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College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

111 Patterson Hall
NCSU Box 7642
Raleigh, NC 27695-7642
Phone: (919) 515-2614
fax: (919) 515-5266
e-mail: cals_programs@ncsu.edu
Visit the CALS website.

Academic programs in the college represent a unique blending of the agriculture and life sciences. Agriculture is a diverse industry that touches all of us in many ways. The life sciences provide foundations for studying life and the role of plants and animals in the environment. 

The goals of the instructional program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences include proving relevant, scientific, and practical knowledge of the food, agricultural, and life sciences to its students. These programs emanate from a highly qualified and accomplished faculty committed to academic excellence and the development of the individuals to their personal and professional potential. Central to the college’s goals is the cultivation of interdisciplinary problem-solving skills that will serve its graduates well as they pursue a lifetime of learning and professional experiences.

The overall objectives of the academic program include:

  • To provide an opportunity for a broad university education
  • To provide a variety of learning experiences
  • To offer a choice of specialized majors in agriculture and life sciences
  • To prepare for graduate or professional programs

Degrees

  • The Bachelor of Science degree is conferred upon the completion of one of the curricula in this college.
  • The degrees of Master of Science, or Master of (non-thesis) degrees are offered in the various departments in the college.*
  • The Doctor of Philosophy degree is offered in the following subject areas: animal science and poultry science, biochemistry, bioinformatics†, biological and agricultural engineering, biomathematics†, crop science, economics, entomology, fisheries, wildlife & conservation biology, food science, functional genomics†, horticultural science, immunology†, microbiology†, nutrition, physiology, plant biology, plant pathology, and soil science.*
*

Further information on graduate offerings may be found in the Graduate Catalog.

Joint program with the College of Sciences.

Curriculum Offerings and Requirements

A freshman enrolling in Agriculture and Life Sciences has common core courses. The first year-courses are appropriate in all curricula. This approach allows the student time to explore various programs before selecting a curriculum. The student selects a major in a department or interdisciplinary program. All departments offer science curricula (intended primarily for students who anticipate attending graduate or professional school), several technology curricula, and the Agricultural Business Management curriculum is offered in the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics.

Departmental Majors

Business major:

  • Agricultural Business Management

Science majors:

  • Agricultural Education
  • Agricultural Science
  • Animal Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Biological engineering (joint program with the College of Engineering)
  • Bioprocessing Science
  • Extension Education
  • Food Science
  • Horticultural Science
  • Natural Resources
  • Nutrition Science
  • Plant Biology
  • Plant and Soil Science
  • Poultry Science
  • Soil and Land Development

Technology/Industry majors:

  • Agricultural and Environmental Technology
  • Animal Science
  • Food Science
  • Horticultural Science
  • Plant and Soil Science
  • Poultry Science
  • Turfgrass Science

Common First Year in the Life Sciences

Beginning in fall 2014, CALS students interested in a life science-related major will pursue a common first year course of study. At the time of admission, students will select an intended major. They will not formally matriculate into that program until after their freshman year.

Academic Minors

Several departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offer a minor in their discipline. Students interested in additional information regarding a minor should contact the appropriate departmental office. At present, the following minors are available:

Minors Department
Agricultural Business Management* Agricultural and Resource Economics
Agricultural and Environmental Technology Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Agroecology Crop Science
Animal Science Animal Science
Applied Ecology Department of Applied Ecology
Biotechnology Academic Programs
Crop Science Crop Science
Entomology Entomology
Extension Education Agricultural and Extension Education
Feed Milling Poultry Science
Food Science Food, Bioprocessing & Nutrition Sciences
Horticultural Science Horticultural Science
Leadership in Agriculture and Life Sciences Agricultural and Extension Education
Nutrition Food, Bioprocessing & Nutrition Sciences
Plant Biology Plant Biology
Plant Biosecurity & Regulatory Science Plant Pathology & Entomology
Poultry Science Poultry Science
Soil Science Soil Science
Turfgrass Science Crop Science

Undergraduate Certificate Programs

  • Agricultural Business Management* (Post Baccalaureate & Undergraduate level programs available)
  • Agricultural Leadership**
  • Agronomic Crop Production*
  • Animal Nutrition**
  • HACCP/Food Safety Managers*
  • Feed Milling**
  • Fundamentals of Entomology**
  • General Horticulture*
  • Plant Pests, Pathogens & People**
  • Soil Science**
*

Available via Distance Education

**

Available via Distance Education and On Campus

Student Activities

Students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have numerous opportunities to take part in broadening extracurricular activities. Most departments have student organizations that provide the professional as well as social experience. Representatives of these clubs form the Agri-Life Council. This council is the student organization representing the college. Student tours provide an opportunity to see firsthand the application of classroom principles. In addition, students representing agrimarketing, agronomy, animal science, horticultural science, food science, poultry science and soil science compete regionally and nationally in a number of activities, providing student members a chance to learn by travel as well as by participation.

