Lab shot of Martin Pettersson, Marc Cubeta and Megan Miller.


Our research addresses the grand challenges — and overcomes them.

Our Path to Discovery

At the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, we ask a lot of questions. But we don’t stop there: Our search for answers is relentless. We interrogate the basics of the life sciences. Our research casts a wide net: $130 million in annual expenditures, supporting 600 active projects that explore more than 70 different commodities.

We’re present across the state, with NC State Extension units in every county and 18 agricultural research stations that cover more than 19,000 acres. In labs on campus and across North Carolina, our faculty and students take on big questions and develop meaningful solutions. Our Extension agents take those answers into the field and test them, giving our researchers essential insights in refining their discoveries.

We apply what we learn to the challenges of today and tomorrow.


$1.55 Billion Impact

In 2014, our college’s research and extension efforts had a $1.55 billion economic impact in North Carolina.

An Innovation Infrastructure

For nearly 130 years, NC State has been a friend to North Carolina farmers. N.C. Agricultural Research Service (NCARS) conducts research, and NC State Extension—with centers serving all 100 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians—brings that research to the community and beyond.

Our college is also a research and development hub for the state’s life sciences and biotech industries and a driver of prosperity for agribusiness, North Carolina’s largest economic sector.

Through our tight connection to industry and commodity partners, we turn our discoveries into products and processes that shape how people feed, clothe and heal themselves.

The effects of our innovation are profound:

  • We’ve played a vital role in creating new agricultural products. Developed at NC State, the Covington sweet potato makes up a fifth of the national sweet potato market.
  • Our work on alternative feed grains has reduced N.C. farmers’ reliance on imported feed by 19 percent.

#1 in USDA-supported R&D

NC State received more support from the USDA than any other university in 2018, including Smith-Lever and Hatch Act support and AFRI competitive grants.