Effective Fall 2025, DGS will become the Division of Exploratory Studies. Same mission; new name.

Hear from Previous DGS Students


When I was an incoming freshman, I knew that I wanted to be part of the healthcare field, but I was not exactly sure when it came to the specific discipline. With the flexibility that the Division of General Studies provided me, I was able to explore various fields of healthcare such as psychology, kinesiology, community health, and interdisciplinary health. A major in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences was the perfect match for my undergraduate degree. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to begin in the Division of General Studies because I would have never found a major that I am so passionate about.”


“The reason I chose Illinois was because I wanted to go to a big school and wanted to go to a prestigious university. I chose to apply to the Division of General Studies as an undeclared student because I didn't know what I wanted to major in and thought that DGS would give me the opportunity to explore different majors. I wanted the flexibility to fulfill my general education requirements while being able to enroll in different courses throughout the University.”

two people embracing on sidewalk and smiling


“As a student and DGS leader, I often get asked the ‘why Illinois?’ question. My short answer is why not Illinois, but that is not the view I had when choosing a college this time four years ago. I chose Illinois not only because it felt like home but also offered a program that was pivotal to my future, even though I didn't fully know it at the time. The Division of General Studies program was that program. I felt comfortable knowing that I could explore my interests and graduate on time regardless of being an undeclared student.”


I joined Illinois and DGS because of the large number of options and opportunities it granted me. There is something for everyone on this campus, and I even found a major I was not even considering or knew about!”

students smiling in front of decorated window


Like everyone else, I was not sure where I was to attend as a freshman, but I heard a lot of positivity about the community at Illinois. There are abundant opportunities to be active and involved with that allow you to meet new people. Interacting with like-minded individuals allowed me to figure out who I wanted to be. I had no clue what I wanted to study until I went through DGS. Taking this route helped me understand and visualize my strengths. The individuals that work in DGS dedicate their time to assisting everyone. As a first-generation student, knowing that there are people who genuinely care about the success of their students is what drove me to choose DGS at Illinois.”


Please email us at dgsadmissions@illinois.edu.