North Carolina State University Review

North Carolina State University is one of the most affordable online graduate engineering programs, and provides access to a huge selection of online engineering degrees.

Learn More

The Good

Economical tuition rates

The estimated cost of tuition and fees for an online engineering degree at North Carolina State University (NC State) is one of the lowest and most affordable rates around when compared to other similar programs. NC State is a public, state school which often means tuition differences for residents and nonresidents. Online engineering students living outside of the state of North Carolina do pay about double of what in-state online students pay, but the total cost of attendance is still lower than many other top online engineering degree programs. If you are a non resident, you should not be deterred by the higher out-of-state tuition figures since the cost of attendance at any other respected online engineering program will still be much higher in many cases.

15 online graduate degrees offered

North Carolina State University, or NC State, currently offers 15 different online graduate degrees in engineering and computer science, and plans to further expand degree offerings in the future. The online master’s degrees in engineering includes options in aerospace, chemical, civil, mechanical, industrial, and environmental engineering among many others. Additionally, computer engineering, computer networking, and computer science degrees are also offered online. Each degree program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, and you can expect to complete a full degree program in two years as a full-time online student. As an online student you will view recorded lectures of the same on-campus class, so you literally get the same content and quality of instruction as campus based students.

Non-degree seeking status is an option

Without committing to an online degree program, you can take a single class or a small series of engineering or computer science classes with NC State’s online engineering program. An engineer of any kind must keep up with rapidly-changing technologies, and as a non-degree seeking student you can take a few courses just to further your qualifications or as a way to try out the degree program itself. If you meet the prerequisites for enrollment, you can take up to 12 credits of online engineering courses, and if you are later accepted into a graduate engineering degree program at NC State those credits can directly apply to your master’s degree.

No campus courses or requirements

The online graduate engineering degrees at NC State can be earned entirely online and there are no on-campus class sessions to attend. Many online graduate programs require online students to participate in on-campus orientations, special in-person sessions, or capstone events, but you can earn your entire master’s in engineering degree from start to finish in an online setting at NC State.

High academic standards

In order to gain admissions to NC State’s online engineering degree program, you must have already completed a bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline, and have taken several courses as prerequisites. The school requires that you have taken three semesters of calculus, two semesters of calculus-based physics and statistics, as well as dynamics and other foundations of an engineering bachelor’s degree. NC State has a calculus-based engineering graduate program, and it is unlikely that you will be admitted if you have a technology or algebra-based undergraduate degree. These standards are intended to draw in the highest qualified candidates and to maintain the program’s academic integrity.

The Bad

Student services and technology lacking

In the most recent U.S. News & World Report publication, North Carolina State University received a score of 41 for student services and technology. This category consists of factors like student indebtedness, technologies accessible to students, and services available to students. Some of the notable resources missing from North Carolina State include 24/7 tech support and online tutoring. These services may not be a deal breaker for many students, but it can be frustrating to be experiencing technical difficulties, and not have the ability to reach out for support at any time. Especially for online students that are notorious for completing course work at odd hours.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 2002-2003
  • Application Deadline: Domestic: June 25, International: March 1
  • Application Fee: Domestic: $75, International: $85
  • Location: NC
  • Number of Graduate Engineering Programs: 15
  • Region: Southeast
  • School Type: Public
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Tuition Rates (Per Credit)

  • In-State: $352
  • Out-of-State: $726


  • Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering
  • Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
  • Master of Civil Engineering
  • Master of Science in Computer Engineering
  • Master of Science in Computer Networking
  • Master of Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Master of Engineering
  • Master of Environmental Engineering
  • Master of Industrial Engineering
  • Master of Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering
  • Master of Materials Science and Engineering
  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
  • Master of Nanoengineering
  • Master of Nuclear Engineering


  • N/A

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 69%
  • Average Student Age: 32
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.40
  • Avg. GRE Analytical Writing: N/A
  • Avg. GRE Quantitative: N/A
  • Avg. GRE Verbal: N/A
  • Gender Ratio: 22.2% female, 77.8% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 84
  • Total Enrollment: 663


  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 10 years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 120
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 6

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2009): 0%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 95%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 95%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 95%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2011-2012): 90%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2012-2013): 90%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Admissions Selectivity Rank: 9
  • Admissions Selectivity Score: 69/100
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 42
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 69/100
  • Peer Reputation Mean Score (1-5): 3.4
  • Student Engagement Rank: 7
  • Student Engagement Score: 76/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 36
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 41/100

Similar Products