Exploratory Studies

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree who haven’t declared a major or haven’t decided which major to pursue are admitted as exploratory studies students. Exploratory studies students usually take courses required for the university's general education requirements. Many of these courses are the same for all majors and allow the student to make progress toward completing degree requirements while at the same time investigating subject areas that may help choose a major or career. Exploratory studies students work with academic advisors in the Academic Advising Center who encourage exploring, selecting and committing to an appropriate major. All exploratory studies students must declare a major before they have earned 60 credits. To declare a major, simply complete a change of major form available from the Office of the Registrar or on the Registrar's website. Students receiving GI assistance or veteran’s benefits may be required to change to a declared major to keep their benefits award. Students must have declared a major in order to participate in the Western Undergraduate Exchange program.

The vice provost functions as the dean for general studies and undeclared students, and oversees academic assistance and actions concerning general studies and undeclared students.

For more information, contact the Academic Advising Center at 907-474-6396 or the vice provost’s office at 907-474-2764.


Students admitted in pre-major standing have not yet met the admission requirements for bachelor’s degrees. A bachelor’s-intended student will work with advisors in the Academic Advising Center, but it is helpful to also contact the department of the intended major. Pre-major students will work with an academic advisor to determine the best selection of courses to pursue their desired major, as well as complete any additional admittance requirements into their desired program. Students who are in good standing and have completed 14 credits at the 100 level or above with a C grade average (2.0) or better, of which 9 credits must satisfy baccalaureate general education requirements, will be changed to exploratory studies major status. The vice provost will notify students of their change of status and inform the registrar. Exploratory studies students can then use the change of major form to move from exploratory studies to their desired major. Admittance into a desired major is determined by the completion of individual program requirements and the approval of the department chair.