North Carolina State University “NC State”
NC State is the second most competitive public university in North Carolina (behind UNC Chapel Hill), and has the most competitive engineering programs in the state. As part of our tour of eight NC colleges and universities, we visited NC State’s Centennial Campus, home to their College of Engineering and College of Textiles.
“Think and Do” is their motto, and hands-on learning was apparent throughout campus.
We started our visit in the College of Textiles (COT), where they offer five Bachelor of Science degrees: Fashion & Textile Management, Fashion & Textiles Design, Polymer & Color Chemistry, Textile Engineering, and Textile Technology. Their unique “Molecule to Market” approach separates NC State from other fashion design and merchandising
programs as all students take high-tech foundation courses, learning the science behind the design. Some exciting projects include Textile Technology students’ wor
k to create bullet proof textiles and textiles that can be used in medical applications. There are approximately 900 undergraduates in the College of Textile and more than half are in the Fashion & Textile Management program. They offer an amazingly affordable summer program, Summer Textile Exploration Program, where many future students get introduced to NC State and COT. We toured their extensive facilities including weaving machines, cotton cleaning and spinning room, and their own mini manufacturing facility where knit and woven fabrics and goods are made. Corporate sponsors challenge students during their senior capstone course to work on an existing problem or to create a new idea for the company. In this year-long course, students see the engineering/ design process from beginning to end.
We walked across Centennial Campus to the College of Engineering where we met with Director Laura Bottomley. “Are you interested in making a difference in the world to a lot of people? Because that’s what NC State engineers do,” Bottomley told us she asks prospective students. She explained that NC State’s engineering approach is developing creative problem solvers who want to be involved in a multi-disciplinary approach to address the grand challenges facing our world.
There are approximately 6,000 undergraduate engineering students and all students enter as part of the Engineering First Year Program. Students then apply to one of 18 specific engineering majors after the first year. if you have a 2.0 GPA, you are guaranteed admission to an engineering major. 90% of students ge
t their first choice, however last year ChemE was very popular and students needed a 3.6 GPA to get accepted to ChemE. Advisors work closely to help students understand the different disciplines and opportunities within the majors.
Last year’s freshman class was 28% women and their goal for this year is 32% female. The atmosphere within engineering was described as “family” rather than competitive. There are research, internship, coop, service and international experiences available, many in cooperation with government and industry projects being worked on at the Centennial Campus. NC State has a long-established relationship with NASA and unique programs in Aerospace, Nuclear, Paper and Textile engineering.
The engineering buildings and the James B. Hunt Jr. Library on Centennial Campus are all state of the art.
NC State is also known for its veterinary medicine program and undergraduate zoology program.
Division 1 sports with a stadium right at the center of the main campus (3-5 minute bus ride from Centennial Campus) add to school spirit and Wolfpack pride. Greek life is present and all freshmen are required to live on main campus. Sophomores and upper classmen can live on main, Centennial Campus, or off campus.
NC State is located in the capital city of Raleigh, one of the fastest growing and most educated cities in the US. It is home to many start-ups and is a great place for college students.
Admissions and Financial Aid
NC State accepts both the Common Application and the Coalition Application. They have seen a significant jump in applications over the past year. They strongly recommend applying by their 10/15 Early Action deadline to be considered for merit aid. They are looking or A/B students (mostly A) who take a challenging curriculum. They super score both the ACT and the SAT and do review applications holistically. They are very interested in what students are doing outside of the classroom. They do not require letters of recommendation and demonstrated interest is not part of the review process. North Carolina caps their out of state (OOS) population at 18%, but NC State has yet to reach that cap (currently 15.5% OOS), so they are still looking to grow their OOS population.
The fashion and textile programs do require a portfolio with 10 pieces and a short essay. They are most interested in seeing a student’s creativity.
NC State is considered the #1 best value among North Carolina public colleges and universities.
NC State is a great place for an aspiring engineer, especially if you want access to locally available internships. NC State is a must see for any student who has an interest in the world of textiles.
Raleigh, NC 27695