Snapshots: Pursuit of Purdue. Meet Erin!

Each month, we’ll take a look at some students who started their journey in Exploratory Studies. All of these students have found their perfect major at Purdue. Be sure to check out our blog each week for a new post that will feature a different student and their new major at Purdue.

Let’s meet Erin.

“Erin graduated from Purdue in May of 2015 with a major in Public Relations and Strategic Communication. During her freshman year, she started in Exploratory Studies. In fact, one of the reasons she came to Purdue was because of our program. “I had no idea what I wanted to major in, but I knew that Purdue could help me decide. I also didn’t want to pick a major that I wasn’t committed to, and end up changing it 2 or 3 times throughout my time at Purdue.”

It wasn’t long until Erin found her dream major as she applied for a Change of Degree Objective, or CODO, into the Brian Lamb School of Communication the spring semester of her freshmen year.

While many students often question their choice of major, Erin knew it was the one for her. “Once I heard about Communication and Public Relations, I knew that was a good fit. I loved the classes I was in, and knew I was in the right place.” She highly enjoyed the writing aspect and wanted to learn more about marketing. This made Public Relations the right choice.

She also believes that there a lot qualities that make a good Public Relations specialist. Someone pursuing this needs to know that it is all about effective communication and using their skills as a communicator to help others. One of the most challenging aspects of studying Public Relations is the difficult coursework. However, Erin believes that if the subject is something that you are passionate about, then the work comes easy. Creativity and intuitive ideas are also a large part of the major, as are presentations. She stated that after only four months of work she has already had to give several presentations to clients. However, all of Erin’s hard work paid off. After graduation, she took a job at Asher Agency in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, as an Account Coordinator.

While Erin enjoys her major, she had a few favorite things about Exploratory Studies as well. “I loved my advisor!! I had Sue Aufderheide, and she was such a great resource during my first semester at Purdue. She invited our class to dinner at her house, and even 3 years later still ran into friends from that first EDPS class we had. It was so nice being undecided in my major, and meeting a group of people who were in the same position. It made Purdue feel a little smaller.”

Purdue itself also brought her a lot of great opportunities. During her sophomore year, she joined a Cooperative House called Glenwood. She stated that it was one of the best decisions she made as a student, as it allowed her to form lifelong friendships and get involved with activities like Purdue University Dance Marathon and the Purdue Cooperative Council as the VP of Women’s Recruitment. The summer before her senior year she also studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, as a part of her minor in Spanish. She stated that she was able to enjoy great food, immerse herself in the language and culture, and even had the opportunity to attend the Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain.

Starting in Exploratory Studies may seem scary at first. However, it can lead to a plethora of wonderful opportunities. The right major is out there for everyone.”

Written by Lauren M., sophomore

Snapshots: Pursuit of Purdue. Meet Sydney!

Each month, we’ll take a look at some students who started their journey in Exploratory Studies. All of these students have found their perfect major at Purdue. Be sure to check out our blog each week for a new post that will feature a different student and their new major at Purdue.

Let’s meet Sydney.

Name: Sydney Fara

Current year: Junior

Major: Public Relations and Strategic Communication (focus in Advertising) with a minor in Psychology.

Sydney Fara is a Junior in PR and Strategic Communication (focus in Advertising) and minoring in Psychology. She started as an explorer in her freshman year in 2013, because she was not sure which major offered by Purdue would be the best fit for her.

She spent one year in Exploratory Studies during which she tried different classes related to majors that she was considering. She took Biology classes and classes for Brain and Behavioral Sciences. However, after taking those classes she realized that specializing in Science (which was something she was interested in high-school) was not what she wanted to do. She then looked at her other interests such as graphic design, communication and working with people. PR and Strategic communication seemed like the perfect fit for her. Sydney CODOed into PR after taking the suggestion from her advisor and hasn’t looked back since.

