FAQs for Prospective Nanoengineering Students

Questions about the Application Process

The following questions are intended to help answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the application process. To find out more, contact our admissions staff.

Questions and Answers

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Frankly speaking, engineers earn more than scientists with equivalent training. According to 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics data, entry-level median pay for engineers compared to equivalent scientists is 35% higher. Nanoengineering is an interdisciplinary field that applies the principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and math to solve problems that are relevant nearly every industry. For the past 20 years, nanoengineering has been the source of new and novel technologies that address the world’s future needs in energy, electronics, and medicine. Our graduates become part of a growing network of successfully employed nanoengineers placed internationally throughout academic, industrial, and government agencies. We encourage all interested students to contact individual faculty for more information about specific research projects.

Greensboro is one of the best-kept secrets in North Carolina. It’s a small Southern city with a vibrant entertainment, arts, and culture community. The city has a lively and growing downtown scene, with great restaurants, galleries, and shops. Most importantly, Greensboro has abundant and affordable housing for graduate students to take advantage of. North Carolina A&T State University is a world-class university with campus activities such as concerts, plays, and sporting events, including the NCAA Division I Aggies Football Team. Centrally located in the state, Greensboro is three hours from the beach and three hours from the mountains, but for shorter regional trips, there are fantastic state and city parks within a short drive in any direction from the city. Greensboro has four seasons, but they are all relatively mild and pleasant.

All graduate applications are made through a common Graduate Admissions portal located on the Graduate School website at North Carolina A&T State University. These applications are forwarded to the Department of Nanoengineering for review. It is strongly recommended you connect with a prospective faculty advisor via telephone or email prior to applying to the program. The earlier that you can establish a relationship with a faculty member to match and share research goals, the faster and more efficient the application process will proceed.

The application fee is $65 and for a complete application, we require a transcript of your academic record, GRE scores, three professional letters of reference, a personal statement that indicates your reasons for applying to our program, as well as the selection of one to three potential advisors. For international students, additional information includes language tests such as TOEFL or IELTS.

Although we have deadlines (see below), we will review and accept talented students prior to these deadlines. Our goal is to accept the best students who have great potential in the field of nanoengineering, and to do this as early as possible.

A Bachelor’s degree in any engineering, natural or physical sciences field is a requirement for entering the Ph.D. program in the Department of Nanoengineering. These include but are not limited to all disciplines of engineering as well as biology, biochemistry, chemistry, molecular biology, physics, computer science, or math.

Yes. There are two deadlines for applications into the M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Nanoengineering. The first deadline is a departmental deadline of February 1st for applicants who wish to be considered for University fellowships and departmental assistantships; we strongly encourage all students interested in doctoral studies to apply early and contact prospective doctoral advisors about potential projects in their lab. The second deadline is July 1st for all remaining applicants; after this deadline, the university’s application system closes. Applicants who meet this deadline may be considered for any remaining assistantships and tuition support, if available. International applications must be received by June 1st.

The math requirement for entering the Nanoengineering Ph.D. program is Calculus I and II, with the understanding that the Calculus II coursework covers fundamental differential equations. Other math courses that will help you in your studies in the Nanoengineering Ph.D. program include differential equations, statistics, and certain computational math courses. Students are strongly encouraged to brush up on their math skills prior to entering our program and if needed, take additional courses to supplement any deficiencies. In certain circumstances students may be accepted to the program under the condition that a deficiency is met prior to entering the program in the fall.

No. The Department of Nanoengineering uses a holistic approach to evaluate all applicants to our program, and the GRE is not required to gain admission to our program. However, we strongly encourage students who have not earned a degree from an accredited US institution to submit GRE scores so as to increase their likelihood of admission and financial support.

Yes. We require three professional references for your application. These individuals should know you well enough to provide a detailed account of your work and work ethic, your intellectual ability, and your potential as a scientist. Good examples include former professors or lab managers at a recent job.

Typically, a 3.0 GPA is the minimum for acceptance into the NCAT graduate school and the Department of Nanoengineering Ph.D. program. We use a holistic approach to evaluate potential student applications and consider all students for our program, even those with a GPA lower than 3.0, especially if they demonstrate great potential as graduates as measured by their letters of reference, research accomplishments, and/or solid scores in standardized tests such as the GRE. Other options for students with low GPA include taking Nanoengineering courses as a non-matriculating student and proving that they are capable of graduate-level Nanoengineering training with an average grade higher than B.

We do not have minimum set of standards for admission into our program, and all applicants are evaluated on their individual merits. We use a holistic approach to evaluate Ph.D. applications—we use all aspects of the student’s applications, i.e., the GRE, the letters of references, your undergraduate scholastic performance, and your written statement of purpose to determine whether you will be a good fit in our program. An extremely important component of your application is the list of potential advisors and the rationale why these potential advisors were selected. Interested students are asked to directly contact any faculty during the application process.

Yes. We provide a variety of financial support with a variety of mechanisms including assistantships, tuition remission, and university fellowships. Support can be complete or partial. These awards are available to both domestic and international students and are awarded based on merit. University fellowships are highly competitive, and all qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.

We suggest that you apply by the December 15th to avoid any discrepancy in the application process.  Contact the Graduate Coordinator of the Nanoengineering program for more information, as well as potential mentors prior to applying.

The Department of Nanoengineering also has several types of graduate assistantships available for students on an annual basis. Graduate assistantship allows students to work for their degree and involve up to 20 hours of work per week in addition to coursework and research. The Department of Nanoengineering also provides tuition support for domestic and international students; again, this support is merit-based and can include partial to complete support. Tuition support is complex and differs for residents of North Carolina and those who are non-NC residents—i.e. US citizens from states other than NC—and international students. For more information on financial support contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

Typically, F1 and J1 visa holders are eligible to apply to Graduate school in the Department of Nanoscience and take advantage of potential financial support mechanisms such as assistantships. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Director of Graduate Studies.