Skip to main content

Franklin Scholars FAQs

Who is my advisor and what does he/she do?

You will have several advisors in this program.  One is the Director of the Franklin Scholars Program, Dr. Ross Bassett of the History Department. Dr. Bassett’s responsibilities include answering any questions you have concerning your CHASS degree and assisting you in declaring your CHASS major in a timely manner.  You will also have an academic advisor for your CHASS degree (see below).

What degrees are available to Benjamin Franklin Scholars from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS)?

Franklin Scholars may select any BA or BS degree offered in CHASS. For a complete list, click here.

Is the CHASS Benjamin Franklin Scholars Advisor also my academic advisor for my CHASS degree?

Not necessarily. Upon declaring a CHASS major, you will be assigned an academic advisor in that department or program. If you choose a “self-designed” major in Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) then you will need to find a Faculty Sponsor to assist in preparing your IDS degree application. 

Are there any special course requirements for the Benjamin Franklin Scholars?

All Franklin Scholars are required to take two courses:

STS 302H Contemporary Science, Technology and Human Values  (normally taken during the fall of the first year); and E 497B–The Benjamin Franklin Scholars Capstone Course (taken during the fall of the last year). Students who have not declared a CHASS major or filed an IDS Self-designed degree program are not permitted to enroll in the capstone course.

STS 302H  can be used to fulfill the General Education (GEP) requirement for a course in Interdisciplinary Perspectives in both the College of Engineering and CHASS.

What are my CHASS Major Requirements?

The requirements for the CHASS major, which vary from department to department, can be found in My Pack Portal. 

What are the requirements for the “self-designed” IDS Major?

The requirements for the BA or BS in Interdisciplinary Studies and a description of the application process can be found by clicking here.

Are there any interdisciplinary degree options besides the “self-designed” IDS degrees?

Yes. A complete list of interdisciplinary majors offered in CHASS can be found here.

How do the requirements for the BS in CHASS differ from those of the BA in CHASS?

The BS degree requires fewer GER courses in the humanities and social sciences than does the BA degree, but more courses in natural sciences  and mathematics. The BS degree generally requires foreign language proficiency, whereas the BA generally requires FL_ 201. The BS degree requires  a 15 hour Advance Science/Technology sequence, which can usually be satisfied by Franklin Scholars with courses taken in the engineering major.

Where and when do I declare my CHASS major or file my application for interdisciplinary degrees?

You should declare your CHASS major or file your application for the IDS self-designed major as soon as you have settled on it.  For most Franklin Scholars, this should occur in the second semester of your first year.

To declare, add or change a major in a traditional CHASS department or interdisciplinary program, students must complete NC State’s Change of Degree Application (CODA). Further information about the process can be found on Add or Change Majors and Minors.

Applications for the IDS self-designed degree should also be submitted in the CHASS Dean’s Office.

What are General Education Program requirements (GEP)?

The GEP is a requirements imposed on all students in the university to insure that the student has a well-rounded education with sufficient breadth of study. GEP requirements vary slightly from college to college. The CHASS GERs can be found in Key Points of Information.

What is the CHASS foreign language requirement?

Most BA majors in CHASS require FL_ 201, while most CHASS BS majors require foreign language proficiency (same as College of Engineering).  However, some CHASS majors have greater foreign language requirements.  For complete details, check the specific requirements of your major. 

Where can I find the lists of “university approved courses” referred to in the description of the CHASS GERs?

Click here.

Can I use the same course to fulfill an Engineering humanites/social sciences requirement and a CHASS GER?

Yes. However, the course must be on the appropriate lists for both CHASS and Engineering majors. Note in particular that upper-level courses on the engineering humanities/social sciences list may not be accepted as CHASS GER courses.

Can I use the same course as both a CHASS major course and to fulfill a CHASS GER requirement?

In general, no. (The expectation of being able to “Double count” in this manner is the most common error made by Benjamin Franklin Scholars.)

What are my elective courses for the CHASS degree?

In general, CHASS electives are any courses for which you receive credit that are not part of your CHASS major or used to fulfill the CHASS GERs. Franklin Scholars typically have more than enough engineering courses to satisfy the requirements for CHASS electives.

Who evaluates my application for an IDS Self-designed Major?

IDS self-designed degree applications are evaluated by the IDS Self-Designed Major Committee which includes faculty from throughout the university.

How often does the IDS Self-Designed Major Committee meet?

The IDS Degree Committee meets at least twice each semester.

What happens after my IDS Self-Designed Major application is considered by committee?

Your application will either be approved, approved subject to minor changes or rejected. Rejected proposals can be resubmitted with appropriate changes. Once your application is approved, you will receive an acceptance letter, via email, providing information and needed instructions. You need to confirm that your Self-Design major has been added as an official major, not an “intended” major, on your degree audit.

Can my IDS course plan be changed after my Self-Design application has been approved?

Sometimes. Minor changes (e.g. GEP courses) can be handled with the assistance of your Faculty Sponsor. More substantial changes may also require approval by the Chair of the IDS Self-designed Major Committee.

Can I use the two required Franklin Scholar courses in my CHASS major?

STS 302H can be used to fulfill the General Education (GE) requirement for a course in Interdisciplinary Perspectives in both the College of Engineering and CHASS.

If they have not been used to fulfill the CHASS GEP requirement in STS, STS 302H might also be included in the IDS self-designed major, provided that they are a thematic fit with your IDS degree concentration. The Franklin Capstone course (E497B) might also be included in the IDS self-design major, provided that it is a thematic fit.

The Franklin Capstone course (E497B) can be included in the STS major. STS 302H can also be included in the STS major, subject to the restriction on double counting of major and GEP courses.

Can I use required courses from my engineering major in the IDS Self-designed or STS major?

The two majors should generally consist of distinct sets of courses. Franklin Scholars are occasionally permitted to use a limited number of engineering courses in their Self-Design major concentration or their STS specialty provided that they are a thematic fit with the concentration/specialty and they are not being “double-counted” elsewhere in the degree audit.

This page is maintained by Ross Bassett, director of the Franklin Scholars. Please send comments via e-mail to