Skip to main content

Common First-Year

All first-year students admitted into the College of Engineering enroll in a common set of courses during their first year at NC State. These common courses are foundational to all engineering degrees and required for ABET degree accreditation. This standard course work also allows first-year students the opportunity to explore degree options without getting behind.

Fall Semester

A typical fall and spring semester contain 15 to 17 credit hours and include the classes below. More information about these courses can be found at the Registration and Records’ Class Search. For information on future semesters, see specific requirements for degrees and programs

The College of Engineering offers academic and career advising, tutoring in most first-year subjects and mentoring to facilitate success during the first year.

  • CH 101 – General Chemistry I (3 credits)
  • CH 102 – General Chemistry Lab (1 credit)
  • E 102 – Engineering in the 21st Century (2 credits)
  • E 115 – Introduction to Computing Environments (1 credit)
  • ENG 101 or FLE 101 – Academic Writing and Research (4 credits)
  • MA 141 – Calculus I (4 credits)*
  • HESF 1xx – Health Exercise Fitness (1 credit)

Total Semester Credits = 15-17

*Students are placed into Calculus using the NC State Math Placement Assessment or transfer credit from another institution. All AP or IB exam scores should be sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Spring Semester

  • E 101 – Introduction to Engineering and Problem Solving (1 credit)
  • PY 205 – Physics for Engineers and Scientists I (3 credits)
  • PY 206 – Physics for Engineers and Scientists I Lab (1 credit)
  • MA 241 – Calculus II (4 credits)
  • EC 205 – Introduction to Economics (3 credits)
  • 3 credit hours toward either the General Education Program or a major-specific requirement

Total Semester Credits = 15-17

Courses taken in the first year may vary from the courses in the list above if students earned college credits in high school or received advanced placement or credits through the Advanced Placement Program or International Baccalaureate Program. Official scores and college transcripts must be sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for students to receive advanced placement.

First-year students entering with advanced credits and appropriate prerequisites may be advised to enroll in subsequent required courses such as MA 242: Calculus III or PY 208 and PY 209: Physics for Engineers and Scientists II, which are required for all engineering majors including Computer Science.

General Education Program (GEP)

Every NC State student must complete the General Education Program (GEP) requirements. These courses are designed to offer graduates the opportunity to experience diverse and integrative disciplinary perspectives. GEP courses enhance intellectual engagement and prepare you for lifelong learning and the demands of professional careers. NC State’s GEP is divided into several categories. However, within engineering degrees, courses within certain categories will already be selected.

  • MA 141 and MA 241 satisfy 6 credit hours toward the Mathematical Sciences requirement.
  • CH 101 and PY 205 satisfy 6 credit hours toward the Natural Sciences requirement.
  • ENG 101 or FLE 101 satisfy 4 credit hours toward the First-Year Writing Program.

When College of Engineering faculty and staff refer to “GEP courses,” they are referring to the sub-section of the GEP wherein engineering students have choices — a total of seven courses.

  • 6 credit hours toward the Humanities requirement selected from two different disciplines
  • 6 credit hours toward the Social Sciences requirement
    • All engineering students must complete one of EC 201, EC 205, or ARE 201 (3 credit hours).
    • The remaining 3 credit hours can be any Social Science course except Economics.
  • 5 credit hours toward the Interdisciplinary Perspectives requirement
    • First-year engineering students are required to complete E 102 (2 credit hours).
    • The remaining 3 credit hours can be any Interdisciplinary Perspectives course.
  • 3 credit hours toward the US Diversity, Equity & Inclusion requirement.
  • 2 credit hours toward the Health and Exercise Studies requirement, which must include at least 1 credit hour from HESF 100-level

The GEP also includes the one co-requisite Global Knowledge that must be completed. To see what courses are available in each GEP category visit the NC State GEP Course List at:

Special Interests Courses

Some students may enroll in courses outside of their engineering degree requirements to fulfill requirements towards a minor, second major, or extracurricular activity such as music performance. We encourage students to plan these additional course requirements as early as possible and to speak with an academic advisor regarding any questions or concerns.

Examples of courses and their related programs include: