How To Apply – Graduate Programs

Thank you for your interest in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering graduate program at NC State University! Please review the information below to learn more about NC State’s application process and the MAE department’s required application documents. If you have any questions, please feel free to email the MAE Graduate Office at

A completed application includes:

  • A completed Online Application for Admission to the Graduate School
  • A paid application fee
  • Unofficial transcript(s) from all universities and institutions at which you took a course that counted toward your current degree.
  • A competitive Grade Point Average (GPA) shown on your transcript(s)
  • A copy of your resume or CV
  • Your written Personal Statement
  • Applicable Test Scores (such as GRE scores and TOEFL/IELTS scores)
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
  • A declared Area of Interest


An explanation of each item, including minimum requirements, is below:


  • Online Application for Admission to the Graduate School
    • The online application, and the entire application process begins on the Graduate School’s Application website
    • To start your application, 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 will need in the future to return to your online application and check its status.
    • You can complete the application online and submit it electronically once you have answered all required questions.
    • You do not have to complete the entire application in one session. You may access your application with your PIN and password to add or alter information as many times as necessary before you submit it.
    • Once you submit the application, you will no longer be able to alter the information contained in it.


  • Application Fee
    • The application fee is non-refundable.
    • Once you complete and submit the Graduate School application, you will be prompted to pay the application fee.
    • You may pay your application fee by check, money order, or credit card.
    • The application fee is $75 USD for US Citizen and permanent resident applicants and $85 USD for International applicants.

NOTE: Your application will not be available for the academic program to review until it has been properly submitted and your non-refundable application fee has been paid.


  • Unofficial transcript(s)
    • We require transcripts from all universities and institutions at which you took a course that counted toward your current degree. This includes transcripts that include only one course.
    • During the application process, you may submit an unofficial or official transcript from each post-secondary institution attended. If you submit unofficial transcripts with your application, the NCSU Graduate School will request official transcripts if/when you are admitted to the program.
    • Unofficial transcripts should be electronically attached to your application – we do not accept mailed or emailed copies of unofficial transcripts.
    • Official transcripts should be mailed in a sealed envelope to the NCSU Graduate School by the college or university you attended.


  • A competitive Grade Point Average (GPA):
    • For master’s degree applicants (including Distance Education) – we require a minimum baccalaureate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    • For doctoral degree applicants – we require a minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.
    • For applicants to the direct-to-PhD program – we require a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
    • For applicants to the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program – we require a minimum GPA of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale.

NOTE: If your institution does not use a 4.0 scale, Texas Southern University hosts a GPA converter that you could use as a resource. In general, we will use a basic conversion tool (i.e. GPAs on a 10.0 scale will be divided by 2.5 to convert to a 4.0 scale).


  • Resume or CV
    • Your resume or CV should be electronically attached to your application – we do not accept mailed or emailed copies of these documents.
    • Once you attach your resume or CV, you will be unable to add a newer or updated copy. We will only consider the resume or CV that is included with your application.


  • Personal Statement
    • The Personal Statement must be written by you.
    • There are no strict guidelines for this, and there is no minimum or maximum word count requirement. It is up to you what you write. We suggest that it cover your engineering interests, academic and research experience, graduate school plans, and post-graduation plans.


  • Applicable Test Scores:
    • GRE test scores – required of all on-campus applicants (applicants to the Distance Education program are excluded)
      • We like to see GRE scores equal to or greater than Verbal=146, Quantitative=156, and Analytical Writing=3.5.
      • However, we do consider the entire application package so a strict requirement on test scores cannot be made.
      • The ETS code for our university, NC State, is 5496 (no department code required).
    • TOEFL/IELTS test scores – required of all international applicants
      • TOEFL – There is a Graduate School minimum required for the TOEFL with a score of at least 80 on the internet-based test with at least a score of 18 on each part.
      • IELTS – minimum score of 6.5 on each section.
      • NOTE: These minimums are a strict requirement and applicants who do not meet this minimum should not apply.
      • Exceptions to the TOEFL requirement do apply – if you feel you qualify please contact the MAE Graduate Office.


  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
    • Preferably, current or former professors in your major-field courses will write your letters of recommendation as they would have the best idea of your research potential. If, however, such persons are no longer available to ask, anyone who you think can best assess your potential for graduate study can be asked to write the letter.


  • Area of Interest
    • The MAE department offers four (4) main Areas of Interest (also known as Research Interest Areas) on which students can select to concentrate.
    • You must choose one at the time you apply, however, if your research evolves and your interest area changes, you are able to change it at a later time.
    • This can only be completed after the Online Application for Admission to the Graduate School has been completed and submitted, along with the application fee. You will receive an email from the MAE Graduate Office explaining how to declare your Area of Interest once you are eligible.


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Still have questions? Check out our MAE Graduate Advising page for more details and answers to our frequently asked questions. Or, email the MAE Graduate Office.