Sophomore Year (Defined as 30-59 credits)

Your student should be feeling more at home at the university this year. They know more of the buildings, professors and culture of the community that they have joined. The sophomore year is typically when students will get involved in some of the numerous activities on campus because they better understand how to manage their time.

Sophomores will typically go through the 45 Credit Review benchmark in the first semester of this year.  At this time, many students will be working toward earning an internship for the coming summer terms. Students should visit the Coop and Career Services Office for tips and information about how to go about obtaining an internship.

This section, for each standard academic year for a student, will include information relating to their academic achievement including resources, programs and systems with which they should become more familiar. Information about majors, grades and academic advisement is included.

45 Credit Benchmark Review: This benchmark review occurs after a student has earned 45 University of Maryland credit hours. To pass the review, students must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0, achieve a 2.0 or better in Math141, Chem135, Phys161 and ENES100 and may only repeat one of these courses once. They must also have completed ENGL101 and one Distributive Studies course. NOTE: a ‘W’ counts as an attempt at a course. Thus, the second attempt is considered a repeat of that course.

Understanding the Engineering Benchmark Reviews: Depending upon how your student matriculated into the Clark School of Engineering, they will be reviewed either two semesters after they are first reviewed for the 45 Credit Review or two semesters after their accepted application to the Clark School.  All students, regardless of matriculation semester must pass the 45 Credit Review. Students who matriculated from Fall 2005-Spring 2009 must pass the 2nd and 3rd benchmarks at 60 and then 90 University of Maryland credits respectively.  Students who matriculated in the Fall 2009 semester to present must pass the 2nd Benchmark Review two semesters after the 45 Credit Review; the 3rd Benchmark Review occurs two semesters after the 2nd Benchmark Review.

Preparing for the 2nd Benchmark Review: A student should be aware of what course completions are required; these courses are different based on the student’s major. Students with any questions about their progress toward this review should speak with their Departmental Academic Advisor. Major specific benchmark requirements are available online.

Engineering Minors: The engineering minors include: Engineering Leadership, Nanoscience and Technology, International Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Project Management, Technology Entrepreneurship. Students interested in any of the engineering minors should contact the Minor Advisor for the program. NOTE: A minor must be declared a year and a half prior to expected graduation.

Mandatory Academic Advising: All engineering students must meet with an academic advisor prior to registering for courses for the coming semester. Students who are undecided within the field of engineering meet with academic advisors from Undergraduate Advising & Academic Support (UA&AS). Students who have declared a specific major within engineering will meet with a departmental academic advisor. Students who are on Academic Probation must meet with an advisor in UA&AS. If a student does not meet with their advisor, they will be UNABLE to register for courses. Any questions regarding a student’s academic advisor can be directed to UA&AS.

Undecided Engineering: Undecided Engineering students must declare a major during their third academic semester. A student can declare an engineering major by completing the Internal Major Change Form online.

Within the policies and procedures section is more information about requirements students must meet and procedures which will enhance their academic achievement.

4-Year Plan (University of Maryland Student Academic Success Policy): Students should complete a plan of coursework for their four years as an undergraduate. This plan is to be used as a guide for what the student could take in the coming semesters. The plan can change based on meetings with the student’s departmental advisor or UA&AS advisors and student academic performance. A student should bring this plan to any advising appointment where semester registration will be discussed. NOTE: Suggestions are available at the link above on how to create a 4-year plan.

Academic Benchmarks: All students who matriculated to the University of Maryland in Fall 2005 and after are subject to academic benchmark reviews. For engineering students, these reviews are at 45 University of Maryland credits (not including credit hours earned prior to matriculation) and two other times prior to their graduation. When students are reviewed for the 2nd and 3rd benchmarks depends upon the semester they matriculated. Students should prepare for these reviews by making successful progress through their major coursework. Each benchmark has requirements that are unique to each major.

