NCSU CALS Academic Programs -Research/Teaching Projects
Research/Teaching Projects

All students enrolled in the CALS Honors Program are expected to complete a two-semester research or teaching project in the form of ALS 498H and ALS 499H under the guidance of a mentor within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences or a mentor approved by CALS.  ALS 498H and ALS 499H should be taken in successive semesters and can constitute a minimum of 1 credit hour per course and a maximum of 3 credit hours per course.  Both of the courses are offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer.  All CALS Honors Students with a GPA of 3.35 or higher that have completed ALS 398H are eligible to register for ALS 498H, and those who have completed ALS 498H are eligible to register for ALS 499H.  It may be possible, however, to enroll in ALS 398H and ALS 498H at the same time if approved by the CALS Honors office at 111 Patterson Hall. 


ALS 498H

During the semester prior to enrolling in ALS 498H, students should review a list of active research/teaching faculty mentors of CALS and their research/teaching interests.  A list of possible projects and mentors can be found here, but students are encouraged to seek out opportunities not listed in the database.  If the faculty member does not have the project listed, please ask them to list it in the CALS research database at  After selecting a faculty member with whom they would like to work, students should make arrangements by phone call or email for an appointment with the mentor to discuss a possible project.  Once a mentor and project have been determined, the student should enroll in ALS 498H for the next semester.

For the ALS 498H project, the student should become familiar with scientific/teaching literature related to the project and write a proposal that includes sections on Justification, Objectives, Methodology, and expected Results/Outcomes of the proposed project.  The written proposal should be submitted to the mentor at least three weeks prior to the end of the semester, and the mentor should report the students grade to the Director of the Honors Program in 111 Patterson no later than Friday of the first week of exams.  A paper copy of the students proposal should also be submitted. 


ALS 499H


Students enrolled in ALS 499H should  continue research or teaching work based on the work plan developed in ALS 498H.  All experimentation or teaching should be completed under the direct supervision of the mentor.  For research projects, statistical analyses should be performed on the data collected to determine the significance of desired experimental end points.  For both teaching and research projects, a students effort will be formally evaluated.  At the completion of the project a report should be written in the formal style of a scientific article.  This should include sections such as Abstract, Introduction complete with a literature review, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions and Bibliography.  The paper should be submitted to the mentor three weeks before the end of the semester and will serve as an evaluation document on which the student's performance will be graded.  The mentor will transmit the paper and the student's grade to the CALS' Honors Program Office by the last day of class.  In addition to the written report, the students in the research option will be required to present and defend findings in the form of a Poster Presentation at an approved symposium.  Currently approved symposia are the University Undergraduate Research Symposium held in mid-April, the University Summer Research Symposium held in August, and the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium held the third Saturday in November at various universities around the state. Students in the teaching option will present their activities in the NCSU Undergraduate Teaching Symposium.

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