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Exploratory
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Exploratory

At Thiel College, it’s fine for students to be undecided or undeclared about a major. Our exploratory program provides students with a way to explore the majors that may interest them in their first year of college before they choose a path of study. The exploratory program helps student tackle the question, “Which major should I choose?”

Although many students believe they have decided their major as they enter their freshman year, nationally, as many as 80 percent either do not know what their major is or will change majors during their first year of college. The exploratory designation at Thiel College offers students who are uncertain about their major(s) the opportunity to work closely with an academic adviser and establish an individualized program that will help them discover which degree program best fits their interests, values, and skills. Through an explorative study, students will be able to experience the best that Thiel College has to offer before deciding on a major and/or minor!

What does an Exploratory student do?

When students begin their college years as an Exploratory student, they are guided to select one of Thiel’s four cognate areas: Humanities/Fine & Performing Arts; STEM; Social Sciences; Business and Communication. The Exploratory Program allows students to take a general studies approach to these five areas. Our advisers then help students find a suitable major based on skills, values, and personal interests. Advisers will even work with the Office of Career Services to assist in exploring career options and selecting experiential learning activities.

Students of the Exploratory Studies program will choose a major by the end of their sophomore year. By this time, they will have had the chance to take courses in the core curriculum that will familiarize them with the liberal arts and help them refine their interests. They will also have completed the First-Year Experience Program.

Benefits Of Coming to Thiel Undecided

By beginning one’s college career in the Exploratory Program, students will be able to:

  • Receive personal attention from a faculty adviser who has experience and training in choosing a major.
  • Earn a well-rounded education that will help when choosing a specific field of study.
  • Focus individually and in group settings on defining values, skills and interests to help with choosing a major and career pathways.
  • Work closely with the Career Services Office to investigate experiential learning opportunities that will help them clarify their career goals.

Exploring Career Options

As part of the Exploratory Program, students use specialized software to explore multiple career options. In the second semester of a student’s freshman year, they begin cooperative education experiences that will provide students with the opportunity to interview and shadow a professional in a career that interests them. In this way, students are able to explore different types of careers. This process helps students to understand what fields they do and do not like, which is very valuable in helping them choose a major and in formulating a post-graduation plan.

Choosing a Major That Works For You!

The ultimate goal of the Exploratory Studies program is to guide students into the major that best suits their interests and goals. Once a major is decided, all of the opportunities for graduate education or career placement associated with that field are available to Thiel students. Sound interesting? Learn more about our exploratory studies program now!