Q: What are the advantages of Exploratory Studies?
A: Exploratory Studies is the ideal place for students who want to gain experience and explore before they decide on a major or career. Students work closely with their Academic Advisor; students meet their advisor at least twice every semester for one-on-one advising, and they also see their advisor every week in the USC 101 (fall) and USC 102 (spring) class. This personal attention, is the most popular and distinctive feature of Exploratory Studies. We think that it helps students make a smooth transition to college and to NC State. Other advantages include the Exploratory Studies Village, Pack Study tutoring, leadership opportunities, the Resident Mentor (RM) program, and linked general education courses, to name just a few.
Q: How selective is Exploratory Studies?
A: Exploratory Studies is not a remedial program for lesser prepared students. Our students mirror the distribution of the university as a whole, including scholars, honors, and dean’s list students. Exploratory Studies is also not a backdoor entrance to the university. Students who apply to a specific major (i.e., Engineering) and are not accepted by that major should not assume that they can enter Exploratory Studies and automatically get into their desired major. The purpose of Exploratory Studies is to give students who are truly undecided time and resources for choosing a major.
Q: Will I be behind by choosing to start my college career in Exploratory Studies?
A: Exploratory Studies advisors work closely with students to help them select courses that will count towards a variety of majors. Your placement into English, mathematics and science is determined by standardized test scores and would be the same regardless of your major. Advisors can help students to understand the consequences of this placement. They also encourage students to select General Education Requirements that will be acceptable to the greatest number of majors available at the University. If students follow the advice of their advisors and take appropriate classes and course loads they will not be behind due to starting their college career in Exploratory Studies. In fact, Exploratory Studies’ Assessment, has shown that our students graduate as fast or faster than a matched cohort of university students.
Q: Will I automatically be eligible for the major of my choice?
A: NC State has internal transfer regulations (CODA) that vary from major to major and may change over time. Some of the programs have limited space and thus set high GPA standards for internal transfers, especially engineering, design, and business management. For this reason, we work with our students to build their academic skills so they can succeed academically and matriculate into the major of their choice. However, there is no automatic eligibility. All students must meet the requirements of their selected major.
Q: Am I required to live in the Exploratory Studies Village (Tucker and Owen Halls)?
A: As of Fall 2017, all first-year students are required to live on campus. We immerse Exploratory Studies students in Owen and Tucker Halls among other village members unless they enroll in another village.
Q: What are Exploratory Studies’ admissions criteria?
A: Students must satisfy the general NC State admission criteria in order to be considered for admission to the University. Once that has been determined, the decision is based on the range of selectiveness by college. Some of NC State’s colleges are selective, while others are highly selective. Exploratory Studies is considered “highly selective,” which means that our students typically meet or exceed the following criteria: top 10-15% of their high school class in the most rigorous college prep courses, B+ to A- grade point average, and highly competitive standardized test scores (SAT or ACT).