REG 02.15.01 - Admission to Graduate School

Authority: Dean of the Graduate School

History: First Issued: June 1, 2002. Last Revised: February 13, 2008.

Additional References: 
Graduate Administrative Handbook 2.3

Division of Continuing Studies Post-Baccalaureate Studies Program

Contact Info: Dean of the Graduate School (919-515-7956)


1. Criteria for Admission

There are three types of admission to the graduate school: full graduate standing, provisional, and graduate-unclassified admission. The criteria for each type of admission are listed below.

1.1 Criteria for Full Graduate Standing Admission

To be considered for admission in full graduate standing, an applicant must have:

1.1.2 a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university as determined by a regional or general accrediting agency. (Information on accredited institutions is available from The Graduate School.) Exceptions on standard accreditation may be granted for applicants with international degrees, including applicants with three-year degrees from institutions in Europe participating in the Bologna Process. 

1.1.3 at least a "B" average in the undergraduate major or in their last graduate degree program.

1.2 Criteria for Provisional Admission

A student may be granted provisional status when he/she does not fully meet all the necessary requirements for admission to the Graduate School, but his/her circumstances warrant provisional admission.

1.2.1 Students with related Bachelor's degrees and overall Bachelor's GPAs that fall below 3.0 (on 4.0 scale)

1.2.1a The graduate student may grant provisional admission to students with related Bachelor's degrees from accredited institutions whose scholastic records are below the standards for admission to full graduate standing when:

i) unavoidable, extenuating circumstances affected their undergraduate averages, or

ii) progressive improvement in their undergraduate work warrants provisional admission.

1.2.1b. Students attain full graduate standing after completing nine or more graduate credit hours after admission with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Courses taken for S/U grade cannot be used as part of the minimum. 

1.2.2 Students with non-related Bachelor's degrees (from accredited institutions)

1.2.2a The Graduate School may grant provisional admission to applicants with Bachelor's degrees from accredited institutions who lack undergraduate work considered essential for graduate study in a major field. 

1.3 Granting Full Status after Provisional Admission

1.3.1 The Graduate School grants full graduate standing when the deficiencies responsible for the provisional status are corrected through additional course work. The student must also maintain a satisfactory academic record (3.0 GPA) on all course work taken in a graduate classification. The Graduate program must recommend that full graduate standing be granted to the student seeking admission. 

1.4 Criteria for Graduate-Unclassified Admission 

1.4.1 This is a temporary classification for students, such as foreign visitors, who are not candidates for degrees. Students may take courses for graduate credit, but may not apply more than 12 credits to any program leading to an advanced degree at N.C. State. 

1.4.2 In order to be admitted under graduate-unclassified status, students must meet the same requirements as those necessary to be admitted to full graduate standing (see above Criteria for Full Graduate Standing Admission).

2. Eligibility for Student Status in a Graduate Program

Students who graduate from a degree program can no longer register as students in that program, unless they are formally admitted to a new graduate classification. Students with special objectives should request admission in the "Graduate-Unclassified Status" or register in the "Post-Baccalaureate Studies" program through the Division of Continuing Studies.

3. Exceptions to Standard Admission

3.1 Doctoral applicants with previous doctoral degrees

An individual who has a doctoral degree will be denied admission to a doctoral program at NC State. The Dean of the Graduate School may make exceptions based upon Department recommendations.

3.2 Applicants to graduate programs without Bachelor's degrees but with professional degrees

The Graduate School may consider an applicant who does not possess a Bachelor's degree, but who has earned a D.D.S., D.V.M., J.D. or M.D. degree from an accredited institution for admission to a graduate program. 

3.3 Applicants who have a previous Master's degree in the program they are seeking admission

The Graduate School will not admit or transfer a student to a Master's program if the student already holds a Master's degree in the same discipline. Exceptions may be considered if a statement of justification is provided by the Director of the Graduate Program and is then approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.

4. Date of Admission

4.1 Deferral of Admission

A student's registration is automatically canceled when he/she does not enroll for the semester or summer session for which he/she received admission. Any applicant wishing to defer the admission date must submit a written request to the graduate program. Both the graduate program and the Graduate School must approve the request. The maximum time that a student may be granted a deferral is one year.

4.2 Ineligibility for leave of absence prior to enrollment

Leaves of absence are available only to currently enrolled students or students already on an approved leave of absence. Students who are admitted for an upcoming semester, but are unable to register, must request in writing that the Graduate School defer their enrollment to another semester. The student must forward a copy of this request to the Director of the Graduate Program.

5. Readmission

5.1 A student must reapply if he/she has been terminated at NC State because of non-compliance with the continuous registration policy and wishes to resume study in his/her original graduate program. The student must submit an application and pay the application fee submitting all materials as if applying for the first time. However, letters of recommendation and GRE scores less than five years old that are on file with the Graduate School or department may be transferred to the second application.

5.2 If the program approves the student's request for readmission, the Director of the Graduate Program must submit a letter of justification and an on-line DGP Decision Recommendation form to the Graduate School on behalf of the student. The Graduate School makes the final decision on the student's readmission.