Second-year experience

Welcome to your Year of Purpose!

As you move through the three experiential milestones: Explore, Engage and Transition, during your second year at VCU, you'll engage in experiences that deepen and organize purpose around your academic integration, sense of self, social engagement, social/cultural capital and strategic career planning; allowing you to create your own unique VCU experience. 

Explore: Summer and Month 1

Second-year students will participate in Weeks of Welcome to explore our Ram culture through engaging activities and events. In this important milestone, students are also encouraged to meet with their academic advisor to review their individualized Major Maps plan for their selected academic program to jumpstart their second year in college!

Engage: Months 2-5

In addition to their individualized Major Maps activities, students will engage in common experiences with their peers through their focused inquiry courses, living-learning communities and much more! 

Transition: Months 6-9

The Sophomore Transition Series engages second-year students in events and activities that will prepare them for a successful transition to their junior year.

Key initiatives

Upperclass Living-Learning Communities

LLCs are specialized residential environments designed to integrate on-campus living with a focused academic experience. 

Weeks of Welcome

Weeks of Welcome helps students explore campus, find their people and programs, and learn about all of the amazing traditions and resources at VCU.

University Academic Advising

UAA helps first-year, undeclared, nondegree-seeking and pre-health professions students develop and pursue their educational goals.

College of Humanities and Sciences Advising

The College of Humanities and Sciences houses the core disciplines in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. Most declared upperclass students are advised by H&S.

Focused Inquiry

The Department of Focused Inquiry offers small, seminar-style classes for first and second-year students as part of the core curriculum at VCU.

Men of Color Initiative

The MOC Initiative provides research-based recommendations to aid VCU in the development of holistic and inclusive programs designed to improve undergraduate Black male and Latino student success.

Popcorn with Professors

Popcorn with Professors is designed for students and faculty to build connections and positive relationships beyond the classroom.

Sophomore Rising Series

The Sophomore Rising Series is designed to help second year students make meaningful peer connections, network with campus and community leaders, and prepare for a successful transition to their junior year.

Major Maps

Major Maps guide the work we do to support all VCU students. Major maps combine academic planning and strategic career planning to allow students to create individualized success plans so that they can achieve their professional and academic goals upon graduation.

We focus on the student's end goal and work backward - determining what courses, experiences, connections and skills will best position the student as a competitive, working professional after graduation. Major maps connect students to the people, resources and activities that will maximize their VCU experience.

Culminating experiences

Sophomore Gala

The Sophomore Gala is a social tradition to commemorate the halfway mark of your VCU journey towards graduation. All sophomore students are required to wear all-white; a symbol of new beginnings.

Palooza on the Plaza

The First and Second Year Palooza on the Plaza is one of the last transitional experiences you will engage in as you prepare to embark on your junior year at VCU.