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April 16, 2024

Inaugural JHU Major Fair introduces students to departments and faculty

By LANA SWINDLE | February 21, 2024



Students attended the Major Fair on Feb. 16, where they were able to explore a variety of major and minor opportunities at Hopkins.

The inaugural JHU Major Fair took place on Friday Feb. 16 and was hosted by the Student Government Association (SGA) to introduce Hopkins students to various departments and new opportunities. Roughly 300 people attended the fair over the course of the afternoon, and over 40 different majors and minors were represented at the event. Majors spanned departments in both the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS) and the Whiting School of Engineering (WSE), and ranged from Film and Media Studies to Mechanical Engineering. 

KSAS Senator Tim Huang, who created the event, elaborated on his hopes for the Major Fair in an email to The News-Letter.

“I hope that students go out of their comfort zones and truly explore new opportunities that are available to them,” he wrote. “Our school has the option to switch majors at any time, and I believe all students should truly pursue what interests them.”

Huang stressed the importance of the fair for freshmen in particular. WSE students are required to declare their major by the end of their first year, while KSAS students have until the end of their second year. The Major Fair was designed with this in mind.

“The major fair is at the midpoint for many freshmen, where they have gotten used to life at Hopkins and are exploring new opportunities,” Huang wrote. “This fair serves as the breaking point for students to declare their major.”

Freshman Rose Chen voiced her reasons for attending the event in an interview with The News-Letter.

“I want to learn about my major, public health, and any other major I’m potentially interested in, to double major,” Chen said. “I’m a freshman, so I’m looking for more public health opportunities. I’m also looking for an economics major or another [department] I might be interested in.”

The Major Fair took place in the Glass Pavilion and the Great Hall in Levering Hall from 1–5 p.m. A QR code was displayed for each represented program, which directed students to the undergraduate department page.

Sophomore Elyjah Bassford shared that although he had already declared a History major, he was interested in learning more about the various opportunities offered at Hopkins.

“I’m here to see the particular opportunities that are unique to each major, and the benefits from engaging with them,” he said in an interview with The News-Letter. “[I’m] generally just looking around.”

Upon entering the Glass Pavilion, students were greeted with a check-in table, where they received a map of the 36 majors present in the building — the remaining were featured in the Great Hall. Majors in similar fields, such as Writing Seminars and English, were placed near each other for student convenience.

Attending students were encouraged to approach different tables, many of which exhibited flyers, posters, brochures or QR codes for various department-affiliated events or programs. Students were able to engage with faculty and ask questions about the majors or minors they were interested in.

Professor Richard Brown, Director of Undergraduate Studies and an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, attended the Major Fair as a representative for his department. In an interview with The News-Letter, he discussed his goals for the event.

“If people are interested in mathematics, there are ways to tie math into any other discipline. It’s a way of teaching someone how to think analytically or reason deductively,” he said. “It intersects all disciplines. We’re very adaptable and ready to work with someone as a double major, so we’re hoping to generate more math majors through [the Major Fair].” 

The event also drew attention to the various resources offered by each department on campus. As a joint partnership between SGA, the Life Design Lab, Orientation & First Year Experience and the Academic Offices at KSAS and WSE, the Major Fair may become a recurring event at Hopkins. 

Huang described his ambitions for the Major Fair in future years in his email to The News-Letter.

“The Major Fair is actually brand new — as the creator of the event, I really want this to be a fixture of Hopkins in years to come,” he wrote. “We need more student-faculty experiences like this.”

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