Freshman Programs

NC State student on campus

The first year at NC State is an exciting time for students and their families. The CALS Academic Advising Office offers several programs and courses for first-year students to help ease the transition to university life.

ALS 103 introduces first-year students to academic life at NC State, including academic requirements and expectations, campus resources, and career opportunities.

CALS CARES is a summer program that connects new students with faculty and other fellow students before they arrive on campus. It is an opportunity to build relationships and make new friends before the first day of classes.

Have a question about your first year at NC State? Contact CALS Advising.

CALS Course Guide

As a new student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), you will work through three steps to enroll in courses for the Fall 2016 semester. Instructions and details will be sent by email, so please continue to check your email frequently for updates.

Step 1: Use the CALS Course Planning Guide. Instructions will be sent the week of May 16. The course guide will prepare for Step 2 by asking you questions about your educational background and experiences in certain courses.

Access the CALS Course Guide to complete Step 1 (log in using your Unity ID and password).

Step 2: Use the Pack Planner. Instructions will be sent the week of May 23. The Pack Planner will help you prepare to enroll in courses (Step 3).

Step 3: Enroll in Fall 2016 courses. Instructions will be sent the week of May 30. Advising holds for CALS students will be released June 6.

Questions? Email and a CALS Academic Advisor can help.


The first year at NC State can be overwhelming. About 41 percent of freshman and transfer students reported feeling “lonely” or “isolated” after their first year at NC State, and none had developed a relationship with a faculty or staff member. We want our students to be connected, accepted, respected, and encouraged.

CALS CARES is a summer/early fall program with a goal of helping first-year students connect with faculty and staff members in the college. It is an opportunity for new NC State students to start building essential relationships early. Students and volunteer faculty and staff read a book selection together during the summer. In September, they meet in small groups for a one-hour book discussion.

Incoming students interested in CALS Cares should contact the CALS Advising Team for more information.

ALS 103

Freshman Transitions and Diversity in Agriculture & Life Sciences

ALS 103 is an introduction to life at NC State and is an important stepping stone to success in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The course is required for graduation from most CALS degree programs.

  • Credit Hours: 1
  • Prerequisites: Freshman or Sophomore status (students who have obtained less than 30 credit hours)
  • Offered: Every year in Fall and Spring

In ALS 103, students will learn:

  • Academic policies at NC State
  • Their responsibilities as a student
  • Campus resources and support services
  • Tips for academic success
  • How to create good habits
  • Career opportunities in agriculture and life sciences

Students with less than 30 credit hours take ALS 103 in either fall or spring. Transfer students and students with more than 30 credit hours must register for ALS 303.

Waivers for ALS 103 are limited to transfer students who have taken a similar introductory course in another college at NC State. Visit the Academic Programs Office in 111 Patterson Hall to inquire about waivers for ALS 103.

If you have additional questions about ALS 103 or other Freshman programs, email the CALS Advising Team at