Soil testing

Environmental First Year Program

Discover the interdisciplinary nature of today's environmental careers

What is ENVFY at NC State?

Students who are passionate about solving today’s environmental issues will discover a cohort of like-minded peers in the Environmental First Year Program (ENVFY). By bringing students with similar interests together across majors, ENVFY encourages students to consider real-world challenges and the different approaches taken by related disciplines.

As they work together, students may be surprised to find that complex environmental problems can benefit from interdisciplinary knowledge, and in the process they will develop big-picture critical and creative thinking skills that will prepare them for a career after college. For students who have a strong passion for the environment, but are not sure how to pursue that path or the options available to them, the ENVFY provides the opportunity to discover the breadth of environmental majors, minors and careers they may not have considered.

ENVFY encourages students to explore environmental options at NC State, from geosciences to sustainable materials, and everything in between. Students develop working relationships with faculty who are not only experts in their field, but passionate about the environment and supporting students. By building on these relationships, and gaining hands-on experiences outside the classroom, students leave the program excited to pursue pathways in fields related to environmental conservation and sustainability.

The ENVFY Experience

Students enrolled in ENVFY complete a full first-year curriculum that allows them to explore different environmental degree programs from a participating college that suits their interests. The first semester opens up doors to courses, majors, minors and focal areas across the university to help students understand their career options and boost their success at NC State.

Surrounded by a community of environmentally-focused faculty, staff and fellow students, ENVFY participants grow both as individuals and scholars. The community provides social and professional development opportunities, as well as academic support through a dedicated ENVFY advisor. Each class cohort is full of students excited to roll up their sleeves and get to work on some of our greatest environmental challenges.

ENVFY students embody the spirit of #ThinkAndDo

We develop environmentally-conscious citizens who contribute to a rapidly changing world.

ENV 101 - Exploring the Environment

NC State is home to outstanding academic and research programs centered around themes of energy, environment and sustainability. These programs embody the history of the university’s land grant, forestry grant, sea grant, and space grant missions.

ENV 101 engages students with environmental disciplines through exploration of multiple programs, guides them toward commitment to a major, and prepares them for success at the university and beyond. In this course, students think critically about how rising sea levels create “ghost forests,” calculate environmental footprints of everyday products like lumber, magazines, and even barbecue, and create maps in ArcGIS to see how environmental policies impact diverse communities.

The course also includes Wolfpack 101, which introduces students to campus resources and encourages them to consider their strengths, academic career path, and extracurricular activities.

As part of this course, student will:

  • Engage with a breadth of environmental sciences majors, disciplines, and careers.
  • Examine environmental case studies and work collaboratively to explore and construct outcomes.
  • Use data management, reporting and quantitative reasoning to evaluate possible solutions to different case studies.
  • Demonstrate skills and knowledge necessary to meet the common challenges faced in the transition to college, study and learning skills, and integrating into the NC State community as a scholar.

Degrees and Majors

The unique interdisciplinary nature of the ENVFY program makes it perfect for students who want to tackle environmental challenges and sustainability, but may be unsure about how to focus their studies. This program will help students explore their interests and discover the right environmental pathway for them.

Students learn more about environmental careers and are encouraged to learn more about the environmental majors from the College of Natural Resources.


College of Natural Resources

Environmental Sciences
Environmental Technology and Management
Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology
Forest Management
Natural Resources – Ecosystem Assessment
Natural Resources – Policy Administration 
Sustainable Materials and Technology

Welcome Week Scavenger Hunt Video

As part of NC State’s Welcome Week 2017, students in the Environmental First Year program went on a campus-wide scavenger hunt, coming together from across disciplines to meet each other and discover their campus.