NC State
MEAS Undergraduate Updates

As a Geology major you will take part in NC State’s Freshmen Self Registration Program. You will have access to enroll in courses on June 1.  You will be enrolled in a couple of courses before then. You should also see courses loaded into your shopping cart to help you enroll quickly, but your schedule will still not be complete.

Most students build a semester schedule with 14 to 18 credit hours of courses. To graduate in four years, you will need to average about 15 hours per semester. More about that is below.  Here is an example of a good schedule for a first semester freshman in Geology. There is more information below to help answer questions about each category.


Course Credit Hours
MEA 100 Earth System Science 4
MEA 101 Physical Geology 1 and MEA 110 Geology Lab 4
Mathematics 3 or 4
COS 100 Science of Change 2
Health and Exercise Studies Elective 1


When you look at your schedule in the Enrollment Wizard in MyPack Portal, you will see courses in green and blue on your weekly calendar. Courses in green are the ones that you are officially enrolled in. Courses in blue are in your Shopping Cart, and you are not enrolled in those yet. You will need to click Enroll at the bottom of your Shopping Cart to officially enroll in these.

You should enroll in those now by clicking Enroll at the bottom of the Shopping Cart.

After you have enrolled in the courses in your shopping cart, you should have MEA 100, MEA 101, MEA 110, Math, and COS 100. With an added Health and Exercise Studies Elective, you should have between 14 and 15 credit hours. This should be a full schedule.


How many semester hours should you take?

Taking the right number of semester hours is important for your success. At first when you look at your schedule, you will say, “What am I going to do with the rest of my time?” That is because high school and college are very different. In college, we expect that you will spend 2 to 3 hours working on a course outside of class for every hour in class. That means if you take 15 semester hours of course work, you will be spending 45 to 60 hours during your week on school work. Some of you may be more efficient in your studying and might be able to take a little bit more. Some will find 15 hours more than you can handle. In your first semester, try about 15 hours and in later semesters we can add more or take less depending on your experiences.



By June 1, you should be enrolled in your required Geology courses, MEA 101 and its lab MEA 110.  You should not have a problem swapping the lab section, if needed.


Earth System Science

Earth System Science (MEA 100) is required of all students in our department.  You should already see the lecture and lab on your fall schedule.  If you are not enrolled (shown in green on your calendar), you should enroll in a section that fits your schedule, unless you received a 3 or higher on the AP Environmental Science exam.


Orientation Courses

You should be enrolled in COS 100: Science of Change, which is the orientation to college for students in the College of Sciences.  You are required to take this in the fall.



Correct math placement is critical to your success in college.   It is important that you take the online placement exam ASAP.  You cannot enroll in a math course until you have completed the placement exam or your AP Calculus score of 4 or higher is received by Admissions.

If you completed the placement exam by May 20 or your AP score has been received, you may be registered for the appropriate math course.

Once you have taken the online placement exam, let Maggie Puryear  know ASAP if you do not place into MA 141.  This way she can ensure that you enroll in the correct math course.


Health and Exercise Studies Electives

You are required to take 2 Health and Exercise Studies electives (1 credit hour each) by the time you graduate.  One of these must be a HESF 100-level course of your choice.  You may want to go ahead and take this 100-level course in the fall, or you may want to take one of the many 200-level options (HES*, where *=A for Aquatics, *=D for Dance, *=O for Outdoor, etc.)  Have fun looking at all of your options and enroll in one for the fall.



Many Geology students will not need to take Chemistry this fall.  You should complete an online placement exam this summer to make sure that you do not need to enroll in a Chemistry course this fall.  All students will need to take the placement exam, unless you have AP, IB or Community College credit for this.

If you place into CH 111, you must take this in the fall or complete the modules this summer.



The freshman English requirement at NC State is a four-hour course, ENG 101.  About half of the new freshmen will take ENG 101 in the fall, the other half in the spring. To take this course, you will need to complete the online placement survey. When you first open up your schedule, you may have an ENG 101 course already registered for you.  If you have it on your schedule, you should contact Maggie Puryear to determine whether you should drop it and take it in the spring semester instead.


Other Courses

If you are coming to NC State with a significant number of AP, IB or transfer credits, you may need to substitute one of the above suggestions with another course.  Please see below for a few suggestions.

Foreign Language: Most of you have met the NC State requirement for foreign language proficiency in high school.  The requirement is two years of the same foreign language with a grade of C or better in high school.  If you have not met that, you will need to complete through the 102-level (FL* 102, where *=S for Spanish, *=F for French, etc.) at NC State.  If you want to continue your foreign language from high school, wait until orientation to sign up.  You can take a test to see what course you place into.

Honors and Scholars Courses: If you have been invited to join the Honors or Scholars Program, or both, I strongly urge you to do this!  If you were not invited to join one of these, both of them accept applications from students.  I urge you to consider doing this, also.  For more information, please visit the University Honors and Scholars Programs website.

Both the Honors and Scholars programs require some seminars and classes.  If you have already been accepted into one of these programs, you should already be registered for either HSS 110 or HON 202, depending on the program.


Credit for AP, IB, and Community College Courses

If you have taken an AP exam or an IB course, you may receive NC State credit for these.  You need to be absolutely sure your scores were sent to the Admissions Office at NC State.  Many times students take AP or IP courses in their sophomore and junior years and do not request this.  You must request this for each year. Only official scores from ETS are accepted.  For more information on NC State placements for AP and IB courses, visit:

AP credit

IB credit

Register for your classes based on what credits you know or expect to get as a result of these courses.

If you have taken courses through a community college or a four-year school for college credit, you must request that an official transcript be sent to the Admissions Office at NC State.  Do this immediately, if you have not already done so.


If you have any questions or concerns along the way, let Maggie Puryear know.