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What is Exploratory Studies at CSU?

Exploratory Studies is the designated advising track for students who have not yet declared a major at CSU.

Students who are striving to meet entrance requirements for a competitive major may be admitted to a related exploring advising track (such as Exploring Business Interest) while they complete prerequisites and explore their options. The program offerings outlined below apply to these students, as well.

Exploratory Studies students account for approximately one-third of each entering class and are well supported for long-term success at CSU.

What are the benefits of being an Exploratory Studies student?

Academic advising

Exploratory Studies students are supported by professional advisors in our undergraduate advising office.

Helpful housing

Students can choose to live in the Key Explore learning community, designed to help them explore personal and professional goals.

Access to classes

Students can take introductory-level courses in different areas of interest to explore programs while earning credits toward graduation requirements.

Full admission

Exploratory Studies students are fully admitted, degree-seeking students with access to financial aid and scholarships.

What are the limitations of being an Exploratory Studies student?

Not declaring a major best serves students at the freshman or sophomore level with fewer than 60 college credits complete. If you have more than 45 credits in transfer or test out credit (AP, IB, CLEP, etc.), you are strongly encouraged to visit with an advisor in our undergraduate advising center before you choose to enroll.

Course restrictions

Exploratory Studies students cannot register for courses that are restricted to students in specific majors. For example, Exploratory Studies students can’t register for courses exclusively for Engineering majors.

Core curriculum

Exploratory Studies students focus on completing core curriculum requirements until they have selected a major. If you have already completed your core credits, your exploratory courses may not meet specific requirements.

How do you become an Exploratory Studies student?

Select Exploratory Studies within the application for admission or contact your admissions counselor to request this designation after you’ve been admitted and before you enroll. You can be in Exploratory Studies with or without being affiliated with one of the major tracks outlined below.

What’s next?

Your educational future is whatever you want it to be. Start by exploring our majors grouped by theme into the seven major tracks below or contact an advisor in our undergraduate advising center to discuss your options.

Explore the Major Tracks

Major tracks are CSU majors and concentrations grouped by themes. You can narrow your focus by choosing one of these major tracks when you enter CSU, or you can be in exploratory Studies without a specified major track.