A. Receiving the Application
All applicants must submit the online NC State University Graduate School Application Form, including the statement of purpose, the residency statement (if necessary for tuition purposes), and the optional statement of contribution to diversity. 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 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)
- If you are currently enrolled in a college or university, you must submit one official copy of your final transcript to the Graduate School. 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, 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 previously 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;
- A list of courses in progress if enrolled as a Post-Baccalaureate Studies (PBS) student at NC State;
- GRE or other standardized test scores, statements of purpose, portfolios or other work samples, depending on requirements of particular program; and
- TOEFL scores, where applicable (see Section 2.3 for further information).
- 3. Transcript Requirements
- The University requires that official copies of 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 cannot provide the required transcript and degree statement at that time. Also, applicants are sometimes admitted with unofficial transcript(s). Students are required to provide the Graduate School with official copies of their latest transcript(s) from all universities attended, 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, though a three-month grace period is typically granted.
- 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.
- 1. U.S. Applications
- When the Graduate School receives the on-line application, uploaded goal statement, 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. Other required supporting documents are matched to the application, added to the on-line record by the Graduate School, and made available to the program of interest as they are received, including GRE and TOEFL scores, official transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Any additional paper documents mailed to the Graduate School as a part of the application package are forwarded to the program of interest when received.
- 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 records the committee's decision on the Recommendation of Admission to Graduate School form and submits it to the Graduate School with an original signature.
- In most cases, the Graduate School accepts departmental recommendations and sends letters of admission to candidates. (Sample letters are included in the Appendix.) 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 a Visa Clearance Form (VCF) directly to the Graduate School. Once the CFR and VCF are approved, the applicant will receive a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or DS-2019) and a formal admission letter. (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:
|≥3.000||≥3.000 or none||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|
|<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|
|<2.500||<3.800||Recommendation is normally denied and provisional admission, PBS, or graduate certificate status suggested.|
When programs recommend provisional admission, the Graduate School normally takes the following actions:
|≥2.750||≥3.000 or none||Accept recommendation|
|<3.200 or none||Accept recommendation if an acceptable statement of justification is provided on the form.|
|<3.500 or none||Accept recommendation if a separate letter containing explicit and strong justification is provided.|
|<2.250||<3.800 or none||Recommendation is normally denied and PBS (or graduate certificate status) suggested.|
Guidelines for departmental letters of justification
Admissions Committees should include the following information about the students in the letter of justification:
- GPA in the major;
- GPA in the last two years of undergraduate work;
- GPA in previous graduate work;
- GRE scores;
- a summary of the applicant's references; and
- 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.