Breadcrumb Navigation:


College of Sciences

NCSU Box 8201
Raleigh, NC 27695-8201
Phone: (919) 515-7833
Fax: (919) 515-7855

The College of Sciences offers programs for students interested in working side-by-side with world-class faculty to address the grand challenges of our time, particularly those related to health, energy, safety and security, and the environment. The college’s programs of study and research are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and lead to many career opportunities. In addition, the college provides core science, statistical and mathematical education support for the entire university. The college consists of six academic departments: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics, and Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. The Center for Research in Scientific Computation, the Center for Quantitative Sciences in Biomedicine, the Bioinformatics Research Center, the State Climate Office, the Center for Marine Sciences and Technology, and the W.M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology are also associated with the college.

Graduates of the college are in demand and valued for their well-developed analytical thinking and problem-solving skills. They are recruited for technical and administrative positions in industry and laboratories, universities and colleges, non-profit research organizations, and government agencies. A large percentage of the graduates undertake advanced study in medical, law, business, or other professional schools as well as further study leading to master’s and doctoral degrees.

High school students who are interested in mathematics, statistics, biology, medicine, chemistry, geology, marine science, meteorology or physics; fascinated by natural phenomena; and want to advance economic, societal and intellectual prosperity for everyone should consider the career opportunities opened by degrees in the sciences.

Degree Programs

The college offers undergraduate programs of study leading to a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in biological sciences, chemistry, genetics, geology, marine sciences, mathematics, applied mathematics, meteorology, microbiology, natural resources, physics, statistics and zoology and to a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in biological sciences, chemistry and physics. In some programs, students may choose to highlight their studies with concentrations in compatible disciplines, for example, a financial mathematics concentration in applied mathematics, a marine and coastal resources concentration in a natural resources curriculum, or a human biology concentration in biological sciences.

Many curricula within the college have similar freshman years, enabling a first-year student to change from one department to another in the college without loss of time. The Life Sciences First Year Program, a collaborative venture between the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Sciences, offers students interested in life sciences majors a common first year curriculum, a peer mentoring program, seminars, a peer class facilitator program, outstanding academic advising, and more to help the students explore the variety of life science majors available at NC State before they decide on a particular major.

Minors are offered in biological sciences, environmental toxicology, genetics, geology, mathematics, meteorology, microbiology, physics, statistics and zoology.

Pre-Medical Sciences

Medical and dental schools as well as many other health-related professional schools have long regarded degree programs in the core biological, physical, earth system and mathematical sciences as excellent pre-professional curricula. Some professional schools prefer the in-depth knowledge gained by this route over those curricula which offer a cursory view of a variety of topics. For further details, visit the Health Professions Advising web site.

Dual Degree Programs

Students may wish to earn bachelor’s degrees in two fields within the college. Other students may wish to combine a bachelor’s degree in Sciences with one in another NC State college. With effective planning, a number of courses can satisfy core, general education, or elective requirements simultaneously in both degree programs. For example, many students choose to pursue simultaneous degrees in mathematics and mathematics education or one of the physical, biological or earth system sciences and science education.

Student Activities

In addition to university-wide extracurricular activities and honor organizations, the College of Sciences has clubs and student chapters of professional and honor organizations:

  • Alpha Chi Sigma (AXE), a national co-ed professional chemistry fraternity
  • American Chemical Society (ACS) Student Affiliates
  • American Meteorological Society (AMS) – Student Chapter
  • Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) Student Chapter
  • Astronomy Club
  • Biology Club
  • Broadcast Meteorology Club/NC State Weather Club
  • Genetics Club
  • Geology Club
  • Herpetology Club
  • Microbiology Club
  • Mu Sigma Rho (a statistics honorary society)
  • Phi Lambda Upsilon (PLU) (a national honorary chemical society)
  • Pi Mu Epsilon (PME) (a national mathematical honor fraternity)
  • Sciences Ambassadors
  • Sciences Council
  • Sigma Pi Sigma (a physics honor society)
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Student Chapter
  • Society for Undergraduate Mathematics (SUM Club) (a student chapter of the Mathematical Association of America)
  • Society of Multicultural Scientists
  • Society of Physics Students (SPS)
  • Sports Analytics Club
  • Statistics Club
  • Zoology Club.

Additionally, majors in the college are eligible for induction in the national honor societies Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi.

Honors Programs

All departments in Sciences have active honors programs designed to encourage excellent undergraduates to pursue a program that will challenge their abilities and better prepare them for their post-graduate career. These programs feature a combination of independent research and honors course work, often at the graduate level. Students in an honors program are advised by honors advisers who help students customize their education based on their individual interests, talents and skills and who proactively present opportunities for academic study, research and study abroad. For information on a particular departmental program, please visit the departmental websites.


