Experience Iowa State!

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October is a very special month here at Iowa State. The leaves are changing color, Homecoming occurs at the end of the month, and it marks the halfway point for your fall semester. Most importantly, though, October marks the beginning of some very special campus visit days: Experience Iowa State! Experience Iowa State (or EIS) days are different from normal visit days in that we welcome over 350 students and family members each day, rather than the usual 75-100 students and family members on a regular day. These are very exciting days for us, and if you are a current student, I’m sure you’ve seen the flood of nervous and excited students walking around campus on Mondays and Fridays in October!

Each student has a wide variety of sessions he/she can attend while on campus for EIS. These include: a student panel, a meeting with his/her academic college (Liberal Arts and Sciences, for example!), free lunch, a residence hall tour, a tour of State Gym, and so much more! Now, I have been through over a dozen Experience Iowa State days during my time as a student here, and one of my all-time favorite sessions is the Liberal Arts and Sciences Open Option session held in the morning. When I first came to Iowa State, I was technically an Open Option major (since Pre-Law isn’t an actual major here), and I remember how helpful this session was.

If you’re a current or past student, think back to your first semester on campus. Did you change your major? Did you find some other AWESOME program offered here that made you want to double major or minor? If you did, then you’re not alone! The average student at Iowa State who comes in with a declared major will change majors an average of 3 times. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to stay at Iowa State for more semesters (although we’d LOVE to have you around!), it just means that you are altering your curriculum path. I, for instance, came in as a Pre-Law student with a Political Science, Pre-Business double major. Now I am a Math major in the Secondary Education Teacher Education Preparation program, and I am still graduating in the same amount of time as I originally planned!

The Open Option “major” tries to avoid this uncertainty by allowing you to explore a wide variety of different majors while still fulfilling your general education requirements. But what does this mean, exactly? It means you have the opportunity to take classes in Anthropology, or Food Science, or Astronomy, or one of the other 200+ programs of study here at Iowa State, and still stay on track to graduate in 4 years, if that’s what you want to do! Because of this, Open Option students tend to change their major only once (and trust me when I say that saves a LOT of paperwork and walking!). So why is this relevant to Experience Iowa State? Experience Iowa State days are all about gaining new experiences and seeing what Iowa State University really has to offer! What better way is there to see what Iowa State has to offer than to visit with the “major” focused on exploration?

Experience Iowa State is a great time to visit campus and, well, Experience Iowa State! A great supplement to this experience, if you are unsure what you want as a major, is the Open Option session! Whether you have one question or 534,232,343,252 questions, everyone at the Experience Iowa State days is excited that you’re here, and wants to answer ALL your questions! So what are you waiting for? Go sign up for an EIS day HERE!!!

Posted by: Michael Cox