Exploratory & Pre-Professional Advising Center Exploratory & Pre-Professional Advising Center


Address: 127 Love Library South
Phone: 402-472-3605
Website: http://explorecenter.unl.edu

The Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center (Explore Center) provides an academic home for students who have not decided upon a major, who are transitioning between majors, or who are in the pre-engineering program. The Explore Center also provides advising for students interested in pre-professional (pre-health and pre-law) programs. The Explore Center does not award degrees.


The Explore Center empowers undecided, pre-health, pre-law, and pre-engineering students to develop individual academic and career paths by identifying their interests, skills, and values through one-on-one advising, programs and resources, and connections to the greater University of Nebraska–Lincoln community.

Advising Student Learning Outcomes

By working with the Explore Center, students will further develop:


  • Identify interests, skills, and values and use this knowledge to develop individual academic, career, and personal goals.
  • Take increasing responsibility for making decisions by gathering and assessing advice, information, and knowledge.


  • Take ownership of their education by asking for help and resources from their advisor and other members of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln community when needed.
  • Effectively communicate goals and the support needed to reach them.


  • Make progress toward goals by exploring, researching, seeking out, and taking advantage of opportunities available.
  • Identify and utilize campus services and resources that will advance academic and personal growth.

Appreciation of Differences

  • Value and generate positive interactions with individuals from backgrounds and perspectives that differ from their own.


Program Admission

The entrance requirements for the Explore Center are the same as the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s general admission requirements, which are outlined in detail on the Admissions website.


Professional academic advisors in the Explore Center are available for individual student meetings on a drop-in or appointment basis on weekdays. Undeclared, pre-health, pre-law and pre-engineering students who have not yet chosen a major have an assigned Explore Center academic advisor but are welcome to meet with any advisor in the Explore Center. Students can find their assigned advisor in MyRED. For complete and current information on Explore Center academic advising, visit https://explorecenter.unl.edu/about/appointment or contact the Explore Center in 127 Love Library South or by calling 402-472-3605.

Undeclared Students

Professional academic advisors in the Explore Center engage undeclared students in major exploration, degree planning, and academic coursework selection. By working closely with all of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln colleges, Explore Center advisors help students design a general academic plan for one or more semesters that will allow them to progress toward a degree while also exploring the variety of opportunities offered by the University. Explore Center advisors also connect students with campus resources that will help further their major exploration and assist them in achieving academic success. Undeclared students are encouraged to meet with a professional academic advisor in the Explore Center early in their first semester at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to discuss interest areas and to develop a plan for major exploration. Additional information concerning major exploration can be found on the  Explore Center website.

Pre-Health and Pre-Law Students

Professional academic advisors in the Explore Center provide academic advising for students interested in pursuing professional health and law degrees after completion of their undergraduate coursework at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Pre-health and pre-law areas of study are not majors at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln but rather advising categories. Students may select any academic major while pursuing pre-health or pre-law areas of study and will be advised on degree requirements for graduation from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln by their college/major advisor. Students are advised in their pre-health and pre-law areas through the Explore Center. Pre-professional advising includes career exploration, course planning, extracurricular activity and involvement planning, entrance exam preparation, and application consultation.

Students can receive specific advising in the following pre-professional areas of interest: pre-chiropractic, pre-clinical perfusion, pre-cytology, pre-dental hygiene, pre-dentistry, pre-dietetics, pre-genetic counseling, pre-law, pre-medical laboratory science, pre-medicine, pre-mortuary science, pre-nursing, pre-occupational therapy, pre-optometry, pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapy, pre-physician assistant, pre-public health, and pre-radiation science.

Pre-Engineering Students

Professional academic advisors in the Explore Center work with pre-engineering students to help students identify and achieve their academic goals. The Explore Center provides pre-engineering students with academic planning while students work on the entrance requirements for the College of Engineering. This includes discussing with students the classes required for engineering majors as well as conducting major and career exploration. Pre-engineering students are welcome to participate in clubs, activities, and events through the College of Engineering.

COMPASS Required Advising Program

The Explore Center’s required COMPASS advising program is designed to help students progress with their academic and career goals. Through this program, the Explore Center requires students to meet with an Explore Center advisor each semester.

