Group of students wearing matching MSU orientation bags, walking upstairs towards University Hall

Discovery Program

The Discovery Program at Montclair State University is a comprehensive initiative coordinated by University College designed to help you select the major that is the right fit for you. From application to declaration, the Discovery Program will guide you to every step of the way.

Discovery Tracks

When you apply as an undeclared student to Montclair State University, you are able to tell us about your interests by selecting a Discovery track that represents your academic and career interests. These tracks are meant to help guide you toward choosing a major that matches your interests, skills and values from any College or School at the University. Once choosing your track in the Discovery Program, you will work with your academic advisor on major and career exploration.

The Tracks

  • Education, Service, & Society – for students who are interested in cultural and societal issues, students who enjoy volunteering, students who may want to become teachers.
  • Management & Industry – for students looking to manage or lead people, students who like to crunch data, students who may be interested in marketing or business.
  • Health, Wellness, & Medicine – for students who are interested in natural or social sciences, students who find emotional, mental or physical health very important to them, students who may want to pursue careers in the healthcare industry.
  • Arts, Culture, & Design – for students who are interested in arts and culture, students who enjoy creating, performing art, or teaching others about art and culture.
  • Technology & Innovation – for students who are interested in new designs and developments, students who want to use their creativity, students who may want to pursue careers in science, art or business.
  • Sciences & The Environment – for students who are interested in how and why things work, students who want to find ways to preserve our environment, students who may want to pursue a science or math degree.

Orientation & Red Hawk Day

Special sessions and workshops are held during orientation and Red Hawk Day to start you on your major exploration process. During these kick-off events, the University College academic advisors will welcome you to Montclair State University and introduce you to the enriching programs and activities in which you will engage during the academic year.

Learning Communities

Discovery students participate in Learning Communities that reflect the theme of their Discovery track. These communities are comprised of three to four required General Education courses that, when combined, provide you with an academic experience that introduces you to the major and career interests that attracted you to your Discovery track.

A course within your Learning Community is New Student Seminar which will facilitate your transition to the University. The course will engage you intellectually and socially, while also supporting your major exploration process.

Academic Advising

By working through a success plan personalized for you, your academic advisor will guide you throughout your exploration process to help you narrow your options down to more specific fields of study. This will be an active process in which you will complete activities, self-assessments, and connect with various departments across campus, including Career Services. In doing so, you will also develop a better understanding of the relationship between your academic interests and career interests and develop a path toward graduation.

Connecting with Faculty & the Campus Community

Integral to the major exploration process is connecting with the curricular and co-curricular areas of the campus. University College has worked with faculty and the academic departments to set up events for you to attend and learn more about the majors offered at the University. There are also a number of activities coordinated by the Schools and Colleges that are fantastic ways for you to learn more about their fields and disciplines. Check them out and sign up on HawkSync!