Basis of Admission
Admission decisions are based on undergraduate academic record, three letters of recommendation, the personal statement, and for doctoral candidates, GRE scores. GRE scores are required for all PhD applicants, but are not required for applicants to the master's programs. The GRE subject test in economics is not required. Students who are admitted must have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better.
Prerequisites for Admission
All Applicants: An undergraduate degree in economics is not required; however, all applicants are required to have completed formal coursework in intermediate microeconomic theory and intermediate macroeconomic theory. Self-study and personal inquiry into the discipline will not substitute for formal coursework. Additional quantitative requirements are given below. Please note that prerequisite courses should be completed PRIOR to application.
PhD: Students applying to the PhD program must have completed at minimum: calculus I, II, one course in linear algebra, and one course in statistics. Calculus III and differential equations are not required but highly recommended. Students are admitted to the PhD program in fall only.
Masters: Students applying to the terminal master's track must have completed calculus I, II and a course in statistics and students applying to the PhD-prep track must have completed calculus I, II, linear algebra and a course in statistics.
English Language Proficiency for International Students
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. Typically, students demonstrate their proficiency in English by providing Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores. Specific requirements for the TOEFL and IELTS are shown below. Scores from the TOEFL or IELTS exams may not be more than two years old at the time the application is submitted. More information about the Graduate School's English language proficiency requirement can be found here.
Applicants can meet the Economics Graduate Program's proficiency standard by providing a TOEFL score of at least 80 on the Internet-based Test (iBT), with minimum test scores of 18 for each section, as follows:
18 points - for admission, RA and 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
To demonstrate English proficiency using the IELTS, students must have an overall band score of at least 6.5, with minimum test scores for each section as follows:
6.5 - for admission to the Graduate School, RA and TA appointment as a grader
7.0 - for TA appointment where TA presents lectures in the class or laboratory
Exemptions from the TOEFL requirement
International applicants who meet either of the following criteria are generally considered to be English language proficient and are therefore exempt from the TOEFL requirement.
1. the applicant is a citizen of a country where English is an official language and the language of instruction in higher education.
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.
Please be aware that the North Carolina State University Graduate School no longer accepts paper applications. Applicants may access the online application tool via the NC State Graduate School.
The Graduate School requires all applicants to submit all materials through the online application system. Letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically by the recommender via the online tool. Unofficial transcripts should also be uploaded through the online application. If a preliminary decision is made to offer an applicant admission, the applicant will be instructed to submit official transcripts by mail to the Graduate School so that the admissions decision can be confirmed. Please note that all other components of the application including the personal statement must be submitted online. Materials such as resumes, writing samples, etc. are not factored into the admissions decision.
All application fees are totally non-refundable.
A completed application package must contain:
- Graduate School Application (ApplyYourself online application tool)
- Official GRE Scores for doctoral applicants submitted via ETS
- TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students submitted to the Graduate School
- Transcript (s)—unofficial transcripts submitted through Apply Yourself; official transcripts mailed directly to the Graduate School in the event of a preliminary decision to admit
- 3 Recommendation Letters from academic sources submitted through Apply Yourself
- Personal Statement submitted through Apply Yourself
- $75 Application Fee for US citizens & Permanent Residents Applicants / $85 Application Fee for International Applicants
Official transcripts should be mailed upon request by the Graduate School to:
The Graduate School
North Carolina State University
1020 Main Campus Dr., room 2300A
Campus Box 7102
Raleigh, NC 27695-7102
In the event that recommendations cannot be submitted online, please send hard copy recommendations to:
Graduate Program in Economics
Raleigh, NC 27695-8110
North Carolina State University: 5496
Department of Economics or Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics: 1801 (for GRE)
Economics: 84 (for TOEFL)
Application Deadlines & Application Evaluation
Students applying for the doctoral program who wish to be considered for funding must submit a completed online application by January 1. (Master’s degree students are not eligible for funding.) All other applications—including master's program applications—are due by May 1. 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.
For those who submit a completed application by the January 1 deadline, a decision about admission will be communicated on or before March 1. An Open House for ALL prospective students interested in visiting the program will be held on a date in March. Final funding decisions for doctoral program applicants will be made and communicated by April 1.
International Student Application Process
- Submit complete application package according to Application Deadline dates
- Receive preliminary admission decision from Economics Graduate Program according to Application Evaluation dates
- Economics Graduate Program communicates decision to Graduate School
- Graduate School contacts international student with preliminary admission decision. In this communication, Graduate School requests necessary academic and financial documents and completed CFR (Certificate of Financial Responsibility)
- Applicant returns CFR documents for Graduate School and Office of International Services approval
- Upon approval of CFR documents, Office of International Services issues appropriate I-20
Notes for International Applicants
The Graduate School only accepts transcripts that are in English. Many international colleges and universities translate transcripts into English for those students who need this service. If your college or university will not provide a transcript translated to English, then we suggest using a service such as NACES or WES.
International applicants with a 3 year degree from a university that doesn't participate in the Bologna Process should have their bachelor's transcripts evaluated by WES (wes.org) to make sure that the bachelor's degree is equivalent to a US bachelor's degree. The applicant should then submit the WES evaluation along with their original international transcript. (See the Graduate School policy for applicants with 3 year degrees)