The Junior Year

  1. PITZER_Setups_April_2014_e_20_720x480_72_RGBDuring your Junior year, you should be completing intermediate coursework in your major and beginning some advanced coursework. You should continue to work on (and continuously evaluate) your academic and personal goals. And you should be thinking about your path after graduation.
  2. If you have not declared a major, you must do so by the middle of the Fall semester. Remember that choosing a major does not mean you are choosing a career. Your academic adviser can help put you in touch with faculty in the relevant fields. If you have a major adviser in mind, your academic adviser can send an introductory email to the faculty member.
  3. One important element of academic success is meeting and getting to know some of your professors. Faculty can guide you, help you learn the content of your courses, and write your letters of recommendation. Go to their office hours. Invite your major advisor and your professors to share a meal with you every semester.
  4. Stay on top of the academic calendar. In September (February), remember the deadline to add classes and finalize your schedules. In October (March), follow up on any low grade notices and observe the deadline to drop classes. In November (April) you need to pre-register for the next semester. And in December (May), be aware of the last day to withdraw from classes and your final exam schedule. Frequently monitor your Pitzer email and promptly respond to any official communications.
  5. When you are studying abroad, you will be busy seeing the world, experiencing a different style of education, learning about a new culture, honing your language skills, enhancing your career opportunities, finding new interests, making lifelong friends, discovering yourself, strengthening your graduate school application, and enjoying a life experience unlike any other. But please stay in touch with your major adviser here in Claremont. You will need to preregister for the next semester from abroad, often with limited access to the internet.
  6. If you don’t like the major you declared in your sophomore year, you may change your major at any time, provided you are able to complete the requirements of the new major within your semester limitations. You might also think about doing a minor or second major. Talk with your major adviser. You may have more leeway than you think.
  7. You should apply for some fellowships which target juniors. You might think about the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, Boren Scholarship, Benjamin Gilman Scholarship, Congress-Budestag Youth Exchange, Critical Language Scholarship Program, Fulbright Commission: Summer Institutes, Humanity in Action, Morris Udall and Stewart Udall Scholarship, Truman, Neuroscience, Thomas Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, SEO Career, and/or Vanguard Scholarship. Talk with Sandy Hamilton in Fletcher 204.
  8. You should get some internship or research experience before it is too late. It is extremely important to your future career and academic paths to get out-of-classroom experience. You can begin your internship search with help from Career Services. You can begin your research search with faculty members who are doing interesting work. Your major adviser can help you make the connections. Make sure you are doing something over the summer (i.e. internships, research, volunteering, summer job, etc) connected with your future plans. You need to make plans late in the Fall semester and during winter break for the summer.
  9. Talk with your major adviser about handling stress. How do you deal with stress, anxiety, or any cause for concern? Try to develop your study techniques to help you through times of academic stress. Try to develop effective techniques to feel better during times of emotional stress. Talk with an academic coach from the Office of Student Affairs for additional help.
  10. Make sure you are on track toward graduation. By the junior year, we hope you have satisfied all your general education requirements. You should be focusing on your major and minor requirements. If you are behind on credits, you may need to take a summer school class or do a half-credit independent study.
  11. Talk with your major adviser about how to get the most out of your major experience. Would doing honors in the major be a good choice for you? What is the best preparation for graduate school? What courses are most appropriate for your career aspirations? What kind of campus and community service activities which might enhance the academic work in your major, and also help you develop your leadership skills.
  12. It is imperative for you to start making plans for your life after Pitzer. If you are thinking about graduate schools, you should be preparing for the GREs, MCATs, LSATs, or GMATs over the summer. Talk about possible career paths with your adviser, and head over to Career Services. If you have no clue about anything after graduation, go visit the folks in the Career Services Office.