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Exploratory Studies / Undeclared, Undeclared


Exploratory Studies is program for undeclared students or those who need to meet admissions requirements for a specific major.

Courses focus on academic and career discovery and development. What is the exploratory studies program like?

  • Your individual advising plan will help you stay on track to graduate in four years while you explore different fields of study.
  • A special Exploratory Studies class will help you clarify your interests and strengths, and help you find the right major and career path for you.
  • A large network of support – faculty, staff, alumni, and students – will help build your knowledge and experience in fields that interest you.

Exploratory Studies vs. Undeclared

Unlike what you may see at other schools, we don’t use the words “undeclared” or “undecided” here. That's because we believe in defining you by what you are rather than by what you’re not. You’re not indecisive or unsure; you are creating the life you want to live.

The Exploratory Studies program is built on three important ideas:

  • Exploration is normal. More first-year students enter Exploratory Studies than any major at DeSales. In our program, you'll be in good company and will benefit from a large network of support.
  • Each person is unique. Majors and careers are not one-size-fits-all. You'll be happier and more successful in a field where your individual passions, talents, and values meet.
  • A well-rounded education opens doors. The world around us is constantly evolving, especially the job market. An education that combines a broad foundation in the liberal arts with discipline-specific skills will prepare you for whatever the future brings.

We’d love to speak with you more about the program and how it can work for you.

Exploratory Studies Ben Durham

As an Exploratory Studies major, you'll get to know the dedicated staff members who help our students find the right career path.

Admissions Requirements

At DeSales, we not only look at your past academic achievement but also your potential for future growth to determine your admission.

We find that students who have demonstrated significant achievement within a demanding curriculum are best suited for academic life at DeSales. Quality of academic performance plays a critical role in the admissions decision making process. This helps indicate a student's potential for academic growth going forward. DeSales University welcomes applications from all qualified students regardless of race, religion, sex, national, or ethnic origin.

Application Checklist

  • Application Fee: None
  • Transcripts: Official High School Transcript
  • Standardized Tests: This program is SAT optional.
  • Recommendations: Completed Guidance Counselor Form and Teacher Recommendation Form

All materials can be mailed to:
DeSales University Admissions Office
2755 Station Ave.
Center Valley, PA 

Additional recommendations

High School Academics - Remember, there is no single preferred high school academic program, but a college preparatory course of study is highly recommended. Here's an example:

  • Four years of English
  • Three or four years of college preparatory mathematics
  • A minimum of two years of modern, foreign, or classical language
  • At least two laboratory science courses

Visiting DeSales - A personal, on-campus interview is strongly recommended, but is not required. We encourage you to visit so that you'll have a chance to learn more about DeSales, and we'll have the opportunity to learn more about you, too.

Learn more about Undergraduate Admissions & Aid 

When to Apply

We encourage you to apply early in your senior year. We use a rolling admissions system, which means you will be notified promptly about your admissions status—usually within four weeks of our receipt of your completed application.

Priority deadline for scholarship consideration is December 1 of your senior year.


Exploratory studies is a transitional academic program for students who are exploring potential majors and career pathways.

It also offers interdisciplinary courses for all students, regardless of major, who are interested in academic and career development. 

First-year students who matriculate in exploratory studies participate in a structured program that includes EXP-130: Academic Development & Planning, a required course designed to assist students with clarifying and achieving their academic goals.

Through coursework, advising, and other program resources, these students explore and pursue major and career options that fit their individual passions and strengths.

Academic Catalog

Tuition & Fees

DeSales can help make your college expenses affordable through a combination of grants, loans, student employment, and scholarship resources.

Cost of attendance for undergrads for 2021-2022

Resident Students

Direct Costs
Tuition - $39,500

Room and Board - $13,300
Mandatory Fees - $1,500
One-time Orientation Fee for Freshmen and Transfers - $200
Total = $54,500 (including freshman/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,468
Personal Expenses - $3,706
Total cost for resident students: $59,674

Commuter Students

Direct Costs
Tuition - $39,500
Mandatory Fees - $1,300
One-time Orientation Fee for Freshmen and Transfers - $200
Total = $41,000 (including freshman/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,468
Personal Expenses - $3,706
Transportation Costs - $2,138
Total cost for commuter students: $48,312


Direct Costs
Tuition - $39,500
Mandatory Fees - $1,300
One-time Orientation Fee for Freshmen and Transfers - $200
Total = $41,000 (including freshman/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,468
Personal Expenses - $3,706
Transportation Costs - $2,138
Living Expenses - $7,870
Total cost for off-campus students: $56,182
*First year students are required to reside on campus or commute from home.

Parking Fee - $75

Dual Degree Undergraduate-to-Graduate Programs

If you are enrolled in an undergraduate-to-graduate degree program — for example a 5-year, 3+2, 3+3, program — the undergraduate tuition and fees apply only to the undergraduate portion of the program. As you progress into the graduate phase of your program, graduate tuition and fees apply. Please see your respective graduate program for more information. 

The financial aid process may appear overwhelming at first glance, but don't worry, we'll help you through it.

Accepted students are automatically be considered for scholarships upon receipt of a completed application and are awarded regardless of financial need. Funds for scholarships are limited, so we do encourage students to apply early.

Our comprehensive financial aid packages carefully explain the types and amounts of assistance —including federal, state, and institutional — that you may be eligible for to help cover education related expenses.

Total cost of attendance includes estimates for tuition, fees, room, board, books, and personal, transportation, and living expenses.

You can estimate your total cost of attendance with our Net Price Calculator


The Pre-Nursing Program

The Pre-Nursing Program is open to all freshman who do not initially meet the requirements for admission to the Nursing major.

You'll be GUARANTEED ACCEPTANCE into the Nursing major at the end of your freshman year as long as you earn the following grade requirements — these are the same requirements which must be met by all Nursing majors at DeSales.

Requirements to progress to the Nursing major:

  • A cumulative GPA equal to or higher than 2.75 at the end of the spring semester of freshman year
  • A grade of C or higher in the following courses, which must be taken at DeSales University:
    • Biology 263: Anatomy & Physiology I
    • Biology 264: Anatomy & Physiology II
    • Chemistry 107: Physiological Chemistry

The Pre-Nursing Program is part of  Exploratory Studies. As a student in this program, you will be supported by:

  • A faculty-led tutoring program in your Anatomy & Physiology courses
  • Individual guidance from a Pre-Nursing faculty advisor
  • An Exploratory Studies course focused on academic and career success
Nursing at DeSalesThe pre-nursing program at DeSales can help you achieve your goal of earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in four years.

Contact Us

Undergraduate Admissions