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Admissions FAQs

How do I apply to the Graduate Economics Program?

You can find the online application form at The Graduate School Application Management. To start your application, choose “APPLY NOW!” and click “Create Account.” Once you create your applicant account, you will see a message that acknowledges the activation of your account and provides a link for you to begin the application process. You will receive an e-mail containing the PIN and password you need in the future to return to your online application and check its status.

Are your programs STEM designated?

Yes. All of our programs (Master of Economics, Master of Science in Economics, and PhD in Economics) are classified as STEM (CIP Code 45.0603: Econometrics and Quantitative Economics), and international students in these programs can apply for a 24-month STEM extension of F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Do you accept paper applications?

We do not. The Graduate School at NC State University accepts applications submitted through their online system only.

May I apply for spring admission?

The PhD program admits students beginning in the fall semester only, while the Master’s program admits students beginning in both the fall and spring semesters.

When is my application due?

Students applying for the doctoral program who wish to be considered for funding must submit a completed online application by January 1. (Masters students are not eligible for funding.) All other applications — including masters program applications — are due by June 15. Please note that the application must be complete, with all components of the application received by the Graduate School by the deadline date. This includes payment of the application fee and letters of recommendation. Students should periodically check the completeness of their application using the online application tool to ensure that the deadline is met.

When will I be notified about an admissions decision?

For those who submit a completed application by the January 1 deadline, a decision about admission and funding will be communicated by April 15.

Where do I send my transcripts, official test scores and letters of reference?

Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded to the online application tool. If a preliminary decision is made to offer admission, then official transcripts should be sent directly to the NC State University Graduate School at CB # 7102, Raleigh, NC 27695-7102. Official test scores should be sent directly to the Graduate School from ETS. All other supporting documentation — including letters of reference — should be submitted through the online application.

Is the GRE required? May I submit GMAT scores in lieu of GRE scores?

The GRE is required of all students applying for the PhD program. The GRE is not required (though it is highly recommended) for students applying for the masters programs. We do not accept GMAT scores in lieu of the GRE.

What are the ETS codes for NC State University and the graduate economics program?

The ETS code for NCSU is 5496. The ETS GRE code for the Graduate Economics program is 1801.

I only have a bachelor’s degree. May I apply for admission to the PhD program?

Yes. Please see the Admissions page for more information about program prerequisites.

Is it possible to have my application fee waived?

The graduate economics program cannot waive your application fee. Only the NCSU Graduate School has that authority. The Graduate School generally will not waive the application fee, except in cases of documented financial need and special circumstances. If you would like to request a fee waiver, please contact Unfortunately, international students are not eligible to receive an application fee waiver.

Does the Graduate Economics Program offer financial support?

The Graduate Economics Program offers financial assistance to qualified doctoral students in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships and, rarely, fellowships. We do not offer funding to master’s students. Awards are merit-based, determined by an applicant’s academic history and predicted success in the program.

In most cases, students receiving an assistantship are also eligible for the Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP). The Graduate Student Support Plan is a highly competitive support package used to attract top students to NC State. Under the Plan, students who are supported on a teaching or research assistantship or a fellowship of at least $666.67 per month and who meet the minimum registration requirement receive (at no cost to the student) health insurance and payment of tuition.

How do I apply for a research assistantship (RA) or a teaching assistantship (TA)?

During the online application process, you will be given the opportunity to indicate your interest in being considered for a research or teaching assistantship. No additional materials are required for consideration for an RA or TA. If you are interested in departmental funding through an RA or TA, you must submit your completed application by January 1.

Does the Graduate Economics Program offer financial support to master’s students?

We do not fund students at the master’s level.

Are international students eligible for departmental funding?

International students are eligible for assistantship awards.

For whom is the TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo required?

The Economics Graduate program requires that all international applicants, regardless of citizenship, demonstrate proficiency in English at a level necessary to be successful in a graduate program at NC State. One way that international applicants may demonstrate proficiency is by providing a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 80 on the Internet-based Test (iBT), with a minimum test score of 18 for each section, as follows:

Listening18 points
Reading18 points
Writing18 points
Speaking18 points – for admission to the Graduate School, RA & TA appointment as a grader
 23 points – for TA appointment where TA has direct verbal interactions with students
 26 points – for TA appointment where TA presents lectures in the class or laboratory

TOEFL scores should be submitted through ETS. The ETS code for NCSU is 5496. The ETS TOEFL code for economics is 84.

Can I submit International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Duolingo English test scores instead of the TOEFL scores?

Yes, international applicants can submit International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores instead of the TOEFL. To demonstrate English proficiency, students must have an overall band score of at least 6.5, with minimum test scores for each section as follows:

Speaking6.5 – for admission to the Graduate School, RA & TA appointment as a grader
 7.0 – for TA appointment where TA has direct verbal interactions with students

International applicants can also submit Duolingo English test scores instead of the TOEFL. The minimum test score required is 110.

Are any international students exempted from the TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo requirement?

Yes, international applicants who meet either of the following criteria are generally considered to be English language proficient and are therefore exempt from the English language proficiency requirement.

  1. the applicant is a citizen of a country where English is an official language and the language of instruction in higher education. Or,
  2. 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 within the last five years.

I have a three-year bachelor’s degree from a non-US institution. Do I need a transcript evaluation?

The NCSU Graduate School will only accept three-year bachelors degrees from institutions within the Bologna Process. Students with a bachelors degree from an institution not participating in the Bologna Process must have their transcript evaluated by a transcript evaluation firm such as WES. For more information, see the Graduate School’s policy on three-year bachelors degrees.