Reviewing Course Schedules and Other Academic Info for Advisers of Sophomores

See also “Sophomore Academics” for information on requirements for academic good standing in the sophomore year, the Credit/D/Fail option, deadlines and academic options to keep in mind, declaring and changing a major, majors that require an application in the sophomore year, international experience options, a link to the AYA database of alumni and their majors, and places and events where sophomore can find additional information.

Check List for Reviewing Course Programs

  • Is the student over-reaching by taking too many courses or too difficult a load? Note, in particular, those students whose academic preparation from their freshman year suggests the need for additional preparation or a smaller course load (4, for example, instead of 4.5-5.5)

  • Has the student selected courses that conflict in class meeting times or examination groups?’

  • Has the student selected a course schedule that is too heavy with final papers or too heavy with midterm and final exams?

  • Has the student considered the distributional requirements for the sophomore year (see description below)?

  • Has the student made plans for fulfillment of the foreign language requirement?

  • Is the student taking at least one small class in which they will have the opportunity to get to know an instructor and engage in discussions with classmates?

Credit/D/Fail.  For information, click here.

Distributional Requirements for the Sophomore Year

At the end of sophomore year (after four terms of enrollment), students must have enrolled in

  • at least one course credit in each disciplinary area (Hu, Sc, and So)
  • at least one course credit in each skills category (QR, WR, and foreign language).

Sophomores are required to have 16 credits for promotion to junior status.

A distributional requirement chart is available here.

Language Courses. Most students begin to fulfill their language requirement in their first year.  In fact, many sophomores will have begun a language at the L1 level during the fall term or their first year and will be required to take three terms of that same language, with only L3 to complete in the fall term of their sophomore year. 

No student — with the exception of some transfer students — may “place out” of a foreign language, including native speakers of languages other than English; all students must take at least one language course during their Yale career. If your advisees have not begun their foreign language requirement, now is the time! 

A  foreign language requirement chart is available here.

Small Courses or Seminars. Encourage your  advisees to take at least small course or seminar.  Discourage them to set up a schedule chock-full of lecture courses. The sort of contact with professors that small courses afford proves to be especially rewarding, inspiring and often has an impact on students’ the choice of major.

Writing courses. Most first-year students, even those who come from highly resourced high schools, will benefit from taking a WR course in the fall.  If your sophomore advisee hasn’t taken a writing course during the first year,  encourage him or her to explore ENGL 114, 115 or 120.  

Pre-registration and Preference Selection

The pre-registration and preference selection period generally runs for roughly one month prior to the start of each term. A list of pre-registration departments or courses with clickable links for instructions may be found on the Yale College Preregistration Applications and Preference Selection web page.

STEM Students | Premedical Students

Students interested in the STEM fields and students wishing to pursue a premedical program often need special advice. If a student is planning to major in a program in the sciences, engineering or mathematics, his or her sophomore adviser must be the DUS in the potential major or the department’s designated representative.

Premed students will find it useful to consult the Health Professions Advisory Program and to read the section, “Preparing for Health Care Professions,” in the First-year “Handbook” (i.e., website).