Category: Academics, The Globe

Title: Sophomore Year – What Lies Ahead – Major declaration


Sophomore year is a time of decision making, in selecting your major and applying for study abroad. You also need to be conscious about your major while selecting courses, since for some majors there are specific courses that should be taken during the sophomore year. Below are some guidelines.

1. Major Declaration

The major declaration period begins after add-drop in September and ends on the Friday before Spring Break (March 1). If you are applying for study abroad, your major has to be declared prior to initiating the study abroad application. The procedure of major declaration can be found at:

Don’t wait: If you already know your major, you should not wait to declare, as you can start establishing relationships with the curricular dean (the dean in charge of each major)* and the faculty mentor (if you choose to have one)**. Even if you are indecisive, don’t worry about going ahead; you will not be prevented from changing your major in the future as long as there is a good academic justification and you can still graduate on time.

*Starting with the major declaration, your advising dean changes from your first-year (or transfer) dean to the curricular dean.

**Having a faculty mentor is optional; a student who chooses to have a mentor is expected to construct a meaningful relationship with the faculty member.

***BGA students – there is no major declaration process for you.

More information on the majors can be found at:

You can also start thinking if you would like to pursue one of the certificates or minors. Advising for certificates and minors is done by individual programs. Please note that some programs require an application for admittance and some have deadlines to apply.

2. Study Abroad Application

Some of the study abroad application deadlines are during the fall semester. Identify the program and the semester for which you wish to apply and make sure you know the deadline!

3. Major-Related Courses during Sophomore Year

The following are general recommendations. You need to contact the curricular dean for a choice of courses that would match your specific study goals. You can now see how important it is to declare early and start working with your curricular dean.

Calculus I and II Waiver Tests

For majors and programs that require Calculus I (IECO, IPEC, GBUS, and BGAF), students who have not received advanced credit credit, but believe their preparation in high school is substantially equivalent to MATH-1350: Calculus I and/or MATH-1360: Calculus II may place out of these courses by taking the Calculus Readiness Assessment Tests. Students who pass the appropriate test will receive a course waiver and may register for more advanced courses. However, credit is not awarded for placing out of Calculus I or II via the Waiver Tests.

Students who wish to place out of MATH-2370: Multivariable Calculus need to contact Professor Michael Raney, who will administer the corresponding waiver test at a specific date and time.

Calculus Readiness Assessment

Students planning to enroll in a first course in Calculus must first take a Calculus Readiness Assessment. This assessment measures students’ knowledge of concepts from Basic Math through Precalculus. Students must earn a minimum score of 75 to enroll in the standard one-semester Calculus I (MATH-1350) course. Students who do not get a passing score of 75 must register in the one-year sequence of Calculus with Review A (MATH-1310) and Calculus with Review B (Math-1320), which cover the same concepts at a slower pace, incorporating Algebra and Precalculus reviews as needed. MATH-1310 does not satisfy any distributional requirements, but does count as an elective.


If you plan to study abroad in the fall of your junior year, you should consider taking Theorizing Culture and Politics (CULP-2100) in the spring of your sophomore year. All students interested in CULP must attend a CULP information session (see The Globe for dates and times) before meeting one-on-one with Dean Pirrotti.


The GBUS major requires as co-requisites ECON-2543 International Trade and ECON-2544 International Finance, so students should not enroll in ECON-2542 International Economics. Calculus I, either in the form of MATH-1350, AP credit, or equivalent, is a required prerequisite. AP Stats does not apply towards the majors quantitative methods (stats) requirement. If you are pursuing the finance track, you should prepare to declare your major during the fall semester to give you access to register for MSB related coursework – Accounting I (ACCT-1101) and II (ACCT-2101), Principles of Marketing (MARK-1101) and Business Financial Management (FINC-2101 – prerequisites ACCT I and any stats (quant methods) course).


It is ideal to take Intermediate Micro (ECON-2101) in the fall, followed by Econ Stats (ECON-2110) or Intermediate Macro (ECON-2102) in the spring especially if you may study abroad during junior year. If Intermediate Micro is full or does not fit your fall schedule, you can get started with Intermediate Macro or Econ Stats. Calculus I (MATH-1350) is a prerequisite for these courses.


Students must select an area of study around which they construct their major coursework. Students interested in the major should meet with Dean Pirrotti prior to declaring to discuss their areas of interest.  All IHIS students take HIST-3105 Global Perspectives before senior year.


The IPEC major requires as co-requisites ECON-2543 International Trade and ECON-2544 International Finance, so students should not be taking ECON-2542 International Economics. It is ideal to take ECON-2101 Intermediate Micro in the fall, followed by ECON-2110 Econ Stats in the spring especially if you may study abroad during junior year. If Intermediate Micro is full or does not fit your fall schedule, you can get started with Econ Stats. Calculus I is a prerequisite for ECON-2101 and 2110. If you have not yet taken GOVT-1600 International Relations, you should consider taking it this fall.


You should complete both GOVT-1600 International Relations and GOVT-1400 Comparative Political Systems by the end of this academic year, if possible. You may take one of the major courses in the spring and you should strongly consider taking INAF-3200 Quantitative Methods for International Affairs (AP Statistics does not satisfy this requirement), especially if you plan to study abroad in the fall of junior year. All students interested in IPOL MUST attend an IPOL information session (read The Globe for dates and times) before meeting one-on-one with Dean Julia (last names A-K) or Dean Aronson (last names L-Z).


All RCST majors must choose a specific theme to explore within their region(s) of the world. This region/regions and the theme becomes the basis for course selection in the major. Students pursuing Regional Studies must explain how the theme applies to countries of interest within the selected theme. Comparative majors must justify the selection of regions against their selected theme.


STIA majors should take STIA-3005 Science & Tech in the Global Arena during the sophomore year. Students should also aim to complete their science fundamentals courses for the STIA major by the end of sophomore year.

The Add-Drop period ends on Friday, September 1st,

4. Career Planning

It’s time to begin thinking about career options.

  • Cawley Career Education Center:  The Cawley Career Education Center educates students for career management through individualized consultations, workshops, job search tools, recruiting and a speakers program.  See this link: for more information on all of the services they provide.

  • Hoya Gateway:  This program facilitates career-related conversations between students and alumni. It creates an opportunity for generations of Hoyas throughout the world to connect for in-person or virtual meetings in the form of an informational interview, resume review, mock interview or job shadowing.  See this link:

  • Handshake: Handshake is the career services platform where students can connect with employers, apply for jobs & internships, and learn about upcoming career events and workshops.  Log-in today with your net ID and password, set up your profile, and begin exploring opportunities today. See this link:

5. Schedule an appointment

To officially declare your major, please make an appointment with the curricular dean for the major you wish to select.

Wishing you the very best at the start of an exciting year.