Exploratory or Undecided Students

Looking to choose a program that fits your goals, skills, and talents? Here are some ideas to get you started.

What does it mean to be "Undeclared", "Exploratory" or "Undecided"?

Students at KPU in open access programs start as “Undeclared”. That means they have not yet confirmed what they would like to graduate with. Some students start with a clear idea of what they would like to graduate with and others spend some time as “Undecided” or “Exploratory”. This gives new students an opportunity to test out their anticipated goals and take courses that they are interested in before deciding on an educational goal to complete. There are many different programs and areas of study that you can pursue - so keeping an open mind at the beginning can be a strong position to start from!

Our top tips:

  • Gather the information about your educational/career journey in one place. Write it down, include it in an online journal, or video log it, but don’t just keep all the information in your head.
  • Create a milestone for yourself. Do not explore for an undefined amount of time. Most students are able to narrow down their choices in 2-3 semesters (but everyone is different).
  • Consider adding EDUC 1100, ARTS 1100, or IDEA 1100 in one of your first semesters to build your successful skills for university and build your self-awareness about what you would like to gain from your post-secondary experience. Talk to an academic advisor about whether these courses would fit with the programs you are curious about.
  • Talk to people you trust and seek out new people who are working in areas you are interested in. Try to get yourself around people whose jobs you are curious about through volunteering, informational interviewing, working part-time, or taking an experiential learning course. Do this right from the beginning.



Your Strengths and Values

Key Questions

  • Can you articulate your strengths, talents, values, personality type, and interests?
  • Have these changed lately? Have you discovered anything new about yourself?
  • What patterns have you noticed in your choices? Why are you drawn to these choices?

Some suggestions for answering these key questions:

  • Ask people you trust for feedback. You might be surprised what they have observed about you.
  • Try out some free self-awareness quizzes from Career Services.
  • Take time to reflect on experiences you have had and/or are having now

Educational Options

Key Questions

  • What choices are available to you?
  • What was your reaction to the courses you are taking/have taken? Why?
  • How long would you like to plan to be in school at this time?

Some suggestions for answering these key questions:

  • Review the programs available to you in the academic calendar. KPU offers over 250 different programs that vary widely.
  • Use Education Planner to review the variety of programs offered in British Columbia.
  • Make an appointment to talk about your educational options with an academic advisor through Advisor Connect

Career Options

Key Questions

  • What career fields are you interested in? What skills, education, and experience are required by those fields?
  • Who are the key employers in those fields locally? In Canada? Internationally?
  • What demand is there for the career fields you are interested in?

Some suggestions for answering these key questions

  • Talk to a KPU Career Coach. Make an appointment through Advisor Connect
  • Use a reliable online resource to explore different career field options.
  • Connect with KPU alumni and ask them about their experiences in transitioning into the work force.
  • Discuss this with your instructors and ask them about their experiences and advice.

Practical/Relevant Experience

Key Questions

  • What has your work experience taught you about your values, needs, motivation at work?
  • What environments have you enjoyed? What environment are you curious about?

Some suggestions for answering these key questions:

Volunteer • Take a breadth of classes • Get a part-time job • Go to a networking event • Sign up for a professional organization • Interview a person in that field • Get a research position • Try a service learning course • Sign up for a practicum • Do one of the semester abroad programs • Consider a Co-operative education program


Where can I find support for questions I have as part of an exploratory program?

  • Educational Advisors – You can talk to educational advisors about educational options, how to explore educational options, and course planning for programs.
  • Career Services – You can talk to Career Coaches about career options, how to explore career options, and how to prepare yourself for a career.
  • Faculty – You can talk to your instructors about their individual experiences and feedback on an industry.


What do I do once I have decided about the program I want to complete?

Once you have decided on a program, you will want to “Declare” that program. You will need to consider the Declaration Requirements that are described in KPU’s academic calendar.

To find Declaration Requirements: Faculties and Programs A-Z (click on the program of choice and open the “Requirements” tab)

To find out more about how to Declare: Program Declaration | KPU.ca - Kwantlen Polytechnic University

 * Once declared, you can still make changes and change your declared goals in the future! You would want to talk to an academic advisor about of those changes.

**KPU offers a variety of programs that range from “Open” to “Limited Intake”. Please note, for Limited Intake programs, you must apply directly to the program.