Faculty Diversity. Removing the Barriers."
  • Swarthmore holds a "Community Conversation" series which is an "intergroup dialogue about a wide range of topics focused on access, diversity, equity, inclusion, intercultural understanding, social justice, and civic and social responsibility."
Symbolic Actions
  • On April 21, 2021, the President of the college issued a statement on the Derek Chauvin verdict.
  • The Office of Inclusive Excellence and Community Development's stated "vision" is "[a] campus where diversity, equity, inclusion and access is at the core to rectify past injustices and harm and focus on thriving."
Last updated June 13th, 2024
©2024 Critical Race Training in Education. All rights reserved.