Exploration Pathways

The Exploration Pathways group Illinois majors into broad themes, allowing you to see connections across majors.  Rather than browsing majors by college, you see all the majors offered at Illinois that align with your specific area of interest. Use this guide in conjunction with other major and career exploration tools such as the DGS Major Handbook, CliftonStrengths, EPICS, and the O*NET Interest Profiler.  Be sure to also schedule an appointment with a DGS academic advisor to discuss major exploration and meet with a career professional at the Career Center.


Majors in this category seek to understand the historical backgrounds and contemporary events of cultures and societal structures. Students who study in these areas like to expand their perspectives and stay up to date on current issues and policies.  Majors in this area develop students’ written and verbal communication skills, whether in English or another language, and involve reading, writing, editing, research, analysis, speaking, debate and persuasion.

Holland Type:  Social/Artistic



Students with interests in statistical analysis, algorithms, and determining how data can impact daily life should consider these majors. These majors require highly developed critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. Students in this major should like working with numbers, dealing with large, complex data sets, examining trends, and spending significant amounts of time working at a computer.

Holland Type:  Conventional



Majors within this pathway celebrate creativity/artistic expression. Interested students should be passionate about cultivating their artistic talents. This pathway involves intensive hands-on work and encourages collaboration with fellow artists and drawing inspiration from various sources. Majors in this area encompass a range of artistic disciplines, including fine arts, graphic design, illustration, photography, and multimedia arts. Students pursuing this pathway develop a keen eye for aesthetics, a mastery of artistic techniques, and an understanding of the cultural and historical contexts that influence creative expression.

Holland Type:  Artistic



These disciplines study challenges such as global warming, climate and climate change, pollution, water conservation, and other issues that encompass all aspects of planetary and earth sciences. Students interested in nature can expect to study topics that discuss the earth's wide variety of animals and plants and its endangered species along with human responsibility to the world’s natural resources.

Holland Type:  Realistic



Students who pursue this pathway want to connect with and assist others. They desire a career where they will nurture the growth of or address the problems of a person's physical, psychological, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual well-being through medicine, nursing, psychotherapy, psychological counseling, social work, education, life coaching, or ministry.

Holland Type:  Social



Majors in this category study the global and domestic markets as well as consumer trends in agriculture, technology, health, education, policy, and social & economic capital. These majors attract students who are leaders and entrepreneurs driven by innovative solutions and achieving goals. They also value teamwork, problem solving, managing, numbers/data, and interpersonal transactions.

Holland Type:  Enterprising



Majors in this area concentrate on exploration and discovery using knowledge of physical and life sciences. Students who are strong in foundational math and science courses, have a curiosity about the world around them, and seek to use research to advance society may want to explore majors in this category. These students typically have an interest in research and wanting to learn "how stuff works.” They are curious about nature, biology, machines, physical laws, etc., and like problem-solving and/or puzzles.

Holland Type:  Investigative



This pathway is for individuals who possess a unique blend of creativity and technical proficiency. Majors in this pathway encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration by leveraging design principles and technology to create innovative solutions. Students in these majors enjoy thinking outside the box and using technology alongside creative thinking for technological advancement. These majors provide a comprehensive approach for interested students, fostering a dynamic skill set for the ever-evolving landscape of technology, design, and innovation.

Holland Type: Investigative/Artistic