Ph.D. Application Instructions

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.
  • You are encouraged but not required to submit a seminar paper or other written evidence of your research potential. (Fall 2020 applicants will be required to submit a writing sample. The sample should be an analytical research paper, preferably empirical in nature. The sample should demonstrate the applicant’s critical thinking and writing skills, demostrating 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 conlcusion relevant to theory or practice in public aministration or public policy).

Applicants should have the Educational Testing Service submit an official report of their Graduate Record Examination (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 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

Taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)  with a minimum score of (a) 600 for the paper-based test or (b) 250 for the computer-based test or (c) 100 for  the internet-based test;  or

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

Application Deadlines
(including all required supporting documents)

  • February 1 for full consideration for teaching assistantships
    and financial aid
  • March 1 for International Students
  • March 15