Common Reading Program

Nominate a Book

The purpose of the Common Reading Program is to create a common educational and interactive experience for incoming undergraduate students, introducing them to NC State institutional and academic values and expectations, including engagement as members of this community of scholars. The Common Reading Program is about learning about the topic of the book, considering all of the various dimensions and implications of that subject and engaging with fellow students, faculty and even the book’s author(s) through programs and activities that are designed to make the book meaningful for each reader. Ultimately, the Common Reading Program aspires to inspire students to take what they have learned from the reading and accompanying experiences and make the world better in some way.

The Common Reading Selection Committee invites the NC State community to recommend fiction and nonfiction texts to be considered as the common reading for next Fall’s incoming undergraduate students.

The goals of the Common Reading Program are:

  • to provide a shared intellectual experience that will contribute to a sense of community by increasing student-to-student and student-to-instructor interactions,
  • to develop an environment of intellectual engagement, both inside and outside the traditional classroom,
  • to create a foundation for students to explore values and ethics
  • to raise awareness and promote diversity and inclusion
  • to encourage academic discourse, critical thinking, and an exchange of ideas
  • to provide an introduction to the expectations of higher education.

Previous selections have introduced students, staff, and faculty to the works and perspectives of authors Mitch Albom, Da Chen, Greg Mortenson, Sheryl WuDunn, Rebecca Skloot, Rye Barcott, Bryan Stevenson and Ta-Nehisi Coates. These authors engaged our campus through speeches focusing on the informative and inspiring issues raised in each text. The themes from the selected text serve as the basis for the keynote address at Convocation during Wolfpack Welcome Week.

The current criteria used by the Common Reading Selection Committee to select texts are outlined below. The criteria are weighted and the weights can also be seen in the list.

 Selection Criteria for the Committee


Likelihood that students will read this book 5
Literary quality 3
Potential for engaging students (in text-inspired activity) 5
Relevance to first-year students 3
Relevance to current society 3
Relevance to local community 3
Connection to institutional initiatives,strategic plan, and priorities
(e.g., Critical and Creative Thinking)
Interdisciplinarity  5
Accurate, respectful portrayals of diverse cultures  4
Potential to spark passionate discussion  3
Likelihood students will not have read     2.5

Use the links above to read more about this university effort, and consider submitting a book for the Committee to review.

Perhaps the text you recommend will be our University’s next selection and thank you for participating!

Online Book Nomination Form

NOTE: The deadline to submit a nomination for consideration in 2019 has passed; however, the deadline for submitting nominations for the 2020 Selection is May 31, 2019. Any nominations made after this date will be considered for the 2021 selection cycle.