About AEP

National Academic Advising Association Awards

  • Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Award
  • Outstanding Advising Administrator Award


The goal of the Academic Exploration Program is to provide students with a systematic approach for discovering their interests, developing their career plan and selecting a major. AEP also provides students with information regarding campus programs and resources to enrich their college experience. AEP's ultimate goal is to empower students by providing opportunities to foster independence.


The mission of the Academic Exploration Program (AEP) is to provide a learning experience using resources from all areas on campus for students undecided about their major. Through individualized guidance, AEP creates an environment that fosters self-discovery. Students participate in the exploration process in order to select a major that supports their career goals.

Program Information

Students have the opportunity to meet with a professional advisor as often as needed. During these appointments, the advisor and the student explore the student’s strengths and passions, in addition to their volunteer and work experiences. Together, they select courses that allow the student to research areas of interest while fulfilling university requirements.

The exploration process begins with a questionnaire and a computer assessment. Students also have the opportunity to interview university professors and career professionals. In addition, they may participate in campus career fairs, complete online research, or attend a class lecture in a prospective major and discuss what they learned with their advisor. By narrowing down their major interests, the advisor can provide students with suggestions for further review.

Students select AEP as their major upon application to the university. Individuals who have selected a major and have the required grade point average may transfer into their desired major at any time during the first two years. Students may also transfer into AEP from another major, college or university if they have less than 30 credit hours and interview with the assistant director.

AEP helps students make life-changing decisions and affirms their individual talents. It is a great way to sample the rich variety of academic life at NU before declaring a major. Students will receive support, resources and guidance from professional advisors throughout their time in the program.