Welcome to DEXSAS!


Whether you are here to start your journey toward the unknown,  discover new and exciting things through the world of research, or create your own path toward a future with your unique vision in mind, the DEXSAS team is here to make sure you are supported every step of the way.


The Division of Exploratory Studies houses students that include a variety of program outlooks suiting unique needs:

Students who need to create a unique path to complete a degree through the Interdisciplinary Studies program.

Exploratory students who have not decided on or declared a major*. 

*Being a DEXSAS student satisfies the degree-seeking requirements for financial aid purposes.

Students with pre-major standing in which you are working towards meeting admissions requirements for your desired major. 

Students interested or participating in undergraduate research or creative project funding assistance.

Students who are enrolled in or are interested in applying to the Honors College program.


Our mission

The DEXSAS mission is to foster an integrative and vibrant experience for undergraduate students that leads to a lifelong pursuit of learning and prepares UAF graduates for the Alaska workforce. We promote experiential learning opportunities, and we provide space and support to build equity, self-efficacy, resilience, and belonging among our students. We focus on high impact practices to empower students to reach their full potential and become active contributors to society.


Departments & programs

Exploratory Studies

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree who haven’t declared a major or haven’t decided which major to pursue are admitted as exploratory studies students. Exploratory studies students work with academic advisors in the Academic Advising Center who encourage exploring, selecting and committing to an appropriate major. This allows students to begin their studies, investigate different fields of interest, and then choose the one that is right for them. 

If you aren't yet sure what you want to do, but you know you want to work towards your higher education, you don't have to wait to start your journey. Connect with us and we will help you get started in the right direction while you search for the path you want to follow. 

Students looking at a map and collaborating on a project
Student presenting project at Research and Creative Activity Day

Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity 

URSA develops and promotes experiential learning activities that engage undergraduate students to support UAF's goal to become a leading student-focused research university.

Undergraduate research and creative activity at UAF covers all disciplines, from climate sciences to music, engineering, anthropology, life sciences, art and theater. If you have an ongoing project or a project idea, don't hesitate to reach out and see how URSA can help you take it to the next level. 

Interdisciplinary Studies

Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies (UIS) programs provide flexibility to students who have educational goals that do not fit into other majors or minors available at UAF. Students take classes from multiple academic departments that are in the support of their discipline. Interdisciplinary Studies takes the idea of multidisciplinary thinking one step further by intentionally blending disciplines together.

students studying outside in the grass in a circle
TRIO students looking at a globe together

TRIO Student Support Services

For those who are first-generation students, have limited income, or experience a disability, SSS is a community designed to provide the support you need to get where you want to go and enhance your experience along the way. More specifically, the goal of this program is to strengthen student self-efficacy, resilience and sense of belonging during your journey to graduation. TRIO programs provide academic opportunities, assistance with college requirements, and motivation to successfully complete your college education.

Student Success Center

The SSC is here to modernize and enhance the student experience and improve UAF's rates of student success, retention, persistence and graduation; to close equity gaps in each of those areas through a number of strategies over the coming years. With departments such as the Academic Advising Center, Communication Center, Math Lab, Career Center, and more, the SSC will be able to help you in any areas you might benefit from that little extra boost to reach your goals.

Students reading through homework
Honors student receiving sash at ceremony

Honors College

Honors students are world changers and problem solvers. They’re eager to make a difference and tackle tough issues like climate change. They have grit, resilience and a spirit of adventure that they bring to everything they do.

Honors College is about creating opportunities for success. You will receive assistance with identifying internships, research opportunities and extracurricular activities that will best fit your interests and needs. You'll be connected with service organizations where you can get involved in a meaningful way and make an impact. You can also get guidance on selecting international experiences that will meet your academic goals and broaden your horizons.