Graduate students in class at UMass Amherst
Undergraduate Admissions

Exploratory Track

About the Exploratory Track

The University of Massachusetts Amherst recognizes many of our incoming first-year students would benefit from learning more about all majors offered on campus that may be a good fit for their academic interests and aspirations. To this end, the university has implemented an Exploratory Track program to better serve students who are either undecided with their choice of major or did not receive direct acceptance into their first choice major. The Exploratory Track program will assist students with their consideration and ultimate declaration of a major based on their interest, eligibility, and academic proficiency.

Students in the Exploratory Track program will benefit from working closely with academic advisors to explore potential majors within their collegiate unit and across campus. Students in this program will also participate in academic programming, including a first year seminar, embedded within their school or college. (Please note that exploratory tracks are for first-year students only—transfer students are required to choose a major at time of application.)

College of Humanities and Fine Arts

The Humanities and Fine Arts Exploratory Track prepares students to be citizens in a rapidly changing world by challenging them to create, express themselves, and engage with others. By exploring an array of languages, music, art forms, ideas, stories, and shared human experiences, students are transformed into innovative problem solvers and thinkers ready to tackle careers in a myriad of fields, including business, law, medicine, and education. This Exploratory Track allows students to discover a major that allows them to pursue their passions—in history, art, literature, design, music, language and many other fields—while gaining valuable skills. Striking this unique balance allows today's students of humanities and fine arts to develop useful and transferrable skills that are invaluable to employers for careers as creative individuals in a wide range of professions.

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Social and Behavioral Sciences Exploratory Track bridges the sciences and liberal arts educating students interested in the areas of culture, society, and individual behavior while promoting citizenship and global engagement. Students explore their interests in social issues, policy, politics, economics, public service, legal studies, communication, journalism, and sustainable community. In this track, students can explore College of Social and Behavioral Sciences majors (e.g., economics, resource economics, and communication) and other majors that build essential business knowledge and a broader understanding of leadership.

College of Natural Sciences

The Natural Sciences Exploratory Track is ideal for students who enjoy experimental sciences and testing theories. Students can explore the life and physical sciences, as well as applications in areas such as the natural environment, the built environment, agriculture, and medical and health care professions. Investigating sciences from brains and human and animal behavior to galaxies, from microbes to mathematics, from food safety to ecosystems, and from molecules to geological strata and climates, students exploring the natural sciences are curious investigators and data analyzers.

School of Public Health and Health Sciences

The Public Health and Health Sciences Exploratory Track focuses on issues including obesity, diabetes prevention, nutrition, women’s health, global health, healthy aging, environmental exposures, health equity, health policy and more. Students interested in the quantitative, scientific and behavioral aspects of population health and wellness, or in working directly with individuals and communities to improve health and wellness, will find the Public Health and Health Sciences Exploratory Track to be of interest.

College of Education

The Education Exploratory Track is for students interested in education as a career path in a variety of settings (e.g., formal, informal or international). Students who are thinking of pursuing a career in teaching at the early childhood, English as second language, elementary , special education or secondary education levels (i.e., mathematics, science, English and history), or an advanced school professional career such as reading specialist, school counseling, and school psychology will benefit as well from the Exploratory Track in education. Students will be exposed to potential careers in education, learn about licensure requirements, and explore secondary majors that align with their career interests.


The Interdisciplinary Exploratory Track is for students who are considering combining study in several fields to create an individualized concentration that matches their interests, passions, and ambitions. Students will learn about the Bachelor’s Degree in Individual Concentration (BDIC), but also about other options for taking full advantage of existing majors, minors, and certificates. They will be introduced to knowledge and skills that will serve them well in college, careers, and life.