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Thomas Jefferson Scholars

A dual-degree program for highly-motivated students.

The Thomas Jefferson Scholars program is the dual-degree program of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS) at NC State University.

Thomas Jefferson Scholars enter either the CALS or CHASS and before their second year of study, they declare a second major. Successful graduates of the Thomas Jefferson Scholars Program receive a Bachelor’s degree from each college.

The Thomas Jefferson Scholars program is highly competitive–10-15 outstanding high school seniors are selected.

Each year, approximately 10-15 outstanding high school seniors are selected to become Thomas Jefferson Scholars. The program is highly competitive, and qualified NC State applicants will receive an invitation to apply to the Thomas Jefferson Scholars program once they are admitted.

If you have questions about Thomas Jefferson Scholars or the application process, please call 919-389-2220 or email or

Who We Are

The goal of the Thomas Jefferson Scholars student organization is to provide an environment of fellowship and support for students studying both science and the humanistic disciplines.  We combine social and intellectual fun, with a range of activities.


  • Biweekly meetings where we plan activities and often have a guest speaker
  • Travel as a group, with a fall trip over a long weekend
  • Service projects in the Raleigh community
  • An international trip for rising seniors
Prestage student works in a lab in BTECH on Centennial Campus.

Academic Programming

Jefferson Scholars enroll in a dual-degree program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS), earning a bachelor’s degree from each college. The full range of CALS and CHASS majors are available, and each student’s choice of majors is tailored to their interests and career goals.

The Jefferson Scholars program offers a special curriculum that coordinates with NC State’s general education foundation in language, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Faculty mentors help with planning the curriculum for timely graduation.

Being a Jefferson Scholar doesn’t mean you need to restrict your options. Many Scholars participate in other enrichment programs at NC State including the living and learning villages, University Scholars, University Honors Program, the Caldwell Fellows, and the Park Scholars.

Program Details

  • A new first-year course, ALS 295 (LEAD: Leadership Excellence and Development in an Interdisciplinary World). We will explore what it means to be a Thomas Jefferson Scholar and the characteristics, skills, and practices of effective leaders. Dr. Chad Jordan and Dr. William Kimler will guide discussions of current problems at the intersection of agriculture and life science and society.
  • Specially designed courses that satisfy general education degree requirements. These classes are small and are only for Jefferson Scholars.
    • Dr. Jessica Greene’s ANT 252 (Cultural Anthropology) for sophomores, in the spring semester. The course satisfies a general education requirement in the social sciences.
    • Dr. William Kimler’s HI 481-Honors (History of the Life Sciences) for juniors, in the spring semester. This satisfies the interdisciplinary perspectives requirement in general education, and as an honors section also fulfills requirements for University Scholars or University Honors programs.
  • A senior capstone experience through a supervised independent study course, coordinated with the faculty advisors. Each student’s research paper explores the scientific and humanistic perspectives on a question of interest to the student. The semester culminates in a presentation of the papers at a symposium for all Jefferson Scholars.

In addition to special classes and the double-major, the TJS program fosters close contact between students and faculty, and a highly supportive group of student peers.

Faculty Mentors

Headshot of Dr. Chad Jordan, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, CALS
Dr. Chad Jordan

Dr. Chad Jordan
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, CALS
2214A Gardner Hall

Headshot of Dr. William Kilmer, associate professor, CHASS Department of History
Dr. William Kimler

Dr. William Kimler
Department of History, CHASS
351 Withers Hall

Program Administration

Head and shoulders photo of Rebecca Dunning
Dr. Rebecca Dunning

Dr. Rebecca Dunning
CALS Academic Programs Office