2.1 Applications

A. Receiving the Application
B. Waiving Application Fee
C. Processing Applications
D. Graduate School Guidelines for Departmental Recommendations
E. Reapplication

A. Receiving the Application
All applicants must submit the online NC State University Graduate School Application Form, including the statement of purpose, the NC residency form (if necessary for tuition purposes). Recommendation providers who are identified by the applicant during the online application process also submit references online. An unofficial transcript from each college or university previously attended should be uploaded. The Graduate School encourages applicants to pay all fees by credit card, although checks and money orders are also acceptable.

  • 1. Conditions of Admission (the following conditions apply to admissions only and do not influence eligibility for the Graduate Student Support Plan)
  • You must submit one official transcript, from all previously attended colleges and universities, to the Graduate School, once you are recommended for admission. If you are currently enrolled, you may submit the incomplete official transcript at this time. Then, you will need to submit the complete official transcript by the end of your first semester enrollment at NC State. This transcript must show that all work has been completed. 

  • Final acceptance at NC State is contingent upon completion of any degree (bachelors or masters) listed on your electronic application. It is your responsibility to maintain a level of academic performance that meets university and program admission standards. Poor performance during your last semester(s) could jeopardize your admission. Likewise, students currently enrolled in Post Baccalaureate Studies (PBS) or who request an admissions deferral and take PBS coursework must also maintain a level of academic performance that meets the university's and program's admission standards. Failure to comply with these conditions could, at the discretion of the program and/or Graduate School, be grounds for changing the admission status.

  • 2. Required Documents
  • Applications are not complete until the Graduate School receives the following supporting documents:

    • Non-refundable application processing fee of $75.00 (US) for U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents or $85.00 (US) for Non-Resident Aliens (Internationals);
    • One unofficial transcript from all colleges and universities attended; (NOTE: Applicants currently attending, or who have previously attended NC State, are not required to provide an NC State transcript.)
    • Three recommendations from people who know the prospective student's academic record and potential for graduate study;
    • On-line North Carolina Residency Form if claiming NC residence for tuition purposes;
    • Official GRE or other standardized test scores, statements of purpose, portfolios or other work samples, depending on requirements of particular program; and
    • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores, where applicable (see Section 2.3 for further information).
  • 3. Transcript Requirements
  • Legible, unofficial copies of transcripts should be uploaded to the application for review purposes. Upon recommendation of admission, the University requires that official transcripts of all prior course work be on file in the student's permanent record at NC State. The transcript(s) must include a statement of any degree(s) awarded. Some applicants who are enrolled in a degree program at the time they apply to the Graduate School can only provide an incomplete official transcript at  the time of admission recommendation. For these students, they will be required to provide the Graduate School with the official, complete transcript(s), including statements of all degrees awarded, no later than the last day of classes of the first semester they are enrolled. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of the student's registration for the next semester and termination of their graduate program at NC State.

  • 4. Deadlines for Applications
  • The Graduate School must receive the application and all supporting documents no later than the deadlines specified by the Graduate School and the program. Applicants are responsible for any earlier deadlines established by the graduate program(s) to which the prospective student is applying.

  • 5. Length of application validity
  • An application is valid for 12 months from the date it was submitted by the applicant.
  • 6. Number of programs for which applicant can be considered
  • An applicant can apply for admission to only one graduate program per application. An applicant may request multiple departments to evaluate the application by paying an additional application fee for each department that will review the application.

B. Waiving the Application Fee
The Graduate School may, in exceptional circumstances, waive the fee required to accompany a prospective student's application. Approval of any request to waive the application fee will be based on (1) financial need and (2) underrepresented status or diversity within a particular graduate program.

C. Processing Applications

  • 1. U.S. Applications
  • When the Graduate School receives the on-line application and the processing fee, an admission record is created for the applicant and made available to the program of interest. If the applicant claims North Carolina residency for tuition purposes, a link to the required residency form will become available upon submission of the application. All supporting documents should be uploaded to the application prior to submission, and cannot be updated after submission. Official GRE and TOEFL or IELTS scores, official transcripts, and online letters of recommendation are matched to the application upon receipt. Paper documents should not be mailed to the Graduate School.

  • The Director of Graduate Programs (DGP) reviews the application materials to ensure they are complete and request any missing materials from the applicant. The DGP and the graduate program's admissions committee review the completed files of all applicants in accordance with the Graduate School's guidelines for final admission or denial decisions. The DGP then submits their decision to the Graduate School for review and approval.

  • In most cases, the Graduate School accepts departmental recommendations and posts letters of admission to candidates. When the Graduate School declines the recommendation for admission, the program has the option of writing further recommendation letters to the Graduate School justifying admission. The Graduate School makes the final decision.

  • 2. International Applications
  • Before an international applicant's admission can be finalized, he/she will need to submit a completed Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) and/or a Visa Clearance Form (VCF) directly to the Graduate School. Once the CFR and/or VCF are approved, the applicant must accept the offer of admission before a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or DS-2019) will be created. (See Section 2.4 for detailed information on International Applications.

D. Graduate School Guidelines for Departmental Recommendations
The Graduate School adheres to certain guidelines when reviewing departmental recommendations for admission. When programs recommend full admission, the Graduate School normally takes the following actions:

UGPA* GGPA** Action
≥3.000 ≥3.000 or none Accept recommendation
2.750-2.999 ≥3.200 Accept recommendation
<3.200 or none Accept recommendation if GPA in undergraduate major is ≥3.000 or acceptable statement of justification is provided on the form
2.500-2.749 ≥3.500 Accept recommendation
<3.500 or none Accept recommendation if GPA in undergraduate major is ≥3.000 and an acceptable letter of justification is provided on the form or a separate letter containing explicit and strong justification is provided
2.100-2.499 ≥3.800 Accept recommendation
<2.500 <3.800 Recommendation is normally denied and provisional admission, PBS, or graduate certificate status suggested.

*Undergraduate GPA
**Graduate GPA. The GPA for at least nine (9) hours of graduate-level coursework taken in PBS or graduate certificate status at NC State may be substituted for the GGPA.

When programs recommend provisional admission, the Graduate School normally takes the following actions:

UGPA* GGPA** Action
≥2.750 ≥3.000 or none Accept recommendation
2.500-2.749 ≥3.200 Accept recommendation
<3.200 or none Accept recommendation if an acceptable statement of justification is provided on the form.
2.250-2.499 ≥3.500 Accept recommendation
<3.500 or none Accept recommendation if a separate letter containing explicit and strong justification is provided.
2.000-2.250 ≥3.800 Accept recommendation
<2.250 <3.800 or none Recommendation is normally denied and PBS (or graduate certificate status) suggested.

*Undergraduate GPA
**Graduate GPA. The GPA for at least nine (9) hours of graduate-level coursework taken in PBS or graduate certificate status at NC State may be substituted for the GGPA.

Guidelines for departmental letters of justification
Admissions Committees should include the following information about the students in the letter of justification:

  1. GPA in the major;
  2. GPA in the last two years of undergraduate work;
  3. GPA in previous graduate work;
  4. GRE scores;
  5. a summary of the applicant's references; and
  6. performance on PBS or graduate certificate courses (if applicable).

DGPs should also provide qualitative assessments of the student's intangible characteristics (i.e. motivation, perseverance) that are important for the student's academic success in graduate school.

E. Reapplication
Students denied admission into a graduate program may be reconsidered for admission at a later time upon submission of a new application and supporting materials.