University Exploratory Studies Program (UESP)


The University Exploratory Studies Program (UESP) offers academic advising and career assistance while you explore the educational opportunities available at Oregon State University.

If you're not sure what to major in when you arrive at Oregon State University, you don't need to rush such an important decision. You can select UESP as your academic home until you are ready to declare a specific academic major. Research shows that students who explore their options in a program like UESP are likely to be happier with their major than students who select a field without much thought or prior planning. And as a UESP student, you'll receive special advising to help you in your exploration and choices. UESP is designed primarily for first- and second-year students who are exploring potential major options at Oregon State. However, students in declared majors at any class level are welcome to enroll in UESP if they want to reevaluate their current major choice.

UESP is part of Oregon State's Academic Success Center. This gives you the benefit of receiving your advising in a centrally located office that supports the academic concerns of all Oregon State students.

What classes will I take my first year in UESP?

You won't be required to take any particular courses as a UESP student. Instead, your advisors will help you choose classes that fulfill baccalaureate core requirements the general education classes all Oregon State students must complete. You'll probably want to choose core classes that meet your areas of interest and introductory courses in majors you are considering. That way you can explore your interests while fulfilling university requirements. Choosing to start in UESP generally does not add to the time needed to meet graduation requirements.

Who are the advisors?

UESP advisors are trained professionals and graduate students who can help you not only in selecting courses but also in making career decisions. Regular academic advising is important to your long-term academic success, especially when you're exploring a variety of majors and degree options. As a UESP student, you're required to meet with your UESP advisor at least once a term. This gives both you and your advisor an opportunity to assess your current academic status and establish future goals.

When should I declare a major?

You are encouraged to declare your selected college and major as soon as you have decided. This allows you to get the highest possible benefit from the advising in your chosen department. Transferring from UESP to an academic department is simple, and in most cases, you can do so at any time. Plus, your UESP advisors will help you make a smooth transition.

Besides advising, what other UESP services are available?

Each term, UESP advisors offer and coordinate ALS 114, Career Decision Making. This two-credit, graded course can help you explore your career options. Through the class, you can examine personal values; participate in self-assessment through testing; investigate various occupations, majors and lifestyles; and develop decision-making skills.

Academic Coaching

All Oregon State undergraduates including UESP students can access one-on-one academic coaching sessions with trained undergraduate and graduate peer coaches. Through these sessions at the Academic Success Center, you can work on improving study skills and overall classroom performance. Typical coaching sessions may include strategies for improving time management, note-taking, daily study habits and test preparation. Computer career guidance system.

DISCOVER is a web-based career planning program that can help you assess your interests, skills and values. You can use DISCOVER to generate a list of occupations that match your preferences, and the system also allows for detailed exploration of those occupations. DISCOVER is available online to all Oregon State students at no cost. You can access DISCOVER as soon as you receive a personal password from UESP or Career Services.

Career counseling

Oregon State's Career Services office offers comprehensive career counseling services to all Oregon State students. Even in your first year, it's a good idea to take advantage of the one-on one guidance offered by Career Services.

Come visit our campus

The best way to find out if Oregon State is right for you is to visit. Set up a campus tour and make an appointment to talk with a University Exploratory Studies Program representative by calling the Admissions Visitation Office at 800-291-4192 or visiting us on the Web at

Helpful Links and Resources

University Exploratory Studies Program (UESP) Kerry Kincanon, head advisor
Academic Success Center, 102 Waldo Hall
Phone: 541-737-8144

Office of Admissions: 800-291-4192
Financial Aid: 541-737-2241
University Housing & Dining Services: 541-737-4771

UESP was honored by the National Academic Advising Association in 1999 as an Outstanding Institutional Advising Program for its work in helping students choose their fields of study.