Freshmen Students

Meeting with an Explore Center advisor will help students identify their academic and career goals. During meetings with an Explore Center advisor, students will create a COMPASS plan to aid in their academic and career exploration and assist with their academic planning. After completing their COMPASS plan, students will enroll in classes for the following semester.

Sophomore or Above Students

Explore Center students who are sophomore standing or above (27 or more earned credit hours) will be required to meet with an Explore Center advisor to develop a major exploration strategy. A registration hold is placed on students’ accounts for future terms that will be released after they have completed their major exploration plan or have declared a major. Major exploration plans will include various action steps. These steps might include, but are not limited to, visiting with a career advisor, completing a career assessment, attending an Explore Center event, job shadowing, or visiting with a major specific advisor. After the completion of these steps, the student will meet again with an Explore Center advisor and reflect on their major exploration.

Students will have the opportunity to work with the Explore Center on their individualized COMPASS major exploration plan for up to two semesters after reaching sophomore standing. Students may declare their major at any point during this time. During a student’s final semester in the COMPASS program (third semester at or above sophomore standing), the student will be required to declare a major before enrolling in future classes.

Academic Programs & Policies

Academic Load

Explore Center students may enroll in a maximum of 18 credits in the fall and spring semesters. Students should refer to the Office of the University Registrar’s website to determine the number of credits they may enroll in for each of the summer sessions.

Grade Rules

Pass/No Pass

The Pass/No Pass (P/N) option is designed for students seeking to expand their intellectual horizons by taking courses in areas where they may have had minimal preparation. Neither the P nor the N grade contributes to a student’s GPA. A grade of P is interpreted to mean a grade of C or above. Students should refer to the Office of the University Registrar’s website to learn more about Nebraska’s regulations for the Pass/No Pass option. Explore Center students should also always seek assistance from an Explore Center academic advisor in determining whether they should take a course through the Pass/No Pass option. Pre-health and pre-law students should be particularly cautious in using this option.

Major Declaration

Explore Center students can declare majors in any of Nebraska’s undergraduate colleges. Admission requirements to declare into certain colleges may apply. If you have questions about meeting colleges’ academic requirements see your Explore Center academic advisor. 

Student Recognition

Explore Center Dean's List

The Explore Center recognizes students for academic achievement during the fall and spring semesters through the Explore Center Dean's List. To qualify for the list, students must complete 12 graded semester credit hours of coursework and attain a minimum semester grade point average of 3.600. The following do not qualify as part of the 12 credit hours: Pass/No Pass credit, transfer hours, removals of incompletes, and grade changes submitted after the census grade reports.

Transfer Credit Rules

The Explore Center does not offer a degree and academic advisors do not make transfer credit evaluation decisions. The determination of which transfer courses will meet graduation requirements in a specific college cannot be made until the student declares a major within one of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln undergraduate degree-granting colleges.

ACE Requirements

Consistent with the mission and values of the University, Achievement-Centered Education (ACE) is based on a shared set of four institutional objectives and 10 student learning outcomes. The ACE program was approved by faculty in all eight undergraduate colleges and endorsed by the Faculty Senate, the student government, and the Academic Planning Committee in January 2008 for implementation in Fall 2009. ACE aligns with current national initiatives in general education.

Key characteristics of ACE that demonstrate the benefits of the program to students:

  • Students receive a broad education with exposure to multiple disciplines, critical life skills, and important reasoning, inquiry, and civic capacities.
  • ACE is simple and transparent for students, faculty, and advisors. Students complete the equivalent of 3 credit hours for each of the ten student learning outcomes.
  • Students connect and integrate their ACE experiences with their selected major.
  • Students can transfer all ACE-certified courses across colleges within the institution to meet the ACE requirement and any course from outside the institution that is directly equivalent to a University of Nebraska–Lincoln ACE-certified course. Courses from outside institutions without direct equivalents may be considered with appropriate documentation for ACE credit (see academic advisor in a degree-granting college/major).

ACE allows faculty to assess and improve their effectiveness and facilitate students’ learning.

ACE Institutional Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes

To meet the ACE program requirement, a student will complete the equivalent of 3 credit hours for each of the ten ACE Student Learning Outcomes (a total of 30 ACE credit hours). See the ACE website for the most current information and the most recently certified courses. Students should meet with an Explore Center advisor to discuss the planning and completion of ACE courses and requirements.