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October 18, 2013

Undergraduate Studies Program's name changes to Exploratory Studies

The academic program formerly known as the Undergraduate Studies Program has been renamed as Exploratory Studies, a name that its director says is more consistent with the program's mission.

Exploratory Studies adopted its new name this spring. The first students started matriculating under the new name this fall, says Susan Aufderheide, the program's director.

Exploratory Studies is geared toward students who want to explore all their academic options before they choose a Purdue major. Students in Exploratory Studies take one common course focused on academic self-discovery and career planning along with other classes that help them make progress in several majors they're considering.

Students can matriculate in Exploratory Studies for up to four semesters, after which they must enter a degree program. About 1,100 students are enrolled in Exploratory Studies.

Aufderheide says the program changed its name because some parents and students found the previous name confusing. Even undergraduates who had decided on a major thought they should apply to the program because its name contained the word "undergraduate."

"Our new name better describes what we hope students will do in the program -- explore the multitude of career paths available to them at Purdue prior to deciding which major is their best option," Aufderheide says.

"Advisors in our program work closely with each student to help him or her identify their interests, abilities and values, and how they relate to the various majors they're considering. Helping undecided students take time to actively explore before declaring a major makes them more likely to be retained, remain in the major they've selected and graduate."