Women's enrollment continued to increase during the 1903-1904 academic year. Evelyn Byrd Lawrence of Raleigh took a course in architecture, Ivey Roberts of Raleigh took a course in drawing, and Frances Claire Stainback took courses in chemistry and English. This was also the first year that women were listed as summer school students, and more than 200 women attended.
Three undergraduate specialties were offered in the Civil Engineering degree program: General Civil Engineering, Highway Engineering, and Architectural Engineering.
Architectural engineering program and students were transferred to the new Architectural Engineering Department. The Civil Engineering Department instead offered special undergraduate specialties in General Civil Engineering, Highway Engineering, and Construction Engineering.
The Works Progress Administration commissioned James A. McLean to create four murals depicting agriculture, science, architecture, and engineering. After complaints and ridicule, the murals were removed from display, three were destroyed, and one was rediscovered years later in the Raleigh Little Theater.
The Architecture Library opened as the first branch library, with Grace Sims Dalton as the first librarian. This was part of Library Director Harlan Brown’s goal to eliminate autonomous departmental libraries in favor of centrally controlled branch libraries (The Architecture Library was renamed the Harrye B. Lyons Design Library in 1968).
The School of Design is established, with the Division of Architecture and Landscape Design incorporated into the curriculum. Henry Kamphoefner from the University of Oklahoma becomes the first dean of the school (he serves in the position until 1973).
Twenty-two women are listed on the faculty, most at the instructor or laboratory technician level. Departments with more than one female member include English (six), Statistics (three), Textiles (three), and Modern Languages (two). Women are also on the faculty in Architecture, Agricultural Economics, Mathematics, Physics, Social Studies, Chemistry, Engineering, Research, and Agronomy.
Eduardo Catalano (1917-2010) of Argentina came to NC State as the head of the Department of Architecture in the College of Design. On the faculty here until 1956, Catalano later taught at MIT, retiring in 1995, His design achievements included construction of his own house in Raleigh (named House of the Decade by "House and Home" magazine in 1955), the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, and the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. In 2007 NC State awarded him an honorary doctorate and in 2017 held a symposium on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
The Department of Landscape Architecture receives accreditation from the American Society of Landscape Architects, becoming the second to do so in the South, and one of only ten accredited schools in the U.S.
Curt Fentress graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture. His firm has designed such buildings as the Denver International Airport passenger terminal, Incheon International Airport in South Korea, Arraya Tower in Kuwait City, National Museum of the Marine Corps, and Terminal 2 at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. He became a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
Philip Freelon graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture degree. Signature buildings his firm has designed include the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in Charlotte, the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture in Baltimore, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, DC. In 2011 he was appointed to the U. S. Commission of Fine Arts.
The commencement speaker was Philip G. Freelon, NC State alumnus and founder, and president of the Freelon Group, an award-winning architectural firm that specializes in higher education, science and technology, and cultural institution projects. Jessica Ekstrom gave the Address to Fellow Graduates. Honorary degrees were awarded to Indra K. Nooyi (Doctor of Humane Letters) and Michael Wingfield (Doctor of Sciences).
Immediately after dedication, the James B. Hunt Jr. Library won the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association Building Award. It later garnered many additional prestigious awards and was featured in Architecture magazine. Time magazine called it the "library of the future."
The commencement speaker was Virginia M. "Ginni" Rometty, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Office of IBM. She also received an honorary Doctor of Sciences. Craig Dykers, founding partner of architectural firm Snohetta, received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts. The James B. Hunt Library was designed by Snohetta.
The commencement speaker was Dr. William L. Roper, Interim President of the UNC System. Dr. Roper previously served as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts was granted to Curtis Worth Fentress, a world-renowned designer of iconic public architecture.