Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does the MMB program offer admission on a rolling basis, or are applications considered only after May 1st?

We offer admission on a rolling basis and we typically begin reviewing applications at the beginning of each fall semester.

When is the best time to apply?

While we do not identify a best time, we typically receive most MMB applications between January and March. Please keep in mind that we offer admission on a rolling basis and that we typically allocate only 15 seats for each cohort. Thus, the timing of your application is important: we might fill the next cohort well before May 1st; applications received after this point might not be considered, even if they were submitted before the deadline.

What is a "Professional" Science Master degree?

A Professional Science Master degree represents a new philosophy in graduate science education: Science students will be better equipped for future career opportunities if advanced scientific training accompanies development of workplace skills highly valued by employers (e.g., skills pertaining to communication, team-building, business development, fostering positive inter-personal relationships).

Why is the program called the "Microbial" Biotechnology Program?

The former NCSU Department of Microbiology (currently, the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology) served as the original parent unit for the MMB program. Also, the curriculum emphasizes academic coursework pertaining to both microbiology and biotechnology, hence "Microbial Biotechnology". While the program's core courses include primarily microbiology classes, the curriculum offers broad biotechnology industry experiences in the following areas:

  • Agricultural
  • Biomedical
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Environmental

What is an "industry practicum project"?

Please see the Industry Practicum page for information regarding MMB case studies.

What are the costs associated with the MMB Program?

Please see the Funding page.

What options for financial support are available to students?

Although the MMB program can not guarantee any financial aid to incoming students, and we ask students to be prepared to pay educational expenses on their own, we work to secure teaching assistant (TA) positions for as many of our students as possible. The number of TA positions available each semester varies, but typically, four to nine MMB students are selected to serve as TAs per year.

Serving as a TA offers numerous benefits including--

  • full tuition reimbursement
  • a stipend each semester they serve in that position; stipend amounts vary by department but can be as much as $8,250 per semester!

Also, nine credit hours constitutes a full-time graduate academic load, thus, time will be available in your schedule to work part-time jobs, paid internships, etc. The NCSU Graduate School website provides additional information regarding financial aid opportunities for graduate students. Also, see the NCSU Financial Aid website for additional information regarding federal, state, and local financial aid and scholarship programs available. Please see our Funding page for more information.

How do out-of-state residents establish North Carolina residency for tuition purposes?

North Carolina will consider you a resident after on year of residency, steps need to be taken to demonstrate that residency. We encourage all of our out-of-state incoming students to apply for residency as soon as possible.


  1. 12 months physical presence in NC

  2. Financial and legal ability for a NC domicile

  3. Demonstrate intent to reside in NC beyond school

Action Plan: Legally reside in NC, register to vote, register your car, get a NC driver’s license, have a NC stipend/income... these actions can be accomplished prior to the start of first-year classes. The application should be submitted beginning June 1st to

Can international students apply to be classified as North Carolina residents for tuition purposes?

Some international students have the capacity to establish a permanent residence in North Carolina and can apply to be classified as North Carolina residents for tuition purposes. These students' Tuition Reclassification Applications will be reviewed using the same standards as those of U.S. citizens.
Other international students may hold visas that have distinct restrictions on time limits or activities while in the U.S., or may specify that one holding such a classification has an explicit intention to return to his or her home country. Students holding these visas do not have the capacity to establish legal residence and, therefore, cannot be granted the North Carolina resident tuition rate. Such visa categories include: B, C, D, F, J, M, P, Q and S.
International students who believe they meet the criteria for the North Carolina resident tuition rate may submit a North Carolina Tuition Reclassification Application and supplemental form for non-U.S. citizens. Learn more about North Carolina residency for tuition purposes.

Is there a Departmental Code that needs to be used to report GRE scores to MMB Program staff?

No. The institutional code for NCSU is 5496, and as long as that code is applied, we will have access to your scores.

How many credit hours can non-degree seeking students transfer into the MMB program, if accepted?

Students subsequently admitted to a graduate program may request up to 12 credit hours be transferred into their degree program.  Transferred hours are subject to Graduate School approval, rules and procedures. Please see the Graduate School website page that clarifies rules for non-degree seeking students.

How many MMB graduates find job placement within six months of program completion?

94% of our graduates find jobs within six months of graduation. See our Quick Program Stats page and our Alumni page for more information regarding MMB alumni jobs and earning potential.

Can an applicant be admitted with a GPA of less than 3.0 and/or grades lower than B- in microbiology and biochemistry?

Yes. We take into consideration all of the credentials submitted by each applicant, and if an applicant submits an otherwise strong application, he or she may be selected to move on to the interview portion of the admission process. However, that applicant will likely be required to complete biochemistry, microbiology, or other graduate courses and earn marks of B-, or better, to be fully admitted into the program.

Do I need work experience in industry prior to applying to the MMB program?

No. We do not require work-related experience to gain admission into the program. Although such experience benefits some of our students once in the program, entering the workforce immediately following graduation from an undergraduate experience can hinder the transition to graduate study: many professionals find themselves locked into positions because they are unable to suffer wage losses associated with graduate study, or as a result of other life demands. Thus, we typically advise students to apply to the program outright, if that outcome is possible.