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Qualtrics is a full-featured online survey tool that can be used to create and distribute online surveys.  Qualtrics is supported by most of the top colleges and universities in the country and offers a simple, easy to understand interface, along with the power and flexibility of the best online survey tools.  Qualtrics is available to all members of Swarthmore community and has been used for faculty and student research, informal polls, online voting for committees, order forms, and course evaluations.

Getting Started

Anyone with a Swarthmore account can log into Qualtrics with the Swarthmore username and password at

New faculty and staff users can get started creating and distributing surveys right away.  

New student users can will have an account automatically created and can get started on creating a survey right away, but will not be able to activate, share, or distribute a survey until contacting ITS ( to have their account upgraded.  Students require faculty approval to distribute surveys.  


Qualtrics has good online help available:

  • The Five-Step Program will teach you all you need to know to get started. It includes recorded trainings and survey building activities that can be completed in less than 3 hours.
  • Qualtrics University Online has over 100 articles with videos, step-by-step guides and tips ready to answer any question you can think of.
  • Experts have also written a few Free eBooks that are available for download. Be sure to check them out as they cover everything about Qualtrics and provide an introduction to Market Research concepts.

Swarthmore's support contract with Qualtrics allows users to contact Qualtrics online, by email, or by phone to get help with surveys.  In addition, you can contact and one of our Academic Technologists will assist you.  

For other helpful information about Qualtrics surveys, see the Qualtrics Help page.


For very simple surveys, Google Forms and SurveyMonkey are possible alternatives.  Compared with Qualtrics, they are limited, but simpler to learn and use.

For surveys or evaluations that you will administer to an academic class, the questionnaire activity in Moodle is useful because it is set up to limit access to people enrolled in the class.

You can also visit the Survey Tools page on Swarthmore's Institutional Research department for more information.

Other Information

Another great resource is the College's Institutional Research team. Please consult with Institutional Research (IR) before you begin any work that might overlap or duplicate existing surveys of the campus population.  In particular, you might want to check out their survey resources page, which contains information and links to best practices, frequently asked questions, alternatives to surveys, the institutional review board, discussion of privacy concerns, survey research tools, sample surveys, and other information. If you are thinking of administering a survey to Swarthmore students, you should visit the Institutional Research page on upcoming surveys to avoid conflicts with other scheduled surveys.  The IR site also has a link to register your own survey with IR.

If you are conducting research using human subjects, you will want to be aware of the Institutional Review Board and its policies.