Honors Program

Highly motivated students in our college have an opportunity to enhance their education experience through the invitation-only CALS Honors Program. The program inspires students to take ownership of their education, explore their passions, and pursue their academic goals beyond the classroom. Each year, we invited incoming freshmen meeting the academic requirements to join the CALS Honors Program as part of the NCSU admissions procedure. If space allows, supplemental invitations may occur in the all of each year for students that have completed 30 credit hours at NCSU and meet our academic requirements. Participating students can choose a P.A.T.H. (pathway to honors) focused on rigorous coursework, independent research or study abroad. Please visit the 'New CALS Honors' page for specific details here.

Joint College Honors Program

The Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry’s Honors Program, which is administered through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Sciences, is designed to encourage excellent undergraduate biochemistry majors to develop their academic potential through a selection of courses and research that will challenge their abilities and better prepare them for postgraduate careers.

Admission: Students must complete the three-semester series of Calculus I, II, and III (, MA 241, and MA 242) and calculus based Physics I and II (PY 205 and PY 208). [Exceptions may be made for highly talented students who transfer into the Biochemistry curriculum after their Freshman year, and had already taken MA 131 and MA 231.]

In the first semester of their Junior year (usually in the Fall semester), students who qualify in terms of their mathematics and physics coursework and have an overall grade-point average of 3.5 or higher are invited to enter the Biochemistry Honors Program. Those students who qualify based on their mathematics and physics courses and have an overall grade-point average of 3.8 or better may be invited to enter the Biochemistry Honors Program during the second semester of their Sophomore year (usually in the Spring semester).

The Undergraduate Coordinator receives nominations from Advisors and prepares recommendations for the College of Sciences Honors Programs Committee.

Requirements: Biochemistry COS Honors Students are required to take Physical Chemistry I and II (CH 431 and CH 433), and to earn at least 3 credit hours in laboratory research (e.g., BCH 492 or BCH 493 or ALS 498H and ALS 499H). Six credit hours of research credit are highly recommended. Written scientific reports based on the students' research are required. In addition, students in Honors Programs must complete at least 9 credit hours of coursework drawn from at least two of the following three categories:

Category 1: Special Courses for Honors Students (courses or sections designated S or H, such as ENG 101H, MA 341S, etc.)

Category 2: Advanced Courses, such as 500-level courses

Category 3: Independent Studies and Research (such as BCH 492, BCH 493, or ALS 498H and ALS 499H) [Minimum of three hours in this category]

Certification: Following receipt of an invitation to enter the Biochemistry Honors Program, a student should make an appointment with the Undergraduate Coordinator (Room 126 Polk Hall) to inform the department of the student's desire to accept or reject the invitation. A Completion of Requirements form is prepared for each student entering the program, and as Honors requirements are met, they are recorded on the form. Upon completion of all Honors Program Requirements, the Honors Program Director (Undergraduate Coordinator) certifies that the student should receive appropriate recognition upon graduation.
 

Honor Societies

Students in all majors with strong academic records are recognized by national organizations that have local chapters, Phi Beta Kappa, Gamma Sigma Delta, Alpha Zeta, Alpha Epsilon Delta, and Phi Kappa Phi.

Scholarship Program

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences awards approximately 620 scholarships each year based on a combination of selection factors including merit, financial need, academic major and/or outside interests. In order to apply for scholarships in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and to ensure proper consideration for all scholarships, students must complete the College's online scholarship application each year by deadlines noted on our scholarship website: cals.ncsu.edu/scholarships. Students with questions regarding scholarships or financial aid can email cals_scholarships@ncsu.edu.

Jefferson Scholars in Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Humanities

The Thomas Jefferson Scholars Program in Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Humanities is a joint program of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. It is a program that leads participants to two degrees: one concentrating in an area of agriculture or life science and one in an area of humanities or social science. All majors in each college are available to meet each student’s particular interests and career goals. The purpose of the program is to produce potential leaders in agriculture and the life sciences who have not only technical expertise but also an appreciation for the social, political, and cultural issues that affect decision-making. The program includes special classes for Jefferson Scholars and a variety of social and service activities. Each spring a number of entering freshmen are chosen to participate in the Jefferson Program. Successful participants receive scholarship support after the sophomore year.

