Division of University Studies

Neal Conley, Director, Academic Advising
Mitten Hall, Suite 110
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6029

Introductory Information

Recognizing that not all students can or should declare an academic major upon entering college, University Studies is the academic home for students who have not yet decided on a major and students in transition between majors.

Goals and Objectives

University Studies, formed in 1998, serves any Temple student who has not chosen a collegiate home or declared a major or who needs assistance while changing from one college to another. University Studies is not a degree-granting college. Rather it is an academic unit that exists to help students explore academic options and to gain admission to a degree-granting school or college at Temple. Students can remain in University Studies until completion of 60 credits, or approximately their first two years at the university.


Transfer students with more than 60 credits cannot be admitted to Temple as an undeclared student in the Division of University Studies. Students admitted to Temple as a University Studies student can remain in the division until they select a school/college major or upon completion of 60 credits.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Division of University Studies Sophomore Scholarship - The DUS Sophomore Scholarship is awarded each fall to a current or former University Studies student who will be entering the sophomore year with a declared major. Students should be rising sophomores with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and a minimum of 30 completed credits. For more information and for an application, go to https://undergradstudies.temple.edu/arc.

Special Programs

The Peer Mentor program is an exciting program whose purpose is to create a community for undeclared students. It's an opportunity for current undeclared students to meet with former undeclared students with the goal of sharing their major declaration story. This includes what worked for them, what didn't work, challenges, and successes. The idea is that there is hope that every University Studies student will declare a major that's a good fit for them. Furthermore, by hearing someone else's story, each student will feel empowered and motivated to actively participate in their own journey.

Peer Mentors participate in an intense training where they learn communication skills, policies, resource referral, and understand the resources available to undeclared students. They are a guide, a non-judgmental listener, a supporter, an encourager, and a resource.

The Major Exploration Academy or MEA is a non-credit program aimed at guiding students toward developing a clearer picture of the major that is right for them. Students are invited to apply each spring semester. The program includes a series of four progressively focused advising sessions, with assigned exercises in between.

The Major Exploration First Year Seminar is an academic course designed to support student learning and development in the critical first semester of college. The course has a focus on academic and career exploration. University Studies students take the course together with members of their cohort, with shared goals of exploring major options.

Honor Societies, Awards for Achievement

Academic Distinctions

Eligibility for the University Studies' Distinguished Honors list is determined by the semester grade point average (GPA) corresponding to cut-off points that will yield the top 16% of GPAs based on the five previous fall and spring semesters for each school or college. Students must have 12 graded credits (A to F grades) in order to be eligible for dean's list for the fall or the spring semesters. 

Students who begin in the fall as part-time (i.e., registered for fewer than 12 credits) and continue as part-time in the spring will be eligible for dean's list in the spring if they accumulate at least 12 graded credits (A to F grades) over the fall and spring semesters and meet the GPA criteria listed on the chart for the school or college. If a student is enrolled part-time in the fall but full-time in the spring, eligibility for dean's list will be based on spring semester grades.

The dean's list cut-offs for this academic year are calculated and published in the section on Academic Policies.

Academic Policies & Regulations

Please see the Undergraduate Bulletin's Academic Policies section. Students are responsible for complying with all University-wide academic policies that apply to their individual academic status. Additional and unique policies or exceptions for the Division of University Studies appear below.

Academic Course Load

Academic overloads during the fall and spring semesters, students who want to take 19 or more semester hours, need special approval of the Director of Academic Advising.

Dean's List

Each fall and spring semester, those undergraduates who have met the credit hour and academic criteria are placed on the Distinguished Honors list. See the Dean's List policy for specific GPA and credit-hour requirements.

Program Performance

Students who are placed on Academic Warning or Academic Probation will be required to meet with their advisor to discuss and develop alternative academic plans as well as discuss strategies for improving their academic performance. (See Academic Standing, Policy # 02.10.11)

Transfer between Colleges within the University: Change of Program into the Division of University Studies

Students who have earned fewer than 60 credits currently enrolled in other schools or colleges who are reconsidering their choice of major or who wish to explore other academic options may process a change of program request to enter University Studies as an undeclared major. All students interested in transferring into the Division of University Studies must meet with an academic advisor to discuss this transfer.

Students who are compelled to change their major for exhausting the permitted number of attempts in a required course (See Repeating a Course, Policy # 02.10.12) are permitted to enter University Studies as an undeclared major, regardless of the number of credits earned. Division of University Studies students who have earned 60 or more credits must consult with an advisor each term until they declare a degree-bearing major.


Students can bring grievances to the Director of Academic Advising. Grievances regarding instructors and grades are referred to the grievance protocol for the school/college offering the course.

General Requirements

The Division of University Studies is not a degree-granting college. It is an academic unit which exists to help students explore academic programs.

