University Exploratory Studies Program (UESP) is the academic home for students who have chosen to explore their options prior to deciding on a major. UESP is very similar to OSU-Cascades’ academic colleges in that we provide academic support to assure that our students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree. We offer a comprehensive range of services to help students make informed decisions about their academic coursework and potential majors they're considering.

A student who is undecided on a major of study is considered an Exploratory Student. Whether you are a freshman trying to understand what path you should follow or a returning student changing career goals, exploring is the key to progressing from an Exploratory Student to a student with a major and home college. It takes work, but OSU-Cascades offers the support you need to succeed.

It is very common for students to be unsure of a major at the beginning of their educational journey or change it along the way. It is at this point that students should explore courses of interests and complete the Baccalaureate Core. It is also important to work with your Academic Advisor and Career Development Center to begin to develop an Educational Goal.

Helpful Links for Exploratory Students

OSU-Cascades Academic Programs

Career Development Center

Exploratory Courses at Cascades

Choosing a Major Checklist

OSU UESP Website

What Can I Do With My Degree

How to Explore

It is important as an Exploratory Students at OSU-Cascades that you are continuously working toward developing a plan and declaring a major that will work for you! Actively explore to determine your goals and commitments to your eduction. Below are suggestions on how to begin exploring:

Research Majors

  • Use resources to understand what certain majors are. Begin with OSU-Cascades list of Academic Programs (majors) and check out each programs' web pages.
  • Curriculum Checklists are available for each major to understand what course you would need to take. Make sure you understand the graduation requirements for a major before you declare it!
  • Try this website from Penn State to help research - Major Decisions

Take courses to help you explore majors

  • Use list of Exploratory Courses.
  • Chose courses that can also be counted for Bacc Core (OSU).
  • Don't explore too long, you only need 180 credits to get a Bachelor's Degree!

Talk to Professors and students already in the major you are considering

  • Ask questions about courses you will take.
  • Ask questions about careers student have gone into after graduating.
  • Plan how you would go about doing this major (is it realistic?).

Take a Career Development Course or Workshop

  • COCC offers courses in Career Planning - see Career/Life Planning listing in COCC's course selection page.
  • OSU-Cascades' Career Development Center offers a variety of workshops to assist students.
  • Job Shadow and interview community members in the fields you may consider working in.

Meet with your Advisor Each Term (required for Exploratory Students)

  • Your academic advisor can provide ideas and concepts regarding major/minor that would fit with your ultimate goals.
  • Checking in each term will help ensure you are on track to making this important decision. (You don't want to end up with too many electives!)

Whether you are a freshman trying to understand what path you should follow or a returning student changing career goals, exploring is the key to progressing from an Exploratory Student to a Declared Student. It takes work, but OSU-Cascades offers the support you need to succeed.

Program Tabs