Sorting Through Your Academic Options

Exploratory Studies is a temporary academic home for students who:

  • have a broad range of interests,
  • are between majors, or
  • are not comfortable declaring a major during their first or second year of study.

Each Exploratory Studies student is assigned an Advisor/Career Coach in the Center for Academic &  Professional Performance (CAPP) who works with the student to investigate the opportunities each discipline offers. First-year Exploratory Studies students also take the one-credit IN113 Exploratory Studies Practicum class where they are guided in career exploration exercises, receive feedback from vocational testing, meet with faculty in prospective career fields, and learn about the training requirements, wage, and growth opportunities in different career paths.

Like students in other majors, Exploratory Studies students are guided in their selection of course options as they make progress towards fulfilling the Millikin University Studies Program graduation requirements. Most Exploratory Studies students declare a major during their first year of studies, but all must do so before completing 60 academic credits.

In addition to CAPP resources, students choosing a major or contemplating a change in major may find the following resources helpful:

  1. 10 Questions to Ask Before Picking a Major
  2. U.S. Occupational Outlook Handbook

Plan of Study

Career Awareness

The Exploratory Practicum is designed specifically for first-semester Exploratory Studies students with the goal of facilitating informed choices regarding the selection of a major and career path. Through the practicum experience, students focus on career awareness to assist them in their personal major decision-making process. In addition, Exploratory students become actively involved in personal and career development activities while exploring all of the academic options that Millikin has to offer.

Learning Outcomes of the Exploratory Studies Practicum

Upon completing this practicum experience, first-semester Exploratory students will have:

  • Identified and reflected on individual values, interests, personality traits and skills (VIPS) and what they mean to their academic and career decision-making processes.
  • Developed an understanding of the career development process.
  • Developed an understanding of the habits of successful students.
  • Explored and identified occupational and academic options that are a good fit for VIPS.
  • Increased confidence in their ability to make career-related decisions as evidenced by pre-test and post-test measures.
  • Set and/or refined short-term and long-term academic and career goals.
  • Demonstrated a basic knowledge of Millikin curricular offerings and course registration procedures.

For more information about the Exploratory Studies Practicum, please contact Robin Steadman at or 217.362.6424.

Exploratory Studies Major