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Exploratory Studies / Undeclared, Bachelor's

Overview

Exploratory Studies is a transitional academic program for first-year students who are exploring potential majors and career pathways. It is also home to the Pre-Nursing program.

To help you navigate the academic and career exploration process, we offer support in the following ways:

  • Inside the Classroom: You’ll take a course designed to help you make connections between your individual strengths and interests and the academic and career opportunities that await you.
  • One-on-One: Individual advising sessions with your Exploratory Studies advisor focus on your specific needs and make a four-year graduation plan possible.
  • Peer Mentoring: You’ll connect with students who have been in your shoes and navigated their path successfully.

Exploratory Studies vs. Undeclared

We believe in defining you by what you are rather than what you are not – which is why we call you an exploring student instead of an undeclared student.

This is rooted in three foundational ideas:

  • Exploration is normal. More first-year students enter Exploratory Studies than any major at DeSales. In our program, you'll 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.

Exploratory Studies Ben Durham

As an Exploratory Studies student, you'll get to know the dedicated staff members who can help you 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.

Curriculum

First-year students who enroll in exploratory studies participate in a structured program that includes EXP-130: Academic Development & Planning (required) and EXP-140: Career Development and Planning (optional).

The Academic Development & Planning course includes:

  • visits from faculty members in a variety of fields.
  • guided reflection to match your strengths and interests to career opportunities.
  • assistance with clarifying and achieving goals.

Tentative First-Year Fall Course Schedule

  1. Exploratory Studies 130: Academic Development & Planning
  2. Open Course #1 – to explore a possible major
  3. English 103: Composition and Rhetoric I
  4. Foreign Language or World Cultures Course
  5. Additional General Education Course (e.g., Social Science MOT, Philosophy 109: Philosophical Thinking, etc.)

Tentative First-Year Spring Course Schedule

  1. Open Course #2 – to explore a possible major or start a newly declared major OR Exploratory Studies 140: Career Development & Planning
  2. Open Course #3 - to explore a possible major or start a newly declared major
  3. English 104: Composition and Rhetoric II
  4. Foreign Language or World Cultures Course
  5. Additional General Education Course (e.g., Social Science MOT, Philosophy 109: Philosophical Thinking, etc.)

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 2022-2023

Resident Students

Direct Costs Tuition - $41,100

Room and Board - $13,500
Mandatory Fees - $1,500
One-time Orientation Fee for First-Year students and Transfers - $200
Total = $56,300 (including first-year/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,468
Personal Expenses - $3,706
Total cost for resident students: $61,474

Commuter Students

Direct Costs
Tuition - $41,100
Mandatory Fees - $1,300
One-time Orientation Fee for First-Year students and Transfers - $200
Total = $42,600 (including first-year/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,468
Personal Expenses - $3,706
Transportation Costs - $2,138
Total cost for commuter students: $49,912

Off-Campus*

Direct Costs
Tuition - $41,100
Mandatory Fees - $1,300
One-time Orientation Fee for First-Year students and Transfers - $200
Total = $42,600 (including first-year/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: $57,782
*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

 

Pre-Nursing Program

The Pre-Nursing program is open to all first-year students 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 first 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 your first 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
    • Psychology 109: Introduction to Psychology

As a student in the pre-nursing program, you will be supported by:

  • A faculty-led tutoring program in your Anatomy & Physiology courses
  • Individual guidance from a Pre-Nursing faculty advisor
  • A course focused on academic and career success
  • Peer mentoring from former pre-nursing students

Tentative First-Year Fall Course Schedule

  1. Exploratory Studies 130: Academic Development & Planning*
  2. Biology 263: Anatomy & Physiology I (with lab)
  3. English 103: Composition and Rhetoric I
  4. Psychology 109: Introduction to Psychology
  5. Foreign Language or World Cultures Course

* Pre-Nursing students take a special section of Exploratory Studies 130 that has been designed with their unique interests and needs in mind.

Tentative First-Year Spring Course Schedule

  1. Chemistry 107: Physiological Chemistry (with lab)
  2. Biology 264: Anatomy & Physiology II (with lab)
  3. English 104: Composition and Rhetoric II
  4. Psychology 240: Human Development OR Additional General Education Course
  5. Foreign Language or World Cultures Course
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.

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Undergraduate Admissions