Exploratory Studies Explore. Discover. Decide

Parents & Families FAQs

Purdue's courses, especially its math and science courses, are some of the most challenging in the country.  To that end, a lot of departments offer many different types of course assistance.  How to choose?  Well, in advising, we use these types of questions to help students find a good tutoring fit:

  • Do they want a one-to-one tutoring or more of a group tutoring session?

  • Do they feel they need consistent tutoring on a subject or just tutoring as needed?

  • Are they seeking peer tutoring, with the tutors being closer to their own age, or would they rather be tutored by graduate students or instructors?

  • When is the best time of the day for them to be able to attend tutoring?

Using math tutoring resources as an example, students might opt to attend the no-cost COSINE or WIEP/WISP tutoring every week, because they like the evening hours and the peer-aged tutors.  Some might want the more consistent weekly, but peer-taught, math review that Supplemental Instruction provides. Others might just want to drop in on their instructor's office hours or talk to their favorite graduate GA at the Math Help room as they have questions.  Most students will utilize a combination of these within a semester. 

A full list of tutoring and academic resources for Purdue courses is available on the Academic Success Center's Find Purdue Academic Support Page.

College can sometimes be VERY stressful - we know!  During that time, it's not uncommon for students to need help working through anxiety, depression, financial difficulties, relationship issues, and roommate conflicts.  Purdue offers many types of resources, depending on the severity of the issue:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is the front line resource for psychiatric services, but also provides individual or couples therapy and group therapy after the initial assessment.

  • The Purdue Counseling and Guidance Center (PCGC) is staffed by Counseling Psychology Ph.D. students who are monitored and supervised by Counseling Psychology professors. The focus of the PCGC is to help students work through more common concerns such relationship issues, career exploration, and the occasionally depression and anxiety that can come with being in a college student. For students who do not need psychiatric treatment or who are not in crisis, this type of counseling can be a fantastic way to be heard, work through stresses, and learn effective coping strategies.

  • Office of the Dean of Students' site includes links to Financial Assistance (including interest-free Emergency Loans), information about how to handle certain kinds of class absences (emergent medical situations, grief, jury duty, etc.), and ways for students, staff, and parents to report student incidents they observe.

  • Span Plan Nontraditional Student Services provides support to students who are not the traditional 18 - 22 young adult college student through scholarships, childcare funding assistance, and much more.

  • Veterans Success Center gives back to our Purdue population who have served their country and who now want to earn a degree. Their knowledgeable staff assists veterans in obtaining and using their military and financial benefits, as well as offering career development counseling.

The maximum amount of time students can remain in Exploratory Studies is four semesters (two years). However, most students move to a degree-granting school or college during their second semester (after the end of their first year). This official movement is called a CODO (Change of Degree Objective). To CODO, students must meet their intended college's or school's CODO requirements (Change of Degree Objective). Typically, these are GPA and course requirements that are determined by the college or school to be at the level needed to then be successful in the degree.  Exploratory Studies students adhere to the same CODO requirements as all other Purdue students changing their degree objective.

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, if the student is pursuing internships, co-ops, or study abroad opportunities, and more.  Exploratory Studies academic advisors encourage students early and often to take proactive steps toward degree decision-making and CODO fulfillment.

While it's important to understand that Purdue scholarships are highly competitive (each year about 15% of applicants receive a merit award), Exploratory Studies students are put at no disadvantage for scholarship consideration by starting "undecided". In addition to the campus wide scholarships, there are a variety of scholarships given to both our Incoming Exploratory Studies students and Current Exploratory Studies students. Purdue does not match offers from other institutions and does not consider appeals for merit aid.

There are many Learning Communities (LCs) open to Exploratory Studies students, some of which are exclusive to just Exploratory Studies students! The Learning Communities available to Exploratory Studies students can be found on the Learning Communities Profiles page under Exploratory Studies, Universal, and The Data Mine

The Data Mine LCs that are open to Exploratory Studies are as follows: 

Agriculture, Analyzing Digital Gaming and Culture, Corporate Partnerships, Data in Health and Human Sciences, Data Visualization, General Cohort, SCALE, and Vertically Integrated Products.

