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INFOGRaphic by Krithika Swaminathan
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This year, 316 freshmen were offered early sophomore standing. This is 28.4 percent of the class, an increase from last year’s 25.9 percent. Additionally, 158 students chose to accept early sophomore standing so far, up from 134 acceptances last year.

Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Julie B. Norman sent out the offers to eligible freshmen in early December. In order to be eligible for early sophomore standing, freshmen must have completed 25 percent of their SB, or 96 units, by the end of their first semester. These freshman must have completed or received credit for the majority of the math and science general institute requirement (GIR) and met the freshman communications intensive (CI) requirement. Credits received during independent activities period (IAP) do not count toward this quota, with the exception of 8.01L Physics I and 18.02A Calculus. Credits received from Advanced Placement (AP) classes and Advanced Standing Exams are especially important for meeting all of these requirements.

The deadline for accepting early sophomore standing is the spring semester’s Add Date, Friday March 7, 2014, but most students accept or decline the offer in January so that they can plan accordingly for the spring semester.

One of the main benefits of accepting early sophomore standing is that students are not bound by the freshman spring credit limit of 57 units. Early sophomores can also declare their majors and get faculty advisors within their chosen department. Students accepting sophomore standing can also choose to remain undeclared and keep their freshman advisors if they chose to do so.

“I wanted to exceed the freshmen credit limit,” said Devin A. Neal ’17 who recently accepted the offer of Early Sophomore Standing. Devin will be taking five 12-unit classes this semester, three units over the freshman credit limit. He was also able to declare his major, Course 6, earlier.

Early sophomores, however, are no longer on ABC/No Record grading for spring semester and are instead subject to an A to F grading scale.

Anna L. Jungbluth ’17, who also accepted early sophomore standing after weighing the pros and cons, found that it was a practical decision. “I think that ABC/NR wouldn’t give me that much of an advantage. If I’m concerned about my grade, I would just drop the class since drop date is so late in the semester.”

Early sophomores also can take Sophomore Exploratory classes in the spring of their first year, whereas normally this option would only become available in the fall of their second year.

Jungbluth has not declared a major yet, and is looking forward to using her Sophomore Exploratory classes. “This is the time when I should decide what I want to major in by exploring different classes. Also, I get to keep my freshman advisor, which is nice,” said Jungbluth.

Another early sophomore, Patrick H. Liscio ’17, decided to accept the offer so that he would have more options when making his schedule. Liscio is considering Course 18, and is using his Sophomore Exploratory on 18.310A, Principles of Discrete Applied Mathematics. “I wanted the flexibility of taking more classes and being able to use my Sophomore Exploratory,” said Liscio.