With more than 30,000 undergraduates and an all-encompassing graduate program, NC State is a very large public university that has grown exponentially since its inception.
NC State was founded through a government land grant in 1887 and at the time was known as North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, later State College. In the 1920s, NC State expanded from a purely agricultural school and added the textiles, engineering, science, education, and business concentrations. After World War II, NC State grew immensely as a result of the GI Bill and subsequently added the departments of humanities, forestry, and design. In 1987, the university built a new campus, Centennial Campus, which hosts classes and leading community corporations that create an environment for research and economic growth.
NC State is part of the 16-college University of North Carolina System. Today, NC State has around 30,000 students and numerous cutting-edge academic departments and programs. While it’s known mainly for its engineering program, there are many other popular majors, including textiles. The university also offers many new and unique academic programs, including Africana Studies, Middle East Studies, Nonprofit Studies, and Gender Studies.
NC State’s graduate school offers more than 220 different degrees in all academic departments and enrolls 7,400 students. There are specialized libraries, labs, and research centers available to all graduate students. NC State also has agreements with Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill graduate schools to share resources, such as their libraries.
NC State’s campus is divided into three parts, with the Central Main Campus serving as the hub of student life, dorms, library, gyms and cafeterias. Most academic buildings are located on the North Main Campus. It’s separated from the South Main Campus by a railroad track, and there are pedestrian tunnels for pedestrians to cross over. The South Main campus houses Greek life and a major conference center.
Buildings on campus are constructed of red brick, as is the Brickyard, the central quad of the Central Main Campus. Although located in urban Raleigh, NC State has no shortage of sprawling lawns and shady trees.
Between classes during the day, most students can be found in the Brickyard, a central part of campus. There students can grab food in the Atrium, do homework, and catch up on what’s happening on campus. The brickyard is often lined with club promotions and events, along with fairs for activities like study abroad. The Atrium itself is also a popular daytime hangout. It is the most crowded place on campus from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., with students meeting for lunch.
When the sun goes down, Talley Student Center becomes the place to be on campus, hosting numerous parties for different student organizations. It is also the host of the Union Activities Board, which works to enhance the college experience, often through their all-night functions.
For the more studious individual, the library is a popular spot, especially the new learning commons. The learning commons is a wing of the library that contains many sofas and tables as well as numerous computers and study rooms. However, the main draws of the learning commons are the flat screen TVs along with the Xbox, Playstations, and Wiis. Students come here to challenge their friends in Guitar Hero, but they have to keep the volume to a minimum.
Many students at NCSU are very health-conscious and frequent the gym in an attempt to keep off the freshman 15. Besides the ordinary machines and weights, Carmichael Gym offers numerous classes from standard aerobics to yoga fusion.
With a population of over 370,000, Raleigh is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. and is located in the Research Triangle. With its numerous bars, restaurants and corporations, Raleigh combines college town amenities with a research-centered corporate city where students can get hands-on experience in their studies.
NC State is located in Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina. Hillsbourgh Street is central to campus life, with many restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, and bars. At NCSU, you are never more then five or ten minutes away from any major store or necessity. Raleigh is about 20 minutes from neighbors UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke. The local bus system offers transportation between the universities free of charge for students. In Raleigh, you have the conveniences of a big city with a small-town feel, and in case you need to get away, you can easily reach friends in Chapel Hill or Durham.
"Before students officially turn 21, the best hangouts for them are off-campus houses and apartment parties. However, there are bars that have college nights, letting underage kids in. The most popular bar frequented by freshmen is the Longbranch Salon. There, one can dance on the designated dance floor and the bar. And if that's still too tame for you, you can join the numerous freshmen girls celebrating their newfound college independence by riding the bull…in your bikini. If this isn’t your cup of tea, (and don’t worry, you’re not alone), other popular hangouts include the numerous coffee shops and laid-back restaurants/bars on Hillsbourgh Street. On a warm spring night, students often crowd the patios of places like East Village.
When you do pass that 21 mark, you can hit all the bars. All down Hillsbourgh Street, there are watering holes such as PBs, Farmhouse, and Catbanjo. Each bar has a different promotion each night, so students agree which bar is “the place to be.” The last week of every semester, the bars join forces to create the Hillsbourgh Hike in which students stop at each bar when making their way down a closed-off Hillsbourgh Street.
If Hillsbourgh Street gets old, many students start to migrate towards the classier bars on Glenwood South in downtown Raleigh. Glenwood South caters to the seniors and young professionals just out of college. There are martini bars and other more sophisticated places to get away from the newly-minted 21-year-olds. Besides the bars and restaurants around Raleigh, it is not uncommon for students to venture to Chapel Hill or Durham to visit their friends at UNC or Duke, increasing their options to a plethora of new hangouts.
Traditions at NC State center around sporting events and are organized mainly by members of Greek life. Whether spending hours camping out for a Wolfpack ticket or taking over the bars of Raleigh, almost everyone at State participates in these events.
