Getting Started in Graduate Education
Getting Started 
 
There are two ways you can get started in the graduate program. The first way is to take a few courses as a continuing education student to make sure this is what you want to do. The second approach is to go ahead and apply to the graduate program.
As a continuing education student, one may take up to 12 hours as a Non-Degree Studies (NDS) student in the NCSU Non-Degree program and have those courses count toward a Master's degree.

Advantages to enrolling as an NDS student:
·         You can take the program for a "test drive" to make sure it is for you.
·         There is no application fee.
·         It only takes 24-48 hours to get enrolled.
·         There are no application deadlines.
·         If your undergraduate GPA is low, you can take courses to show that you are capable of doing graduate work. This will improve your chance of getting accepted into the graduate program.

Disadvantages:
·         In order to count the coursework in the Master's program the student must make a B or higher in each course.
·         All the courses taken must be letter graded. One cannot count a course that is graded S or U. This means continuing education students cannot take a 600 or 800 level course since these are graded S or U.
·         The courses must be at the 500 level or above.
·         NDS students do not have an academic adviser assigned to them.
·         NDS Students must contact the distance education office every semester to register for courses.

In addition, some students "forget" to apply to the graduate school and end up with more continuing education courses than can be counted when they do apply.

Getting admitted into the program:

This is the recommended approach because students who enroll directly into the graduate program have fewer potential problems with their graduate program since they have an AEE faculty adviser from the beginning and have greater flexibility in their course choices.
 
The Graduate School looks for an undergraduate GPA of 3.0. If one does not have an overall 3.0 GPA, we then look at the last two years of the undergraduate program to see if that is a 3.0. If this is not a 3.0, we then look at the courses in your major. Hopefully, this will be a 3.0. If none of these are at the 3.0 level, then you should take some graduate courses as a continuing education student. If your GPA is below a 3.0, but close, it may be possible to admit you on a provisional basis. This means that you must make B or higher in your first three graduate courses. For doctoral students, we expect the applicant to have 3.5 GPA in the Master's program.
GRE scores are required for admission. The higher the GRE score, the more likely one will be admitted to the program.

Letters of recommendation and the personal statement play an important role in the application process. Strong letters of recommendation are expected. You will also prepare a personal statement of your educational goals. This helps us determine if our graduate program fits in with your personal goals and future plans.
You can apply at: http://www2.acs.ncsu.edu/grad/applygrad.htm

As part of the application process, you have to arrange to have transcripts of all previous collegiate work sent to the Graduate School. This step normally takes the longest. However, if you have an electronic copy of your transcript (or a hard copy and scan it) it can be uploaded. We can make an admission decision based upon the electronic copy but will need at official copy at some point in time. Mail transcripts to:

The Graduate School
North Carolina State University
Room 240, Research Building III
1005 Capability Drive
Campus Box 7102
Raleigh, NC 27695