Welcome to Exploratory Studies

Students jumping in front of the belltower

Thinking about what major is right for you?

Exploratory Studies is a comprehensive program designed to meet the needs of first-year students who wish to explore their options in order to find a “best fit” major. With a focus on cross-curricular academic advising, career assessment, guided exploration of majors and careers, and programming to allow students opportunities to interact with advisors, faculty, upper-class students and professionals from different fields, our students are able to discover their passions and make an informed decision on a major.

Exploratory Studies students typically make up 10-15% of each NC State first-year entering the class.  Alumni from our program are in every college at the University, and our students are actively engaged in university life. Exploratory Studies academic advisors work with their students one-on-one as well as in the Exploratory Studies courses, University Studies Course (USC) 101 and 102. Our advising and curriculum address campus policies, resources and opportunities, learning from diverse perspectives, as well as working toward meeting personal, academic and career goals.

In addition to academic advising and the Exploratory Studies first-year course, the Exploratory Studies Village, housed in Tucker, Owen, and Bowen residence halls, supports a successful first-year experience for our students. The Exploratory Studies village director and a team of Resident Mentors work to build community through fun events and also present academic workshops to engage students outside the classroom on topics such as academic success strategies, goal-setting, and choosing a major.

Since our program’s founding in 1995 (as the First Year College), we have had the privilege of working with thousands of talented and creative students on the path to their degree. We are committed to ensuring that our students have the skills, knowledge, and experiences to transition successfully to a major that fulfills their goals.

Our Mission

To guide students through a structured process for transition to the university and selection of a major. Our program prepares students to gain the foundation for acquiring the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to become self-reliant and productive citizens of an increasingly diverse community.