Academic Dismissal: Students who have questions about policies or procedures related to dismissal should speak with an advisor in UA&AS. Students who have earned 60 or more total credits will be dismissed if their cumulative GPA remains below 2.0 for two consecutive semesters (excluding winter and summer terms). Students who attain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in the preceding winter or summer term will not be subject to dismissal. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will notify students in writing when they are dismissed. The notices will include a statement that registration for the next semester (excluding winter or summer terms) will be canceled. Normally, a student dismissed for academic reasons must wait one semester (fall or spring) before reinstatement. Exceptions will be determined by the Faculty Petition Board.

Academic Probation: Students will be placed on academic probation if their cumulative GPA falls below 2.0. Normally, the student is expected to attain a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the end of a probationary semester. Students who fail to achieve a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the end of their probationary semester may be academically dismissed, depending on their credit total.

Courses Outside Univeristy of Maryland: Any student wishing to take a course over the summer at an institution other than the University of Maryland-College Park, must ask for permission to do so by submitting a Permission to Enroll Form [pdf].

Declaration of Minor(s): Students planning to complete a minor should be registered for that minor by the end of schedule adjustment three semesters prior to expected graduation.

Declaration of Second Major(s)/Degree(s): Students planning to complete a second major/degree must have paperwork completed and be registered for that major/degree by the end of schedule adjustment three semesters prior to expected graduation.

Policy Violation: A review of pertinent Academic Policies is available online. Students who have extenuating circumstances may ask for permission for an exception to policy. Permission should be requested through a formal Petition for an Exception to Policy form found under Forms [online form] online form which should include all documentation of the extenuating circumstances as well as a personal statement by the student to the Petitions Committee.  NOTE: Approval of petitions is not guaranteed.

Repeat Policy: Any University of Maryland student may attempt any course twice or repeat a course once for up to a total of 18 total credit hours (please note that most MATH courses are 4 credit hours). If a student withdraws from a course they will earn a “W,” which will count as an attempt at the course. NOTE: Both attempts at a course are calculated into the students’ Grade Point Average (GPA) unless the course was originally taken during the first semester (for transfer students) or within the first 24 credit hours (for first-time students) taken at the University of Maryland. For those courses, the new grade will replace the old grade in the student’s cumulative GPA but the original grade WILL NOT be deleted from the transcript.

Withdrawal/Drop Policy: No more than 4 credit hours may be dropped during any one semester after the last day of schedule adjustment. A grade of a “W” (withdrawal) will be present on the student transcript for that course. Please see the Academic Calendar for specific dates per semester.

Withdrawal from a Semester: If your student suffers a serious ongoing illness or other long-term issue and needs to leave the university for the entire term, they can withdraw from all of their courses. The repeat policy will not apply to courses taken during the academic semester from which the student officially withdrew. Students must submit written notice of withdrawal to the Office of the Registrar no later than the last day of classes. A student's return to the University is contingent upon the conditions outlined in the online catalog.  NOTE: Students who have earned a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA, with no previous withdrawal or leave of absence, may return to the University the following semester through Re-Enrollment. However, students who withdraw when they are not in good academic standing (cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better), must go through the reinstatement process and are not guaranteed entrance back into the Clark School of Engineering.

Students in the Clark School of Engineering must meet with an academic advisor (either from UA&AS or their departmental advisor) before they may register for courses. This section includes information related to course registration including relevant policies and descriptions of blocks that could prevent your student’s ability to register.

Courses Outside Univeristy of Maryland

Any student wishing to take a course over the summer at an institution other than the University of Maryland-College Park, must ask for permission to do so by submitting a Permission to Enroll Form [pdf].

Fundamental English: All students must take ENGL101 “Introduction to Writing.” A student must attempt the course within their first 30 total earned credit hours and complete the course within their first 60 total earned credit hours. If a student earns a 670 or higher on the Critical Reasoning portion of the SAT, they are EXEMPT from taking ENGL101. NOTE: All Clark School of Engineering students must take ENGL393, (Professional Writing Requirement) “Technical Writing”, no matter what grade they achieve in ENGL101.

