What is NC State Known For?
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- Overview of NC State Admissions
- Unique Aspects of NC State
- What Are Your Chances of Acceptance at NC State
Established in 1887, and the largest university in North Carolina, NC State is expansive and unique. The university houses 12 colleges covering a wide variety of disciplines, and offers many choices for prospective students.
NC State is a renowned research university. In 2020 alone, the university claimed $398 million in new sponsored research. It is a leader in big data, biomedical engineering, materials science, food safety, translational medicine, and more. NC State’s national, award-winning model for private-public research campuses, Centennial Campus, houses over 70 research partners alongside over 70 research and academic units.
What is NC State known for? Keep reading to find out all about the university’s claims to fame.
Overview of NC State Admissions
Location: Raleigh, NC
Undergrad Enrollment: 25,100
Acceptance Rate: 44%
Middle 50% SAT: 1340-1450
Middle 50% ACT: 27-32
NC State accepts both the Common Application and the Coalition Application. You only need to choose one, so pick the application that works for the majority of schools you are applying for. Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll get an email with login information for your wolfPAW account. WolfPAW is the applicant portal for NC State. You can check for missing items, stay up-to-date on the status of your application, and begin inputting residency and insurance information.
With over 35,000 students and over 100 majors, there is no specific student the university is looking for. Be your best, and most authentic self when filling out your application, and you’ll have a great shot!
Early applications to NC State are due November 1st, and regular decision applicants should have their applications submitted by January 15th. Should you be interested in a studio-based major (Architecture, Art & Design, Fashion & Textile Design, Graphic Design, or Industrial Design) you will need to send in your application by November 1st, along with a 10-piece portfolio and design essay.
To apply to NC State, you will need to include:
- Non-refundable fee of $85. There are ways to get fee waivers if you qualify.
- A selection of up to two different majors
- Test scores are optional, but will be self-reported by the applicant. Should you have multiple scores, the university will super-score them.
- In addition to the essay prompts provided by the Common App or Coalition App, you will need to complete the NCSU required short answer questions.
- High school transcript
- Recommendations from your counselor, teachers, or others.
You can also apply to be part of NCSU’s University Honors and Scholars Program by answering additional questions on the admissions application or in your wolfPAW account once you’ve applied.
Unique Aspects of NC State
As a renowned research university, NCSU has many prestigious programs for students to take advantage of. These include the University Honors and Scholars Program and the Park Scholarship Program. Each of these programs has its advantages. Find out more to determine which would work best for you:
- The University Honors Program (UHP) allows students to participate directly in the knowledge-building and creative activities of the NCSU faculty and are encouraged to pursue undergraduate research opportunities in their specialties.
- In order to apply to the UHP, you will need to complete a separate application in the wolfPAW platform. In order to apply, you must have been accepted into NC State and meet at least two of the following criteria:
- 1350 SAT (Critical Reading and Math only) or 30 ACT Composite
- 4.5 weighted GPA or 3.8 unweighted GPA
- Rank in the top 5% of graduating high school class
- The core of the program are HON seminars- small, thought-intensive, graduate-style courses meant to expose students to multidisciplinary approaches to problem solving.
- Students also complete a Capstone project, a 6-credit-hour, 2 semester long independent research project, conducted under the guidance of a faculty mentor. It requires students to articulate a problem or issue of interest and then use the tools and methods of their discipline to make a new discovery.
- The Park Scholarship is a four-year scholarship for NC State University students valued at $116,000 for in-state students and $208,000 for out-of-state students. It includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, travel, and personal expenses.
- It also provides grants to fund professional and personal enrichment experiences, like research projects, service activities, and conferences in the U.S. and abroad.
- It allows students to register for courses early, and gives a guaranteed invitation to join the University Scholars Program or University Honors Program.
- Students are mentored by faculty to prepare for undergraduate research, internships, graduate/professional schools, and national scholarships.
- The Park Scholarship Program includes a Freshman Seminar class, team-building retreats, learning labs, a leadership academy, and civic engagement initiatives.
Some of the most popular majors at NCSU include Engineering, Business Management, and Agriculture. The engineering department has a full-time enrollment of over 2,500, and is known across the country. The Poole College of Management has 77 full-time students, and is ranked in the top 100 business schools. More than half of business school students find jobs prior to graduation. Finally, the NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences produces research worth over $1.5 billion in economic impact on rural NC. It brings solutions directly into the hands of North Carolina’s many farmers, and 95% of CALS students graduate with jobs that have salaries well above North Carolina’s median income. It is a high-need industry, and is known across the state as one of the best agricultural programs available.
