Advising Resource Center

Undeclared/Exploratory Students

Students often choose to enter college without a declared major but with the goal of exploring various academic and career opportunities. At NDSU those students are served through the Advising Resource Center (ARC), whose mission is to guide academic exploration, provide advising services to undeclared/exploratory students, and support academic and career exploration.

Working one-on-one with an academic advisor in the ARC, students choose one of five Exploratory Areas to guide their academic choices. Exploratory Areas are collections of majors at NDSU that can lead to careers in related fields. The five Exploratory Areas are listed below; for a full list of majors included in each Area, visit the Advising Resource Center.

Students may declare a major – or change their current major to undeclared so they can broadly explore their academic options – whenever they feel confident in doing so. Most students declare a major by the time they have completed approximately 45 credits or about three semesters of classwork.

Advising Resource Center Services

After students choose an Exploratory Area and work with an advisor to plan a class schedule, ARC professional staff continues to guide and support students in their academic and career exploration in multiple ways:

  • Professional academic advisors in the ARC have experience working one-on-one with exploratory students and are available for scheduled appointments or drop-in questions throughout the academic year.

  • The ARC maintains a list of courses that can either serve as an introduction to a particular major or as a foundational course in that major’s curriculum; advisors work with students to choose appropriate classes from this list as a major exploratory tool.

  • Interested students are encouraged to enroll in a one-credit career-planning course taught by a career counselor from the NDSU Counseling Center for further guided exploration.

  • ARC advisors regularly connect students with faculty, staff, and other campus resources to answer questions and provide further information regarding major and career exploration.

First-Year Experience Course

UNIV 189:  Skills for Academic Success is the first-year experience course for exploratory students taught by an ARC advisor who will work with that class of students during their major exploration process. In addition to supporting the college transition through lessons on campus resources, study skills, time management and related topics, UNIV 189 instructors guide and support students’ academic exploration through a variety of activities. Students complete the Strong Interest Inventory, a formal assessment of academic and career interests explained in class by the Counseling Center’s career counselor; students tend to rate this activity as one of the most helpful components of the course.

Additionally, guest speakers from the NDSU Career Center, other academic advisors and faculty from majors of interest, and a variety of guided exploration activities lead students through the process of researching majors, careers, job outlooks and expected salaries. The goal of UNIV 189 is to give students resources they need to make informed decisions regarding their academic major and career goals at NDSU.

For further information, contact:
Advising Resource Center
Morrill Hall 112