Exploratory

Students who have not been fully admitted to a college or a school within UH Mānoa and have not decided on your major are considered an Exploratory student.

The Exploratory path is designed for those who are uncertain about what they want to study or would like to use this semester to engage with the many academic opportunities on campus. To help spark particular interest in a major or career, students who select this path will be introduced to a variety of general education courses during their first semester.

Steps to Selecting a Major: Finding the right major requires a lot of conscious effort: self-reflection, self-evaluation, researching and information gathering. The following is the general steps that help you find a major that fits you best.

StepsWhat you need to do:Tips & Suggestions
Declare a major by junior year (60 cr)!
1. Assess you interests, abilities, and valuesAsk yourself:
• What are your passions?
• What are you interested in?
• What are you good at?
• What subjects did you enjoy?
• What kinds of things are important to you and in what order?
• What are your educational and career goals?
• Take an honest look at your unique strengths and abilities
• Talk to those who know you best: family, friends, teachers, employers
• Take career assessments and interest inventories at CSDC (QLC 307)
2. Know the major options available at UHM & gather information• Review ‘degrees, minors and certificates offered at UHM’ in the UHM catalog
• Mark any majors that appeal to you.
• Read descriptions of those majors:
º What the field is about
º Requirements (e.g., prerequisite courses, total credits, required major courses, GPA, admission requirements, official application to the program)
º Titles and courses descriptions of required courses and electives
• Visit CSDC (QLC 212) to learn what you can do with various majors
• Check the website of your potential major departments
• Ask upperclassmen and classmates how they chose their majors
3. Explore your major options & do more research• Take an introductory course in the subject of your interest
• If you like it, take additional courses in the field
• Meet with your academic advisor to:
º Review your degree requirements
º Discuss exploratory course options
º Discuss strategies to fulfill general education requirements while exploring
º Discuss campus resources that would help narrow down your options
• Attend information sessions of your potential majors (if offered)
• Visit undergraduate advisors for each major and ask more about the field (e.g., scholarship, research, internships, career options, student organization)
• Plan ahead: some majors (e.g., natural sciences, art, theater, languages, music) require an early start for timely graduation
4. Evaluate & narrow down your options• Ask yourself honestly:
º Did you enjoy the subject?
º Did you do well in intro-level and prerequisite courses?
º Have you met or are you close to meeting the admission requirements?
º Look at both pros and cons of your options
• Discuss your decision with your academic advisor and develop an academic plan
• Make a timely decision!
• Make sure that you are eligible to apply into the major program (e.g., test scores, field experience, personal statement, etc.)
• Send an application before application deadlines (if applicable)