Unsure of what to major in when you come to Widener? We are here to help you make that decision!
Exploratory Studies (ES) is a program designed to meet the needs of students like you that are undecided about a major. It is normal not to have chosen a major upon entering college. ES allows students to explore many academic major options.
Many students who enroll in college with a major often change their major at least once. Why not start exploring now?!
The Exploratory Studies program uses specialty advising as a way to help students stay on track for graduation. Most ES academic advisors are full-time ES staff who work for Academic Support Services. ES academic advisors have knowledge of all of the colleges' curriculum ladders and general education requirements and have been trained to work with undecided students.
Most students remain in ES for one to two semesters and then make a decision to declare a major. Students can find out more information about various majors by meeting with their academic advisor, Career Services, viewing the Exploratory Studies DVD, reviewing the Undergraduate Catalog, or meeting with various faculty/deans in academic departments.
For more information, please call 610-499-1266.
Q: How long can I remain in Exploratory Studies?
A: Most students declare after their first year, however, students can remain in Exploratory Studies for a maximum of four semesters.
Q: Can I still graduate in four years?
A: Students beginning in Exploratory Studies and declaring a major can graduate in four years in most cases provided that they have shared all academic interests with their academic advisor, followed their curriculum ladder, successfully completed all required courses, and taken a full course load each semester. If students change their mind during sophomore year into a curriculum with minimal electives, then summer school or an extra semester could be necessary.
Q: How many classes/credits should I take each semester?
A: You should consult the Undergraduate Catalog to see what your intended major recommends. However, most majors require 15-16 credits a semester, meaning typically 5 courses a semester plus a lab or physical education possibly. The range of credits for a full-time student is 12-18. Students taking over 18 credits is considered an overload and will require
Q: What are distribution requirements?
A: Distribution requirements include 12 credits for each of the following areas: Humanities, Social Sciences, and Math/Science. Each major has different levels of flexibility of required distribution requirements. Some majors state which humanities must be completed, while others allow the student to choose any humanities course.
Q: If I do not have a major, how do I know what courses to take?
A: Your academic advisor will help you decide what courses to take based on university requirements (ENGL 101, PE, Math proficiency) and distribution requirements (12 credits in Humanities, Social Sciences, and Math/Science) as well as introductory courses of majors you may be interested in.
Q: If I play a sport, do I need to take Physical Education?
A: If you complete an entire season of varsity sport at Widener University, you do not need to take a physical education class.
Q: Can I declare a minor?
A: You must first declare a major and then you can declare a minor.
Q: How do I know who my academic advisor is?
A: You can call the Exploratory Studies office at 610-499-1266.
How to Declare
- Meet the department's requirements (most requirements are stated in the Undergraduate Catalog at the beginning of the school/college).
- Make an appointment with the Dean's office of the new department:
Business: 610-499-4303, Quick Center 2nd floor
Education: 610-499-4383, Hyatt Hall 1st floor
Engineering: 610-499-4036, Kirkbride 1st floor
Hospitality Management: 610-499-1101, Academic Center North 1st floor
Humanities: 610-499-4341, Kapelski Learning Center 3rd floor
Nursing: 610-499-4212, New Academic Building, 3rd floor
Science: 610-499-4002, Kirkbride 3rd floor
Social Science: 610-499-4365, Kapelski Learning Center 2rd floor
Social Work: 610-499-1153, Bruce Hall 1st floor
- Obtain appropriate signatures on Change of Curriculum form to sign you into the new major and to sign you out of Exploratory Studies, followed by the Associate Provost's signature to officially grant the change. An exit survey at the Exploratory Studies office is also required at this time.
- Make an appointment with your new academic advisor (as listed on the Change of Curriculum form).
- Academic Advisor:Students are required to meet with their advisor prior to registration to select courses and release academic advising holds. In addition, students should meet with their academic advisor as often as needed throughout the semester to help explore options of various majors.
- Academic Departments: Students are encouraged to meet with faculty and/or assistant/associate deans to explore interests, learn about majors, gain additional knowledge of the academic area and potential careers.
- Undergraduate Catalog: This online catalog provides students with all university policies and procedures, curriculum ladders, and course descriptions. Take a look at various majors and see what courses are of interest.
- Career Services: Career Services has a number of resources available to assist students in choosing the best major. Resources include: career counselors, a resource library, "What Can I Do With a Degree In... " sheets, FOCUS interest assessment, and more!
- Exploratory Studies DVD: Created by senior Communication Studies capstone students, this DVD highlights 8 majors by interviewing faculty within the department. Majors include Biology, Communication Studies, Education, English, Fine Arts, History, Nursing, and Social Work. This DVD is available for viewing at the Exploratory Studies office located at 520 E 14th Street.