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First-Year Applicants

It's never too early to start preparing for your future, and we are here to help. If you're graduating from high school or have never enrolled in college, you will apply as a first-year applicant.

If you've already graduated from high school and begun your college education at another institution, you will need to apply as a transfer applicant.

If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you'll need to apply as an international applicant.

How To Apply

Apply Online

Choose to apply through one of our two applications – we do not have a preference which application you choose.

Pay the Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $85 is required. If you think you may qualify for a fee waiver, view fee waiver eligibility requirements and learn how to submit documentation here.

Select a Major

On the application, you’ll be asked to select up to two majors based on your interests. We encourage you to select two different majors because if we determine you’re not competitive for your first-choice major, you’ll be reviewed for your second-choice major.

Students interested in a studio-based major (Architecture, Art + Design, Fashion and Textile Design, Graphic & Experience Design, Industrial Design) must apply by November 1 in addition to submitting a 10-piece portfolio and design essay.

Self-Report Your Test Scores (optional)

As a part of the UNC System, NC State will be test-optional for 2024 spring and fall first-year applicants.

A determination as to whether or not NC State will remain test-optional beyond the 2024 application cycle has not yet been made by the UNC System. We recommend that prospective students take a standardized test as part of their college application preparation. However, as long as NC State remains test-optional, standardized test scores are not required to be submitted as part of a complete application.

On the admission application you will be required to indicate whether or not you plan to submit SAT or ACT scores for consideration in the admission review process. You will not be disadvantaged if you indicate you do not want scores to be considered in your application review. Learn more about test score consideration in the review process here.

  • If you choose to submit your test scores, you should self-report them on your application. We encourage you to submit all scores, and we will consider your highest sub-score from each section across your test dates to create a super-score.
  • We can not guarantee scores received after the application materials deadline will be used in our review. See which test dates we accept for our application deadlines here.
  • SAT Essay or ACT Writing scores are not required.
  • After you have applied, any additional test scores can be added on your wolfPAW account. We will not accept standardized test scores on your high school transcript.
  • If you choose to enroll at NC State and opted for test scores to be considered during your application review, official SAT (code: 5496) or ACT (code: 3164) test scores will be required prior to enrollment.

Complete the Essay Prompts

You’ll choose an essay prompt from the list provided by Common App or Coalition App so you can share your story with us in 650 words or less. We also have some additional short answer questions to help us get to know you better. These responses will be included in your application.

If you want to leverage an AI tool like ChatGPT for help writing your college essay, we encourage you to use it as a learning experience that can help brainstorm ideas and structure thoughts. In the end, we want to hear about your experience in your own unique voice.

Required Short Answer Questions

  • Explain why you selected the academic program(s) above and why you are interested in studying these at NC State.

University Honors Program

If you are interested in being considered for NC State’s University Honors Program, there is an additional question required with a response of no more than 600 words available on the admissions application or on your wolfPAW account after you apply. Learn more about admissions criteria for these programs here.

Submit Your Transcript

To complete your application, you must send an official high school transcript to our office. Your high school counselor can submit your transcript through Common App, Coalition App, or another secure sending service such as Naviance or Parchment. Students studying at participating public high schools in North Carolina can request official transcripts be sent to our office using CFNC.

High School Counselors and Community-Based Organizations

High school counselors and CBO’s play a vital role in a student’s college selection and application processes. We are here to do everything we can to support you.

Students sit outside in the Brickyard

After You Apply

Check Your Email

After you submit your application to NC State, you will receive an email with credentials to log in to wolfPAW, your applicant portal. Please note: it may take up to 24 hours after you submit your application for you to receive wolfPAW log in credentials. Here, you can check for missing items and stay up-to-date on the status of your application.

We encourage you to check your email often, as we may email you about additional items needed to complete your application. Using your school-assigned email address? Sometimes our emails may be blocked by the server, so we recommend using a non-school email to receive our communications.

Submit the FAFSA

You don’t need to wait for an official admission decision to submit your FAFSA, and we encourage students to apply as soon as possible.

  • Priority filing date for NC State: March 1
  • NC State school code: 002972

View Your Decision

You will be notified of your admission decision on your wolfPAW account. If you completed your application on time and submitted all required materials by the deadline, you will receive a decision on the notification date corresponding to the application deadline for the semester you applied for.

Types of Decisions

  • Admit – Some students we are able to admit right away. Head to our admitted student page to learn about next steps for joining the Wolfpack family, a view the New Student Checklist here.
  • Defer – When we review applications, we find some applicants who may benefit from the opportunity to provide improved fall grades before receiving a final decision in March.
  • Waitlist – We are unable to admit all qualified students into our class. Some applicants are placed on the waitlist who we believe would be successful at NC State if space is available.
  • Deny – Unfortunately, some students will not be considered competitive for first-year admission. We encourage denied applicants to consider applying to NC State in the future as a transfer applicant.
A wall with NC State's logo in Talley Student Union.

Prepare to Apply

Many factors go into choosing the right college for you. It’s never too early to start thinking about your future and creating a plan for success. We consider your academic record beginning with the ninth grade and encourage you to make the most of your time in high school by doing the following.

  • Identify your academic interests – NC State offers 100+ majors and minors in a wide variety of academic fields.
  • Explore your personal interests – Many times, your personal and academic interests influence each other. NC State is home to more than 600 student organizations to help you find your Wolfpack.
  • Challenge yourself in the classroom – Schools offer a variety of curricula. In addition to taking at least the UNC minimum course requirements, we recommend students take challenging courses. For students applying to STEM or business majors, this usually means taking precalculus as one of their mathematics courses. When given the opportunity we encourage students to take calculus. While first year students applying to NC State for fall 2024 or a later semester are no longer required to take two units of world language, the completion of two sequential world language courses is recommended to satisfy the NC State General Education Program’s Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement.  If a student does not take two sequential units of a world language in high school those two additional courses must come from English, mathematics, science, social studies or computer science.