Exploratory, B.A.

General Studies Exploratory |View/Print PDF

Students in the Exploratory program are considered degree-seeking although they have not yet declared a major.  The degree evaluation outlines the other Bachelor of Arts degree requirements including courses in general education (LEP), writing requirements, and up to 27 elective credits that can provide students with time to explore areas of interest.  All other courses will be considered excess and are not aid eligible.


  • Students cannot graduate with a degree in the Exploratory program and must choose a major prior to earning 60 credits.
  • Transfer students must choose a major prior to their second semester at Southern if they enter the institution with 60 credits or more.
  • Exploratory students must select an Area of Interest (see below).
  • Choosing an area of interest does not mean that a student is declared in that major or guaranteed admission.
  • Exploratory students with 45 earned credits or more must consult with their academic advisor to make a declaration decision, otherwise a registration hold will be placed on their account.
  • Students should be aware that a delay in the declaration of a major may result in needing more than 120 credits to graduate with their chosen major.
  • Exploratory students can also declare a minor.


Liberal Education Program

Students must complete a comprehensive three-tiered Liberal Education Program (LEP). View all requirements of the tiers on the Liberal Education Program.  While the choice of courses that fulfill the requirements is generally left up to students, courses in the major and/or cognate may also satisfy LEP requirements, although the course credits are only counted once towards the 120 credits required for graduation.

Writing Requirements (“W-Courses”)

Three W-courses are required. These may not be taken until after a student has passed ENG 112 — Writing Arguments. W-courses may count toward LEP, major, or cognate requirements, as well as free electives. Course sections that meet this requirement are designated by section numbers ending in “W”.

Transfer students who enter with 60 to 89 credits are required to pass two W-courses, while transfer students who enter with 90 credits or more must pass one W-course.


Exploratory students must choose one of the areas of interest listed below to effectively explore the majors included. Students will be assigned an academic advisor in their specific area of interest with whom they will work until they declare a major. 

Courses in a students area of interest must be selected to meet degree requirements in the general education (LEP), writing requirements, or in the 27 elective credits allowed to be aid eligible.

Exploring - Still Deciding

This Exploratory option is for students who want to explore all majors and/or are not yet ready to narrow down their exploration to a specific area of study. Those interested in exploring the Interdisciplinary Studies Program should also choose this concentration. 

Exploring Arts & Humanities 

Select if exploring the following major areas: Art History, Studio Art, Communication, Art Education PK-12, English, English Education 7-12,  History, History/Social Studies Education 7-12, Media Studies, Music, Philosophy, Theatre, all World Languages (including World Language Education 7-12)

Exploring Business

Select if exploring the Business Administration major, with the following concentrations: Accounting, Business Economics, Business Information Systems, Finance, Management and International Business, Marketing, Public Utilities Management

Exploring Education 

Select if exploring the following major areas: Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Elementary-Bilingual Education, Collaborative Special-Elementary Education, Special Education, Information and Library Science

Exploring Health and Human Services

Select if exploring the following major areas: Accelerated Athletic Training, Communication Disorders, Exercise and Sport Science, Health Science, Healthcare Studies, Nursing, Physical Education PK-12, Public Health, Recreation and Leisure Studies, Sport Management, Social Work

Exploring Social & Behavioral Sciences 

Select if exploring the following major areas:  Anthropology, Journalism, Political Science, Political Science Ed, Psychology, Sociology

Exploring STEM

Select if exploring the following major areas: Biology, Biology Education 7-12, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Chemistry Education 7-12, Computer Science, Data Science, Earth Science, Earth Science Education 7-12, Environmental Systems and Sustainability, Geography, Math, Math Education 7-12, Physics, Physics Education 7-12