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Benjamin Franklin Scholars

Integrate engineering with the humanities and social sciences. Develop a foundation in technology, with a broad humanistic and social perspective.

On November 15, 2022, Jennifer Toole, an NCSU alum and founder and CEO of Toole Design spoke to the Franklin Scholars.  Her company, Toole Design is a leader in helping to transform cities to make them more friendly for bikers and pedestrians.  She spoke of her path from NC State to starting her own company, the history of  transportation engineering, as well as describing the more inclusive approach to transportation engineering her firm has pioneered.  A really inspirational talk! 

About the Program

The Benjamin Franklin Scholars program allows students to simultaneously pursue bachelor’s degrees in both engineering and the humanities or social sciences. The program provides students with broad training and equips them with unique skills to solve complex problems.

Scholars can combine any major in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (plus economics) with any degree in the College of Engineering. Now entering its 32nd year, the program has produced men and women who use their engineering training in various settings and jobs: in industry, in academia, in government, working as engineers, lawyers, physicians and policy analysts, among others.

Program Values

The primary purpose of the program is to support interdisciplinary studies by supporting the development of the interdisciplinary person.

Our students and alumni strongly believe in using our interdisciplinary education to help humanity.

We provide a strong community that emphasizes intellectual curiosity, open-mindedness, breadth of education, and values diversity and diverse interests.

Degree Requirements

In addition to satisfying course requirements for both of their majors, students take two classes specifically designed for Franklin Scholars:

  • Science, Technology and Human Values (STS302H): Usually taken in the first semester of freshman year, this course provides an introduction to technology from a humanistic and social scientific perspective.
  • The Franklin Scholars Capstone (E497): In this course, students work in groups to study technology with significant humanistic and social scientific implications.

Students typically complete the program in 4-5 years; however, the time required to finish both degrees depends on incoming AP credits, semester course loads, summer school participation and the specific degrees sought.

Scholarship Support and Events

The Benjamin Franklin Scholarship supports students enrolled in the program. Students are eligible once they complete the Franklin Scholars introductory course, have added both an Engineering and Humanities and Social Sciences major, and have earned a GPA of 3.0 or above.

Franklin Scholars participate in at least four events per semester, and the student-run Franklin Council arranges a wide variety of social, service and academic activities throughout the year.