Graduate Admission Requirements

Admission to the PhD Program:

At the doctoral level, an applicant will meet the minimum admission requirements for full graduate standing if all of the following are satisfied:

  • Grade point average (GPA) in the applicant’s master’s program is at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale  from an accredited institution.
  • Three satisfactory letters of recommendation are submitted, with one letter coming from the applicant’s master’s degree advisor.
  • A record of independent research or project work has been demonstrated.
  • Performance in the master’s oral examination was satisfactory.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are competitive.
  • An international PhD applicant has a competitive TOEFL score (NCSU graduate school requirement: 18 or higher in each section with a total score of 80 in all four sections).

For students holding a BS in Mechanical Engineering or Aerospace Engineering and interested in pursuing a doctoral degree, please review the requirements for entry into the Direct Path BS to PhD program.

Admission to the Master’s Program:

At the master’s level, an applicant will meet the minimum admission requirements for full graduate standing if all of the following are satisfied:

  • Overall grade point average (GPA) is at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from an accredited institution.
  • Undergraduate major is in a technical area which satisfies the prerequisites for graduate coursework in MAE. Iif you do not hold a BS degree in ME or AE, see the section below, Additional Admission Standards for Non-Majors.
  • Three satisfactory letters of recommendation are submitted.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are competitive (minimum scores: verbal – 400, quantitative – 700, analytical writing – 3.5)
  • An international master’s applicant has a competitive TOEFL score (NCSU graduate school requirement: 18 or higher in each section with a total score of 80 in all four sections).

For undergraduates interested in our 5-year BS/MS program, please review the requirements for entry into the Accelerated BS/MS programs in Mechanical Engineering or Aerospace Engineering.

Additional Admission Requirements for Non-Majors Seeking the Master’s Degree

Applicants must have an accredited BS degree in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering or a closely aligned field which includes undergraduate courses in differential and integral calculus, differential equations, and calculus based physics, statics and dynamics. Depending upon the research interest area, calculus based fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, strength of materials, and controls may also be required. In the event that one or two of these basic courses are absent, the MS applicant may take the prerequisites critical to his/her degree area of interest. For example, physics majors may have already completed courses equivalent to engineering statics, engineering dynamics and thermodynamics and thus would not need to re-take those courses.

Provisional admission into the graduate program may be granted while the student completes all needed 400-level courses, with full status generally conferred upon satisfactory completion of the remedial coursework.  Note that university regulations prohibit a graduate student from holding an assistantship or fellowship while on provisional status.

Applicants cannot be admitted into the graduate program until all of the necessary 300-level undergraduate prerequisite courses (or equivalents) have been satisfactorily completed.