Designing an Exploration

Information for Faculty Interested in Designing an Exploration:


Explorations are designed and approved by a department or through a collaboration of multiple departments. As long as minimum requirements of an Exploration are met, no further approval is necessary. Explorations can:

  • cover all courses within a discipline (e.g., Religion),
  • be limited to a subset of courses within a discipline (e.g., History of Western Philosophy), or
  • focus on a theme with course choices from multiple disciplines (e.g., Modern Intellectual Thought).*

*The last option represents an important way we can help students find electives on topics that are of interest to them but are offered by programs other than their major.


The minimum requirements are:

  • Units:  Each exploration will require at least 3 units.
  • Overlap rule:  At least 2 units must be outside of the INQ/HNRS curriculum and a student’s major, minor, or concentration.

Additional requirements at the discretion of department(s): 

  • greater number of units,
  • minimum GPA.

Courses allowed for an Exploration should be offered frequently enough that a student can complete requirements without tutorials or independent studies.

Questions? Talk to your department chair or to Jennifer Berenson, Explorations Coordinator.