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Exploratory Studies/Undeclared Advising

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The primary purpose of the Office of Academic Advising for Undeclared Students is to assist students who are undecided about a major in the development of meaningful educational plans that are compatible with the students' life goals.

Academic advisors provide assistance with:

  • General course selection
  • Explanation of degrees and degree requirements
  • Development of a program of study
  • Selection of an academic major
  • Academic concerns and issues
  • Referral to other ESU resources and services
  • Unofficial progress check toward graduation

Academic advisors for the undeclared student apply knowledge of teaching, advising, learning, and human development to encourage educational experiences that lead to intellectual and personal growth.

Advantages of the Undeclared Major

  • Students may take the time they need to clarify life and career goals.
  • Students can develop a suitable educational plan.
  • Students receive assistance with the selection of appropriate courses.
  • Students receive help with interpreting institutional requirements.
  • Students receive help with major exploration.

Fast Facts About the Undeclared Student

  • Over 500 ESU students have not yet declared a major.
  • Undeclared is the third largest major on campus.
  • Over 200 freshmen enter ESU as undeclared every year.
  • Almost 50% of students who enter college and universities are undecided about their academic and career goals.
  • 75% of students in colleges and universities change their majors at least once before graduation.
  • On average, people change their careers seven times throughout their lives.

Selecting a major does not mean you are stuck in a career!

Advisee Responsibilities

As an advisee, you have clear responsibilities in the advising partnership. In order to be successful, you should:

  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor during each semester.
  • Arrive prepared to each appointment with questions and your advising portfolio.
  • Keep an advising portfolio where you keep official documents and keep a record of your progress toward meeting your educational goals.
  • Enroll in the courses that you and your academic advisor have determined from educational objectives.
  • Be an active learner by participating fully in the advising experience.

Majors: Choosing and Changing

Many students are undecided about their majors when they enter college, and many who are decided change their minds more than once before they graduate.

Use your freshman year and the general education curriculum to explore academic options, and to sample ideas and approaches from other disciplines.

Typically, students declare by the time they have earned 40 credits.

Keep in mind that it is better to declare some of the sciences and professional majors your first year of college because these majors often require courses to be taken in a specific sequence throughout four years of college.

When you do decide on a major, you will need to meet with your advisor to make sure you have met the entry level requirements for the major you have chosen.

If you have met the requirements, you will need to get a change of major card signed by your current advisor, the chair of the major you want to declare and your new advisor (assigned to you by the chair of the department).