About STEP

Success Through Exploratory Pathways (STEP) aims to provide resources for students who have not yet chosen a major and those who wish to change their major, helping them to explore their major options and make progress toward degree completion. Students find the tools and resources necessary to guide them toward a major and career path that is best suited for their abilities and aspirations. STEP aims to positively impact the experience of Exploratory students at Stanislaus State.

Exploratory students who are part of a special program such as EOP or SSS are advised by their assigned academic advisor.


To assist students in selecting a major by providing them with resources to explore and identify various majors offered at Stanislaus State. Students that participate in the program will be able to discover a major that aligns with their interests, talents, strengths, and goals.

STEP at Stanislaus State aims to assist and empower students to:

  • UNDERSTAND what it means to be an exploratory scholar
  • IDENTIFY strengths, interests, personality type, and values
  • EXPLORE academic and career opportunities and possibilities
  • REFLECT the intersection of self-assessment and future career goals

Program Objectives

  • Support the self-exploration of interests and strengths through assessment and resources that guide students to the best fit major.
  • To assist in selecting a major that best suits the strengths and interests so that exploratory students can graduate in a timely manner.
  • Support the graduation initiative by assisting students in identifying better fit major and career objectives.
  • Ensuring that exploratory students are making progress toward degree completion by enrolling in the appropriate courses.
  • To assist students with questions in regards to the University’s policies and procedures.

Benefits of Being a STEP Scholar

Individualized Academic Advising with an assigned STEP Advisor. Peer Mentorship. Networking opportunities with other exploratory scholars. Assigned Career Coach and professional interaction opportunities. Skill-building workshops/online webinars. Access to strengths finder, personality tests, and FOCUS 2 Assessment tools.

"Exploratory" is a term used by the University for students who have not yet decided on or declared a major. Other commonly used terms include "undeclared" or "undecided". Typically, undeclared students choose to be undeclared for one or more of the following reasons:

  • You have no idea what you want to study
  • You want to study everything
  • You are declared in a major that you no longer want to pursue
  • You want to explore all of your options first
  • You were not initially admitted to your major (ie: pre-nursing/nursing)
  • You want to connect curriculum to major and future career goals 

What major you choose is a personal decision that should take into consideration your interests, skills, values, and abilities. It should match your personal and professional goals. Your STEP academic advisor, peer mentor, and career coach will work with you throughout your time as an exploratory student to help you navigate these areas and connect you with various resources on campus that will help you identify your goals.

Undeclared Pre-nursing (UPN) students receive their academic advising through the STEP program in the Academic Success Center since pre-nursing is an academic track, not a major. STEP UPN students are considered undeclared and are not part of the Nursing major. There is no guaranteed admission to the Pre-Licensure Nursing program. As a student interested in the Nursing program it is important to follow the most current Pre-Licensure Roadmap that contains program requirements needed to apply. The Pre-Licensure Nursing program is highly competitive; please refer to the application statistics. Students will be required to identify an alternative plan in the event that they are not admitted to the program. All pathways for nursing, and other career exploration resources are listed below to assist in developing a plan.

Pre-Nursing Impaction Updates Effective Fall 2021

Stanislaus State will be limiting the number of new pre-nursing students for Fall 2021 based on high school admission screening criteria. Students who do not meet the pre-nursing admission criteria will be admitted into their alternative major selected on the Cal State Apply application. Students can view the Pre-Nursing admission screening criteria on the School of Nursing’s Impaction page.

Students admitted prior to Fall 2021 will continue on the Pre-Nursing track. No changes have been made to the Pre-Licensure program admission requirements.

It is important to note that students must declare a major once they have accumulated 60 units of credit.

Pathways to Nursing

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Registered Nursing Baccalaureate Degree

The Pre-licensure track is designed for students interested in pursuing a career in Nursing. Admission to the Nursing Pre-licensure program has a separate program application when requirements outlined in the Pre-licensure Roadmap are met.  Only 30 students are admitted to the Nursing Pre-licensure program during each application cycle (fall and spring).

