Thomas Jefferson Scholars

Some General Advice on the Academic Program
for Jefferson Scholars


Jefferson Scholars may register early during the pre-registration advising period each semester. Your Advising Hold can be cleared by either of your advisors in your majors. Please see both of them!

During your first few semesters, before you have declared your CHASS major, you need to ensure that any Humanities & Social Sciences courses you take also meet the CHASS degree requirements. Or if you entered as a CHASS major, be sure that the science and math courses you take suit the CALS requirements. The best way to do this is to use the "What If" function in MyPack to look at the Degree Audit of your prospective major. Dr. Kimler also will be happy to assist you in picking courses, or consulting with you about the various majors in CHASS. Dr. Jordan will help you figure out the options for majors in CALS. Please consult with us, because several of the basic requirements can be tricky to fit both majors.

Some special advice for first-year Jeffersons:

The first required course for Jefferson Scholars is a class with one of the program advisors, Dr. Chad Jordan.  Right away in the Fall semester, you will take PB 219 (Plants in Folklore, Myth & Religion).  We want the whole incoming class of Jeffersons in this classroom experience together.  Your schedule at Orientation should show you already signed into the course.

In general, don't worry about your Humanities & Social Science (CHASS) major during your first semester. It's a good idea to take those math and chemistry courses you need for biology, and to be able to start the sequence of courses. Along with some basic requirements, you can perhaps start with General Education Program (GEP -- start learning the acronyms and jargon!) requirements for courses.

Another category of the General Education Program is Interdisciplinary Perspectives (IP). The courses for Jefferson Scholars will completely fulfill that requirement.  Dr. Jordan's course is one of them.  The required course for your third year as a Jefferson Scholar will be a special history of biology course (HI 481-Honors) with Dr. Kimler, and it satisfies the rest of your IP requirement. It does not satisfy the CHASS requirement for History I and II.

If you entered NC State as a CHASS major, you may have been pre-registered into HSS 120. You do not need this course, as it's for Interdisciplianry credit and the Jefferson Scholars special classes will take care of that. Go ahead and drop the course.

The math and science courses in your College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) major will take care of those requirements in your CHASS major. The various Humanities and Social Science courses in a CHASS major will take care of those CALS requirements.

If you do have room in your Fall schedule, Foreign Language is a really good class to take while it's fresh from high school. The CHASS requirement for at least one semester of foreign language at the 201 course-level is one of the big differences in the requirements between your two degree requirements. If you made good grades in language in high school, you have been notified that you have met the University proficiency requirement. This is not the same as satisfying the CHASS requirement.

If you have not taken the SAT II or the AP test in Foreign Language, you should take a placement test during Orientation (it takes about 30 minutes). We offer computerized placement tests in French, German, Spanish, and Latin. You can find placement information at

If you have space or would rather take an introductory (200-level) History or English or social science class in the Fall, make sure that the one you pick meets the distribution requirements for CHASS. You need to satisfy the CHASS requirements in the humanities and social sciences, which will be more than adequate for your CALS curriculum. The best way to check is to use the "What If" function in MyPack to look at the Degree Audit of your prospective major, or consult with Dr. Kimler.

One thing to remember is that CHASS has lists of required "groups" of courses in History and Literature. For example, the History requirement is for two 200-level courses (6 hours): one about non-Western societies and one about European or American societies. Check carefully to see which courses will be satisfied by any of your AP or IB credit.

If you want to start in the social sciences, do not take ANT 252 (Cultural Anthropology), because we have a special, required section of that for you in your second year.  Because you'll need courses in 3 different social sciences, you might look for something other than Anthropology (ANT).

Many of you know what your second major is going to be, but you won't declare it during Orientation. Application for the second major will be online in January, after you have a GPA at NC State. Departments differ in their admission standards; see the information on the website for Change of Degree Application ( Be sure when you apply in CODA that you select the option to ADD a degree track, not change from one to another..

If you don't already know what second degree you want, don't worry! Take some intro courses, explore, talk to other Jeffersons and the faculty, and think about it. There will be time to declare it during your first year. The older Jefferson Scholars are a wonderful source of information and advice, so ask away! We only ask that you declare a major in both CALS and CHASS by the end of your second year. Once you add the second track, you'll get an adviser in the department of your major. That makes it a good idea to declare the major as soon as you are sure of your choice.

If you decide to design your own Interdisciplinary Studies Self-Designed Degree Program (BA or BS degree), that program has an advisor who will help you find a sponsor and prepare your proposal [theme and courses] to be submitted to the IDS Self-Designed Major Committee. See their web site.

It is your responsibility to let Dr. Kimler know when you will wish to do the independent study for the Jefferson senior paper, either in Fall or Spring of your last year. In general, it is a good idea to keep the advisors well-advised of your plans, your schedule for graduating, and any problems or special needs you have.

Dr. Kimler and Dr. Jordan are available at any time for advice on majors, courses, and problems you're encountering in the program.

Last modified: July 2015