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Exploratory Advising Cycle

Academic Exploration Advising (AEA) is the central advising office for all Exploratory (formerly Undecided and Undeclared) students at USC.  Our team of advisors provides advising and guidance year-round to support your academic, personal and professional development.

The information below describes the various advising periods. For an overview of the various phases of exploration, review our What is Exploratory page.

New students can find important information regarding the Welcome Trojans Orientation on the Office of Orientation Programs website.

For additional information regarding AEA resources, please review our Newly Admitted Student webpage.

AEA advisors offer virtual drop-in advising at various points during the semester, including during the first three weeks of fall and spring semester, and for registration deadline days. Drop-in advising offers space for students to address questions about their current semester enrollment and plans. Students are sent an email with the drop-in advising sign-in link, or they can navigate to the Undergraduate Advisement icon on myUSC to find the drop-in advising sign-in link posted there.

Students should refer to their emails or myUSC for the sign-in link and to the AEA Calendar of Events (see below) for the drop-in schedule. Drop-in advising is done on a first-come, first-serve basis; once students have signed in they are entered into a queue for meeting with an advisor. When an advisor is ready to meet with a student, they will send an email to the student’s USC email address with a link to the zoom room.

Additional guidelines for drop-in advising:

  • No advising appointments can be made during drop-in periods.
  • Use this time zone calculator if you are outside of Los Angeles and want to check the time difference.
  • Wait times may be shorter if you are willing to meet with the first available advisor, instead of your assigned advisor.
  • Sign-ins will close 30 minutes before the end of each drop-in advising period. (Los Angeles time)

Students who would like to make longer term plans for future semesters are encouraged to set up an Exploratory advising appointment for after the first three weeks of the semester.

Exploratory advising is great opportunity to discuss goals, interests and resources in preparation for mandatory advising and course registration.

Exploratory advising is offered year-round to continuing USC students.

Exploratory, Undecided and Undeclared students are expected to meet with their assigned advisor each semester. Students can expect to:

  • Complete reflective intake survey prior to appointment
  • Review intake survey answers with advisor
  • Discuss interests and goals
  • Outline plan for continued academic exploration
  • Identify potential majors and review related admission processes
  • Check academic progress in current semester (midterm grades)
  • Discuss any changes in interests and adjust academic plans accordingly
  • Review application process and deadlines for admission to desired program (if applicable)
  • Make course recommendations for the next semester
  • Lift mandatory advising hold for registration in next semester

Advisors are available for both appointment and drop-ins during mandatory advising.

The AEA Calendar of Events includes the advising schedule and key registration dates.

Visit our Connect with an AEA advisor section of the AEA home page for advising appointment scheduling information.