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Early College

Mr and Mrs Wuf mascots of NC State University
Mr and Mrs Wuf greeting everyone “Go Pack!”

If you are currently attending an Early or Middle College, we wanted to give you some tips and advice on selecting coursework and things you should expect if you are interested in the Life Sciences First Year Program and NC State.

Prioritizing Coursework in Early/Middle College

Many Early and Middle Colleges are focused on helping students complete their general education requirements.  Majors in the Life Sciences First Year (LSFY) program focus on key foundational coursework in Biology, Chemistry, and Math.  Although it is great to finish your general education requirements before starting NC State University, it means when you come to campus you may not have the opportunity to balance your schedule. For example, if you don’t have all pre-requisites to take more advanced courses, but you have all general education requirements filled, it can be difficult to get a full-time schedule.  

If you are interested in our majors, we recommend you prioritize the following courses during your time in Early/Middle College:

NC State Course Names/NumbersNC Community College Course Names/Numbers
BIO 181 – Intro to Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and BiodiversityBIO 112 – General Biology II
BIO 183 – Intro to Biology: Cellular and Molecular BiologyBIO 111 – General Biology I
CH 101/102 – Chemistry: A Molecular Science *CHM 151 – General Chemistry I
CH 201/202 – Chemistry: A Quantitative Science *CHM 152 – General Chemistry II
MA 141 – Calculus IMAT 271 – Calculus I
MA 241 – Calculus IIMAT 272 – Calculus II

*We highly recommend students have a background in chemistry.  From our experience, if students struggle in a subject, it is often chemistry.  For this reason, we often recommend retaking CH 101 at NC State, even if you already have credit.

Transfer Course Database

NC Community College Transfer Course PDF

Applying to NC State

Students who have a significant amount of coursework completed have the option to apply as a first-year or transfer student.  Review the admissions page on Early College students to help decide which population you would like to apply under:

The Life Sciences First Year program encourages Early and Middle College students to apply as first-year students, unless the student has so many transfer credits that it seems appropriate to begin that student’s major directly.  Still, a conversation with our advisors would be a great idea to make the best determination of which direction a student should take.  Our proactive advising model is designed to provide more support for students in their transition from high school to college.

After You Are Admitted

If you have been admitted to NC State, we recommend you send us an unofficial transcript by the end of May (fall admit) or September (spring admit).  Send it directly to  Make sure you also send your official transcript to Undergraduate Admissions for an official review.

Once we receive your transcript, we will conduct an unofficial review of your transfer credits and provide you with course suggestions via email.  Course suggestions are based on a holistic review of your academic records, transfer credits, placement test, and comfort level in each subject. In some cases, you may want to repeat a course you already have credit for so you are ready for the more difficult upper-level coursework.  

Even if you have credit, please complete the NC State Math and Chemistry Placement Tests.  These help us in our holistic review.

Time at NC State

Generally, students who enter NC State with an Associate of Science degree should expect to spend at least 3 years at NC State to complete their Bachelor’s degree in one of the Life Sciences majors.  Although students have completed all of their general education requirements, there is still a significant amount of STEM coursework left that needs to be taken. We do not recommend trying to fit these into less than 3 years.  Many students explore minor options in place of the general education courses they already completed.

We recommend Early and Middle College students think critically about what they are interested in accomplishing while at NC State before they get here.  If students hope to graduate early (i.e., in less than four years with an undergraduate degree), they also have less time to get involved in organizations, build leadership skills, and participate in internships or research.  Students should work with their Early College counselors and teachers to narrow down what majors and careers they are interested in and make a plans for how they will engage in the campus community as soon as they arrive at NC State.