Exploratory Majors FAQs
Yes! It is possible to complete degree requirements in four years when you and your advisor work together to carefully to select courses. However, the time it takes to complete your degree also depends on when you declare a major and which major you declare.
You can be an Exploratory Major as long as it takes you to decide on a major. However, we encourage students to declare a major by the time they reach the 45 hour benchmark in order to promote timely degree completion. It is important to note that once a student reaches 140 hours a tuition surcharge applies. Also, UNCG’s Financial Aid Office defines the maximum time frame allowed for students to complete their degree as 180 hours.
No two Exploratory Students go through the same process in declaring a major. We want you to explore and declare at the pace that is right for you. Each student is unique and explores their options in different ways and on a timeframe specific to them. Your Exploratory Academic Advisor can serve as a guide through this process and help you meet important benchmark requirements for certain majors.
Some majors require you to apply for acceptance while others simply require you to complete the change of major form on the University Registrar’s Office website. Visiting the departmental website can be helpful in determining the process for major declaration. Your Exploratory Academic Advisor can also help you determine the steps you need to take to declare your major.
Yes! UNCG requires all undergraduate students to meet General Education Core (GEC) requirements, which are courses designed to provide students with the foundational knowledge, skills, and values necessary to be critical and creative thinkers, ethical decision-makers, effective communicators, and collaborative and engaged global citizens. We recommend Exploratory Students enroll in GEC courses as a way to “test drive” majors of interest to them. Often, courses that students take to meet GEC requirements also fulfill requirements in certain majors.
Being an Exploratory Major allows you to explore your interests and strengths in a supportive environment with the assistance of an Exploratory Academic Advisor. Spending time on self-exploration, majors, and potential careers prior to declaring a major can help you to be certain of your choice of major. Nationally, students change their major 2-3 times. At UNCG, students typically change their major 4-6 times before they graduate from UNCG. Being an Exploratory student also provides you with valuable lessons in researching options, evaluating alternatives, and decision making that can be applied beyond your time at UNCG.
For students interested in majors that do not have a defined career path, it is sometimes difficult to answer the question, “What are you going to do with a major in __________?” However, many majors can provide you with skills that are transferrable to a variety of career options. The Career Services Center is an excellent resource that can help you identify possible career options for your desired degree.
Although changing your major later in your college career can be challenging, it is not impossible. What is most important is that you choose a major that interests you and keeps you engaged. Exploring your interests further is a great idea if you are in this position. However, changing your major in your junior or senior year can delay your graduation and have added costs associated with it, such as additional semesters and living costs and well as a tuition surcharge. Depending on how close to graduation you are, another feasible option might be completing your current degree and pursuing new interests through a second undergraduate degree or in a master’s program. Our Exploratory Advisors are happy to meet with you to discuss these options.
As a parent or family member of an Exploratory Major, you are a valuable member of your student’s support team. You can support your student through their exploration experience by encouraging them to utilize Campus & Academic resources at UNCG. The various academic, personal, financial, and career resources offered at UNCG will help Exploratory Majors find intentional and meaningful ways to explore self, major, and career options. Additionally, you can support your student by encouraging them to talk openly about courses, activities, and interests with you and your family. Providing information about your experiences in the working world can also be extremely valuable to your student.