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Freshman Programs

We help first-year students succeed at NC State.

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

Contact CALS Advising if you have questions about your first year at NC State or our freshman programs.

Freshman Transitions and Diversity in Agriculture and Life Sciences (ALS 103)

ALS 103 is an eight-week course introducing first-year students to academic life at NC State, including academic requirements and expectations, campus resources, and career opportunities. It is a required course for graduation from most CALS degree programs.

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

You will learn:

  • Academic policies at NC State
  • Your 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 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.


CALS LIFT 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.

It starts with our College Connections event during Wolfpack Welcome Week. Join us for bingo with the dean, CALS Ambassadors, and departmental welcomes. CALS LIFT builds in ALS 103 with mentor-led group activities. Workshops and events continue throughout the spring, and the program ends with a celebration during the last week of classes.

In the CALS LIFT program, you will:

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