President Ambar engages with students in a lecture hall.
President Ambar leads a session with Oberlin sophomores at the 2019 SOAR program. Photo credit: Michael Hartman

Sophomore year is about big decisions:

  • declaring a major and creating a course plan through graduation;
  • exploring career directions;
  • planning meaningful summer and winter term opportunities.

SOAR – Sophomore Opportunities & Academic Resources – is an exciting new opportunity to support you with these big decisions. It will help you come up with your college game plan.

SOAR begins with a two-day retreat on January 31 and February 1, right after winter term ends. Housing and dining will be provided free-of-cost for any students participating in SOAR. Working individually and in groups, you will have the opportunity to engage professors within the major of your choice, along with professional staff and trained students. There will also be three follow-up sessions during the spring semester.

Application & Deadlines

The SOAR application is coming soon.

Apply by Monday, November 18 to be considered in the early decision pool of applicants, or by the hard deadline of Monday, December 9.

Questions & Answers

Am I eligible to participate in SOAR?
You almost definitely are.

Can I be a dual-degree student?
Yes! Any college or dual-degree sophomore can participate in SOAR.

Do I have to have my major declared?
No. SOAR is intended for both declared and undeclared students. Have a major? Great! Don’t have one? Still great! SOAR is perfect for helping you figure out a major.

When does SOAR happen, and what is the time commitment?
The SOAR retreat is two days: Friday January 31, and Saturday, February 1, right after winter term ends. Housing and dining will be provided free of charge for any students participating in SOAR. There will be three short follow-up sessions during the spring semester: following add-drop, in early March, and following spring break.

What can I get out of SOAR?

  1. Engage in Oberlin’s diverse learning community.
    We know your schedules as students are always full and busy, carving out time to reflect can be challenging. During the two-day retreat you will have time set aside to think and reflect intentionally about your unique values, interests and commitments, to understand both the ways they have been shaped by personal histories and social contexts, but also the opportunity you have to grow in new directions.

  2. Build your network of connections and prepare to launch into meaningful internship and post-graduate opportunities.
    One of the reasons sophomores have identified as creating difficulty when deciding on a major is making a connection between that major, their interests and potential careers or post-graduate opportunities. SOAR will provide you with the time and resources to explore direct and indirect connections between your chosen or potential field of study, your interests and values, and internship and post-graduate pathways. This will include sessions that help you understand and explore a variety of pathways into the future using your major and skillset, and based on your passions. Follow-up sessions in the spring semester will make sure you have valuable tools to compete for opportunities such as a great resume, cover-letter writing ability and knowledge of your transferable skills and the vocabulary to talk about them.

  3. Declare a major and develop a plan for the next five semesters.
    Choosing a major, and planning out how to fulfill graduation requirements can be challenging. While self-reflection is an extremely useful tool to help identify the major for you, you are not alone in this process. During the two-day retreat you will work with a student leader and a faculty member from your prospective major’s department to craft a plan for your next two and a half years at Oberlin. This plan will include academics, extra-curricular activities and summer opportunities, while making sure to allow flexibility for revision and improvisation.

Who are the SOAR leaders?
Stay tuned for the student SOAR leaders to be announced for each major. The announcement will be made on this page, and via email.

What other majors will I be clustered with for SOAR?
Students participating in SOAR are grouped together with other students who have the same declared major or major of interest. Groups of different majors are then placed together based on common themes. These cluster will be announced soon on this page, and via email.

Do you have more questions?

Contact Dana Hamdan at dhamdan@oberlin.edu.