Freshman Programs

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.  This is an 8-week course worth 1 credit hour; we meet twice weekly for the first 8 weeks of fall.

CALS LIFT is a program that connects new students with faculty, staff, and other CALS students on campus. It is an opportunity to build relationships and make new friends during the entire first year.

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

CALS First Year Events

Wolfpack Welcome Week College Connection Event
Students, come PLAY (remember FISH!); sign up to participate in your first CALS event.
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
126 Witherspoon
1 pm-4 pm (Bingo with the Dean, Ambassador Small Groups, Departmental Welcome Session)
This event is free for CALS students; giveaways, snacks, and water provided.

CALS BBQ & BINGO Parents and Families Weekend Event
Parents, join us to kick off your weekend on campus; sign up to participate (space is limited).
Friday, September 20, 2019
126 Witherspoon
12:00-1:30 pm (barbeque lunch, meet and greet with CALS faculty and staff, bingo games)
This event is free to parents, families and students in the CALS program. Registration is required.  Please note that no shows or late cancellations (received after Monday, September 23) will be charged a $25 administrative fee. Walk-ins available as space permits.

Questions? Email the CALS Advising Team for help.

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.


CALS LIFT starts with our College Connections Event during Wolfpack Welcome Week. Join us for Bingo with the Dean, CALS Ambassador small groups, and departmental welcomes (1-4pm on Tuesday, August 20).  CALS LIFT builds in ALS 103 with mentor led group activities.  There will be workshops and events that will continue in the spring, and then the program ends with a first year celebration the last week of classes.  Don’t miss out on the CALS LIFT program where you will:

  • Learn about opportunities
  • Investigate your wolfpack community
  • Find your way
  • Think and do