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First-Year Exploratory Studies

What is an exploratory program?

First-Year Exploratory Studies is designed to provide undecided students with the opportunity to explore Drexel's academic options and interests before selecting a major. Students who enroll in this program complete a one-year, full-time plan of study in their first year and then transfer to a full-time major at Drexel at the end of that year. Whether you have many interests and need guidance in defining your path, or have a path in mind, but want to sharpen your focus, our advising team and faculty can help you succeed.

Not only can you discover what you want to study, you also gain career counseling for your future co-op opportunities and beyond. Similar to any other major at Drexel, you can select a four-year with one co-op, five-year with three co-ops, or a non-co-op option. By harnessing Drexel's professional networks and diverse academic offerings, you can build a future around the subjects and careers that excite you.

Did you know?

Exploratory Statistics: 33% of students change their major at least once; The average worker has 12 jobs in their lifetime; 22% of people change their jobs or careers ever 12 months; those who wait to declare their major are more likely to graduate on time

So, is it better to apply undeclared or have a major? In First-Year Exploratory Studies, you don't do either. Wanting to explore multiple majors and careers is not only common, but it's also beneficial to your future success. According to LinkedIn, the most versatile majors include business administration, marketing, psychology, communication, economics, political science and sociology. By opening up your academic options through First-Year Exploratory Studies, you can start building a well-rounded profile that's attractive to employers and graduate programs — all before declaring a major.

Benefits of an exploratory program

Exploring in your first year is different from enrolling as undeclared. First-Year Exploratory Studies spans multiple colleges across Drexel, giving you the flexibility to truly explore your options. If you enroll undecided within one college, your studies will likely focus on that school only. We offer two academic tracks and custom course schedules based around your unique goals.

The personal advising our program offers also ensures that you stay on track with credits to graduate on time and take the courses most relevant to you. We provide the resources you need to declare a major and find a career fit – including our exploratory courses – FYE 102: Academic Exploration and Planning and FYE 103: Career Exploration and Planning.

Finally, attending Drexel is more than an academic experience, it is a social and personal journey. As many students build friendships and networks in their first year around their major and classmates, we build a community amongst our students to create a sense of belonging at the University.

The First-Year Exploratory Studies program assists and empowers you to:

  • Examine your academic options
  • Find the major and career that best suit your goals
  • Make a smooth and academically sound transition from First-Year Exploratory Studies to your chosen degree program

The Goodwin College staff provides one-on-one guidance as you narrow your academic and career interests. We also help you complete course planning and major selection. This support enables you to make well-informed decisions in selecting the right degree program and career path.

Program Features

  • Strong developmental academic and career advising
  • Manageable credit loads to encourage exploration and reflection
  • Seminar courses that provide guidance and support specific to Exploratory Studies students
  • Use of campus resources to discover academic options and plan for the post-baccalaureate years
  • Engagement with peer mentors and other students in the exploratory program as well as in prospective majors

First-Year Exploratory Studies Learning Outcomes

The First-Year Exploratory Studies program aims to equip students with the following demonstrable skills:

  • Academic Exploration and Self-Directed Learning: Recognize existing strengths, values, interests, skills, and personality traits and how, holistically, these should be utilized while exploring courses and opportunities in various academic units and student organizations across the institution

  • Career Preparation and Building Your Future: Learn the underlying factors that will enable them to become more familiar with the process of researching, applying, interviewing, and accepting job opportunities in their respective industries, including but not limited to: transferrable skills, professional networking, and informational interviews

  • Plan of Study: Declare and transfer to a full-time major at their respective college or school after working with academic advisors, peer mentors, and faculty members, as well as exploring various courses and opportunities

  • Self-Advocacy and Communication: Learn the importance of self-advocacy regarding resources on campus, academic plans of study, financial aid, and communication.

  • Leadership: Develop and refine their leadership skills through various pathways, including the peer mentor program

How to apply

Are you ready to apply to First-Year Exploratory Studies? Follow these steps to get the process started:


Student Profiles

Student Adam Torcomian

Adam John Torcomian

First-Year Exploratory Studies Student

Discover how Adam prepared for co-op success and combined his interest in music and information systems into a fulfilling academic path.

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female student standing at colorful wall, wearing glasses and a suit

Michelle Ampofo

First-Year Exploratory Studies Student

Get to know Michelle, a self-proclaimed "multipotentialite," who is very involved with on-campus activities.

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Student sitting on a window sill smiling

Sarthak Mohanty

First-Year Exploratory Studies Student

Learn how Sarthak was able to transform his first-year struggles into success with the help of his advisor and transferring to FYES.  Learn More