Future KU Students

Students with balloon hats in front of the Kansas Union

Considering the University of Kansas but still exploring majors?

You are not alone! Did you know that approximately 12% of KU students start their college experience exploring their major options?

With Jayhawk Exploratory Advising, your journey to find your major is an iterative, intentional, and holistic process tailored to your own personal strengths and interests. Student Pathways at KU are six academic areas that have been created to help students navigate the process of finding the major that is right for them. As an exploring student, you will select one (or more) of six options and gain all that comes with it. We know that being unsure about your major can be overwhelming, but we are here to help!

Major Exploration Resources Pre-Admission to KU

A major is the area of study that you decide to specialize in. A major does not dictate your career after you graduate. Rather, a major can help you develop the necessary skills to be marketable in many different careers and allow you to gain transferable skills to help you prepare for the world of work and navigate through career transitions.

Explore KU Majors here.

The KU catalog is a great place to explore what majors and degree programs are offered at KU. In addition to degree options and majors, you will find information on possible minors, certificates, and potential graduate level degrees and certificates that may be of interest in your future! This is also a great resource for seeing what the degree and major requirements are for any of your potential majors so you can get a taste for what your academic future may hold.

Take the HawkQuest Major Assessment here

HawkQuest is a free quiz that evaluates your skills and interests to match you with a list of KU majors and suggested careers that are the best options for you! The quiz takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete, and the results will be emailed to you, so you have access to them after you log out. Check your spam folder in your email if you don’t see your results at first. All of the majors that HawkQuest recommends are majors offered at KU, so you can rest assured that you will find something that will fit your Jayhawk goals!

Take the PathwayU Career Assessment here

PathwayU is a free online assessment for KU students that can help match you with a list of possible careers. There are four self-assessments that ask questions related to your personal interests, personality, values, and workplace preferences. When you finish your assessment, you will be given a list of career categories ranked by how well they fit you. Each category will also have a list of specific careers that will also be ranked by how well you match with them. Each career will have detailed information including what the day-to-day looks like in that career, what skills will be useful, and what to expect for a salary in that career. With this information, we can work backwards to pair potential career interests with a major at KU that will set you up to succeed in whatever career you choose!

Explore Career Interests here

This page from the University Career Center is helpful for seeing what types of careers are common for different interest areas. Each interest area lists several major options as well as possible career paths. Clicking on a major will take you to a page with more information about what that major looks like at KU and will give you a more specific list of career paths that are common for graduates with that major. Clicking on a career will take you to an external website that will breakdown all types of information about that career – skills needed, work activities and context, required knowledge, as well as wage and career growth potential. This is a great resource for seeing what a career in your chosen field may look like on a day-to-day basis!

Checking out external job board sites is another great way to find potential career and major ideas. If you find a career that looks interesting, take note of the education requirements, preferred set of skills, and qualification requirements. You can use this information to tailor your college experience to fit the needs of your desired career. You can also use these sites as an exploratory tool to see different kinds of jobs that may be too specific to list on a site like the University Career Center.

Exploratory Timeline for Future KU Students

  • Pre-Admission events
    • Before you officially commit to KU, you can meet us at KU Admissions events such as Crimson & Blue Days, Rock Chalk Days, Spring Junior Days and Jayhawk Days. Look for any Major Exploration sessions hosted by Jayhawk Academic Advising! 
  • Applying to KU as Exploratory
    • Want to contact someone about becoming a Jayhawk? Contact your Admissions Representative through the representative finder tool; all you need is your ZIP code.
    • What does being an exploring student look like on your admissions application?
      • You apply for The University of Kansas using the KU Direct Application or the Common Application
        • Application section breakdown:
          • Biographical Information
          • Family/Residency Information
          • Academic Interests:
            • Section A prompts you to select any "tracks' you might be interested in--typically for graduate school.
            • Section B will be where you select an Exploratory Pathway; scroll down to "Deciding" to view them!
  • Orientation
    • During Orientation you will interact with our office several times throughout the day. We host an academic information meeting where you and your guests for the day will receive a presentation and overview of Jayhawk Exploratory Advising.
      • Your day will also include one-on-one advising and enrollment with a JEA advisor. They will meet with you to discuss your interests, talk about why KU, and help you choose classes that will be right for you. You will have the chance to enroll in some exploratory classes. Though many of these courses will align with KU core courses, exploratory courses serve a function even if they do not meet specific degree requirements or potential major requirements. Many majors only require between 30-36 credit hours of major specific courses, so taking a few exploratory courses won’t hinder your progress to graduation. Instead, these courses are opportunities to explore your interests and to help narrow down your list of potential majors!
      • By the end of the day, you will be fully enrolled in your first semester as an Exploratory student at KU! You will leave with a wealth of resources to help you stay connected with us before you come back to campus.
  • Regular Advising
    • You will be assigned an academic advisor at the end of the summer before you begin courses. You can find and make an appointment with your advisor on Jayhawk GPS. Your advisor will communicate with you via email several times throughout the semester, so be sure to check your email regularly!
      • During advising meetings, it is important to be honest about your goals and interests so that your advisor can help you find the major that best aligns with your interests, strengths, and future plans. Your advisor will also connect you to resources to help you explore on your own.
      • Your Jayhawk Exploratory Advising journey will be an iterative process tailored to your own needs.