It depends on the major you choose.  Getting the credit to Purdue is the first thing, though.  Purdue Admission requires an original, official transcript from each college or University where a transfer course or dual-credit course was taken.  For example, if a student took dual-credit English Composition (W131) through IU while in high school, he or she will need to contact IU to have an IU transcript with the W131 sent to Purdue Admissions for evaluation

The same principle applies for credit granting tests such as AP, IB, CLEP, etc.  Scores must be sent from the organization who administered and scored the tests to Purdue Admissions. To get a rough idea of which test scores will equal which Purdue courses, check out Purdue Admissions' Credit Through Testing section

Once the scores and course transcripts are received, they are evaluated by Purdue Admissions, and then course credit (but not grades) are placed at the top of a student's Purdue Transcript.  This transcript is always visible to students at myPurdue > Academics page > View Unofficial Transcript link.  Advisors keep a close eye on students' transcripts as they choose courses to prevent them from unnecessarily retaking courses.  We also use the myPurduePlan "What If" tool, which we teach students how to use in EDPS 10500, that shows students how earned college credit fits into various degree plans of study.  

EDPS 10500 is a three-credit hour course REQUIRED for all Exploratory Studies students. The focus of the course is to assist students through the process of major and career exploration using a variety of career assessments, web research, personal reflection, and group discussion. A few key things to know about EDPS 10500:

  • It typically counts as a free elective and fulfills the Information Literacy requirement of the University Core in most plans.

  • Its class size is small (between 22 – 27 students) to allow for easier interaction with other students and with the instructor.

  • It is a "hybrid" course experience, a very popular and active learning format at Purdue. In EDPS 10500’s case, one hour a week is spent preparing for the two hours per week of in-class interaction, activities, and discussion.

A list of EDPS 10500 course activities that you can discuss with your student is available in the Parents and Families section of our website!

The Exploratory Studies Program also teaches an optional, one-credit, 8-week long major discovery course called GS 11900, an Introduction to Academic Programs at Purdue. It is a twice weekly, presentation-based course that explores Purdue’s colleges, majors, certificates, and programs. GS 11900 is a complement to EDPS 10500 and a not a replacement. For more information about GS 11900, visit our Exploration Courses page.

Purdue uses a batch registration process to optimize the schedules of all students who complete a course request form in a given time period. To work properly, student preferences for class times must be left out so that the larger goal of getting students into the classes they need can take precedence.

Once open registration begins in late July, students are able to try to change the times and days on their  schedule.  Have your student watch their Purdue e-mail for more information from their advisor!

All students completing All Aboard, Purdue's online orientation program, find out their fall class schedule on myPurdue in late July.  Have your students keep an eye on their Purdue e-mail from their advisor with the date and more information!

Absolutely! Exploratory Studies advisors are always ready to help students ensure that their fall class schedule is complete and makes good academic sense.  Advisors will let your student know the best way to reach them if they have questions or concerns.

Each Exploratory Studies student is unique, so there is a wide variety of class schedules. That being said, most take 14 - 16 credits their first semester, but there are exceptions. All first semester Exploratory Studies freshmen and transfer students take EDPS 10500. Most take a math class, as well as several classes that fulfill requirements for the University Core Curriculum in categories such as "Science," "Written Communication," "Oral Communication," "Human Cultures: Humanities," "Human Cultures: Behavioral/Social Sciences," and "Science, Technology & Society."

Academic advisors are assigned to incoming students by the Exploratory Studies Executive Director.

As many times as they need, but at least two times per semester! All incoming Exploratory Studies students meet with their academic advisor early in fall semester for a September Check-in. This is an opportunity for students to talk about how classes are going, share ideas about possible majors, and ask questions.

A second required meeting takes place in October or November which focuses on spring semester registration. This "pattern" of meetings continues in future semesters until students CODO to their new college or school and begin to work with their new academic advisor.

Students will keep the same academic advisor as long as they are in Exploratory Studies. Once they choose their major and CODO out of Exploratory Studies, they are assigned a new academic advisor in the college they are moving into.

It is very important for students and academic advisors to meet one-on-one. This provides the optimal environment for getting to know one another and accomplishing important tasks. Academic advisors need to focus on learning about students' interests & goals, asking questions, and helping students select classes for fall semester. Since time is limited, the meeting is restricted to student and advisor.


We are happy to answer questions from the Parents & Families of our Exploratory Studies students!  If you have a question that is not answered above, or on the Main Orientation Programs Frequently Asked Questions page, please contact our office at (765) 494-0843.