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As a freshman (plural: Freshmen ) or Frosh be at US colleges , the students of the first year, so freshmen and sophomore designated. In the second year of study the designation is sophomore , in the third junior and in the fourth senior . In high school , the same terms are used for the first year of school (ninth grade) and, accordingly, sophomore , junior and senior for the following years.

An exception are the military academies, which instead or in addition use the terms Plebe for Fourth Classmen, Yearling or Yuk for Third Classmen, Cow for Second and Firsty (plural: Firsties ) for First Classmen. The Plebe Summer is a training program run by the Naval Academy before the start of the first year of study.


Students today typically play four game years in college. Each year of play is named separately - a player in the first year of play is called a freshman , in the second year he becomes a sophomore , in the third and fourth years a junior or senior . Freshmen , with the exception of American football and basketball players, have only been eligible to play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) since 1968. The ban on the latter was finally lifted in 1972. Before that, Freshmen played in so-called junior varsity teams.

Players who were not active for one academic year and only entered the squad in their second year of study are redshirted and are called redshirt . You may be an academic “sophomore” this year, but you are considered a “redshirt freshman” in the athletics department.

Players who drop out of their studies and thus shorten the number of playing years are known as underclassman . The risk of leaving school without a degree is usually taken by players who, after just three years of play, have a chance of being able to get a contract in professional sport.

An extension or resumption of studies is possible. The playing time in college sport is limited to four active years, which means that the associated scholarships are limited and tuition fees may have to be paid.

In professional sports, athletes are in their first career year rookie called. The term sophomore rarely exists for athletes in their second year of careers.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Jessica Stahl: New For the Glossary: ​​Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior. On: Voice of America News website; Washington, DC, April 2, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2018 (in English).
  2. Howard P. Chudacoff: Changing The Playbook. How Power, Profit, and Politics Transformed College Sports. Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield, 2015: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-08132-3 (page 109, in English).
  3. See: 15 CJ Oldham. On: The University of Akron website; Akron, OH, undated 2011. Retrieved February 23, 2019 (in English).