As a sophomore you will assess where you’ve been, where you're going, the range of choices you have, and prepare yourself for decisions about your concentration, studying off campus and your career.

Topics to Discuss with Your Advisor

  • How can I build upon the classes I took my first year and prepare to declare a major?
  • What are the requirements for studying off campus?
  • What resources will help me explore careers that relate to my prospective major?


Even though you have two semesters of college work behind you, it is still important to explore new areas of study. Sometimes students fall in love with a discipline they discover in their sophomore year. Refer to the quick guide for advice on entry-level courses within a field of study.

You should meet with your academic advisor early in the sophomore year to figure out how best to explore new areas and to pursue your continuing interests. You may also find it helpful to meet with one of Hamilton's preprofessional advisors for assistance with long-term planning.

Choosing a major is one of your main responsibilities as a sophomore. Reflect on your past coursework. Talk with your academic advisor about the classes you have taken and what you wish to continue studying throughout your college career. Fall semester is a good time to talk with professors in the disciplines that interest you to learn more about their concentration requirements. Read more about declaring a concentration.

After declaring your concentration, a concentration advisor will be assigned, or depending on the area of study you may have the option to choose an advisor. You will begin working together to plan the first semester of your junior year. This is also a good time to review the requirements for your major. If you plan to study abroad in your junior year it is particularly important to touch base with your concentration advisor at this time to ensure that you are on track for your senior project.

If you aspire to continue in a professional program after graduating from Hamilton (e.g., business, law, engineering, health), you will want to meet early with a preprofessional advisor to ensure that you are meeting requirements with your coursework. A preprofessional advisor, working in conjunction with your academic advisor, can help you coordinate the courses needed for your concentration with those needed for your professional program.

More than half of Hamilton students explore different cultures and take on new intellectual challenges by studying for a semester or a year away from campus. Hamilton sponsors or is affiliated with study abroad programs in China, France, Spain and India.

Students may also select from more than 100 programs throughout the world. Hamilton's programs in the Adirondacks; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and at the New England Center for Children in Boston provide students with opportunities to combine rigorous academic preparation with practical experience.

Talk with your academic advisor and with the off-campus study advisor to be sure that your plans to study away are integrated with your educational goals. You will also want to confirm that you have met the requirements necessary to study off campus and that you declare your leave of absence by the appropriate deadline.


Each year, Hamilton’s campus hosts approximately 1,000 concerts, lectures, sporting contests, comedians, blood drives, poetry readings, workshops, debates, worship services, films, gallery openings, coffeehouses, volunteer activities, etc. There are more than 200 community service, cultural, musical, athletic, political, social, recreational and religious groups on campus. These include 29 varsity teams, 12 club sports and a multitude of intramural and recreational offerings.

Hamilton offers many formal and informal opportunities for students to learn to take initiative; make informed, responsible and ethical decisions; and successfully organize and collaborate with others on shared projects and goals.

Hamilton’s academic departments and centers sponsor a growing number of community-based programs that provide opportunities for students to put into practice what they’ve learned in class.

Although you are just beginning your time at Hamilton, it is not too soon to begin thinking about the connections between your education and your life after college. The Career Center works closely with students as early as their first year to help identify opportunities for career exploration and development. By engaging early, you will have time to explore your passions and consider how your liberal arts education will ready you for a satisfying and productive life after Hamilton.

Each summer, Hamilton provides 140 stipends for students to conduct research and more than 70 stipends for students to pursue unpaid internships.

Engage with the Career Center to begin your search for career-related experiences and learn how to market yourself.

Help us provide an accessible education, offer innovative resources and programs, and foster intellectual exploration.

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