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Guidance for Applicants

Increase your chances of admission to NC State and CALS.

Applying to college can be overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve provided information to guide you through the application process for NC State University and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

340+ Scholarships

There’s more than $1 million in scholarships available to CALS undergraduate and AGI students each year.

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What are my chances of being admitted?

That’s the number one question we get.

NC State uses a holistic admissions process and considers more than an applicant’s test score and GPA. We understand that leadership experience in organizations such as 4-H and FFA, an agricultural background, science-related opportunities, or participation in pre-college or summer programs are strong indicators of student success.

But your academic performance is important, too. In 2020, NC State (and CALS) had a nearly 44% acceptance rate.

While many students begin their college career at CALS as a traditional freshman, many others transfer from another institution. What do all of our students have in common? They graduate with a degree from CALS at NC State, regardless of where they started. We want you here, and we can help find the right path for you.

Consider high-demand degree programs.

Animal science is the most popular major in CALS, followed by biochemistry. Many other majors generally receive less than 200 applications. While many animal science applicants expressed an interest in becoming veterinarians, our College of Veterinary Medicine admits only 100 students per year.

That’s extremely competitive, so consider other options.

The USDA forecasts demand for college graduates in agriculture and food industries to be 57,900 a year, but U.S. agricultural colleges are only producing 35,400 graduates a year. There is tremendous demand for CALS graduates, especially in the following program areas:

CALS Grads in
High Demand

There are 22,500 more U.S. Ag jobs than grads every year.

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What can I do to prepare?

Your high school GPA, test scores, extracurricular activities, personal interests, and essays are all considered in the admissions process. A strong high school academic record and a well-rounded outside life can improve your chances of acceptance.

Note: Due to testing interruptions caused by COVID-19, NC State will be test-optional for 2021 spring and fall first-year applicants. You will not be disadvantaged if you indicate you do not want scores to be considered in your application review. You must indicate whether you plan to submit SAT or ACT scores for admissions consideration.

Visit the NC State Admissions website for admissions guidelines and requirements.

We Want You Here

There is more than one path to CALS, and we want to help you find yours.

Find Your Path To CALS 

Applying to CALS

We strongly encourage all applicants to apply for freshman admission by November 1 for priority consideration of all CALS Scholarships. Visit the NC State Admissions website for additional guidance and requirements.