Sophomore Planning Process:
Deciding Your Major & Completing a Major Work Plan
For many students, declaring a major defines the sophomore-year experience. Your major will claim one-third to one-half of the courses you take at Bryn Mawr and will be the academic focus of your final two years. And for many students, the major department will become an important academic home.
Selecting a Major
If you’re undecided about your major, you might ask yourself the following questions:
- What subjects/classes do I enjoy most? And what subjects/classes do I do well in? (Note that these may not be the same!)
- What types of assignments interest me? Which ones do I enjoy doing the most?
- What conversations (in print, online, with peers, elders, and/or younger people) do I want to be part of and contribute to?
- What topics in current affairs do I care about?
- What topics could I spend hours learning about?
- What big questions draw my attention over time?
- What kinds of scholarship do I admire?
Your next step might be to review majors available at Bryn Mawr and Haverford and choose a handful that focus on topics and approaches that incorporate some of the areas you’ve identified above. Include both those that you have taken courses in and those that you have yet to study. This will give you a chance to think broadly about the types of fields that exist while thinking through which might be a good match for you.
Some resources that may help narrow down choices include:
If the decision starts to feel overwhelming, remember that more than half of your courses will NOT be required by your major—and that your Bryn Mawr experience is much more than your course work! Take time to put this academic decision into perspective.
Other Major Options
In addition to picking a single Bryn Mawr major, you can declare on of the following:
Completing the Major Work Plan
- To complete your Major Work Plan, go to the Sophomore Plan in your BIONIC Student Center. You may want to refer to your selected major's webpage on major requirements as a reference. For a step-by-step guide to the Major Work Plan, see the instructions for completing your Major Work Plan.
- At your Major Declaration Appointment, your major adviser will have access to your completed Major Work Plan, your Sophomore Essay, your College-Wide Requirements Plan and the draft of your resume (note, however, these additional forms are not required for the meeting with your Major Advisor). He or she will talk through your plans, suggest changes, provide alternatives, help you think through the pros and cons of various options—in short, try to make sure that the plan you’ve put together is good for you.
- Once you are both satisfied with your Major Work Plan, your advisor will approve it through their BIONIC screen. Once this is done, the Major Work Plan cannot be further edited. If you need to make changes, please go to Updates to Your Major - for Juniors and Seniors.
Study Abroad: If you are interested in studying abroad, review the information on the Study Abroad website, make sure to meet the early deadlines for completing Sophomore Planning, and make sure that your online Major Work Plan reflects your intention to study away from the college for one semester or, in special circumstances, for a year.
To complete the Sophomore Planning Process, you will need to also do the following:
Back to Sophomore Planning Process