Program Requirements

If you joined CALS Honors in Spring 2015 or earlier, below are the requirements to attain your CALS Honors credentials by graduation. In addition to these requirements, students must maintain a 3.35 GPA or above.

Sophomore Year

Participate in the Agriculture and Life Sciences Honors Seminar (ALS 398H) 

  • Scientific method, ethics in science, communication, career development
  • Attend off-campus retreats
  • Written and oral presentation of selected ALS 499 projects
  • Speakers: eminent scientists and distinguished professors

ALS 398H is an S/U 2-credit-hour seminar offered in the Spring, and registration is open to invited sophomores or juniors in CALS with a GPA of 3.35 or higher. ALS 398H is a discussion-based course that uses teamwork to promote methods of scientific inquiry and interdisciplinary communication. Students are divided into groups to investigate topics of current interest in science and public policy, many of which are controversial. Examples of previous topics include:

  • Increasing Citizen Access to Government
  • Emerging Techniques in Biomedical Science
  • How Evolution is Influenced by Sociobiology and Culture
  • Genes: The Highway to the 21st Century, Hazardous Waste Cleanup
  • Responses to Emerging Infectious Diseases; and Global Warming

You can also see current ALS 398H projects here. Students work individually and in groups with faculty members and honors teaching assistants to define the scope of the issue, research the topic, and prepare written and oral reports. Invited speakers may be scheduled. Students also attend the University Undergraduate Research Symposium. Students are provided significant exposure to the library, computing and CALS Career Development and Placement facilities.

 

Junior/Senior Year

Participate in Honors Research/Teaching in Agriculture and Life Sciences I (ALS 498H)

  • Identify project
  • Begin research or teaching activity
  • Write proposal for research or teaching activity

ALS 498H is the first part of a two-part series offered in the Fall, Summer, and Spring semesters.
Students can sign up for 1-3 credit hours of ALS 498H to be graded S/U and must have completed ALS 398H, have a GPA of 3.35 or higher and have either junior or senior status to register for the course. Students may enroll in a maximum of 6 credits for ALS 498H and ALS 499H combined. Students must identify a faculty mentor and an innovative teaching or research project, conduct a library search on the topic, prepare a written proposal, and begin to work on the project. Grades will be determined by mentors and should be reported during the first week of finals.

Honors Research/Teaching in Agriculture and Life Sciences II (ALS 499H)

ALS 499H is the second part of the two-part series offered in the Fall, Summer, and Spring semesters. Students can sign up for 1-3 credit hours of ALS 499H to be graded S/U and must have completed ALS 498H, have a GPA of 3.35 or higher and have either junior or senior status to register for the course. Students may enroll in a maximum of 6 credits for ALS 498H and ALS 499H combined. Students are expected to prepare a detailed written paper with an analysis of results. Students present a poster of their work at the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium or the CALS Undergraduate Teaching Symposium. Grades will be determined by mentors and should be reported during the first week of finals.

Additional 6 Hours of Honors Coursework

Students are expected to take at least six (6) credits of 300-level or above Honors coursework (at least three (3) credits from CALS). Graduate or 500-level courses may be used and do not require Honors Contracts. Any course taken through Study Abroad can be used as one of the Honors courses. Honors coursework must be completed with a grade ‘C’ or better. Any Faculty-initiated or Student-initiated Honors Contracts on courses should be submitted to the University Honors Program office by the 10th day of the semester (or third day of a summer session) in which the course is to be taken. The University Honors Program office will not approve contracts submitted after the last day to drop classes. Students must inform 111 Patterson Hall at the beginning of the last semester prior to graduation of those courses that were used to fulfill the six (6) credit hours of additional honors work. Students may take any of the following courses:

  • Two 3-credit hour honors courses at the 300 or above level, one or both in CALS
  • Two graduate (500-level) courses or one 300- or 400-level course and one 500-level course, with at least one of these courses in CALS
  • One 300-level or above course in CALS and one Study Abroad course at any level

Sample Honors courses for CALS Honors

  • Microbiology 351H and 352H (General Microbiology and Lab)
  • Biochemistry 451H and 452H (Principles of Biochemistry and Lab)
  • Genetics 311H (Principles of Genetics)
  • Other courses with Honors Contract – administered by University Honors

Note: Students are required to take only three (3) credit hours within CALS. They can take the other three (3) credit hours may be taken in another discipline.

Have Questions?

An NC State student sitting at a desk in a classroom.

If you have questions about CALS Honors, contact:

Dr. Derek Aday
Professor of Applied Ecology, Assistant Director of CALS Academic Programs
cals_honors@ncsu.edu

Ashley Lassiter, Administrative Support Specialist
cals_honors@ncsu.edu