Graduate Program Application Procedure
Important notes for applicants
Transcripts or academic record
Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Scores
TOEFL or IELTS scores
Statement of Purpose
Letters of Recommendation
Deferral of Enrollment
Current NC State Students Wishing to Transfer to Computer Science
Consideration for Financial Aid
The Computer Science department wishes to attract outstanding applicants. Before beginning the application process, we ask that you note several items intended to improve your overall experience.
- Our application process is entirely electronic; the department does not accept paper documents.
- Recommendations must be submitted by providers via the electronic recommendation system prior to submission of the application.
- Applicants must order electronic reporting of test results from ETS. Do not upload copies of test reports.
- Transcripts (except N.C. State transcripts) must be uploaded by the applicant and conform to the department's specifications.
- Documents not required by the department, the Graduate School, or the university for admissions purposes should not be uploaded.
Applicants for graduate study are expected to be prepared for successful graduate study at the time of admission, with a strong background in math and computer science. The following background is typical:
- two- or three-semester calculus sequence (at NC State: MA141, MA241, MA242 )
- linear algebra ( MA305 or MA405 )
- probability and statistics ( ST370 or MA421 )
- object-oriented programming ( CSC116 and CSC216 )
- data structures ( CSC316 )
- computer organization and assembly language ( CSC236 )
- operating systems ( CSC246 )
- discrete math ( CSC226 )
- algorithms or automata theory ( CSC333 )
Applications are submitted electronically to the Graduate School. Additionally, the department requires that supplemental information be submitted by the applicant using a separate online system called GradWatch.
Applications are not processed until all of the following items have been received:
- Graduate School online application
- Transcripts or academic record
- GRE General test report (from ETS)
- TOEFL or IELTS report (from ETS/IELTS)
- Statement of Purpose
- Curriculum vitæ or resume (optional, but highly recommended)
- Letters of Recommendation
- Supplemental information (areas of interest, and CGPA)
The online application system utilizes abbreviations and codes to designate the graduate degree programs offered. To specify our non-thesis masters (MCS) or distance education masters (MCS-DE), select “Computer Science - MR” or “Computer Science - Distance Track - MR” respectively from the dropdown menu under “Desired Program.” If choosing one of our computer networking programs (traditional classroom or distance education), be certain the program you select from the dropdown menu correctly reflects your departmental choice (“Computer Networking - Computer Sci - MS” or “Computer Networking - Computer Sci Distance Track - MS”).
Applicants should upload an acceptable electronic copy of a scanned transcript or academic record for each post-secondary school listed in the educational history section of the online application.
Transcripts must comply with the department's Transcript Specifications and Instructions for Uploading. This includes examples of academic records that will not be accepted. The purpose of these instructions is that it must be possible to read and verify the contents of transcripts.
Applicants listing NC State University on their education history do not need to upload a NCSU transcript themselves; this will be done for them by the Graduate School, usually within a week after submission of the application.
Note: The Graduate School requires the GPA (grade point average) of US applicants to be at least 3.0 to be considered for admission, unless there are extenuating circumstances.[Top]
Applicants are requested to write a statement of purpose up to 500 words in length, addressing the following points:
- Highlights of your qualifications
- Reasons for seeking a graduate degree in Computer Science
- Reasons for applying to N.C. State
Upload your statement of purpose using the “Personal Statement” upload button in the online application.
A curriculum vitæ or CV is a convenient summary of your accomplishments. We encourage you to upload a two-page CV, along with other application materials, as this can be very helpful in evaluating an applicant. The contents of the CV often include:
- degrees earned (institution, major, date, GPA)
- honors/awards received
- research experience and publications
- significant projects
Three recommendations are required. These should be prepared by persons qualified to evaluate the applicant's potential to succeed in graduate studies in Computer Science. Letters from professors in Computer Science or a closely related discipline who have supervised the student in a class or research are the most relevant.
Recommendations are submitted electronically by references you designate as part of the online application process. The Online Recommendation Submission Center and the applicant-managed Recommendation Provider List (which has both request and reminder functions), make it possible to be sure your references submit their recommendations before you submit your application.
All applicants to Computer Science graduate programs are asked to provide the following supplemental information. The instructions for providing this supplemental information, using a system called GradWatch, will be provided by email once the application has been submitted. The supplemental information requested is:
- The areas of interest of the applicant
- The grade point average(s) or cumulative percent average(s) for the applicant's undergraduate (and graduate, if applicable) degree(s).
Admitted applicants may defer enrollment for up to one year from their original entry term. This may be accomplished by sending an e-mail request to email@example.com. stating your full name, your applicant ID number, and the term to which you wish to defer enrollment. The request must be made at least two weeks prior to the start of your original entry term.
Students interested in admission through transfers from other departments at NC State or through co-major applications should contact the department's Graduate Admissions Specialist for instructions and preliminary screening.