Hammermill Library

Exploratory Studies

The Exploratory Studies program at Mercyhurst is designed to help students learn to navigate the university while exploring what programs fit their interests and skill sets. Our dedicated team of Exploratory Faculty Advisors works with you, other faculty, and Academic Support to provide you with an environment where you can experience all Mercyhurst has to offer before choosing a program to specialize in. Many of us came to college not knowing the right major for us—so we understand!


We invite you to come and explore Mercyhurst with us. Your future is filled with possibilities!

Enrolling in university to pursue a degree is all about learning new things—about the world and about ourselves. For many students, it makes sense to explore all a university has to offer before deciding on a major. After all, many of us don’t even know what our options are when we first set foot on campus!


Your Timeline in the Exploratory Studies Program

The Exploratory Studies program guides students through their Mercyhurst experience until they decide on a major. Declaring a major is an easy process that can be completed at any time in consultation with your Exploratory Faculty Advisor. Most of our Exploratory students declare a major by the end of their first or middle of their second year. A major must be declared by the end of the sophomore year at the latest.

    • You will take a mix of REACH (general education) and Exploratory courses based on your student interest survey and skills assessment. 
    • You will meet with a Student Success Coach to discuss things like study skills and time management. Your Success Coach will help you discern possible programs of study through a variety of interest surveys that you will discuss with them.
    • You will participate in the Major/Minor fair—a day where every major has an information table in the Student Union. This makes learning about all of Mercyhurst’s programs easy and convenient!
    • You will meet with your Exploratory Faculty Advisor on course plans for upcoming semesters.
    • Your Exploratory Faculty Advisor will help you set up appointments with other faculty members in fields that interest you. We’re a small university and our Exploratory Faculty Team knows most everyone on campus!


    • Your Exploratory Faculty Advisor and your Student Success Coach will work with you to refine your interests and help you chose a program that will become your major.
    • You will continue to take a mix of REACH and Exploratory classes.
    • You will participate in the Major/Minor fair again, this time with a more focused understanding of what you are seeking. If you’ve already declared a major by this point, you can look for a program to minor, or even to double major, in! Many students who have already declared a major attend the Major/Minor fair to look for these very things.
    • You will seek out leadership opportunities on campus, such as becoming a Laker Leader, an RA, or a leadership position in our various campus groups.
    • You and your Exploratory Faculty Advisor will work together to set up meetings with potential new advisors.