Standardized Testing

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE®)

All students are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) administered by official agencies / affiliates of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) around the world. Visit the GRE website to learn more, prepare, and register for an exam in your area at least six months from our February 1 application deadline. If your scores do not meet our minimum requirements, you will then have time for further preparation and to retake the test.

Do not wait until January to take the GRE. Your scores may not make it into The Graduate School system by our February 1 application deadline. If your scores do not post to your GRE application area at least a week prior to the application deadline, please access your GRE account portal and save the page with your scores as a PDF and upload into your online application. These scores – and your application – will be deemed "unofficial" until the testing center electronically submits your scores to the NC State Graduate School system. 

If you have previously taken the GRE, The Graduate School will accept scores received less than five years old from the date of your application. 

Our program requirements are as follow:

GRE Minimum Requirements for Entrance Into the M.S. in Communication Program
Test SectionsAcceptable Scores
Verbal153 and above
Quantitative146 and above
Analytical Writing4.0 and above

 The ETS Institutional Code for all graduate programs at NC State University is 5496.

ETS will send your scores electronically to the NC State Graduate School but you must request this at the time of your test (enter “NC State” or the code above into your choice of colleges to receive your scores into the GRE software when prompted) or contact ETS if you have taken your test in previous years to have your scores sent to the NC State Graduate School. 

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL®)

International students who earned their undergraduate degrees from a university outside of the United States that does not claim English as a first language, must take the TOEFL®. Visit their website for complete information. The Graduate School’s minimum score for entry into a graduate program is 80; however, to remain competitive with the average M.S. in Communication pool of applicants, students should have a minimum score of 90 with an ideal score of 100 or higher. 

International applicants applying for financial aid through the Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP) which requires working 20 hours a week as a Graduate Teaching or Research Assistant, must have a Speaking score of at least 23. To teach undergraduate communication courses as part of the Teaching Assistantship, the Speaking score must be 26 or higher.