GTE Certificate in US Culture and Higher Education

The GTE Certificate program is a short-term study program for international students who wish to enhance their current undergraduate or graduate program by studying at NC State University. Students are able to earn a Certificate in US Culture and Higher Education in one semester. They are enrolled in the 3-credit GTI 401 course on US Culture and Higher Education that equips students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed at an American university. Students also take 3-4 more courses in their field of study and/or Foreign Language English courses.

For more information about the costs of attending NC State, click here to see the estimates from the Cashier's Office. Note that the estimates are for two semesters of study at NC State, but the GTE program is a one semester program. GTE students should divide the cost in half.

In addition to the costs listed on the Cashier's Office, there are two additional GTI fees: a $100 application fee that's paid at the time an application is submitted and a $400 administration fee that's billed to the student during their semester at NC State. The US government also charges a visa fee and SEVIS fee.

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Application Process for Students

GTE application process

  1. Students participating in the GTE certificate program should coordinate with the NC State department's advisors and their home university's faculty advisor to determine when the student should enroll and what courses he or she should take. *Course selection is based on the student having met pre-requisite conditions and class space availability. Students may not get into all their first choices for courses. Certain academic departments at NC State do not allow GTE students to enroll in their courses.

  2. Students apply through the GTI at and must email all supporting documents at least 60 days (90 days is preferable) before the start of the term (priority deadline). Admission is granted on a rolling basis. Select the "GTE" option in the online application.

  3. Students must email the supporting documents listed below to and pay the $100 application fee before the application is processed. Applications will be processed within 5-10 business days after a complete application is submitted and all supporting documents have been received.

Application Documents

After the following application materials are all received, reviewed, and approved, we will send you some important pre-arrival information, a visa certificate (I-20) and instructions for applying for an F-1 visa and other pre-arrival details.




Additional Notes

& emails documents to the GTI

Biographical page in passport
Bio page in passport example
Proof of English ability

Below are a list of the minimum required test scores*. You only need to submit ONE test.

  • TOEFL - iBT: 68 total points
  • Previous Computer Version (CBT): 165
  • Previous Paper Version (PBT): 480
  • CET 6: 480
  • TSE: 45
  • TOEIC: 600 total and 320 on listening section
  • IELTS: 5
  • Michigan/MELAB: 65
  • EIKEN: Grade pre-1 or 1

*Note: Some NC State graduate departments require a TOEFL or IELTS score be submitted at the time of application. Others departments will allow you to use one of the other tests GTI accepts as a temporary test until you submit an official TOEFL or IELTS score in the Fall.

Proof of financial support

Make sure you have enough money to cover the costs of tuition, books, and living expenses. Click here for more details on the costs of studying at NC State.

Students must also submit a bank statement* in English that:

  • Is an official statement from the bank (on bank letterhead, stamped by the bank, or a print out of an online statement)
  • States the amount of money currently in the bank account
  • Clearly states the name of the account holder

*A letter of support is needed if the bank statement is not in the applicant’s name, or if the student’s expenses are covered by a company, institution, or other sponsors.

The person (for example: Father or Mother) in whose name the bank statement is in should submit a scanned and signed letter stating the money in the bank account will be used to support the applicant while at NC State.

Examples of support letters:

Proof of health insurance

GTE students must purchase the student health insurance policy from Pearce and Pearce per the mandate from the UNC Board of Governors.

You can find FAQs, definitions of terms, a benefits summary, claim forms and instructions, and other important information at the Student Blue website at the Student Blue Information Page.

Students wishing to purchase the University sponsored plan, should go to the online enrollment form and set up their Insurance Account with Student Blue. You will be billed automatically on your Student Account.

School transcripts

Applicants should submit their most recent official school transcript(s) in English or with English translations.


documents highlighted in blue

NC State faculty recommendation

The NC State faculty member is responsible for filling out an online recommendation form that is emailed when the student enters the faculty's email address in their application.


Academic recommendation
(home institution)

The second required academic recommendation comes from the student’s advisor at their home institution that explains how the internship is related to the applicant’s degree program. A link to the online recommendation form is emailed when the student enters the faculty's email address in their application.