Mandatory Academic Advising

All engineering students must meet with an academic advisor prior to registering for courses for the coming semester (for their first semester as a University of Maryland student, Orientation fulfills this requirement). Students who are undecided within the field of engineering meet with academic advisors from Undergraduate Advising & Academic Support (UA&AS). Students who have declared a specific major within engineering will meet with a departmental academic advisor. If a student does not meet with their advisor, they will be UNABLE to register for courses. Any questions regarding a student’s academic advisor can be directed to UA&AS.

Registration Blocks

Students may have a registration block on their academic account that prevents them from registering for courses. The following list describes the different types of blocks as well as directions for how your student can get the block lifted.

  • Administrative block: Your student has not met a registration requirement that is general in nature. Your student should contact the Registrar’s Office to discover why the hold was placed and should contact the office or department requesting the hold to find out how to have it removed.
  • By Permission Only block: Your student is not allowed to take a course without permission from the department that teaches the course. All engineering courses have this block during the Fall and Spring semesters. To find out if lifting the hold is possible, your student should contact the department offering the course.
  • Financially Ineligible: your student, for whatever reason, may have money due to the university. To find out how to lift the hold, your student should contact Financial Aid.
  • Fundamental Studies: Your student has not yet taken and completed ENGL101. To find out how to lift the hold, your student should contact the Registrar’s Office.
  • Mandatory Advising block: Your student cannot register for courses without speaking with their academic advisor. To have the hold lifted, your student needs to meet with their academic advisor to discuss their course schedule for that coming semester.

The Clark School of Engineering and the University of Maryland offer many, many opportunities for student to get involved with and in the campus community. Students can be involved with multiple types of groups at different times but do not have to become involved if they do not wish to be. The options are limitless!

Career Development: Before graduation, ideally beginning in sophomore year, students should expand their education beyond the classroom by participating in a paid summer internship, co-op, or part-time job related to their engineering major. The Engineering Co-op & Career Services Office provides a variety of services, listed below, to equip students to conduct an effective job search.

Workshops and Individual Career Advising: To prepare students for a successful job search, the Engineering Co-op & Career Services offers a variety of career development workshops as well as individual career advising on topics including resumes, interviews, and salary negotiation. Students may sign up for workshops online or stop by for an individual career advising session.

Careers4Engineers Employment Database: Through the Careers4Engineers database, students may apply for engineering internship, co-op, and part-time job opportunities, find employer contact information, and sign up for on-campus interviews. Students must visit the Engineering Co-op & Career Services Office to activate a Careers4Engineers account, which is available free of charge.

Career Fairs: The University of Maryland hosts a large career fair each fall and spring semester to provide a forum for students to network with employers and discuss internship and co-op opportunities. The Fall Career Fair is typically held in early October, and the Spring Career Fair is in February or March. Detailed information is available at the above link.

Networking Events: During the fall and spring semesters, students have the opportunity to network with engineering employers through employer-led information sessions, workshops, and other networking events. These events are advertised to students through a weekly Career Engineer e-newsletter and are posted in the eLink database.

Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program: The Engineering Co-op Program allows students to gain one or more semesters of full-time engineering work experience prior to graduation. While participation in the program may slightly delay a student’s graduation, co-op participants gain a more intensive work experience than summer interns and often have more full-time job offers upon graduation at higher starting salaries than students without equivalent work experience. Interested students should pursue a co-op position using the resources described above and may enroll in the Co-op Program upon accepting a co-op job offer. Students enrolled in the Co-op Program will register for a zero-credit course that allows them to maintain their student status at the University of Maryland.

Engineering Study Abroad: Sophomore year is a good time for students to begin planning to study abroad for a semester or a year. A variety of engineering study abroad programs are available and students can earn credit toward their degree. This is also a good time to investigate short-term engineering programs such as summer and winter term study abroad programs.

Student Organizations: Please see the Freshmen year explanation for more information on student organizations.


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