What We Look For
Your academic achievement
We are looking for strong grades and competitive courses beginning your first year of high school. We’ll consider your courses in-progress as well, so finish out strong. Schools offer a variety of curriculums, so other than the minimum course requirements, we don’t require other specific courses. We encourage you to take challenging courses your school may offer that align with your academic interests and prove your ability for future success. This may include, but is not limited to, Honors, AP, IB, and dual enrollment courses. Strong grades in these courses will not only strengthen your academic record but you may also receive course credit for them at NC State.
Your highest SAT or ACT composite score
For 2021 spring and fall applicants, submitting the SAT or ACT will be optional for first-year applicants due to the limited testing opportunities caused by COVID-19. In the application process, if you feel your test scores are reflective of your academic ability, you can choose to submit them. If you do not have scores available or choose not to submit them, your application will not be negatively affected.
If you choose to submit your SAT or ACT scores for review, we encourage you to self-report all your scores on your application and we will consider your highest sub-score from each section across your test dates to create a super-score.
Learn more about how test scores will be considered in admission decisions for 2021 applicants here.
Your interest in the program you are applying for
Let us know which academic program or two you are interested in and why. We look for related courses and activities you have been involved in throughout high school. We recommend you select a first and second choice program. Your second choice will be considered if we are unable to offer you admission into your first choice.
Your accomplishments/involvement outside the classroom
College isn’t all about academics (although, it is a big part). We are interested in what you invest your time in outside the classroom, whether that may be the arts, sports, volunteering or working. This is your chance to brag about the company/organization you founded, the research you have been conducting, the first place trophy your robotics team won or the fact that you work 40 hours a week and still maintain a strong academic record.
Your background and opportunities
We understand not every student has the same opportunities. We take into consideration the curriculum, course offerings, grading scale and activities offered at your high school.
We also consider diversity, legacy status, first-generation status, and rural areas. NC State is enriched through the varied knowledge and backgrounds of our students and we expect everyone to give of their talents, skills, time and effort to make NC State an environment of inclusive excellence for all.
Your individual story
We want to hear from you about distinctive experiences, skills, or successes you may have had. If you have a unique circumstance that may have affected your academic performance for a period of time or in a specific class, we encourage you to share your story.