 Stan State Application Statistics  |  Baccalaureate Degree Programs

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College Graduate with a Bachelors Degree in Another Field

If you decide to complete your bachelor's degree in another field, you then have the option of applying to the School of Nursing's Accelerated BSN Program. You will need to complete the required prerequisites before you can apply.

Program Eligibility  How to Apply ASBSN Contact Info

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Registered Nurse, Associate Degree

You can attend a community college and complete an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) program. This is a direct pathway in which you can obtain your California RN license.

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Research Nursing Programs Across CA

You are encouraged to research other nursing programs throughout the State of California on the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) website.  


Learn More

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Focus®2 Major Exploration and Career Planning

A self-guided, interactive assessment that helps you select a major and plan your academic and professional career. Discover major and occupational options compatible with your interests, values, skills, personality, and aspirations.

Meet with a Career Coach in the Career and Professional Development Center to review your results.

What can I do with this major?
What Can I Do With This Major

Discover the industries and types of employers for 80+ majors. Learn strategies to effectively prepare for careers in the major of your choice.

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University Catalog 

Learn about majors at Stan State, major requirements, and course descriptions.
Visit department websites to learn more about their programs.

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O*NET OnLine

O*NET OnLine helps you decide what kinds of careers you might want to explore. The O*NET Program has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development, and students.


If you are unsure about your alternate choice, Career Coaches from the Career and Professional Development Center are available to assist you in exploring other major options. 

Other Helpful Resources

  • Explore a wide range of courses that will meet general education requirements for graduation.
  • Learn more about yourself such as your interests, values, strengths, and personality type. By learning more about yourself, you will be able to find a major that interests you.
  • Attend major exploration workshops/webinars hosted by the Career and Professional Development Center or schedule an appointment with your Career Coach to help clarify your career goals.
  • Watch the Undeclared Video created by Career and Professional Development Center
  • Informational Interviews are a great way to learn about a typical workday, qualifications needed and strategies for success from a professional in the field.
  • Internships, part-time, and summer jobs are a great way to get hands-on experience.
  • Join a major-related club.
  • Use the Majors and Careers Exploration worksheet to help you review majors you are most interested in pursuing.

By using these resources and researching different careers you can make a well-informed decision. It is important to note that students must declare a major once they have accumulated 60 units of credit.

If you have already selected a major and simply have not completed the paperwork necessary to declare a major, you will need to complete the following online Declaration or Change of Degree Objective form.

Visit our Instagram: @ STEP_STANSTATE for more event information.

For more information about STEP contact Elizabeth Zafra at ezafra@csustan.edu.

Meet the STEP Team

Students who do not belong to a special program can meet with an academic advisor in the Academic Success Center for assistance. Students who are part of a special program such as EOP or SSS should contact their assigned academic advisor.

Elizabeth Zafra

Elizabeth Zafra
STEP Program Lead & Academic Advisor
PAL Link

Fatima Elias

Fatima Elias
STEP Academic Advisor
PAL Link

Ana Zarate

Ana Zarate
STEP Success Coach

Schedule an Appointment

Transfer Students with 60+ units

If you are a transfer undeclared or pre-nursing track student who is 1) not chosen a major or 2) not admitted as a Nursing major and meet university requirements, you will be required to declare a major by the beginning of your first semester at Stanislaus State. If you are a pre-nursing track student, you can decide if you want to re-apply to the Pre-Licensure Nursing Program for the next available application cycle while still moving forward with the alternate major.

If you do not declare a major by the time specified, you will be prevented from registering for classes via a hold until a major is declared.

Schedule an Appointment

Tammy Giannini

Tammy Giannini
STEP Advisor

60+ units
PAL Link

Career Coaches

In partnership with the Career and Professional Development Center, Career Coaches provide assistance and resources to STEP Scholars in identifying personal strengths, values, and interests. Career Coaches will support STEP Scholars with an exploration of interests, majors, occupations, and careers.

Evelyn Ramos

Evelyn Ramos
Career Coach & Employer and Campus Engagement Lead
PAL Link

Nang Thao

Nang Thao
Career Coach
PAL link



Schedule an Appointment

Updated: August 30, 2023