For anyone starting at OSU in the summer of 2017 or after, UESP is implementing  a 4-Term Limit for students to explore major options via our program.

Why?  A few reasons…

  • There are benefits to exploration, and there are benefits to being in a declared major.  Data gathered by EAB shows that there is a “Productive Exploration Window”[1], and that students who do their exploration within the first 4 terms are more likely graduate in 4 years.  Extend beyond that and you increase the likelihood of a longer time-to-degree.
  • Not everyone graduates in 4 years, but it is a good goal to have.  Being a university student is expensive.  If you are in a situation where you can be aggressive with your exploration and your degree progress, that will help you manage those costs.
  • Majors will sometimes have “majors-only” restrictions on their classes, and it is not uncommon for those to start in the second year if not sooner.
  • Having a time-limit will helps us help you stay on track with your exploration and getting a degree from OSU.

But what if…

  • I declare  and then decide I’m not happy with my choice and want to return to UESP?
    • If you haven’t exhausted your 4-term limit, then it is fine to come back to UESP.  At the beginning of the next full term, we’ll just start the term-limit clock where you left off. 
    • If you have, then you still have access to UESP advisors for major exploration discussions via non-UESP appointments.
    • You can petition for extension.
  • I exhaust my UESP eligibility and can’t get into my first choice of major because I don’t have high enough grades?
    • Parallel plans will be part of the discussion throughout the advising relationship, but especially in terms 3 and 4.  It is good for every student to have an alternative option in mind.
    • If the major is realistically within reach for you within another term or two, you can pursue the petition for extension.
  • I take a break and take a term or multiple terms off from school?
    • Only enrolled terms at OSU count towards the 4-term limit.

What about summers?

  • Summer terms are not counted.  We only factor fall, winter, and spring into the term limit count.

What is this “Petition for Extension” you mentioned multiple times?

  • Good question.  This is a process that provides an exception for unique circumstances where you truly need more time to explore or before you can declare into your desired major.  If you get to your 4th term with us, and you haven’t declared, we are going to withhold your registration PIN and ask you to justify why you need to stay in UESP.  You’ll provide this justification via an online petition form.  Learn more about this petition here.

[1] EAB (2016). Promoting timely degree completion: reconciling student choice and the four-year graduation imperative. Retrieved on April 21, 2017 from