North Carolina State University

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Updated August 6, 2020

First established in 1887, North Carolina State University initially entered the statewide system as a segregated institution focused on training white males on military tactics, agricultural science, and mechanical arts. Still staying true to its polytechnic roots, NC State is now a major public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research institution. NCSU has a diverse student body of over 25,100 undergraduates and 9,500 post-graduates, making it the Carolinas' largest higher learning provider. North Carolina State University is headquartered on a vast 2,110-acre urban campus in the state's capital hub of Raleigh within the thriving Research Triangle, but more and more courses are being held online.

Thanks to its illustrious history of academic excellence, NC State has been ranked as America's 95th best university, 43rd top public school, 46th best value college, and 18th top university for military veterans by the U.S. News and World Report. Even more importantly, NCSU was honored for having the 9th best online MBA, 7th best online computer science degrees, and 35th top online graduate education programs nationwide. The Wall Street Journal recognized NC State among the top 25 colleges picked by recruiters. Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine rated NCSU 12th in the United States for affordability. On a global scale, the ARWU honored North Carolina State University among the world's top 200 universities.

North Carolina State University Accreditation Details

In 2014, NC State was granted another 10 years of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), one of the recognized regional accrediting bodies of the U.S. Department of Education. Several academic divisions at North Carolina State University have also received nods from discipline-specific agencies. For instance, business degrees are honored with approval from the elite Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Computer science programs meet the gold standards of excellence from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Teaching degrees are also accredited through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

North Carolina State University Application Requirements

North Carolina State has an acceptance rate of just 46 percent, so you'll need to step up your game and fulfill admissions criteria to attend this selective university. Graduate students seeking to pursue an online master's program must already hold a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited post-secondary institution or equivalent college abroad. Incoming master's students should have maintained a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or better in the final two years of undergraduate studies. No minimum GRE scores are posted, but admitted applicants usually fall in the top 80th percentile. Students without U.S. citizenship must score at least 85 on the Internet-based TOEFL test to showcase their proficiency of English.

Before the March 1st deadline, interested students should submit their completed admissions application to North Carolina State University with the following attachments:

  • Official or unofficial undergraduate transcripts
  • Graduate entrance exam scores (GRE or GMAT)
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic sources
  • TOEFL scores (international students only)
  • A two to three-page personal goals statement
  • Payment for the $75 non-refundable application fee

Tuition and Financial Aid

NC State has been named the #4 best value among U.S. public colleges by the prestigious Princeton Review, so tuition is relatively affordable. Annually, North Carolina residents pursuing an online master's degree full-time can expect to pay $10,224. Out-of-state graduate students enrolling full-time in an online master's program must afford a higher tuition rate at $24,323 per academic year. Graduate learners pursuing specialized degrees in business, finance, industrial design, landscape architecture, and several other fields will have extra fees to cover. All online master's-level students should budget at least $850 for textbooks, $3,721 for supplies, and $152 for loan fees every academic year.

To make their degrees cheaper, North Carolina State University automatically considers incoming students enrolling in degree-seeking programs for financial aid with their FAFSA form. Direct loans, Perkins loans, PLUS loans, short-term loans, and private/alternative loans are accepted, but students should take borrowing seriously to curb debt burden. Graduate assistantship are offered for online learners living near campus. Students with significant financial need may be eligible for the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, ELS Grant, UNC Need-Based Grant, or LEAP Grant. Scholarships at NC State are also numerous, such as the Academic Enhancement Scholarship, NCSU Tuition Assistance Scholarship, Auxiliary Fund General Scholarship, Park Scholarship, and Goodnight Scholars Program.

Online Degrees Available

Through the NC State Distance Education division, students can maximize their scheduling flexibility by receiving the same high-quality, accredited education in an online format. At this time, North Carolina State University allows students to select from one bachelor's degree, 46 master's degrees, one doctoral degree, and 36 certificate programs online. The programs are designed for busy working students who can't attend campus-based classes due to their work schedule, family obligations, or residence. Remote proctoring is available for students living outside the 50-mile radius of an NC State campus. A few of the noteworthy online master's programs include the:

Jenkins Online MBA

Taught using mainly asynchronous sessions, the Jenkins Online MBA program at NC State is structured for practicing business professionals looking to further develop their strategic acumen for advancing into mid to upper-level leadership roles. The innovative AACSB-accredited curriculum requires the completion of at least 39 credits to fully understand today's business processes. Students will actively participate with their peers in group assignments, class projects, discussion boards, and PowerPoint presentations. One three-day immersion seminar will be required for face-to-face professional networking in Raleigh.

M.S. in Computer Networking

Available to U.S. residents and military personnel overseas, the M.S. in Computer Networking program is delivered 100 percent online with no campus attendance by NC State. Students further develop their basic knowledge of computer systems to prepare for rewarding careers in industrial research, network development, computer design, network administration, and more. The non-thesis program requires the completion of 31 credit hours of coursework ranging from Internet protocols to algorithm analysis and performance modeling. There are four tracks offered to specialize in Networking Design, Networking Hardware, Networking Software, or Networking Services.

M.Ed. in Science Education

As a fully online program, the M.Ed. in Science Education is intended for secondary teachers in grades 6-12 or community college instructors who have specialized their pedagogical skills in teaching young bright minds about science. It's designed to support science educators who are applying for National Board Certification or wishing to assume teacher leadership roles. Within the 36-credit advanced curriculum, teachers will fine-tune their classroom strategies, expand their knowledge on instructional technologies, and learn advanced science education methods. North Carolina State University also offers similar programs leading to a M.Ed. in Agriculture Education or M.Ed. in Technology Education online.

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