Accepted students interested in applying to the Jefferson Scholars program should contact either of the following people before January 15. An online application is available. Visit the Jefferson Scholars website for details.

Dr. John Dole, Interim Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
NCSU Box 7642, Raleigh, NC 27695
Phone: (919) 515-2614

Dr. Derek Aday, Assistant Director of Academic Programs
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
NCSU Box 7642, Raleigh, NC 27695 
Phone: (919) 515-7484

Dr. Beth Wilson, Director of the Agricultural Institute
Assistant Director of Academic Programs
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
NCSU Box 7642, Raleigh, NC 27695
Phone: (919) 515-3248

Dean and Executive Director for Agricultural Programs

Richard H. Linton


Interim Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs

John M. Dole


Associate Dean and Director of NC Cooperative Extension

A. Richard Bonanno


Associate Dean for Administration

Sylvia M. Blankenship


Associate Dean for Research, Director of the NC Agricultural Research Service

Steven A. Lommel


Assistant Dean for Business Operations

Joyce L. Munro


Assistant Dean of CALS Personnel

Rebecca B. Zuvich


Interim Director, CALS Office of Diversity Affairs

Alex K. Graves


Director, Agricultural Institute and Assistant Director of Academic Programs

Elizabeth B. Wilson


Director, Information Technology

Kevin F. Lee


Assistant Director of Academic Programs

D. Derek Aday


Coordinator of Recruiting and First Year Experiences

Tricia M. Buddin

ALS - Agriculture and Life Sciences Courses

ALS 103 Freshman Transitions and Diversity in Agriculture & Life Sciences 1.
Prerequisite: CALS Majors with less than 30 Credit Hours.

Introduction to scope and objectives of university education. Overview of curricula, academic requirements, and career opportunities in agriculture and life sciences. Overview of campus resources and support services. Discussion of expectations for academic and career success including professionalism, diversity, and inclusiveness. Restricted to CALS majors of freshman or sophomore status. Students will not receive credit for both ALS 103 and ALS 303.

ALS 110 Academic and Career Skills Seminar 1.
Prerequisite: Ag and Life Science Majors.

Students learn about the career decision-making process through integration of self-knowledge. Emphasis is placed on Agriculture and Life Sciences careers. Students assess interests, values, skills and personal strengths while learning about a variety of campus and career resources.

ALS 303 Transfer Transitions and Diversity in Agriculture & Life Sciences 1.
R: CALS Majors >30 credits.

Introduction to scope and objectives of university education. Overview of curricula, academic requirements, and career opportunities in agriculture and life sciences. Overview of campus resources and support services. Discussion of expectations for academic and career success including professionalism, diversity, and inclusiveness.Restricted to CALS majors with 30 or more credit hours completed. Students will not receive credit for both ALS 103 and ALS 303.

ALS 398 Agriculture and Life Sciences Honors Seminar 2.
Prerequisite: Enrollment by invitation for sophomores or juniors in CALS with GPA 3.35 or higher..

A seminar/discussion honors course with emphasis on a team approach to scientific research into topics that link science with issues in society; exposure to leadership skills and bioethics; requirement of detailed written or oral reports; career development in the agricultural and life sciences; required participation in on- and off-campus scholarly retreats.

ALS 494 International Learning Experience in Agriculture and Life Sciences 1-6.

Course offered as needed for international learning experiences in agriculture and life sciences involving international travel and immersion in an international culture. A written report is required and student must identify a faculty member to work with them. Travel expenses may be incurred by the student. Departmental Approval Required.

ALS 495 Special Topics in Agriculture and Life Sciences 1-3.

Offered as needed to present material not normally available in regular departmental course offerings or for offering of new courses on a trial basis.

ALS 498 Honors Research or Teaching I 1-3.
Prerequisite: ALS 398, GPA 3.35 or higher.

Honors research or teaching for students in Agriculture and Life Sciences. First of a two-course sequence. Identification of a project and development of a proposal; literature search, planning, and work initiation. A maximum of 6 credits for ALS 498 & ALS 499 combined. Individualized/Independent Study and Research courses require a Course Agreement for Students Enrolled in Non-Standard Courses be completed by the student and faculty member prior to registration by the department.

ALS 499 Honors Research or Teaching II 1-4.
Prerequisite: ALS 498, GPA 3.35 or higher.

Honors research or teaching for students in Agriculture and Life Sciences. Completion of work initiated in ALS 498. Analysis of results. Preparation and presentation of written and oral reports. A maximum of 6 credits for ALS 498 and ALS 499 combined. Individualized/Independent Study and Research courses require a Course Agreement for Students Enrolled in Non-Standard Courses be completed by the student and faculty member prior to registration by the department.