Faculty and students within the college have access to an extensive array of computational and network services for word processing, e-mail, information access from the library and Internet, and the use of numerous specialized software tools. The college provides a large number of computing laboratories for use by undergraduate and graduate majors and is a participant in the university’s campus-wide workstation network. Further, the college maintains a Linux Beowulf cluster for student research and classes. Individual departments utilize workstations in these laboratories and provide additional platforms for work with discipline specific programs; for example instruction or research in mathematics, statistical analysis, satellite data acquisition and analysis, and weather modeling. Students also have access to university facilities for additional workstations, peripherals, file space and services.

Living and Learning Communities

In addition to the variety of student housing options offered by the university, Sciences students have access to several specialized housing programs. Among them is the WISE Village, a living and learning community created for first- and second-year female scientists, mathematicians, statisticians and engineers. The program combines a group-living experience with resident, upper-class mentors who help with the transition to university life.

Sciences students can also join their peers from across the university in the EcoVillage in Bragaw Hall. The program encourages students to go beyond the classroom to lead, serve, create, problem-solve and engage in complex energy, environmental and sustainability issues locally and globally.

For a list of living and learning communities, see

Internships and Cooperative Education Programs, Field Experience, and Undergraduate Research

The college recognizes the value of career-related work experience to students and encourages its majors to work with the University Career Development Center and the faculty and staff within the college to avail themselves of such opportunities whenever possible. Career-related experience may be gained through a number of activities including internships and cooperative education programs, department-sponsored field programs, summer employment and undergraduate research. Advisers work with students to develop a plan of study that balances a challenging course load with appropriate extracurricular activities.

Students also have opportunities to build their science communications skills through the college’s partnership with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. Educators at the museum’s Nature Research Center can help students learn to better communicate their work to the public.


College of Sciences majors may be eligible for a variety of freshman and undergraduate college and departmental scholarships in addition to those administered at the university level. The awards are based on a combination of factors, with a strong emphasis on academic excellence. Some scholarships are renewable for up to four years, and some carry opportunities for significant experiential learning and career-related work experience.

Public Science Literacy and Community Outreach

Public science is a major part of the College’s science literacy initiative, which is based on the idea that a growing economy and important societal advances demand a leadership and populace that are scientifically literate. The College's director of public science, coordinates aspects of the College’s public science efforts, including citizen science, or scientific research conducted by the public; K-12 and informal science education; science communication; and innovation in public science.

The Science House seeks to cultivate and diversify the pool of students pursuing degrees and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields; to enhance the quality of teaching and learning in STEM education; and to communicate innovative scientific and educational research to the public.

The State Climate Office is a public service center that applies atmospheric science to sensitive sectors in North Carolina. Through extension, research, and educational programs, the Climate Office works to improve the understanding and use of climate science for North Carolina and the broader southeastern United States.

Tutorial and Audio-Visual Assistance

Most of the departments in the college offer students some form of free tutorial assistance, including regularly scheduled review sessions, and the University Tutorial Center offers Supplemental Instruction (SI) for selected sections of chemistry. Several departments provide facilities for students to use supplementary video- or computer-assisted instructional materials.

Graduate Study

Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science degrees are available with majors in applied mathematics, biomathematics, mathematics, chemistry, functional genomics, genetics, operations research, physics, statistics, toxicology, zoology, and marine, earth and atmospheric sciences. The Doctor of Philosophy is also offered in bioinformatics. The Master of Bioinformatics, Master of Biomathematics, Master of Climate Change and Society, Master of Financial Mathematics, Master of Functional Genomics, Master of Genetics, Master of Operations Research, Master of Statistics, Master of Toxicology and Master of Zoology are also offered. The Department of Statistics and the Department of Mathematics offer B.S.-M.S. programs that allow students to enroll in up to 12 credit hours of graduate level course work that may be applied toward the requirements of both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.


William L. Ditto

Senior Associate Dean for Administration

David G. Bristol

Associate Dean, Academic Affairs

Jo-Ann D. Cohen

Interim Associate Dean, Research

Raymond E. Fornes

Assistant Dean, Academic Affairs

Carrie J. Thomas

Assistant Dean, Diversity and Student Services

Jamila R. Simpson

Director, Advising

Jacqueline Hawkins-Morton

Director, Public Science

Holly L. Menninger

Director, Undergraduate Enrollment

Michael C. Smith

Director of WISE, Director of Women in Science for the College of Sciences

Katherine C. Titus-Becker

COS - College of Sciences Courses

COS 100 Science of Change 2.
Restriction: New freshmen (NFR) in the College of Sciences only.

This course will examine change, both scientific and personal. Students will reflect on change in the past and looking forward as they transition to college life and scientific careers. Case studies, readings and discussions about global change topics will be used to highlight the scientific approaches of disciplines represented in the College of Sciences. In-class activities and out-of-class reflections will be used to practice skills necessary for success in college and career.

COS 295 Special Topics in the College of Sciences 1-3.

Special topics in the College of Sciences at the early undergraduate level. Available as directed individual or group study.

COS 295A Critical Thinking in Life Sciences 1-2.

Critical Thinking in Life Sciences.

COS 498 Spec Topics in the College of Sciences 2 3.

Special Topics for advanced undergraduates will be selected from the mathematical, physical, and biological sciences.