Admissions Criteria for High School Seniors

Pottery class in the Craft Center.

Who can apply?

We encourage all students interested in either program to apply to one or both of them. 

Admission to the University Honors or Scholars Program is not automatic. Students are required to respond to additional program-specific essay questions as they apply to NC State. These questions are integrated into the NC State application. 

Admission to either program is based on the assessment of your potential for exceptional academic work and understanding of the program requirements. Primarily this is done by evidence of creativity, initiative, and aspirations for academic excellence as described in your application essays. Secondarily, the programs consider SAT/ACT scores (when available), high school grades, the rigor of courses taken in high school, class rank (when available).

Application Timeline:

As you apply to North Carolina State University, you are cordially invited to apply to two programs for high-achieving students: the University Honors Program and the University Scholars Program. Each program requires a brief essay.  Students may apply to both programs but must select one if they are accepted by both. Please see below for information about deadlines and notification dates.


  • Deadline – November 1
    Notification Date – Approximately 2 weeks after NC State’s early action decisions are released.


  • Deadline – January 15
    Notification Date – Approximately 2 weeks after NC State’s regular admissions decisions are released.

Students who are not able to complete our application by the deadlines above are still eligible to apply. Please contact Sarah Beth May, Assistant Director of the University Scholars Program ( or Carolyn Veale, Assistant Director of the University Honors Program ( by April 1, 2021 to request an application or to ask general admissions questions after you have reviewed our Admissions Frequently Asked Questions page.