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Academic Exploration Advising

Our Mission:

Academic Exploration Advising guides our diverse scholarly community in exploring academic and personal development opportunities. As students engage in reflection and discovery, our team of academic advisors provide guidance and support, empowering students to set goals that address their holistic identity and enrich their undergraduate experience. Advisors and students partner to design an individualized educational plan including connections to a wide range of essential academic, professional, wellness and engagement resources to support each student’s overall development and growth. We strive to provide an inclusive, accessible environment built on accountability, appreciation and respect for our students, the larger USC community and our professional standards.

Academic Exploration Advising majors and student communities include:

  • Exploratory major
  • Undecided major
  • Undeclared major
  • Undergraduate Success Program (USP)

Our Hours & Location:

  • Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm
  • Student Union Room 300
  • Advising available in person and virtually (via Zoom)
  • Contact: exploration.advising@usc.edu

Our Team: Meet the AEA Advising Team

The academic advising partnership is an ongoing process of clarification and re-evaluation of academic goals and plans with active participation between the advisor and the student.  It’s more than just scheduling and registration! We are committed to providing students with information about campus resources and offer referrals, and opportunities that help enhance the academic experience including internships, volunteer work, international opportunities, and directive research.

Connect with an AEA Advisor:

If you are not currently in an AEA program (Exploratory, Undecided, Undeclared, referred to AEA, or USP) and are a current USC student, please go to Advise USC > Advisor Connect > Create a New Case to request a referral to “Exploratory” or email Exploration.advising@usc.edu to request an appointment.

You will receive an initial email with referral activation instructions. Once you complete the required steps, the AEA referral will be processed in a minimum of three (3) business days. To confirm the status of your referral to Exploratory, check your Advise USC > Advisor Connect > Support Case referral for the “Advisor Assigned” status, which indicates that your referral is now active.

For more information, please review our AEA Referral Process webpage.

If you are currently in an AEA program, go to Advise USC to schedule an appointment with your assigned advisor; you will find contact information for your advisor along with their appointment scheduling link

Exploratory Advising Cycle:

We offer year-round advising:

  • Welcome Trojans advising and course registration support for incoming new students
  • Drop-in advising via Zoom
  • Exploratory advising
  • Mandatory advising for students declared Exploratory, Undecided and Undeclared.

For an overview of our advising approach, please review the Exploratory Advising Cycle and What is Exploratory webpages.

Review our AEA Calendar of Events for the monthly advisement schedule.

Our Campus & AEA resources (below) also include helpful information for exploratory planning.

Communicating with your AEA Advisor:

Advisors are available to students Monday-Friday. We ask that you allow 1-2 business days (not including the weekends, University holidays or University breaks) for an advisor to respond to your emails.

Choosing a Major:

Looking for advice on how to choose your major? Review the guided steps we have created.

Major Declaration:

Please note that Exploratory, Undecided and Undeclared students must declare a major before they reach Junior standing (64 total units). Students who are beyond Junior standing are welcome to work with us on a referral basis.

AEA Calendar of Events

The AEA Calendar of Events is updated and posted monthly. This calendar lists important university and academic unit deadlines, events and registration information.

Fall 2023 (PDF)

January 2024 (PDF)

February 2024 (PDF)

March 2024 (PDF)

The USC Student Handbook is an essential online resource that details the rights, responsibilities, and obligations you have as a student member of the USC community.

The Navigating Advise USC Tips sheet includes guidance for utilizing the Advise USC student portal features and tools.

The Schedule of Classes includes information regarding courses, tuition and fees, registration dates and deadlines and various University policies.

The Catalogue provides an overview of majors and minors, curriculum, and academic policies. 

The Campus Resources Handout (PDF) lists a variety of resources that all USC students have access to. We encourage students to review and become familiar with all of them.

The Exploratory Semester Guide (PDF) includes opportunities and resources that support students in reaching their academic and personal goals. Each student’s journey is unique, so the academic and exploratory planning activities and recommendations may overlap, but do not depend solely on each other.

Our Instagram account includes weekly AEA and University dates, deadlines, and resource updates.