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Apply to the MIS Program

GRE scores are no longer required to apply to the Master of International Studies (MIS) program.

Application Requirements

Prospective students apply through the NC State Graduate School. A completed application for our program includes the following:

You can start your application on the Graduate School website.

Our admissions committee wants to gain as complete a picture of applicants as possible. We want to ensure that you are a good fit for the MIS program at NC State. We also want to make sure that the MIS program at NC State is a good fit for you! For us, that means understanding why you want to earn an MIS degree and how an MIS degree will help you meet your goals. It also means ensuring that you are prepared for a graduate program with a significant amount of reading and writing. We expect a strong record of academic or professional experience, but we do not require that you have a specific set of experiences or specific academic background. We recognize that the most intellectually rewarding classrooms are those in which students draw on a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. To help us gain that more complete picture of you as an applicant, we ask that you write short answers of 300 to 400 words to the following two questions.

1) Why do you want to earn an MIS degree? What intellectual or career goals do you hope it will help you achieve and how?

2) Students and faculty alike often say that one strength of the MIS program is being in classes and cohorts with people that have a variety of different backgrounds. In what ways will your experiences—personal or professional—allow you to contribute to an open, diverse, and vibrant intellectual atmosphere?

Include education, prior experience, etc.

Include transcripts from all colleges/universities attended (minimum GPA of 3.0 is required).

Include a minimum of one academic reference.

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.

Prior to being fully admitted, international students must submit a Certificate of Financial Responsibility form that confirms the availability of funds to cover all expenses of the student and accompanying dependents.

For more information on International Student Life, visit the Office of International Services.

Graduate Assistantship

Full-time fall applicants applying for departmental funding must submit an assistantship essay. If you are interested in applying for an assistantship, please write a 500-word essay in response to the following prompt:

  • We encourage students to adopt a question-driven approach to understanding the world. Discuss a global or international event or issue that is interesting to you. What kinds of questions does that topic raise for you and how might an MIS degree help you better understand or respond to it?

Info Sessions for Prospective Students

Application Deadlines

U.S. Citizens

  • Fall Applicants: March 1 priority for funding, admission on a rolling basis until June 1.
  • Spring Applicants: November 1 priority, admission on a rolling basis until November 25.

International Applicants

  • Fall Applicants: March 1
  • Spring Applicants: July 15

Contact Information

For an application with all the necessary forms and instructions:

The Graduate School
North Carolina State University
1020 Main Campus Drive, Room 2300A
Campus Box 7102
Raleigh, NC 27695-7102

Lifelong Learning

If you are not sure the Master of International Studies program is for you, you can take courses through Post-Baccalaureate Studies (PBS) administered by the Lifelong Education Services of the Office of Adult Credit Programs and Summer Sessions.

Post-Baccalaureate Studies (PBS) is designed for U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents who wish to undertake academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree but who are not currently admitted to a degree program.

You may wish to take PBS courses if you are unsure about whether international studies is the right program for you. If you are sure that you wish to pursue a MIS degree, however, it is usually better to apply before taking many PBS courses. Acceptance provides you with a faculty advisor who can guide your course choices.

The MIS program is increasingly selective in its admissions and does not recommend PBS enrollments for students whose GPA and GRE would not otherwise warrant admission to the program. Students considering PBS courses should consult with the MIS program director about their prospects for admission.

PBS registration is limited to a maximum of two courses per semester or summer school. Exceptions to this policy are made in special cases. Permission from the MIS program director is necessary.

If you are admitted as a graduate student, a maximum of twelve hours may, at the discretion of the MIS program director, be applied toward the minimum requirements of your degree. The PBS classification carries no guarantee that you will be admitted to the MIS Program. No particular PBS grades would guarantee admission to the MIS Program, but you strengthen your application with grades of B+ or higher in the recommended courses listed below.

Students who choose to pursue PBS courses should note that the Admissions Committee does not give equal weight to all PBS coursework. Courses should be relevant to the MIS program. The Committee strongly recommends that PBS students take at least two of the nine courses below:

  • PS 530 Seminar in International Relations
  • PS 531 International Law
  • PS 533 Global Problems and Policies
  • PS 536 Global Environmental Law and Policy
  • PS 539 International Political Economy
  • PS 540 Seminar in Comparative Politics
  • PS 542 European Politics
  • PS 543 Latin American & Caribbean Politics
  • PS 545 Comparative Systems of Law and Justice

All PBS students are strongly encouraged to pre-register. Pre-registration is administered by the Lifelong Education services of the Office of Adult Credit Programs and Summer Sessions. They are located in the McKimmon Center on the corner of Western Blvd. and Gorman Street. Their office hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. Their address and contact information follows:

  • Address: Office of Adult Credit Programs and Summer Session: North Carolina State University, Box 7401, Raleigh, NC 27695.
  • Phone: 919-515-2265
  • Website: