Second Year Experience

The university assigns a high priority to a student’s second year of college because the second year fleshes out and solidifies the foundation begun in the first year. During the second year, students are focused on establishing personal and educational identities. As a result, students engage in activities in and outside of the classroom moving them towards establishing future directions of study and growth.

The Second Year Experience (SYE) at USD consists of a variety of programs and opportunities designed specifically for second-year students. The goal is to help students be successful, have fun and get the most out of their USD experience.

Featured Programs

SYE Abroad Program

This unique study abroad program offers second-year students the opportunity to earn core curriculum credit in one of two exceptional locations during Intersession of 2016: Guatemala or Italy! Students can earn credit in a variety of disciplines:

  • Art History
  • Chemistry
  • Ethics
  • History
  • Language, Culture and Literatures
  • Theology

Students travel with USD faculty and staff to their chosen destination and engage in the local community. If you are a new first-year student and interested in studying abroad during Intersession of your second year, please visit the SYE Abroad Program website for details on how to apply.

SYE Welcome Back BBQ

Residential Life kicks off the year right with a Welcome Back BBQ exclusively for second-year students. This is a chance for all second-year students (including transfers and commuters) to come enjoy some free food, good music and great company. Look for details on this event in your SYE Program mailing near the end of summer.

Second Year Housing

On-campus living at USD only gets better the second time around! Spend your sophomore year living with your classmates in the Alcalá Vista Apartments (aka “The Vistas”) or the San Buenaventura Apartments, which house the Second-Year Experience (SYE) program. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in programs and utilize services that are geared to the unique needs of sophomore students, both returning and transfer. Additionally, housing is available for second-year students in Manchester Village and the San Antonio de Padua apartments.

For more information on housing for second-year students, please visit Residential Life's Second Year Housing website.

Second Year Torero Experiential Program (STEP)

One of the major benefits of living on campus is the fully furnished apartments that offer convenient access to resident assistants and University Ministry members who are more than just residence staff. With such a wide range of resources, services and personal support offered, it’s no wonder why so many Toreros choose to stay on campus after their first-year living experience. Campus apartments are available for sophomore students, and the STEP program is housed in the Vistas and San Buenaventura. Within the Alcalá Vistas and San Buenaventura there are special programmatic offerings, geared toward sophomores and the unique House Cup program!

For questions about the second year housing requirement, please contact Residential Life at (619) 260-4777 or email