Jun 25, 2024  
2022-2023 University Catalog 
2022-2023 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Exploratory Studies

Department of Exploratory Studies

Exploratory Studies

Who We Are


Exploratory Studies is a program that helps students discover the major that best reflects their interests and ambitions. Students are given the space and time to explore, balanced with professional guidance intended to encourage students’ proactive career research and reflection. Some key features of our program include the following:

  • Exploring students will take EDPS 10500, Academic and Career Planning, in their first semester. This is a full semester, 3-credit, graded course that allows students to “try on” and evaluate many majors and careers before having to commit to one.  
  • Each student is assigned an experienced academic advisor who is familiar with all Purdue schools and degree programs. Our advisor to student ratio is kept at 1:150, which allows advisors time to really get to know their advisees!
  • A unique course schedule is created for students specifically tailored to their interests and ambitions. We strive for a balance of University Core requirements and available major courses.
  • Students can remain in Exploratory Studies for up to four semesters (two Fall-Spring school years) but can declare their major any time during that period!

Our vision for Exploratory Studies to “be an exemplary advising program in the nation for exploratory students” has remained unchanged since its inception and is recognized by many as a model program for how to successfully support undecided students through their journey.

Our History

In April 1995, the Purdue University Senate approved a three-year pilot program for beginning, exploratory, undecided freshmen students. This pilot, called the Undergraduate Studies Program (USP), was modeled after a program at The Pennsylvania State University. In August 1996, 212 students started with USP. In February 1999, the Purdue University Senate approved USP as a permanent program for entering freshmen students, effective August 1999.

In June 2001, the University Division of the Office of the Dean of Students was merged with USP, adding reentry, readmit, and change of degree objective continuing students to the population served by USP.

In 2013, USP changed its name to Exploratory Studies.

Our Mission

The mission of Exploratory Studies at Purdue University is to assist and empower students to:

  • IDENTIFY strengths, interests, and values
  • EXPLORE academic and career possibilities
  • REFLECT on the intersection of self-discovery and future career goals

We value:

  • Affirming the uniqueness of individual students
  • Relationship-building and open conversations
  • Curiosity and open-mindedness
  • Fostering a growth mindset
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Diversity in our community

Minimum Admission Requirements

Purdue admits to individual majors. Transfer students must meet Purdue’s overall transfer criteria, as well as any major-specific requirements. Before you apply, check the requirements for transfer to Exploratory Studies:  https://www.purdue.edu/exploratory/prospective/transfer-students.php

Minimum GPA: 2.7

Additional Requirements: At the time of enrollment, CANNOT have more than 30 graded hours (or the equivalent quarter or trimester hours) of courses taken in college or 45 graded hours of college courses and concurrent/dual high school credit combined. Required to enroll in EDPS 10500 during first semester on campus.

CODO Requirements

To be eligible to CODO into Exploratory Studies, a student must have no more than 83 completed college credits.

  • Credit counted toward completed college credits includes the following: credit earned by exam, transfer credit, credit earned in P/NP courses, credit for courses in which students earned Fs, and credit for currently enrolled courses.
  • Students bringing into Exploratory Studies 77-83 completed college credits should be able to complete the requirements necessary to CODO to a degree-granting program at the completion of one semester in Exploratory Studies.

NOTE: All students who CODO into Exploratory Studies and maintain a freshman classification (going into the 2nd term) MUST take EDPS 10500 “Academic & Career Planning” in Exploratory Studies: https://www.purdue.edu/exploratory/prospective/edps-10500.php

Link to course syllabus: https://sswis.mypurdue.purdue.edu/CourseInsights/


Contact Information

Exploratory Studies
Sixth Floor, Young Hall

155 S. Grant Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Phone: (765) 494-0843
Fax: (765) 496-1139
E-mail: exploratory@purdue.edu

Advising Directory: https://www.purdue.edu/advisors/directory/index.php