Choose as much or as little structure as you need.

As an exploratory student, your only requirement is that you meet with your faculty advisor before selecting courses for the upcoming semester. However, if you’re looking for more support, guidance, or just plain fun, you’re sure to find it. Exploratory students have the option to participate in several focused activities and experiences designed just for them.

Exploratory Student Orientation

Exploratory students meet as a group during orientation to build community, speak with peer mentors about what it is like to be in the program, and get answers to questions.

Special Exploratory Courses

Ithaca College is unique in offering credit-bearing courses that help you do more than simply choose a major. These intellectual and cultural experiences are designed to empower you to make informed decisions about your academic plan.

  • Exploring the Options: Finding Purpose and a Path in College (1 credit)
    A one-credit seminar in which 15 students study competing philosophies of the purpose of a college education; learn methods for choosing a major and minor; and engage in structured discussions and assignments to articulate core beliefs that help them make authentic academic and co-curricular choices. Offered primarily in the fall with one section in the spring.
  • Exploring Ithaca College Culture (1 credit)
    A one-credit course that immerses 18 students in Ithaca College academic, intellectual and cultural events and offers a forum for analyzing, sharing and building on their experiences, studying campus culture, defining the role of academics and the arts outside of the classroom in choosing majors, minors and co-curricular pursuits, and creating one’s own college education. Offered in the spring.
  • Understanding the Workplace (1 credit)
    A one-credit seminar designed to introduce 20 students to working environments outside the classroom, and to prepare them to participate appropriately and constructively in workplace and community cultures. Students will examine published literature and learn from accomplished professionals to better understand the conventions, challenges, and expectations of the working world.

Career-Focused Activities

If you want help connecting your passions to future career paths, check out the special programs offered by our Office of Career Services. Small groups of students work with a professional career counselor to journal and reflect on their values, interests, and professional goals, and then link them with majors at Ithaca College that best align with them.

  • Exploratory Working Group for First-years – Career Services
  • Exploratory Working Group for Sophomores – Career Services

Co-Curricular Programming

Exploratory students are in good company. As much as 40 percent of Ithaca’s incoming class in Humanities and Sciences begins their academic journey in the Exploratory Program. To help you get to know your fellow travelers and guides we sponsor a variety of academic, informational, and social events.

  • Midterm study break featuring pizza and Q&As with peer mentors about next semester’s courses
  • Spotlight presentations on different majors each semester
  • A majors and minors fair featuring live advising stations, games, food and prizes.