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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the advantages of starting in the Exploratory Studies?

    If you are very interested in a certain area, especially when it is part of a more selective school/college, we recommend that you apply to that school/college directly. But if you are interested in many different areas and want extra guidance in developing academic and career goals, the Exploratory Studies is for you. For undecided students at the beginning of their college careers, Exploratory Studies provides the best guidance and the broadest overview of the range of academic and career possibilities. We can help take the guesswork out of choosing a major.

  • When do Exploratory Studies students transfer to a degree-granting school/college?

    Exploratory Studies students have up to four semesters to decide on a major, but it generally doesn't take that long. Most students transfer to a degree-granting school/college during their second semester or at the beginning of their third semester.

  • Will all of my credit hours count if I start at Purdue as a Exploratory Studies student?

    First-year students take introductory courses that are required regardless of their Purdue major. All new students to Exploratory Studies (freshmen and transfer) also take EDPS 105 - Academic and Career Planning. Your academic advisor will help you to explore courses that may fulfill requirements for a specific major, so that once you declare a major, you will have already completed some of the required coursework.

  • What are the opportunities for honors programs?

    Exploratory Studies students participate in the campus-wide Honors College. Each year, incoming students who meet the miminum requirements for acceptance in the Honors College are invited to apply for admission. Contact USP for more information.

    Exploratory Studies students are also eligible to take Purdue honors courses. First semester students registering for these courses should be in the upper 10 percent of their high school graduating class or have an SAT score of 1150+ or an ACT score of 26+. Current Purdue students or transferring college students enrolling in honors classes should have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. As a USP student, you can also earn and benefit from University honors such as Semester Honors or the Dean's List. Once you transfer to a degree-granting school/college, further opportunities are available, including:

    • Honors programs in academic schools/colleges
    • Scholastic honors (Semester Honors, Dean's List)
    • Graduation honors (Distinction, Highest Distinction)
  • What scholarships are available for Exploratory Studies students?

    There are a number of scholarships available to Exploratory Studies students, including:

    • Grace Freshman Scholar Award
    • Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union (PEFCU) Citizenship Award
    • Trustees Scholarship
    • Presidential Scholarship
  • What are Exploratory Studies Ambassadors?

    Exploratory Studies Ambassadors are current and former Exploratory Studies students who represent the program at orientation and admissions programs throughout the year. Ambassadors share their experiences with prospective students who are undecided about their choice of major. The program allows Exploratory Studies students to help other students, create new friendships, and acquire leadership experience.

  • Can I still receive assistance if I'm dissatisfied with a major I chose?

    Yes. In fact, approximately 40 percent of Purdue students change majors at least once. The counseling staffs of all schools/colleges, as well as the Center for Career Opportunities, help students during the ongoing decision-making process.

  • Can transfer students be admitted to Exploratory Studies?

    Yes. Students are allowed to transfer into Exploratory Studies, but the policy regarding how long they are eligible to remain in Exploratory Studies is different. The transfer student is allowed to take either 60 credits with Exploratory Studies, or an overall total of 95 credit hours (including transfer credits), whichever limit occurs first. All transfer students in Exploratory Studies are required to take EDPS 105 - Academic and Career Planning. The Office of Admissions is in charge of reviewing transfer student applications.