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Exploratory

What is Exploratory?

The exploratory program is designed for students not yet ready to commit to a major and leverages the many resources available at UC to help students make a good choice. Even for those who enter college with a declared major, multiple major changes are common. In many ways, this is as it should be. College is a time for self-discovery and exploration. Truly undecided students should take the opportunity to explore their strengths, academic interests and talents before committing to a major.

The exploratory program is also a good option for students trying to gain admission to a selective major. Students are encouraged to identify possible alternatives while working toward possible admission to the major of choice.

Exploratory students in UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) have a specially assigned exploratory advisor to assist with decision-making and course selection while exploring degree options or working toward getting into a desired major in any college.

Students outside A&S are welcome and are encouraged to use the Center for Exploratory Studies (CES) services as well.

Success Factors

Students in any UC college trying to identify their best-fit majors will be successful if they take advantage of the following resources and programs offered through the Center for Exploratory Studies:

  • Professional Exploratory Advising: Advisors can give you information about all of UC’s majors in every baccalaureate college as well as providing personal assessment and evaluation.
  • Faculty contacts in various UC departments and colleges.
  • Discovering UC Course (MLTI1075): This course helps students choose a UC major. The course includes faculty presentations from all of the UC colleges as well as some fun, experiential learning activities.
  • Major Mentoring: Meet with a student mentor who is already majoring in one of your areas of interest.

Career Possibilities

Approximately 70 percent of college-educated people in the workforce today are working in an area not directly related to their field of study in college. For some fields of work, such as teaching or the engineering specialties, a specific major is essential. For many, the most important factor is simply the liberal education you attain while completing your bachelor’s degree. Employers value the competencies you will develop in critical thinking, effective communication, social responsibility and knowledge integration. Career options commonly associated with specific majors can be found on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Minoring in Exploratory

There is no minor available in exploratory studies.

Advising

The Center for Exploratoratory Studies is a university-wide service designed to assist students in choosing majors.

Starting at orientation, students are matched up with one of our award-winning team of professional exploratory advisors. Students work with their advisor throughout their entire first year and beyond until they have declared a major. Advisors offer curricular planning, major selection, and general assistance to ensure that students are successful in finding their 'best-fit' major. Exploratory advisors are trained in major selection and offer personal assessments designed to assist students in the major selection process.

Students seeking admission to one of UC's highly selective programs are advised on coursework and strategies designed to position them most competitively on the application and academic portfolio. Advisors work closely with campus representatives to learn about admissions and curricular requirements for these selective majors.

First year students are required to meet with their academic advisor prior to registration every semester. At this meeting, advisors discuss where students are in the major selection process, and offer curricular advise for the subsequent quarter.

While there is no deadline in selecting a major, it is not possible to graduate with a major in "exploratory." Students with over 60 credit hours will be blocked from registration until they have discussed an academic plan with their exploratory advisor.

Students outside A&S can utilize this service as well (including branch campuses)! Any student wishing to schedule an appointment with an exploratory advisor is encouraged to call 513-556-6540 to set up an appointment. Students can also find out more information at our website: www.uc.edu/explore

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

The Center for Exploratory Studies has been recognized by the National Academic Advising Association as a best-practice model for assisting undecided students. It has also been featured in The New York Times.

Special Programs

UC offers several other unique programs that can also help students make informed academic decisions:

  • The First Year Experience Program: An innovative, year-long, freshman program that helps students successfully transition from high school to the university setting through freshman seminars, academic workshops and first-year courses.
  • College Success Skills: A course that focuses on vital skills acquisition, effective use of technology and campus resources.
  • Discovering UC Course (MLTI1075): This course helps students choose a UC major. The course includes faculty presentations from all of the UC colleges as well as some fun, experiential learning activities.
  • Learning Communities: Groups of students, studying and taking classes together.
  • Internship and Study Abroad Programs: Students gain work experience and begin to develop a global perspective while strengthening their college records, earning credit, and traveling the world.
  • Career Development Center: Learn more about various career opportunities associated with each of UC’s majors.

Freshman Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

Transferring to UC Requirements

Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in the most recent institution.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 at most recent institution
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets one of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and ANY admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are online via the previous links.

Changing Majors within UC Requirements

Admission to A&S is generally available for University of Cincinnati students enrolled in other colleges if they were admissible directly from high school, have a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in their most recent UC college.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • at least a 2.0 GPA in all college-level courses (both at UC and at other institutions)
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets one of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

Graduation Requirements

In addition to meeting the university general education requirements, each college's requirements for graduation are different. Students will work with their college and departmental advisors to ensure graduation requirements are met. 

Exploratory students intending to stay in the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences are strongly encouraged to follow the A&S core requirements checklist in order to effectively meet graduation requirements.

Application Deadlines

UC operates on a semester system, with 14-week grading periods beginning in August, January and May. While midyear admission is possible, the fall is generally the best time to enter the university, since many course sequences begin in that semester.

  • Applicants to A&S who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).

Accreditation

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Quick Facts

Undetermined Bachelor Degree Degree in Exploratory

Full-Time Program Duration

4 Years

Location

Uptown Campus West

Admission Criteria

Open

Contact

2nd Floor, French Hall West
PO Box 210095
Cincinnati, OH 45221
Phone: 513-556-6540
Allison Logan
allison.logan@uc.edu