No Major? No Problem!

To guide students’ academic choices and help them investigate majors that align with their interests, strengths and goals, the Career and Advising Center (CAC) at NDSU has developed five Exploratory Areas (EA). These are collections of academic majors that can lead to a variety of careers in a related field.

Exploratory Students

Students who come to NDSU as exploratory (or undeclared) students will select an Exploratory Area that most closely aligns with potential interests. These students then have the opportunity to further explore potential majors in UNIV 101: Major Exploration and Academic Planning. Within an Exploratory Area, students are advised to take a variety of general education courses that tend to cover requirements common to most of the majors included in the Area. Additionally, students work with their advisor to identify and enroll in a course that can serve as an introduction or a foundation to a major that might be of interest.

Deciding on a new major?

Many students come in to college thinking they know exactly what they want to study and are surprised to find out they may not enjoy it as much as they thought they would. Exploratory Areas can help these students as well in looking at other options within a similar field or changing a field of study completely!

Exploratory Areas

NDSU’s five Exploratory Areas are listed below. Read the questions associated with each area, if you answer “yes” to the questions, it may be an EA you want to explore!

Business Studies

Do you like communicating or leading others to complete projects? Do you like analyzing, marketing and persuading? The Business Studies Exploratory Area is for students who have an interest in working in a wide variety of settings such as corporate office or a non-profit organization.


Health & Life Sciences

Do science and medicine fascinate you? Do you like solving problems and investigating the unknown? The Health and Life Sciences Exploratory Area is for students interested in working in a health or wellness field by either becoming a practitioner or researching, creating and promoting health-related products and information.


Liberal Arts, Communication & Design

Are you excited by the idea of designing something new? Do you enjoy being creative with music, art and language? The Liberal Arts, Communication and Design Exploratory Area is for students who are interested in the arts, theory, history and design.

Social Science, Human Services & Education

Do you feel accomplished when you’re able to teach someone a new skill? Do you enjoy helping others and giving advice? The Social Science, Human Services and Education Exploratory Area is for students wanting to work in education and other people-oriented, helping fields.


Do you like to understand how and why things work? Are you interested in developing innovative solutions to issues in fields like science, engineering and agriculture? The STEM Exploratory Area is for students whose natural strengths are in math and science and who want to be part of a constantly changing society.