Advising Center for Exploratory Students


Welcome to ACES, where our advisors help you find the right path to graduation.

Are you:

  • Wondering what major is best for you
  • Having second thoughts about the major you have chosen
  • Questioning what your academic studies are preparing you for in terms of future employment, graduate or professional school

If so, then you're in the right place!

The Advising Center for Exploratory Students, or ACES, exists to best support those students who have yet to declare a major or who want to change their major but are unsure which subject they'd like to pursue.

ACES advisors are here to get you connected with the many campus resources available to help you find the right major. Research shows that students who are connected with a major appropriate to their career aspirations are more likely to continue their education until graduation. At IU Southeast, we want to see you succeed.

To schedule an appointment with an ACES advisor, please call (812) 941-2243.

What is an exploratory student?

An exploratory student is an intelligent, well-rounded student who is interested in many things but may not be quite ready to focus on one particular area. However, exploratory students understand the potential impact of earning a degree and want to continue their education while investigating various academic and career possibilities. Exploratory students may have an idea of what they would like to major in, but they want to make sure that major leads them where they want to go before they commit.

What if I declared a major that I now want to change?

A “re-deciding student” is one who enrolled with a major but whose academic goals have changed. It is very important that “re-deciding” students meet with an academic advisor to discuss their options as soon as they decide a major is not the right fit. These students may use the same tools as the exploratory student in searching for a major course of study.

Is being an exploratory student going to affect my graduation date?

This will depend on the major you ultimately choose, as some majors require coursework to be completed sequentially starting very early in a student’s academic career. IU Southeast recommends that you select a major within 36 credit hours. During this time, you'll be able to take courses that meet the general education requirements but selecting your major early on will ensure that you are on track to graduate more quickly. Discuss any changes to your plans with an academic advisor as soon as possible to be sure you are on the best path.

Don’t forget:

  • It is okay to explore majors, but remember that some General Education courses may not be the best fit for all majors. Taking too many classes without a declared major likely means you’ll end up taking more classes than you need.
  • Exploring majors means examining your values, interests, strengths, and limitations.
  • The process of exploring majors also requires you to research career paths that match your personal goals.

What’s next?

  • Schedule an appointment with a Career Development Center counselor to investigate career paths.
  • Meet with your academic school faculty or advisors to gather information on career choices and course requirements.
  • Enroll in introductory courses in fields of study you are considering to determine if those majors are a good fit.
  • Consider external factors, such as family or religious obligations, that might affect your decision.
  • Create an action plan.
  • Continue to meet with your ACES advisor to ensure you are taking the right classes to meet graduation requirements.

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