Ph.D. Application Instructions

GRE Waived for Fall 2021 Application Cycle
Due to documented challenges in access in meeting the ETS at-home testing requirements during COVID-19, the GRE will NOT be required for 2021 admissions. Supplemental materials that demonstrate statistical, quantitative, and/or research preparation are recommended. These materials may include letters of recommendation from professors of courses taken in statistics, mathematics, policy analysis or economics, previous GRE scores, and/or writing samples reporting on data analysis results.  

Application Deadlines 
(including all required supporting documents)

  • February 1 for full consideration for graduate assistantships
  • March 1 for International Students
  • March 15

Applicants should submit the following items through the on-line application system at NC State Graduate School Online Application.

  • The Graduate School application and application fee;
  • A personal statement outlining your educational and career objectives, explaining the reasons for your application to the doctoral program in Public Administration at NC State and indicating the field or fields of specialization in which you are interested;
  • A resume;
  • Three letters of reference (from faculty or other professionals who are in a position to assess your scholarly and analytical abilities); and
  • Unofficial transcripts from all institutions where you have taken post-secondary-school coursework (undergraduate and graduate). If you are admitted to the Ph.D. program, you will be asked to provide official transcripts at the time you are admitted.
  • A seminar paper or other written evidence of your research potential. The sample should be an analytical research paper, preferably empirical in nature. The sample should demonstrate the applicant’s critical thinking and writing skills, demonstrating ability to frame a research question, identifying one or more hypotheses to investigate, undertaking a literature review, bringing empirical evidence to bear on the subject, and coming to a conclusion relevant to theory or practice in public administration or public policy.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Applicants should have the Educational Testing Service (ETS) submit an official report of their GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing scores only) to the NC State Graduate School. The NC State GRE Code is 5496. GRE scores should be no more than 5 years old before the date of application.
  • International applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English at a level necessary to be successful in a graduate program at NC State. This requirement can be met by

Note:  The TOEFL or IELTS test date must be no more than two years old (24 months) prior to the beginning of the requested entry term.