Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages of starting in the Exploratory Studies?
For exploring 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. From the moment Exploratory Studies students step onto our campus, we encourage them to proactively dig into their degree plans of study, interview and network with student and alumni resources, and actively research information portals. In fact, EXPL students often report that they end up helping their friends who started in a major with their plan of study and career exploration questions! We take a great deal of the guesswork out of making a career decision through our structured EDPS 10500 Academic and Career Planning course and our continuous advisement, encouragement, and education.
We are a great place to begin at Purdue. However, if you are very interested in a certain major, especially when it is part of a more selective school or college, we recommend that you apply to that school/college directly. Then, if you find that the major is not the best fit for you, you can move into Exploratory Studies!
When do Exploratory Studies students officially move to a degree-granting school/college?
The maximum amount of time students can remain in Exploratory Studies is four semesters. However, most students officially move to a degree-granting school or college during their second semester or after the end of their first year. This official movement is called a CODO (Change of Degree Objective) at Purdue. To CODO, students must meet the intended college's or school's CODO requirements (Change of Degree Objective). Exploratory Studies students adhere to the same CODO requirements as all other Purdue students changing their degree objective.
Will all of my credit hours count if I start at Purdue as a Exploratory Studies student?
It depends. Each Exploratory Studies student works with an Exploratory Studies academic advisor to determine the majors, career areas, and skills the student finds interesting. Using that information and other metrics, including our pre-registration survey and Purdue math placement score, the advisor suggests general courses that will best fit the University Core, the degree requirements, and the student's academic objectives and needs. Sometimes a student will have the opportunity to take degree-specific courses that may not count toward all of the student's degree interests. In that case, the advisor will inform him or her of the options and consequences (and connect him or her with resources, if necessary), but then allow the student to make the final choice.
All new students to Exploratory Studies (freshmen and transfer) are required to take EDPS 10500 - Academic and Career Planning. EDPS 10500 fulfills the Information Literacy requirement of the University Core. EDPS is a course that improves all other courses that follow it!
Will beginning in Exploratory Studies delay my graduation date?
In general, it does not. The date of graduation can depend on a lot of factors including how long it takes for the student to decide upon a major, the student's ability to meet CODO requirements (see FAQ #2), if the student is pursuing internships, co-ops, or study abroad opportunities, and others. Exploratory Studies academic advisors encourage students early and often to take proactive steps toward degree decision-making and CODO fulfillment.
Where can I find Purdue degree plans of study?
It is the mark of a well-informed student to know what’s included in their degree plans of study before diving into the course work. Congratulations on your proactivity! A degree plan of study lists all of courses required to earn a degree in a given major. That information can be presented in a grid-style four-year format or as a listing of course numbers and titles organized by category - so watch for both types!
The best one-stop-location for Purdue degree plans of study is the Office of Admissions' Purdue Majors and Minors page. This site allows you to browse Purdue majors in an A-Z list, by college, or by career interest. Within each major page is a brief description of the major, a list of careers our graduates pursue, a link to the major's homepage, and a link to the major's degree plan of study.
What are the opportunities for honors programs?
Exploratory Studies students participate in the campus-wide Honors College. Each year, incoming students who meet the minimum requirements for acceptance into the Honors College are invited to apply for admission. Contact EXPL 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 an EXPL 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:
Are there leadership opportunities within Exploratory Studies?
Yes! There are three Exploratory Studies-based organizations on campus. They are:
- Exploratory Studies Ambassadors are current and former Exploratory Studies students who represent the program at orientation and admissions programs throughout the year. The Ambassadors represent EXPL to the Purdue community and to the world through interaction with prospective and current students. Ambassadors build leadership, presentation, marketing, and public relations skills and get a chance to share their own experiences of our program with others.
- ESAC (Exploratory Studies Academic Council) provides opportunities to serve as representatives to the Purdue Student Government (PSG), to plan events, and to increase campus-wide awareness of the Exploratory Studies. Involvement in ESAC is a great way to hone leadership and public relations skills, to build lasting friendships, and to make both local and Purdue-wide changes for the better.
- Exploratory Studies Peer Mentors are a select group of current and former EXPL students who serve as a positive role model and resource for first-year students in Exploratory Studies. They help support the students’ academic, social, professional, and personal transitions to Purdue University.
Can I still receive assistance if I'm dissatisfied with a major I chose?
Yes. The academic advisors of Purdue's schools and colleges, as well as the career service consultants at the Center for Career Opportunities, will help students during their ongoing decision-making process. If the student has credit hours remaining in Exploratory Studies, they can opt to CODO back to EXPL for further assistance. This rarely happens because most Exploratory Studies students who CODO tend to remain in the college they chose through graduation.
Can transfer students be admitted to Exploratory Studies?
Yes, but within certain limits. Transfer students who would like to be admitted to Exploratory Studies must have completed no more than 30 credit hours at their previous college(s). If transfer students have earned more than 30 credit hours, they must transfer directly into a degree granting Purdue college or school. Once students are admitted to Exploratory Studies, they are limited to 60 credit hours (about 4 semesters) and are required to take EDPS 10500 (Academic and Career Planning). If you are interested in transferring to Exploratory Studies, please visit the Office of Admissions' Transfer Student page to begin the process.