On top of all this, the university recently opened the NC State European Center in Prague, Czech Republic. NC State Prague offers year-round programs at the Czech facility, where students can earn NCSU credits while exploring Europe. Programs include the Classic Program, Global Leadership Minor, Introduction to Engineering and Problem Solving, and Prague Connect.
One of the big three North Carolina college football teams, it’s common to hear the NC State fight song drifting in from Carter-Finley Stadium in the fall. NCSU students take football seriously, and love their mascot, Tuffy. Tuffy is a Tamaskan dog similar in appearance to a wolf, and has recently been reintroduced as a puppy! NCSU is a Division I school and competes in the ACC league. The Wolfpack has nurtured some great players that moved on to the NFL, including Seahawk Russell Wilson, Ram Torry Holt, and fellow Ram Roman Gabriel.
NCSU also has a lesser-known, but elite wrestling program that has dominated the Atlantic Coast Conference for three consecutive seasons. As of 2021, NC State has risen above renowned wrestling programs at Virginia Tech, UNC Chapel Hill, Virginia, Pitt, and Duke. Along with their wrestling prowess, NC State boasts a baseball team ranked #4 in the country after a season cut short by COVID-19 exposure.
North Carolina State takes tradition seriously. So seriously, in fact, they’ve created an app for it! No, really. The NC State Brick App allows students to keep track of and complete traditions around campus. Students download the app, take pictures of themselves completing at least 40 of the 60 traditions, and then receive a medal at graduation.
Some notable traditions include:
- Agricultural Awareness Week: Also known as Ag Week, every year the Alpha Zeta Fraternity sponsors campus-wide events to teach students about agriculture. The Brickyard is covered with farm equipment, various livestock (including baby cows and pigs!), and interactive displays. Various campus groups like the Poultry Science Club, Food Science Club, and Sigma Alpha put on events throughout the day.
- Tailgating: NC State is known for flooding the area around Carter-Finley stadium on game day with trucks, food, people, and NC State spirit! Usually there are a lot of dogs out too!
- Painting the Free Expression Tunnel: Passing through from Central to North Campus, the Free Expression Tunnel was first painted in 1968, and has since become a space on campus where students are encouraged to spray paint the walls and express themselves. It is often used to advertise for elections, clubs, and other events.
- Grabbing some Howling Cow ice cream: As an agricultural school, NC State owns a lot of cows. Those cows produce a lot of milk. That milk is turned into some of the best ice cream in North Carolina! Available in Talley Student Union, D.H. Hill Library, and in pints across campus and local Harris Teeters to Raleigh, Howling Cow is popular with locals and transplants alike. Flavors include Wolf Tracks (Moose Tracks), Cookie Doughx2, Cherry Brick Road, and Campfire Delight—a graham cracker ice cream with chocolate chunks and marshmallow throughout, otherwise known as the greatest thing on Earth.
NCSU has a unique program available in many dorms, known as the Living and Learning Village Initiative. These dorms include fellow students in one of the 15 villages, who share similar academic, personal, or lifestyle interests. While there will be students in the dorm who do not belong to the village, the village system offers extra activities, more support from those in the dorm aside from your Resident Assistant (RA), and a built-in community. Some villages include the Black Male Initiative, Impact Leadership Village, Native Space, Students Advocating for Youth (SAY), Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), and the Women of Welch (WOW).
The admissions process at NCSU is need-blind. This means that the school makes admissions decisions without considering a student’s financial circumstances or ability to pay tuition. While NCSU does encourage you to fill out the FAFSA, the income reported will not affect your admissions chances.
The university supplies many opportunities to get help paying for college, both through work-study programs and scholarships. Upon acceptance to the school, students can apply through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to be considered for many opportunities, as well as college-based programs. There are distinctive scholarships for rising freshmen as well, including the Park Scholarships, General Hugh Shelton Leadership Initiative Scholarship, Chancellor’s Leadership Scholarship, and Goodnight Scholars Program. You can also apply for external scholarships.
What Are Your Chances of Acceptance at NC State?
While NCSU is not the most selective school, they still only admit less than half of applicants. As one of the largest schools in the country, NCSU receives a lot of applications, so you want to make sure you stand out as much as possible. You should try to tailor your application materials to the major or college you are applying to, as your application will be seen by people specifically in those areas. Explain your future plans and how being admitted will help you achieve them.
To better understand your chances at NC State, we recommend using our free admissions calculator. Using your grades, test scores, and extracurriculars, we’ll estimate your odds of acceptance, and give you tips on improving your profile.
You can also search for best-fit schools based on your chances, and on other factors like size, location, majors, and more. This tool will make it a lot easier to create a strategy for your college application process.