From Sydney’s experience, the PR and Strategic Communication major is suitable for people who want to work with people. Public speaking is also an important part of this major but anyone who is not comfortable with it, Sydney has some advise for you. She says “ I was scared of public speaking but trust me, if I can get over it, so can you! And as always, you wouldn’t be a Purdue student if you weren’t already hardworking!” In addition to those skills, it is very helpful to know Photoshop, Excel and WordPress very well. The classes that she takes do not teach specifically about these programs so Sydney recommends that you take a course on learning about them or practice in your own time.

Her favorite thing about Exploratory Studies was her advisor who knew “everything about every major” offered here at Purdue. As a result, her advisor was able to answer any questions that she might have had. Sydney says “Exploratory Studies allows you to get a jump start into your education without wasting time or money while you decide your future major.”

Finally, her favorite thing about Purdue is the culture, traditions and the memories that she has made here.

A fun fact about her is that she was a BGR Team Leader this Fall!

Written by Nisa R., sophomore

Science Help Resources (CHM, PHYS, BIOL, etc.)

Here are some help resources and comments for best use for some of Purdue’s most notoriously complex subjects:

All Sciences and Mathematics:





Computer Science:

Family Day 2015

Mark your calendars! Family Day is will be Saturday, September 19th. The Exploratory Studies Family Day will be from  9:30 am – 11:00 am (EST) in Stewart Center 302-306 (3rd floor). There will be a light breakfast and refreshments during the event.

All incoming students, current students, and families are invited! Be sure to RSVP at no later than August 31st!

Why should you all come to our Family Day celebration?

  •  Meet and chat with your student’s academic advisor
  • SWAG! Door prizes will be drawn! Games! Hilarity!
  • You will already be here for the big weekend of fun – check out the AWESOME campus events here
  • Free food and coffee, need we say more?!
  • Honoring scholarship recipients with certificates beginning at 10:15 am
  • Get some Purdue face paint before the big game!

If you have questions, please e-mail Colleen Brown at We hope to see you there!

Suggested College School Supply List

Although there is no *official* list of school supplies published by Purdue, here is a list of items that the advisors in Exploratory Studies suggest they purchase:

  • 3-hole punch
  • Apps: Amazon Student, Boiler Guide, Purdue IPhone App, CityBus Routes, notetaking (like Evernote), time management (like RescueTime), flashcards (like Quizlet), and dictionary and thesaurus apps (like Merriam-Webster).
  • Backpack or messenger bag
  • Big envelopes for keeping nice papers neat
  • Binders or notebooks
  • Calculator (wait until after the first day of math class to purchase)
  • Cold and allergy medicine
  • Colored pencils
  • Folders
  • Glue sticks
  • Headphones
  • Highlighters
  • Laptop and external hard drive backup/cloud backup (not required; Purdue has a lot of computer labs)
  • Markers – a pack of multiple colors (also good to have at least one black Sharpie)
  • Note/index cards – lined or unlined
  • Paper – both printer paper and lined paper for your binder
  • Paper clips
  • Pencils and erasers
  • Pens – standard blue and black, as well as wilder colors
  • Planner (Mortar Board planner available at Wal-mart and bookstores) or calendar app
  • Plastic sleeves for binders
  • Post-its
  • Rubber bands
  • Scissors
  • Stapler – both standard sized (for your desk) and mini (for your backpack)
  • Staples (standard and mini)
  • Tape
  • Umbrella and rain boots
  • USB/thumb drive (4GB or higher)
  • White out
  • Winter clothing & jacket (flip-flops and a hoodie are NOT Indiana winter attire)

Week 4 of STAR 2015

Here’s the pictures we have from Week 4 of STAR!

**Please note: We do our very best to have a picture from each Track but there are some days we are unable to take pictures of all of them. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Monday, July 6

Track 1

Track 2

Track 4

Tuesday, July 7

Track 2

Track 4

Wednesday, July 8

Track 3

Track 4

Thursday, July 9

Track 4