All engineering students join the College as part of our Engineering First-Year Program. Our objectives in the Engineering First Year Program are to welcome students to the College, get them connected to important resources, help them learn about engineering as a profession and help them explore all of their academic options prior to joining a department.


In the summer prior to fall classes, students attend New Student Orientation. New student orientation at North Carolina State University is a day and a half program that is required of all first-year students that begin a student’s transition to college life and the start of their engineering education. The program is designed to help prepare students for the transition to college life, as well as for the intellectual, emotional, academic and social challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. At orientation, each engineering student completes their fall class registration based on a common first year of courses. Student course schedules may vary depending on placement scores and other preparatory work accomplished.

For more information about new student orientation, visit the main New Student Orientation website.

Expectations for COE New Student Orientation (NSO)

Summer Start is a residential program designed to assist new first-year and transfer students with the transition to our campus through five weeks of NC State courses and involvement opportunities during Summer II session.  Participating College of Engineering students will be enrolled in up to eight credit hours of major-specific courses and will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extra-curricular activities related to academic, social, recreational, or personal interests.  Examples of opportunities provided to Summer Start students include local trips to museums and parks, learning about campus traditions, time management and success workshops, and weekly cookouts.

In addition, the Summer Transition Program (STP) is a program that enhances the academic and social maturation of incoming minority engineering freshmen prior to the start of the regular academic year.  STP is held in partnership with the Summer Start Program. For more information about STP, please visit the website for Minority Engineering Programs at

Below are some examples of courses frequently taken by Engineering First Year students during Summer Start for a total of 6-8 credit hours:

  • Sample Schedule 1:
    • Chemistry (either CH 111 or CH 101 plus CH 102) – Chemistry placement test is required
    • USC 100: Transitioning to a Diverse Community
    • GEP Course
  • Sample Schedule 2:
    • Academic Writing and Research (either ENG 101 or FLE 101)
    • USC 100: Transitioning to a Diverse Community
    • GEP Course
  • Sample Schedule 3:
    • Math (either MA 111 or MA 141) – Math placement test is required
    • USC 100: Transitioning to a Diverse Community
    • GEP Course
  • Sample Schedule 4:
    • Microeconomics (either EC 201, EC 205, or ARE 201) – Required COE course
    • USC 100: Transitioning to a Diverse Community
    • GEP Course

Financial aid may be available to assist with tuition, dining, and/or housing expenses and is awarded based on information submitted on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  
To learn more about Summer Start, visit Please feel free to contact the Summer Start staff with any questions at or 919.515.1234.  

Math and Chemistry Placement tests are available online, and must be completed prior to attending Orientation.

We strongly recommend that all students take the online NC State Math Placement test, even if you have AP credit or are currently enrolled in AP calculus. Unless we have math placement information (AP scores, SAT II Subject Test, transfer credits, or a score on the NC State online Math Placement test)  we cannot register you for any math class higher than precalculus, MA 107/108/111, (and you cannot self-enroll).  AP scores may not arrive prior to NSO, so by having your NC State Math Placement test score, you can still register in a math course during NSO. Once your AP scores are posted, you can, with the guidance of your advisor, adjust your schedule.  Students having no scores submitted will be pre-enrolled in MA 107 and will have to wait until a score is entered to select a higher level math course.

Minimum proficiencies for MA 141 (calculus one) placement:

  •     NC State University Math Placement Test – score of 550 or better
  •     SAT Subject Test in Mathematics, Level 2 – score of 550 or better
  •     Advanced Placement (AP)

                  — Calculus AB – score of 2 or better

                  — Calculus BC – score of 2 or better

All engineering curricula include CH 101.  No student will be allowed to enroll in CH 101 at NC State without having taken the Chemistry Placement Exam (CPE).  Regardless of credit awarded by the university through Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or college transfer, we strongly encourage all EFY students to take the CPE for maximum flexibility in the enrollment process at NSO, as you may be advised to enroll in the course during orientation.

On the afternoon of your first NSO day, all first-year engineering students will attend a large group advising session where the information in the New Student Orientation Booklet will be covered and explained.  You will gain the information and confidence you need to adjust your fall schedule.

On day two of NSO, you will learn how to use the course registration system and then our advisors will assist you in the registration lab.  Advisors will make recommendations based on your possible majors of interest.

  • You will continue working towards a fall schedule with 15-17 credit hours
  • By mid-August, you will notice that you have been assigned an academic advisor
  • If you have any questions about your schedule, contact

Review laptop recommendations for engineering students at

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The various departments offering foundational courses that all engineering students take administer placement tests.  The College of Engineering does not oversee or control these tests in any way. However, as a courtesy, the College of Engineering seeks to alert students to the placement tests so that it may pre-enroll engineering students in the appropriate courses for their first semester.  These departments (ex. Chemistry, Math, etc.) will dis-enroll engineering students if they do not meet the minimum placement criteria.

The various departments offering placement tests do not offer any exceptions.  You must meet minimum placement requirements to be pre-enrolled (or enroll yourself after NSO) in certain courses.  These minimums have been established for student success; research shows that students not meeting minimum placement criteria do not typically succeed in the course.

A score of 3 on the AP Calculus AB test allows the COE to pre-enroll you in MA 141. You do not need to take the Math Placement Test. A score of 4 or 5 gives you credit for MA 141 and allows the COE to pre-enroll you in MA 241 (calculus two). At NSO, you may decide to drop down to MA 141. You do not need to take the Math Placement Test.