The Hillsbourgh Hike is a bar crawl down Hillsbourgh Street at the end of each semester. The city closes the street to traffic, and the bars on the mile-long stretch of street stay open late. This event is mainly held for graduating seniors, but most students who are 21 participate. Students from surrounding schools also come to Raleigh to join in the festivities.
Tailgating before football games is probably the most popular tradition at NCSU. Students and alumni alike gather in the parking lots by Carter-Finley Stadium hours before the game starts and slow-cook a pig. Many times the pig has been cooking since the day before the game. Fraternities and other organizations set up big tents, fly their flags, and have coolers stocked with beer for afternoon games or mimosas for noon games. Many girls wear their cutest red dresses with cowboy boots. Tailgating is mandatory in the NCSU social scene for everyone, not just frats and sororities.
The year’s biggest game is the NCSU-UNC basketball match-up. These teams have 100 years of rivalry history, and the game is deeply rooted in North Carolina culture--the winning team gains bragging rights over their neighbors until next year. Tickets for this game are hard to get, so students camp out for a night, or even a week, before the game. Students are organized into camp-out teams, and every team member must stay the whole night. There are numerous tent checks in order to enforce this rule. Games and contests go on throughout the night, and most students drink to stay occupied. Every team who makes it through camp-out usually gets a ticket.
John Edwards (1974) was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004.
Richard Curtis (1972) is the founder and managing editor of USA Today.
David Thompson (1975) is frequently thought of as the best player ever in college basketball.
Bill Cowher (1979) is a Superbowl-winning NFL coach.
Phillip Rivers (2003) is an NFL player who has made Pro Bowl appearances.
The NC State Wolfpacks' 24 varsity teams compete in the NCAA Division I. Sports generate mass fanaticism on campus, and students always wear the school colors, red and white, to games. Men’s basketball is by far the most popular team, and students camp out for full night to earn a ticket to the always-packed games.
The most popular team at N.C. State is the men’s basketball team, which rules N.C. State as well as the whole state of North Carolina. It has an impressive history as a member of the prestigious ACC and winner of two NCAA championships. The university is also just down “tobacco road” from Duke, Wake Forest and UNC-Chapel Hill. These schools make up the “Big Four” of college basketball, and rivalries are heated.
Together, NCSU, UNC, and Duke hold nine NCAA championships. Most people from North Carolina have either gone to NCSU or UNC, and they often have families who attended these schools as well. If your team loses, which NCSU often does, it’s hard to hold your head up around town or in school. The NCSU - UNC basketball game is the biggest event on campus, and coach Sidney Lowe wears a red blazer for it. The Duke and Wake Forest games are also fierce. No matter the team, if they are from North Carolina, N.C. State wants to win.
One of the most popular groups on campus is the Student Wolfpack Club, for the passionate NCSU athletic fan. Members of the Student Wolfpack Club have priority seating for football and basketball games. To increase the popularity of the lesser-known teams on campus, the Student Wolfpack Club distributes tickets based on points earned by going to other athletic events, such as tennis and swimming.
NC State is the oldest state university in the U.S.
Raleigh has the first state-owned art museum in the U.S.
NC is the nation’s top producer of furniture, textiles, and tobacco.
Student live in shacks constructed on the Brickyard during the Shack-A-Thon, a fund raiser run by Habitat for Humanity every fall.
The Krispy Kreme Challenge charity event is held in the winter. Students have an hour to run to the sugar hub from the Bell Tower on campus, eat 12 glazed donuts, and run back.
Most dorms are located in the Central Main Campus and have both single-sex and co-ed options (mostly the latter). About one-third of student live on campus, mostly in doubles, apartments, and suites, and they pay about $7,400 per academic year. There are significantly fewer dorm singles at NC State, although the college does offer special housing for international and disabled students.
When it comes to living on campus, NCSU offers numerous options to students:
While there are regular dorm rooms on campus, most residence halls also offer a suite set-up for freshmen. This is the case in the main dorms on campus, the tri-towers. The tri-towers consist of Bowen, Metcalf, and Carroll Halls, each between eight and ten stories high. Though mostly freshmen occupy these centrally located dorms, there are many sophomores and some juniors as well. These buildings have a 24-hour service desk and computer lab, which most students find essential when it comes to pulling all-nighters before exams.
Bragraw and Sullivan Halls are favored by sophomores who want a smaller suite with four rooms and a bathroom. Bragraw is the most popular for sophomores because of the convenience store (C-store, in campus slang) in the lobby, student lounges, volleyball court in the back, and its location right next door to the main dining hall. Other sophomores who choose to live off-campus move into Greek houses or off-campus apartments. College Inn is owned by the Wolfpack Club, an alumni booster organization, and is affiliated with the university. It is located across from main campus and is populated by athletes and girls chasing athletes.
NCSU, like many universities now, offers apartments to juniors and senior. The most popular of these is Wolf Village. Students love this option because they have all the perks of being on-campus, like being minutes away from class, while being more independent in an apartment. Like most apartments, Wolf Village contains single rooms and a washer/dryer in each apartment. It also has extras such as a computer lab, c-store, outdoor grills, and lounges. In the summer, Wolf Village is the site for many cookouts and outdoor parties.