Individual Program Requirements

  • The total number of credit hours needed to graduate may be greater for some students based on initial placement exams, transfer evaluations, individual curricular choices (including declaration of major and student's credit totals at time major is declared), and academic progress.
  • Certain courses fulfill multiple requirements. Consult your advisor to plan your curriculum more effectively.
  • Students must fulfill the necessary prerequisites for any given course or course sequence. See the Prerequisites and Co-requisites Policy in the University-wide Academic Policies section of this Bulletin.

Division of University Studies: Undeclared Option

Recognizing that not all students can or should declare an academic major upon entering college, Temple University established University Studies—the academic home for students who have not yet decided on a school/college or major. University Studies is not a degree-granting college. Rather, it is an academic unit that exists to help students explore academic options. All students must declare a major in one of Temple's degree-granting undergraduate schools and colleges upon completion of 60 credits, including any credits transferred from other institutions.

University Studies offers undeclared students a variety of services and programs to help them select an appropriate major. Students can use online resources in our Academic Information Center to research majors and careers and can participate in student success and academic exploration workshops held throughout the year. Upon declaring a major, students are required to fulfill the school/college and department requirements of that program.

University Studies does not grant degrees and students cannot graduate with an "undeclared" curriculum designation.

Suggested First-Year Academic Plan for the Undecided Student

This sample academic plan allows students to satisfy General Education requirements while exploring academic interests and majors. (Note: Entering students, particularly freshmen, are encouraged to enroll in a learning community. See Learning Communities and University Seminars for more information.)

Year 1
FallCredit Hours
ENG 0802, 0812, or 0902Analytical Reading and Writing [GW]14
GenEd Quantitative Literacy course [GQ] or Major Math Course24
GenEd Breadth Course or Major Exploration Course33-4
GenEd Breadth Course or Major Exploration Course33
UNVS 1001First Year Seminar I1
 Term Credit Hours15-16
IH 0851 or 0951Intellectual Heritage I: The Good Life [GY]43
GenEd Breadth Course or Major Exploration Course33-4
GenEd Breadth Course or Major Exploration Course33
GenEd Breadth Course or Major Exploration Course33
GenEd Breadth Course or Major Exploration Course33
 Term Credit Hours15-16
 Total Credit Hours: 30-32

Academic Advising

The Academic Resource Center
Mitten Hall, Suite 110

Goal and Objectives

Students enrolled in University Studies use the advising services of the Academic Resource Center, an academic support program established in 1997 to meet the needs of deciding students. Any student at Temple, whether enrolled in University Studies or not, is welcome and encouraged to use the services of the Academic Resource Center.

Academic advisors are important sources of information on University policies and procedures, the General Education curriculum (GenEd) requirements, and degree programs. While students must assume primary responsibility for knowing the requirements for their degree and for acquiring information about their academic status, academic advisors are a valuable resource. Advisors introduce students to the various sources of information available on academic programs, enabling students to be well-informed partners in their own education.

At the Academic Resource Center, a staff of professional and peer advisors works closely with students from the time they arrive at Temple through their successful transitions into schools/colleges and declared majors. Advisors meet with students on walk-in and appointment bases in both individual and group advising sessions.

Students are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with academic advisors to discuss academic plans, course selection, and registration. Students not eligible for online registration are required to see an advisor for course selection and registration.

Academic advisors attempt to avoid errors when advising students about their program requirements, but schools and colleges cannot assume liability for errors in advising. Therefore, students must assume primary responsibility for knowing the requirements for their degree and for acquiring current information about their academic status.

Services Provided through the Advising Office

  • Individualized advising geared towards helping students declare majors and complete the intra-university transfer process (transferring from one Temple school/college to another)
  • The Major Exploration Academy, a four-step, non-credit program in which a dedicated academic advisor helps guide students toward selecting a major through self-reflection activities, the completion of major and career worksheets, and investigating career options
  • UNVS 1002 First Year Seminar II, a one-credit course designed to help undeclared students explore possible career and major paths at Temple
  • Workshops on academic planning and choosing a major
  • Assistance with accessing online information regarding Temple schools/colleges and majors

Special Advising Policies and Procedures

Enrollment in the Division of University Studies: Beginning fall 2002 and after, undergraduates matriculated in the Division of University Studies as undeclared majors and who entered University Studies as either freshmen, transfer students, or intra-university transfers from another Temple school or college prior to the completion of 45 credits, can remain in University Studies up to the completion of 60 credits. Students entering University Studies having completed between 45-59 credits can remain in University Studies up to two academic-year semesters if enrolled full-time or until completion of 60 credits if attending part-time.

University Studies students can declare majors throughout the year in accordance with the declaration of major standards set forth by the individual schools and colleges and the intra-university transfer guidelines established by the University. University Studies students can also request a change in status from undecided to an academic program within a college during their New Student Orientation visit.

Note: University Studies students must meet the University's minimum standard for academic progress to remain enrolled in the Division of University Studies.