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Sophomore Plan and Moderation

The curriculum of the first two years is designed to allow students to complete the requirements of the College’s Associate of Arts Degree by the conclusion of their second year. By that point, they should have acquired the writing and thinking skills and basic general education in the liberal arts and sciences required to make informed decisions about the two remaining years of undergraduate study.

At this point, students may choose to complete their Bachelor of Arts degree at Simon’s Rock or by transferring to another college or university. Sophomore Plan and Moderation are the formal processes that the College has designed to assist students in making this decision.

Sophomore Plan

All sophomores participate in a Sophomore Planning Session. This process involves meeting with their academic advisors early in the sophomore year to assess their progress toward completing the AA degree and discussing moderation and transfer options individually with the Director of Academic and Career Resources.


Students planning or considering completion of their BA at Simon’s Rock move from the Lower College Program of the first two years to the Upper College Program of the third and fourth years through a process called Moderation. Through Moderation, the student selects concentration(s), reviews work to date, discusses interests and goals, and plans a Program of Study. Students initiate the Moderation process by speaking to their current academic advisor and selecting faculty members in their area(s) of interest. Together with the advisor, a student chooses a Moderation Committee of faculty members familiar with the student’s work. Prior to the conference, the student prepares a written Moderation Statement (a minimum of 2 pages) that explores these matters and distributes it to all members of the committee. The committee will require the student to submit a sample of their written work. At the conclusion of the meeting the student decides whether to retain their original academic advisor or to switch to a faculty member on their committee.

For the student, Moderation is an opportunity to explore options and seek advice; for the committee, it is an opportunity to assess the student’s readiness to undertake the advanced course work of the Upper College, including a senior thesis. Acceptance into the BA Program and the Upper College is not automatic and is confirmed by a formal letter from the advisor to the student summarizing the course of study that the student and the committee have outlined for the coming two years. Normally, Moderation occurs in the first semester of the sophomore year; in all cases a student is required to moderate before registering for classes as a junior. In general this process should be completed by March 15th of the sophomore year, since moderation is required for students to apply for one of the numerous BA merit scholarships.

Thinking About Moderating? (PDF)