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North Carolina State University (NC State University), commonly referred to as NC State, is a public land-grant research university located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Founded in 1887, it is part of the University of North Carolina System. Notably, the institution is the largest university in the Carolinas and is ranked in the top one percent of universities on the planet by the Center for World University Rankings.

Overview of North Carolina State University at Raleigh (NC State University)

The university strives to offer world-class teaching and research. In fact, it’s classified as a Research 1 institution and often recognized worldwide for big ideas and impact. Believing in community, equality, serving the greater good, and sharing knowledge, the school takes its duty to open the doors of education for everyone very seriously. According to Money magazine, North Carolina State University at Raleigh is one of the smartest investments around.

The total student population at North Carolina State University at Raleigh is 36,831, with 26,505 of those enrolled working towards undergraduate degrees. The school employs approximately 2,483 full-time and 334 part-time faculty members. Of those, about 2,128 focus their efforts on instruction and the rest perform tasks related to research and public service. The institution also maintains 1,456 instructional and 1,907 research graduate assistants. Overall, the student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1, which is better than the national average.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 15:1
Graduation Rate 84%
Year Founded 1887

Student Enrollment

Total Students36,831


Undergraduate Student

Male 13,518
Female 12,987

Graduate Student

Male 5,266
Female 5,060

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NC State University Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 15,714
Female 17,284


Male 6,600
Female 9,161

Acceptance Rate47%

Male 42%
Female 53%

Enrollment 4,963

Male 2,376
Female 2,657
Application Fee $85
High School GPA Recommended
High School Rank Considered But Not Required
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations Considered But Not Required
SAT/ACT Considered But Not Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline January 15
Common Application Accepted Yes

NC State Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The cost of attending North Carolina State University at Raleigh depends on several factors including academic program, student residency, degree classification, and the courses selected. Some, however, may qualify for the Fixed Tuition Program, required by North Carolina General Statute 116-143.9. As of fall 2016, tuition rates at all University of North Carolina higher education schools became fixed for eight consecutive semesters. To remain eligible, students must remain continuously enrolled at the constituent institution during the entire tuition period. Those exempt from fixed tuition include non-resident students, graduate, students, continuing education students, dual-enrollment program students, second degree seeking students, non-degree seeking students, and online students.

The typical tuition and fees for undergraduate residents of North Carolina enrolled in 12 or more credits hours during the 2022-2023 academic year are $4,564 per semester. Non-residents, however, will pay $15,435 for the same number of credits per semester.

Rates are different for graduate students. In-state residents enrolled at this level can expect to pay $5,850 in tuition and fees per semester when enrolled in nine or more credit hours. Out-of-state students, however, will be charged $15,453 per semester for the same number of credits. Notably, some master’s and doctorate programs possess their own established rates, which may be significantly higher.

For both undergraduate and graduate students, an additional $1,352 mandatory health insurance charge per semester will also be added unless a waiver request is submitted. Prospective students should also anticipate paying for other related expenses including housing, food, books, supplies, transportation, and personal items.

North Carolina State University at Raleigh claims to be the smartest investment in the state for today’s students. After analyzing more than two dozen data points, Money magazine found that the institution beat out all other competition in the state and named it the #1 best college for your money in North Carolina. Economic Modeling Specialists International also reported a 9:1 investment on every taxpayer dollar.

New and returning students may qualify for financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, work study employment, and loans. Those enrolled are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). As of the 2020-2021 academic year, 74% of full-time, beginning, undergraduate students received some form of financial assistance. While 62% received some amount in grants and scholarships, 41% still required loans.

Average net price 2020-2021
Net Price $14,328
Average Total Aid $9,318
Students Receiving Financial Aid 74%
Room & Board $11,957

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $9,131
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $29,916
  • Books and Supplies - $1,094
  • Room & Board - $11,957
  • Other - $2,804


North Carolina State University at Raleigh is home to renowned programs in engineering, veterinary medicine, textiles, statistics, design, linguistics, and more. With more than 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, however, students can choose the academic pathway that works best for them.

The university is home to 12 colleges representing all major academic fields:

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Design
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Natural Resources
  • Poole College of Management
  • College of Sciences
  • Wilson College of Textiles
  • College of Veterinary Medicine

The university is also a leader in distance learning and online education. In particular, the Princeton Review ranked the school’s online MBA #12 in the country. Additionally, the U.S. News and World Report ranked it #15 nationally in online graduate computer and information technology programs. North Carolina State University at Raleigh wants to make learning and discovery available to everyone. All their remote programs receive the same accreditation and are taught by the same excellent faculty members.

According to data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), North Carolina State University at Raleigh had first-year undergraduate retention rate of 94% for full-time students and 83% for part-time students in fall 2020. Notably, these rates are significantly above the national average of 68%. This indicates that the mass majority of students enrolled at the university were happy enough with their experiences to return the following year.

Additionally, the overall graduation rate for full-time, first-time students who began their studies in fall 2015 was 84%, with a 10% transfer-out rate. This indicates how frequently students complete their degrees or certificate programs within 150% of standard time. While most were able to graduate within six years, 64% were also able to complete their programs within four years. This is an excellent statistic and well above the national average dor graduation.

North Carolina State University at Raleigh is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC), an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation and the Secretary of the United State Department of Education. The university is capable of awarding associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Many of the institution’s programs are also individually accredited.

Student Population Total

Student Population 36,831

Evening Classes : No
Distance Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Engineering Majors 1,587 Total Graduates / 25%
Mechanical Engineering 285 Graduates
Textile Sciences and Engineering 211 Graduates
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 167 Graduates
Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering 148 Graduates
Computer Engineering, General 147 Graduates
All Business Majors 1,051 Total Graduates / 16%
Business Administration and Management, General 803 Graduates
Accounting 157 Graduates
Business/Managerial Economics 91 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 629 Total Graduates / 10%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 397 Graduates
Biochemistry 59 Graduates
Zoology/Animal Biology 49 Graduates
Genetics, General 43 Graduates
Microbiology, General 39 Graduates
Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences 443 Total Graduates / 10%
Animal Sciences, General 175 Graduates
Agribusiness/Agricultural Business Operations 111 Graduates
Horticultural Science 42 Graduates
Agriculture, General 32 Graduates
Agronomy and Crop Science 22 Graduates
All Social Science Majors 311 Total Graduates / 5%
Political Science and Government, General 163 Graduates
Sociology 56 Graduates
Criminology 55 Graduates
Anthropology 37 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 283 Total Graduates / 4%
Psychology, General 283 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 33%

Outcome & Salary

As a research university, North Carolina State University at Raleigh is a key part of the Research Triangle region, which is home to industry leaders such as NC State partners SAS, Cisco, IBM, GlaxoSmithKline and Lenovo. Additionally, Silicon Valley companies hire more graduates from the university than from any Ivy League school in the nation. According to the May 2021 future plans survey conducted by the school, the average salary reported by graduating seniors was $54,734 for undergraduate students and $86,583 for graduate students.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $62,200
College Grads Average Salary $77,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $114,200
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $720,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,912,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $59,084
10 Year Projected ROI $660,916
20 Year Projected ROI $1,852,916
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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