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Ready to get started? Applying to the university is your first step toward your Engineering Online program of choice.

To enroll for Engineering Online courses at NC State, you must first apply to the university and become an active student.

  • If you are interested in taking courses as part of a graduate degree, you should apply to that graduate program via the NC State graduate school application.
  • If you are interested in taking courses without being in a graduate degree or graduate certificate program, then you should apply as a non-degree studies (NDS) student via the NC State NDS application.

Both of these applications are available online, but they are completely independent.

Applying for a graduate degree or graduate certificate

In order to complete a graduate degree or graduate certificate and be awarded a diploma, you must apply and be accepted into that program. It is possible to begin coursework towards a degree as a non-degree studies student as described in the next section, however, you will eventually need to complete the graduate application process.

The NC State Graduate School is responsible for administering graduate programs and certificates across all of NC State’s colleges. Once your application is complete, it will be reviewed by the graduate admission committee within the College of Engineering’s department responsible for that degree. The department will forward their decision to the Graduate School and the Graduate school will inform the student of the admission decision. The Graduate School will then complete the process to admit you into the university and issue you appropriate student credentials to access NC State online resources.

The Engineering Online department at NC State is not directly involved in the admission process and is not able to assist in determining the status of your application. Please contact the Graduate School or appropriate engineering department regarding the status of a pending application. Once you have been successfully admitted to a graduate degree program or certificate, you may proceed to enroll in online engineering courses via the enrollment process.

Apply to the Graduate School

Applying as a non-degree studies student

There are several reasons why you may wish to apply as a non-degree studies student at NC State to enroll in online engineering or computer science courses. The NDS program may be for you if you are interested in taking a few courses for ongoing professional development or would like to test-drive participation in an engineering online class before entering a degree program.

As a qualified non-degree studies student, you will be able to enroll in the same courses that you would take as part of a graduate degree program. As long as you earn a grade of B (not B-) or higher in each course you complete as a non-degree studies student, you can later transfer up to 12 credit hours of this coursework into a degree program once you have been admitted. This path allows you to begin graduate level studies without having to meet all of the requirements of the degree program application. Once you are sure that you wish to pursue a graduate degree, you can then proceed to complete the graduate degree application.

If you are interested in completing an undergraduate certificate program, such as our Computer Programming Certificate, you would also apply as a non-degree studies student. Although admission into this program requires a bachelor’s level degree, the coursework is considered to be at the undergraduate level.

Applying as a Former NC State Student

If you have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree program at NC State in the past and you wish to begin taking classes prior to entering a new degree program, you will also need to apply as a non-degree studies student. You will be given the opportunity to identify yourself as a former NC State student and will be issued the same university credentials that you had as a student in the past.

Also, if you were formerly classified as a non-degree studies student, and it has been a calendar year since you were enrolled in classes, your NDS status has likely been discontinued. You will need to reapply in order to enroll in classes again.

Submitting Your Application

There are two NC State non-degree studies applications available: one for on-campus students and one for online students. Although both applications will allow you to be admitted to the university and enroll in courses, it is recommended that you use the NDS application administered by the NC State Distance Education office. This application includes questions that are specific to students planning to take online courses.

Students applying to take online courses through Engineering Online are eligible for a waiver of the NDS application fee. It is important that you answer the Enrollment Objectives question in the application in the proper manner in order to have the fee waived. When asked what your objective is for taking non-degree courses at NC State University, you must select the response “to earn an undergraduate certificate or participate in one of the following programs”. Then select either “Engineering Online DE Program” or “Undergraduate Certificate in Computer Programming”.

If you select either of these responses and continue with the application, you should receive a message indicating that the application fee is waived. If you do not receive this message and then fail to complete the application payment section, your application for admission will not be processed. Do not reapply. Contact the Engineering Online office for assistance.

Apply as a Non-Degree Studies student

Residency Determination

The University of North Carolina General Administration manages and processes all residency determinations. All NDS students requesting in-state residency consideration for tuition purposes are required to complete the North Carolina Residency Determination Service (RDS) form prior to completing the NDS application.

Complete the form