A minimum score of 550 must be achieved on the Math Placement Test for the College of Engineering to be able to pre-enroll you in MA 141. Therefore, the Math Department dictates that you be enrolled in MA 107 or MA 111. All Math Placement Test scores are final. To be eligible to enroll in MA 141 in the fall, you may 1) take the SAT Subject Test in Mathematics, Level 2 and earn a 550 or higher or 2) enroll in a pre-calculus course over the summer (must transfer into NC State as MA 108 or MA 111), assuming you are not expecting any AP Calculus scores to come in over the summer.

The Summer Start program offers MA 111 such that first-year engineering students are then prepared to enter MA 141 Calculus I in the fall semester. Therefore, the College encourages first-year students who were placed into MA 111 due to their score to consider applying before the deadline to attend Summer Start.

NC State uses the highest scores for placement. If the AP score is not received by orientation, the placement score can be used for math placement. If the AP score is higher than the math placement when you get it, you will be allowed to make adjustments to select a different math course.  If the AP score is too low for credit to be awarded, your NC State Math Placement Test score will be used. Therefore, you should take the test seriously.

Engineering students should, if qualified, begin in MA 141 or higher. Otherwise, MA 107 or MA 111, depending for which you are qualified, is the appropriate course in which to start.

The Summer Start program offers MA 111 such that first-year engineering students are then prepared to enter MA 141 Calculus I in the fall semester. Therefore, the College encourages first-year students who were placed into MA 111 due to their score to consider applying before the deadline to attend Summer Start.

As the University credit website shows, NC State will award credit for CH 101 + 102 with various AP/IB scores and transfer credit.  However, there is any chance that you might choose to repeat CH 101 at NC State to improve your understanding of the material. The factors that affect your decision will be discussed in detail at NSO during Day 1 group advising.  You must take the CPE in order to register for CH 101 at NC State. For this reason, the COE encourages ALL incoming first-year engineering students to take the CPE.

No. You may know students in other Colleges at NC State who are registering for fall classes online, prior to attending NSO. The College of Engineering pre-enrolls its students in critical courses where seats were specifically reserved, at the request of the College, for its first-year engineering students.  Students should be aware of critical information shared in detail during NSO before adjusting their schedules. Our goal is to ensure that you don’t risk your pre-enrolled course seats prior to being educated about your options during NSO.

If students are participating in Summer Start, then the Summer Start program will help students register for their summer courses prior to orientation based upon course recommendations from a COE academic advisor. To begin the advising and registration process for Summer Start, it is important that interested students apply before the deadline and complete both the Math and Chemistry Placement tests as soon as possible.

Be sure to take the placement exams and check out New Student Program’s New Student Checklist.

To be sure your coursework appears on your NC State transcript, you must ensure that official reports and/or transcripts are submitted directly to NC State (from your previous institution, the College Board, etc.).  To understand what AP Tests and Scores will earn credit at NC State, check out this resource. To know which courses taken at another institution will earn credit at NC State, visit the Undergraduate Admissions Transfer student page-transferable credits.

No worries. While the lack of a score may prevent the College from pre-enrolling you in certain courses, you can share the AP scores with an advisor during Day 2 of NSO for assistance enrolling.  If scores are reported after NSO, the registration system will simply allow you to self-enroll at home.

Advisors are assigned between orientation and mid-August. The College attempts to ensure your academic advisor is also your E101 instructor if the instructor also serves as an academic advisor.

If students are participating in Summer Start, then an assigned COE academic advisor will contact students for advising after the Summer Start program has received all application materials and have confirmed enrollment with an advance enrollment deposit (AED) in their wolfPAW account.

An Enrollment Appointment/Date is the first day and time that students can begin registering for the upcoming semester, but only after their Advising Hold has been lifted. For your first semester, your Advising Hold will be lifted by the College of Engineering at NSO. In future semesters, you should arrange to meet with your advisor prior to your assigned Enrollment Appointment/Date.  In other words, incoming first-year students are not permitted to self-enroll until NSO.

Yes! Consider participating in Summer START or contact the Study Abroad Office about opportunities to study abroad specifically for incoming students.

Fall Semester

Before the fall semester begins, students are assigned an academic advisor based on their intended major to help guide them through their first year. When the semester begins, students attend Wolfpack Welcome Week and a College Welcome event that features the Dean of Engineering and a distinguished speaker.

Wolfpack Welcome Week

Wolfpack Welcome and Winter Welcome Weeks (WWW) are held in August and January, respectively, the week before classes begin to welcome new students back to campus. A variety of engaging and fun University and College activities are scheduled during this time. For more information on event specifics, visit the WWW website.

Last year the College hosted a mixer for engineering first-year students, so they could meet engineering faculty, staff, and other students while listening to music, playing games and eating ice cream. They learned about engineering student groups on campus and important programs, such as Study Abroad, Co-op and the University Tutorial Center. There also was an academic advisor on hand to answer any questions about the first day of classes, course schedules, academics, etc.

Another significant event for students in their first year is the annual First-Year Engineering Design Day, an exciting day of E 101 project team demonstrations.


Change of Degree Application (CODA)

When students complete the Engineering First Year Program, they are expected to go through a change of degree application (CODA)* to apply to major in one of the 18 engineering degree programs and continue their path towards becoming a great engineer.

*Note: The Change of Degree Application was formerly called the Change of Degree Audit. The acronym is still CODA.

Contact Us

Office of Academic Affairs

118 and 120 Page Hall
Campus Box 7904
College of Engineering
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7904
Phone: 919.515.3263
Fax: 919.515.8702