Apply to NC State University

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. The ECE Department offers PhD and Master’s degrees as well as Certificate programs. Review the Graduate Degrees webpage for information and details on our programs. For further information and additional commonly asked questions refer to the ECE Admissions Frequently Asked Questions, the Graduate School Admissions Frequently Asked Questions, and the Graduate School International Admissions Frequently Asked Questions.

Admission Semester Deadline to Apply Deadline to Accept Offer of Admission
Fall December 15 June 15
Spring July 1 November 15
Summer No admissions
* Note: The ECE Department does not follow the Graduate School Priority Deadline schedule.
Refer to the above dates for ECE Department application deadlines. *

The ECE Department accepts applications from US Citizens, Permanent Residents, and International Applicants in both Fall and Spring semesters. In some circumstances, we may make exceptions to these deadlines and accept late applications from US Citizens and Permanent Residents. Engineering Online applicants are not required to follow these deadlines or pay the Advanced Enrollment Deposit.

Application Requirements and Submission

Online Application:

The application must be submitted online through the North Carolina State University Graduate School Online Application.

Supplemental Documents:

Supplemental documents must be submitted electronically. Do not send hard copy documents to the ECE Department or to the Graduate School. The following supplemental documents are required:

Transcript:
Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering or a closely related field. The ECE Department prefers that applicants have an undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or higher. The Graduate School requires applicants to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Applicants must upload one transcript from each college and university they have attended. Each transcript must include all courses completed and the degrees and dates awarded, if applicable. Applicants who have attended North Carolina State University are not required to provide an NC State transcript.

Statement of Purpose:
A Statement about the applicant’s academic career, research, and career goals should not exceed 500 words in length. Upload the statement in the Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose section of the online application.

Letters of Recommendation:
Three letters of recommendation are required. Recommendation letters should be written by people who know the applicant's academic record and potential for graduate study. The most relevant letters will be from professors in Electrical and Computer Engineering, or a closely related field, who have supervised the applicant in a class or research. In the online application the applicant will designate letter writers who will then submit the letters to the Graduate School electronically.

GRE General Exam Scores:
All applicants must submit general GRE scores. The GRE test must have been taken within four years of the date of anticipated admission. GRE scores may be waived for applicants who are North Carolina State University students. Scores must be sent electronically from ETS. The North Carolina State University Institution Code for Test Score Distribution is: 5496.

GRE General Test Section Suggested Minimum % Scores
Verbal Reasoning 70%
Quantitative Reasoning 90%
Analytical Writing 50%

Proof of English Language Proficiency:
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.

The English proficiency requirement can be met in one of the following ways:

  1. Provide Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. The TOEFL test must have been taken within two years of the date of anticipated admission. Scores must be sent electronically from ETS. The North Carolina State University Institution Code for Test Score Distribution is: 5496.
  2. TOEFL Test Section Graduate School Required Minimum Scores Internet-based Test (IBT) ECE Department Required Minimum Scores Internet-based Test (IBT)
    Listening 18 points 18 points
    Reading 18 points 18 points
    Writing 18 points 18 points
    Speaking 18 points-for admission 19 points-for admission
    23 points – for a Teaching Assistant (TA) appointment
    where the TA has direct verbal interactions with students
    26 points – for a Teaching Assistant (TA) appointment
    where the TA presents lectures in the class or laboratory
    Total Score 80 points 90 points
    NOTE: The current computer-based (CBT) and paper-based (PBT) versions of the TOEFL test will be given until the internet-based (iBT) version is implemented in a particular location. The computer-based TOEFL overall score must be 213 or higher. At least three sections must have scores of at least 17, and no section score may be below 13. The paper-based TOEFL overall score must be 550 or higher. At least two sections must have scores of at least 50, and no section score may below 45.

  3. Provide International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores. The IELTS test must have been taken within two years of the date of anticipated admission.
  4. IELTS Test Section Graduate School Required Minimum Scores ECE Department Required Minimum Scores
    Listening 6.5 points 6.5 points
    Reading 6.5 points 6.5 points
    Writing 6.5 points 7.0 points
    Speaking 6.5 points 7.0 points
    7.0 points – for a Teaching Assistant (TA) appointment
    Total Score 6.5 points 6.5 points

  5. The TOEFL and IELTS tests will be waived if the applicant is a citizen of a country where English is an official language and the language of instruction in higher education.
  6. The TOEFL and IELTS tests will be waived if the applicant has successfully completed at least one year of full-time study in a degree program at a four-year US college or University.

  7. Areas of Interest Form:
    After the online application and application processing fee have been submitted to the Graduate School, login to GradWatch to fill out the Areas of Interest form. Applicants will login with the 9-digit NCSU Student ID Number or 6-digit Apply Yourself ID, Birth Date and Email Address entered into the online application. After the applicant submits the online application, it may take up to three business days before they will be able to log into GradWatch.

    Pre-Requisite Courses

    Applicants to the Master's and PhD programs who have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering must have taken the following pre-requisite courses:

    • Three semesters of Calculus
    • One semester of Probability or Statistics
    • Two semesters of Physics and one semester of Chemistry
    Applicants to the Master's and PhD programs who do not have a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering, but have a closely related degree from an accredited college or university, must have taken the following pre-requisite courses: Applicants to the Master's program in Computer Networking must have taken the following additional pre-requisite 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

    Financial Support and Funding Opportunities

    All applicants are considered for financial support through Departmental and University Fellowships, Teaching Assistant appointments and Research Assistant appointments. For more information visit the Graduate School Financial Support webpage.

    Application Status

    Due to the high number of applications we receive, the ECE Department cannot respond to inquiries requesting 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 Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

    Applicants may check the application status through the North Carolina State University Graduate School Online Application. Login using the application password and the personal identification number (PIN) received through email when the application account was created. Applicants will see the application status and the admission decision status, if it is available.

    The status of each supplemental 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 suplemental 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 via email with the admissions decision. Applicants should receive an admissions decision within 3-5 months of the application deadline.

    Deadline to Accept, Decline or Defer the Offer of Admission

    The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department 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 Deadline to Accept Offer of Admission
    Fall June 15
    Spring November 15
    Summer June 15
    *Note: Engineering Online applicants are not required to follow these deadlines or pay the Advanced Enrollment Deposit.*

    To accept the offer of admission, applicants must enter an admission decision and pay an Advanced Enrollment Deposit of $300. To enter an admission decision, complete the enrollment form linked from the Graduate School’s Final admissions offer letter, once it is available. The advanced enrollment deposit will be credited toward the first semester's tuition (or toward student fees, if the student has a departmental funding award). 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.

    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 Office at 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 an 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.