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Exploratory Studies Courses

Introduction to University Education

Students who enter Exploratory Studies in the Fall semester are required to take “Introduction to University Education,” USC 101 (fall semester) and USC 102 (spring semester), in their first year at NC State.

Students who enter Exploratory Studies in the Spring semester (Spring Connect) are required to take “Majors, Careers and Identity,” USC 201 (a Spring semester course combining USC 101/102), in their first Spring semester at NC State.

Students earn a total of 2 credits, whether in USC 101/102 or USC 201. These courses are taught by the student’s academic advisor and meet once a week. Classes are small (22 or fewer students), discussion-oriented, and students frequently work together in small groups.

USC 101/102 and 201 focus on:

  • Adjustment from high school to college,
  • Academic expectations of a university student,
  • Assessment of personal goals and values,
  • Exploration of careers and majors at NC State.

Course highlights

  • Major Exploration Fairs (Fall) / Majors and Minors Fair (Spring): students speak personally with representatives from all of the colleges to learn about academic majors.
  • Career informational interview or job shadow
  • Career Exploration assignments that:
    • encourage intentional exploration of majors and careers
    • encourage deeper self-knowledge that informs personal fit with intended major(s)
    • encourage engagement with the larger NC State student body
  • Linked classes (First Year Inquiry linked with a USC 101 section) that build strong community
  • Campus engagement events (Welcome Week events each semester )

What our students are saying:

“USC 101 helped me explore different majors offered at NC State by having us complete activities that guide us towards learning about different majors as well as preparing us on how we know which major is best for us. USC 102 helped me with the exploration of jobs and career fields by having us complete online assessments as well as the interview assignment. I was able to learn about different careers that I did not know about/much about so I was able to narrow down my choices.”