Admissions Procedure

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. Please follow these steps to apply for admission to the Graduate Program:

  1. All applications must be submitted entirely online via the North Carolina State University Graduate School Online Application.
    Paper applications, or applications with any supporting paper documents, will not be considered for admission. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. The following supporting documents are required:
    • Transcripts: One unofficial transcript from all colleges and universities previously attended. Upload unofficial transcripts with your online application. If you are offered admission to our graduate program, you will be required to send official transcripts to the Graduate School. Applicants currently attending, or who have previously attended North Carolina State University, are not required to provide an NC State University transcript.
    • GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS Scores: All applicants must submit GRE scores. All International applicants must submit TOEFL or IELTS Scores. Scores must be sent electronically from ETS. The North Carolina State University Institution Code for Test Score Distribution is: 5496.
    • Statement of Purpose (A statement about your academic career, research, and career goals): Limit your Statement of Purpose to 500 words in length and upload it with your online application n in the Personal Statement section.
    • Three letters of recommendation: Recommendation letters should be written by people who know the prospective student's academic record and potential for graduate study in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Letters from professors in ECE or a closely related discipline who have supervised the student in a class or research are most relevant. Recommendations are submitted electronically by references you designate as part of the online application process.
  2. After you have submitted the online application to the North Carolina State University Graduate School, fill out the online Areas of Interest form through the GradWatch site. To login to GradWatch, you will need your 9-digit NCSU Student ID number, Birth Date, and Email Address you entered into ApplyYourself. Your application will not be complete without this supplemental document.

Additional information you may find helpful:

Admissions Requirements

The minimum requirements for admission to the graduate degree programs in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering are as follows:

  • A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering.
  • An overall GPA of at least 3.25.
  • Three letters of recommendation from people who know the prospective student's academic record and potential for graduate study in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.
  • All applicants must submit GRE scores. The GRE exam must have been taken within four years of the date of anticipated admission. Guideline minimal GRE percentile scores are 70 percentile verbal, 90 percentile quantitative, and 50 percentile analytical or writing. GRE scores for students who are graduates from NCSU may be waived.
  • All International applicants must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. The TOEFL or IELTS test date must be no older than two years (24 months) prior to the beginning of the requested entry term. In order to be eligible for admission to the Graduate School all non-US citizen applicants (i.e., non-resident aliens and permanent residents) must demonstrate proficiency in English at a level necessary to be successful in a graduate program at NC State University. All non-US citizen applicants (i.e., non-resident aliens and permanent residents) must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. The ECE Department also requires all US citizens whose principal language of instruction has not been English (for example, most applicants from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. TOEFL or IELTS scores will be waived if you are a citizen of a country where English is an official language and the language of instruction in higher education, or if you have successfully completed at least one year of full-time study in a degree program at a four-year US college or university. Please refer to The Graduate School Handbook for more information on English Proficiency Requirements for International Applicants.

    TOEFL requirements: The Graduate School requires a total score of at least 80 on the Internet-based Test (iBT); the ECE Department requires a total score of at least 90 on the Internet-based Test (iBT). The ECE Department requires the following minimum test scores for each section: Listening: 18, Reading: 18, Writing: 18, Speaking: 19, Total Score: 90.

    IELTS requirements: The ECE Department requires the following minimum test scores for each section: Listening: 6.5, Reading: 6.5, Writing: 6.5, Speaking: 7.0, Overall Band Score: 6.5.

  • Official GRE and TOEFL Scores must be sent electronically from ETS. The North Carolina State University Institution Code is: 5496.

Students who have a closely related degree, but do not have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering must satisfy the completion of the following courses or the equivalent:

  • Applicants for the Master's and PhD programs in Electrical Engineering must have completed Electrical Engineering courses equivalent to ECE 109, ECE 209, ECE 212, ECE 220, ECE 301, ECE 302 and ECE 303.
  • Applicants for the M. S. and PhD programs in computer engineering must have completed computer engineering courses equivalent to ECE 109, ECE 209, ECE 212, ECE 220, ECE 301, ECE 302, ECE 309 and CSC 226.
  • Applicants for all of the Master's and PhD programs in Electrical and Computer Engineering must have also completed the following courses or equivalent courses:
    • Three semesters of calculus
    • One semester of probability or statistics
    • Two semesters of physics and one semester of chemistry
  • Applicants for all of the Master's and PhD programs in Computer Network Engineering must have also completed the following additional courses or equivalent: (also see Computer Networking homepage):
    • Two semesters of an object-oriented language
    • Data structures
    • One semester of computer organization
    • One semester of signals and systems or discrete mathematics

For more information consult the ECE Graduate Handbook.

Application Deadlines

Semester US Citizen, Permanent Resident, and International Applicants
Fall December 15
Spring July 1
Summer No admissions
* US citizens and Permanent Residents: under extenuating circumstances, exceptions may be approved by the Department. *

The posted deadline is the last date that you may:
  • Pay the non-refundable application processing fee
  • Complete your online application in ApplyYourself and upload Statement of Purpose and Official Transcripts
Applications are not complete and will not be reviewed until The Graduate School and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department have received:
  • All required supporting documents, including letters of recomendation and GRE, TOEFL and IELTS Scores.
  • A completed Areas of Interest form filled out through the GradWatch website.

Information on Admissions Requirements can be found on the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department website and in The Graduate School Handbook.

If you have applied after the deadline in error and want to request to move your application to the following semester, please contact the Graduate School Admissions Office at graduate_applications@ncsu.edu.

Since departmental funding is offered to the most qualified students at the earliest possible date, applicants are encouraged to complete the online application and submit all supporting documents prior to the application deadlines noted above.

Review Completion

Your application will not be reviewed until all supporting documents have been received and The Graduate School has a complete application.

You can check your application status on ApplyYourself. The status of each supporting document will update to Complete as it is received by The Graduate School. You will not be able to see if your Areas of Interest form has been completed in ApplyYourself. You will need to check the status of your Areas of Interest form in GradWatch.

Once the department makes an admission decision, The Graduate School will be notified and will make the final decision on your admission. The Graduate School will contact you with the admissions decision.

(See Also University deadlines in Graduate Administration Handbook) DEPARTMENT APPLICATION DEADLINES SUPERCEDE UNIVERSITY OR ENGINEERING ON-LINE DEADLINES for the ECE degree programs.

Application Status

Due to the high number of applications, we cannot respond to inquiries seeking confirmation of receipt of materials. December, January, and February are particularly busy months and we are processing many hundreds of applications and materials. Your patience during this process is appreciated.

You will receive a computer generated email message when your application has been received by The Graduate School. This signifies that The Graduate School has received your application and application processing fee, and has forwarded your application to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

To check your application status, please check the NCSU Online Application website.