Exploratory Studies Explore. Discover. Decide

Prospective Student FAQs

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 web resources. In fact, EXPL students often report that they end up helping their friends 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 advising, 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 later!

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.

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) at Purdue. To CODO, students must meet the intended college's or school's CODO requirements (Change of Degree Objective). This usually involves GPA or course requirements that the college or school feels that students need in order to be successful in their degree program.  Exploratory Studies students adhere to the same CODO requirements as all other Purdue students changing their degree objective.

It depends.  Each Exploratory Studies student works with an Exploratory Studies academic advisor to determine the majors, career areas, and courses 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.

Each Exploratory Studies student's schedule is unique.  The only course that all new and transfer students to Exploratory Studies are required to take is EDPS 10500, Academic and Career Planning.  EDPS 10500 fulfills the Information Literacy requirement of the University Core.  EDPS is a course whose information and experiences improves all other subsequent courses!

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.

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.  To do so, first semester students need to 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 Exploratory Studies student, you can also earn and benefit from University honors such as Semester Honors or Dean's List designations on your transcript.  Once you transfer to a degree-granting school or college, further opportunities are available, including:

  • Honors programs in academic schools or colleges
  • Scholastic honors (Semester Honors, Dean's List)
  • Graduation honors (Distinction, Highest Distinction)

After you leave Exploratory Studies, the academic advisors of Purdue's schools and colleges, as well as the career service consultants at the Center for Career Opportunities, can help you continue your career exploration process.  If you have credit hours remaining in Exploratory Studies, you can also opt to CODO back to Exploratory Studies for further assistance.  This rarely happens because most Exploratory Studies students who CODO have completed the investigation they needed to decide, and so tend to remain in the college they chose through graduation.