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 in this area center on a person's ability to use their education and talents to "think outside the box” to solve a problem or achieve a goal. Students in these majors should like doing hands-on work, investing time to develop their particular skills, collaborating with others, studying similar work to draw inspiration, and generating their own work that represents their personal interests and passions.

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 a “helping profession” 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 team work, 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, working in a lab, 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