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 through 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 each college and university previously attended. Upload unofficial transcripts with the online application. Applicants who are offered admission to the graduate program 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 the Statement of Purpose to 500 words in length and upload it with the online application 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 designated by the applicant in the.
  2. Submit the online application to the North Carolina State University Graduate School, then fill out the online Areas of Interest form through the GradWatch website. Login to GradWatch with the 9-digit NCSU Student ID number, Birth Date, and Email Address entered into the online application. It may take up to 3 business days before GradWatch will recognize your student ID number and allow you to login. The application will not be complete without this supplemental document.

Additional information helpful to applicants:

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. 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 Master'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 the Master's and PhD programs in Electrical and Computer Engineering must also have 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 the Master's program in Computer Networking must have completed the following courses or equivalent courses. Refer to the Computer Networking website for more information.
    • Two semesters of an object-oriented language
    • Data structures
    • One semester of computer organization
    • One semester of signals and systems or discrete mathematics

Application Deadlines

Semester US Citizen, Permanent Resident, and International Applicants
Fall December 15
Spring July 1
Summer No admissions
* US citizens and Permanent Residents: in some circumstances, The ECE Department may make exceptions to these deadlines and accept late applications. *
Note: The ECE Department does not follow the Graduate School Priority Deadline Schedule. Refer to the above dates for ECE Department application deadlines.

The posted deadline is the last date that applicants may:
  • Complete the online application and upload a Statement of Purpose and Official Transcripts
  • Pay the non-refundable application processing fee
Applications are not complete and will not be reviewed until the Graduate School and the 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.

Application Status

Due to the high number of applications received, the ECE Department cannot respond to inquiries seeking confirmation of receipt of materials or status update requests. Patience during the admissions process is appreciated.

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

Applicants may check the application status, through the North Carolina State University Graduate School Online Application.

Login using the personal identification number (PIN) and password received through email when the applicant account was created. Applicants will see the application status and the admission decision status, if it is available.

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

If the application status is Incomplete but all supplemental materials have been properly submitted and the status of each supplemental document is Complete, the review process will not be affected. The application is currently under review.

Application Review and Admissions Decision

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

Once the department makes an admission recommendation, the Graduate School will be notified and will make the final admissions decision. The Graduate School will contact applicants with the admissions decision. Applicants should receive an admissions decision within 3-5 months of the application deadline.

Deadline to Accept or Decline Offer of Admission

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at North Carolina State University requires students admitted to one of the graduate programs to indicate their intention to enroll and Accept or Decline their offer of admission by the following deadlines:

Admission Semester Indicate intention to enroll
Fall no later than June 15
Spring no later than November 15

To accept the offer of admission, applicants must enter an admission decision and pay an Advanced Enrollment Deposit of $300, which will be credited toward the first semester's tuition (or toward student fees, for students who have departmental funding awards). The deposit is non-refundable, and may be deferred if the student defers enrollment to a later term. However, the ECE Department will not approve a deferral request unless the student has paid the advanced enrollment deposit and accepted the offer of admission by the deadline stated above.

Note: Engineering Online applicants are not required to follow these deadlines or pay the Advanced Enrollment Deposit.

The Graduate School further explains the deposit and process of accepting admission in the admission offer letter. Related questions should be directed to the appropriate Graduate School contact provided in that letter.

Mail official transcripts to the Graduate School Admissions officeat this mailing address:

Graduate School Admissions Office
North Carolina State University
Campus Box 7102 / 1000 Main Campus Drive
Raleigh, NC 27695 USA

International applicants will receive an offer letter from the Graduate School that includes instructions on how to complete and submit a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) or Visa Clearance Form (VCF) to the Graduate School. Completed CFR and VCF forms should be uploaded with any supporting documents through the Online Application. Once the Graduate School receives and approves the CFR form and/or VCF form, applicants will be granted Full Admission and will be issued a Final admission offer letter. Within this letter there will be a link through which applicants can indicate their intention to enroll and Accept or Decline their offer of admission. Applicants should direct further questions about the CFR form, VCF form or I-20 to the Graduate School International Admissions Specialist.

To decline the offer of admission, applicants must complete the enrollment form linked from the admission offer letter or email the ECE Graduate Admissions staff at eceadmissions@ncsu.edu to explain the decision to decline.

To request to defer the offer of admission to a future semester, applicants must complete the enrollment form linked from the admission offer letter and officially accept the offer of admission and pay the $300 Advanced Enrollment Deposit by the June 15 or November 15 deadline before the ECE Department can consider the applicant’s request to defer. To request to defer, applicants must email eceadmissions@ncsu.edu and include their full name, 9-digit NCSU Student ID Number, the program and semester they were admitted to, the semester they would like to defer to, and a detailed explanation of the reasons for requesting a deferral.