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FAQ

Christy Hanson consulting with female student in Career Center

Messiah College’s Explore U resources are available to prospective, admitted or current students who would like help exploring which major they would like to study. There is no need to be formally enrolled in Explore U. Students who are still exploring their major options should select “Still deciding (Explore U)” when they apply to Messiah College to receive personalized communication on how to access our Explore U resources.

Your major is just one piece of your overall educational experience. Because of this, Messiah designs a student experience for you that places high value on enrichment opportunities such as leadership, athletics, clubs and organizations, internships, ministry and service, research and study abroad. Combined with your academic experience, these opportunities will enable you to discover your strengths and career options with clarity.

A Messiah education prepares you to be effective in today’s global workplace, and to develop transferable skills and abilities—such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and critical thinking—that are highly sought by employers.

At Messiah we certainly welcome transfer students at any point in their educational journey; they are an important part of our campus community! But we find that students who come to Messiah while still exploring their major options greatly benefit from their early time here. Not only do you have the assurance that your general education credits are eligible toward your Messiah degree, but our curriculum is intricately designed to help you develop a deeper understanding of yourself, your faith and the world around you. And our professors are accomplished educators and experts in their fields who get to know you, your strengths and abilities early on, and use those relationships with you to mentor and help guide you in your future choice of major and vocation.

Most students at Messiah do not need to declare a major until sophomore year. This provides a helpful window for you to explore your options. As an incoming Messiah student, you can use this timeframe to talk to your Explore U academic advisor and an Explore U career coach in the Career and Professional Development Center. There are many people at Messiah to assist you in this process, starting with your first year, or even before you come to campus.

While the majority of your early courses will likely be rooted in our general education requirements, it is good to consider an introductory course in an area(s) of interest. You'll continue to meet with your Explore U academic advisor throughout your time here and he or she will assist you at each phase along the way.

There are some majors at Messiah, however, based on either limited enrollment capacity and/or major perquisites, that require you to either declare or apply to those majors early in order to finish within a typical timeframe. Examples of these majors include: nursing, athletic training accelerated program; and engineering among others. Your admissions counselor can help you identify which majors require you to declare or apply to those programs early, and can connect you with your Explore U academic advisor to help you effectively navigate those individual requirements. 

As a Messiah student, you are able to change your major once you have declared one. However, depending on the coursework you have taken to date, and the major you are switching from/to, there may be prerequisites or other coursework implications that could impact your timeline for completing your degree. It is important to work with your academic advisor as soon as possible if you are considering changing your major so that they can help you ensure an effective transition. 

Yes, prospective students are invited to leverage Explore U resources before they come to Messiah. You may attend an Explore U session at one of our campus visit events. Or you may schedule an individual appointment. For questions or appointment requests related to career coaching, please email Christy Hanson, associate dean; or call the Career and Professional Development Office at 717.691.6016. Summer months are a particularly good time to speak with our career coaches, as they have more extensive availability for individualized appointments.

For questions or appointment requests related to academic advising, specific major or course requirements, etc., please email Gladys Robalino, director of undergraduate academic advising, or call 717.796.1800, ext. 7033.