The Sophomore Year

The Sophomore Year

During the sophomore year, students engage more fully in identifying and creating an individualized academic experience at Stanford. By the end of the sophomore year, Stanford expects students to formalize their decisions by declaring a major and transitioning to a faculty advisor in their major department. While the process of identifying a major can be one of discovery and accomplishment, it often includes a reassessment of such long-held plans such as attending medical school, teaching, or becoming an engineer.  Re-examination of those plans is sometimes made more complex by parental expectations or the perceived judgments of peers. Your sophomore advisees look to you not for specific answers about the “best” or most “practical” major, but rather for guidance in asking the questions that help them identify their most authentic intellectual selves.

The Sophomore Conversations