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Requirements & Procedure

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 as given below. Please note that prerequisite courses should be completed PRIOR to enrollment.


Students applying to the PhD program must have completed at minimum: intermediate microeconomics, intermediate macroeconomics, calculus I, II, III, one course in linear algebra, and one course in mathematical statistics. Differential equations is not required but highly recommended. Students are admitted to the PhD program in fall only.


Students applying to the terminal master’s track must have completed principles of economics, calculus I, II and a course in statistics and students applying to the PhD-prep track must have completed principles of economics, calculus I, II, III, linear algebra and a course in statistics. Students are admitted to the Masters programs in both fall and spring. 

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, International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores or Duolingo English test scores. Specific requirements for the tests are shown below. Scores from the exams may not be more than two years old at the time the application is submitted. 

TOEFL Requirement

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.

IELTS Requirement

To demonstrate English proficiency using the IELTS, students must have a minimum score of at least 6.5 on each section.

Duolingo Requirement

To demonstrate English proficiency using the Duolingo, students must have a minimum score of at least 110.

Conditional IEP Admission

Conditional admission can help academically competitive international students attend NC State University who do not meet the English proficiency requirements for full graduate admission. Students who are conditionally admitted to NC State study in the Intensive English Program before entering their academic programs. To be eligible for this option, students must have a TOEFL iBT 60 or an IELTS 6.0. For more information view our brochure and visit the Graduate Conditional Admission page. This option is not available to applicants to our PhD program.

Exemptions from the English language proficiency requirement

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.
  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.

Application Process

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, IELTS or Duolingo 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

Institution Codes

  • 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 1All other applications — including master’s 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.

International Student Application Process

  • Submit complete application package according to Application Deadline 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 three-year degree from a university that doesn’t participate in the Bologna Process should have their bachelor’s transcripts evaluated by WES ( 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 three-year degrees).