Exploratory Studies

A student works with a Geoscience professor at a computer.

Want to find a major that best fits your strengths, goals, and passions—and graduate on time?

You don't need a map of your future in your pocket to get done in four years. You just need the freedom to explore your options in a framework that keeps you on track.

Ready for College Classes But Not Sure About Your Major? You've Come to the Right Place

In Exploratory Studies, you'll choose from seven exploratory options to begin your journey toward your perfect major. Throughout the year, you'll have a college mentor by your side even if your interests change.

You won't be alone as you explore. You'll navigate through your first year of college with a group of fellow students who are exploring majors, just like you. You'll take classes together and attend Exploratory Studies events together.

Two students hike in the woods at the IUP College Lodge.Mentors and Cross-Subject Courses Give You the Support You Need

Choosing a major can be hard, but we can help. Our goal is to guide you toward making this important life decision, in an informed way, by the end of your first year.

On your journey, the Exploratory Studies staff will serve as your guides, helping you choose classes and pointing you toward helpful resources.

You'll take linked classes that are team-taught by professors from different subject areas to help you learn about majors and career options.

Choose from Seven Possible Starting Points

At many colleges, you would be labeled “undecided” and expected to figure out a major on your own. Here, you are an “explorer,” and we are all set to help you as you seek the major that suits you best.

You'll begin by choosing one of our seven, subject-area-based, exploratory options. It will be your starting point for finding the major that inspires you. Faculty mentors along the way will help you identify your strengths and interests. Choose your starting point, and go anywhere your curiosity takes you.

Exploratory Arts

See where your passion for the fine arts can take you as you check out your options in art, art history, music, theater, and dance.

Exploratory Business

Take stock of your options and opportunities in the business majors, such as management, marketing, finance, information technology, and accounting.

Exploratory Education

Find out more about teaching different ages and subjects and become more informed about options in special education and communications.

Exploratory Health and Human Services

Check out the majors and career paths available for safety sciences, sports sciences, fashion merchandising, interior design, family studies, and a variety of health fields, including nursing.

Exploratory Humanities and Social Sciences

Discover the possibilities in the humanities, such as history and English, or those related to social sciences, such as political science and sociology.

Exploratory Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Explore majors and careers in the diverse fields within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


Keep your options open as you seek out the best major for you from more than 140 programs across the entire university.

Will Exploring Majors Make College Take Longer?

Your first-year classes are designed to count toward graduation whenever possible, keeping you on track.

As an explorer, you'll be in the University College, which covers all Exploratory Studies areas, until you choose a major and enter that college. Along the way, you'll be able to explore majors and find your future path in a way that is academically safe.

Some research suggests that many students who declare a major are not sure about it. If they change their major later, and have to backtrack to get courses they need, college can take longer and cost more.