Exploratory Studies Explore. Discover. Decide

Prospective Student FAQs

In our opinion, there are quite a few advantages!  Being in the Exploratory Studies program, students will benefit from:

  • Our advising staff, who are specifically trained in generalist advising for all 220+ Purdue majors
  • Our EDPS 10500 Academic and Career Planning course, which guides students through the college major exploration process
  • Leadership opportunities specifically for our EXPL students, such as Exploratory Ambassadors, EXPL representation on the Purdue Student Government (PSG), EDPS 105 Peer Mentorships and EDPS 105 Fellows. 
  • The freedom and breathing room to explore who they are and in what direction they want to take their lives
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 are a great place to begin at Purdue!

However, if you are very interested in a specific 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 seeking 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 depends on how you entered our program:

  • Beginner students who began at Purdue in Exploratory Studies have a four semesters (two years) limit.
  • CODO-in students who begin at Purdue in another major and move to us have up to 60 credit hours earned in Exploratory Studies or 95 college hours total (whichever happens first).
  • Transfer students who enter Exploratory Studies directly from another college or university have up to 60 credit hours earned in Exploratory Studies or 95 college hours total (whichever happens first).

Most of our beginner 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, research, 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.  Many schools and colleges also have their own career centers, such as Krannert Professional Development Center or the College of Liberal Arts Career Center.

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.