Diversity of Education: Exploratory Program

The world is constantly changing.

The global nature of businesses and cultures across the world makes it extremely important for today’s students to learn how to think critically, communicate, and adapt.

Students in the College of Arts and Sciences learn the skills they need to solve complex problems, appreciate other cultures, and constructively use their imaginations to contribute to society.

Our college offers a broad, holistic education that provides multiple opportunities for our students. An emphasis on lifelong learning and adaptability is at the heart of a liberal arts education. Our Exploratory Program allows students to explore fields of study, choose a degree program, and define their future.


Abby BalongieStudent: Abby Balongie
Year: Freshman
Major: Exploratory

When I came to college, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life, but had no idea what major I should choose that would get me to medical school. Luckily, I had a wonderful advisor and First-Year Studies (FYS) teacher who assured me I could major in just about anything I wanted to as long as I took the pre-requisite courses for medical school. A completely new world of choices opened up to me. Through my first semester, I learned not just about the subjects I was studying, but also about myself. I believe my exploratory FYS class definitely changed my college experience for the better.


Savannah GilletteStudent: Savannah Gillette
Year: Senior
Major: Women’s Studies

When my advisor introduced me to the Exploratory Living Learning Community, I had no idea I was signing up to be a part of the most influential group of students I have ever met. We used our curiosity and extensive scope of interests to our advantage. The Exploratory Living Learning Community deserves a great deal of credit for my ability to make the choice about my major. Without the exposure to various courses offered at UT, I truly do not believe I could have made such an informed decision about my future.


Tre PattenStudent: Tre Patten
Year: Freshman
Major: Exploratory Student

When I came to college, I did not want to choose a major just because I had to, but as an exploratory student, I get to try many different things and talk to a lot of different people. I think being an exploratory student puts me ahead of the curve. I have gained valuable skills by trying a lot of different things that will prepare me for any kind of career or future. As an Orientation Leader, I want to be an example for incoming students with the misconceptions of majors and careers. I want to help students create their own meaning around what it means to be exploratory.


Student: Zara Saponja
Year: Junior
Major: Double major in Global Studies and Cinema Studies

I am grateful for the support and encouragement of my “off-the-beaten-path” antics and attitude. Because of the support, I went to Ireland and Tanzania to study human rights; Czech Republic to study film; and cycled across France. The world is filled with so many beautiful people and sights! There is so much to learn I just knew I had to get out there and breathe it for myself. Now that I have, I can’t get enough. I never even consider the number of career opportunities that existed on the path of life. I am incredibly thankful for the Exploratory Program, which helped me embrace all the dreams I didn’t even know I had yet!

Zara Saponja

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