Exploratory Preference Major

Welcome! The NSSC is the home of the Exploratory Preference major, and we serve all exploring undergraduate students at MSU.


The Exploratory Advisors provide one-on-one academic advising for all exploring students at MSU, as well as hosting interactive workshops and group advising opportunities. In addition to serving as the exploration experts on campus, Exploratory Advisors can help students with questions related to academic performance, socio-emotional engagement, and institutional navigation. 


Are you exploring majors? Students can select the Exploratory Preference major at MSU while they are exploring, up until they reach Junior standing (56 credits).

Choosing Exploratory Preference allows you to more intentionally explore your options and make an informed decision on your major. Most students change their majors one or more times, and intentionally exploring puts you ahead of the game. 

Most majors have electives built in, so there’s room to take classes from different majors while exploring, and many majors can be completed in about two years since the number of credits for a major is only a fraction of those required for a degree. It’s important to know that for many careers your major is not the most important qualification (passion for the field, well-rounded experience, and good grades often matter more). Many careers require a college degree, but not a specific major, so we encourage you to explore your passions, values, and interests at MSU. 

Our Exploring Students page is a great place to start engaging with the exploration process. Our Exploratory Advisors can discuss your interests and options with you, and help you create a plan for exploring. Undergraduate education is designed to be broad (i.e., much more than just a major) to develop transferrable skills that prepare you for the multiple careers you will likely have over your lifetime in today's modern economy. And it’s designed to foster personal growth (which also makes you a stronger job candidate). So choosing a major to pursue a passion isn’t necessarily in conflict with a future career, even if unrelated to your major, since specific majors are often not relevant to employers. Therefore, take advantage of this amazing opportunity to find a major that’s a good fit for you. Enjoy your journey of exploration, growth and discovery!

How to meet with an Exploratory Advisor

Drop-In Advising

Drop-in advising is available Monday - Friday from 9:00 am - 4:30 pm (EST) over Zoom or phone. We also offer Late Night Advising on Tuesday and Wednesday from 5:30 - 8:30 pm (EST). You can join the drop-in advising queue by filling out our Drop-In Advising form.

Note: You must be logged in to Google with your MSU email address to access the form. You will receive an email or phone call (based on what you listed) when an advisor is available.

During New Student Orientation (June 6 - July 22, 2022), continuing students will only be able to access advising by either signing up for Drop-In Advising, or by emailing the Advising Directors (emails listed below).

The Exploratory Advising Team

Academic Advisors:

Freddie DeRamus deramusf@msu.edu
Marenda Escobar escobar9@msu.edu
Erika Espinoza espin109@msu.edu
Jeff Lent lentjohn@msu.edu
Dr. Kang Li likang1@msu.edu

Advising Directors:

Charlie Liu charlie7@msu.edu
Justin St. Charles stchar10@msu.edu
Debra Thornton-Fitzpatrick thornt28@msu.edu

Deputy Director of Academic Advising:

Dr. Qiana Green greenqia@msu.edu