The NC State Belltower seen through trees.

Rankings and Facts

NC State is a top public research university that produces career-ready graduates, attracts leading researchers and supports the state and national economies. We think and do — and the world takes notice.

Essential Facts

NC State is a public land-grant university based in Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina. As a Research I university, NC State is a key part of the Research Triangle region, which is home to industry leaders such as NC State partners SAS, Cisco, IBM, GlaxoSmithKline and Lenovo. Raleigh and the surrounding area are consistently rated among the best places to live and work in the United States, and NC State is a driving force for the local, state and national economies.

  • 36,700+ students, 2,400+ faculty and 7,200+ staff
  • Educating more North Carolinians than any other university
  • Student-faculty ratio 15:1
  • 12 colleges representing all major academic fields
  • More than 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered through 68 departments
  • NC State Extension serves citizens in all 100 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
  • $1.4 billion endowment, among the top 90 largest higher-education endowments in the country
  • $1.714 billion budget for fiscal year 2020

#1 Best Public College for Your Money in North Carolina



  • Top 1% of universities worldwide (Center for World University Rankings)
  • #1 best public college in North Carolina (Money)
  • #1 in the Southeast for student entrepreneurship (Princeton Review/Entrepreneur)
  • #3 graduate nuclear engineering program nationally (U.S. News & World Report)
  • #4 graduate mechanical engineering program nationally (U.S. News & World Report)
  • #4 veterinary medicine program nationally (U.S. News & World Report)
  • #6 online graduate engineering program nationally (U.S. News & World Report)
  • #7 graduate biological/agricultural engineering program nationally (U.S. News & World Report)
  • #8 in MBA programs with the best return on investment (Poets & Quants)
  • #12 online MBA nationally (Princeton Review)
  • #13 best alumni network among public schools nationally (Princeton Review)
  • #13 best value among public schools nationally (Princeton Review)
  • #13 game design program among public schools worldwide (Princeton Review)
  • #15 in undergraduate entrepreneurship nationally (Princeton Review)
  • #15 in graduate entrepreneurship nationally (Princeton Review)
  • #15 best public school for internships nationally (Princeton Review)
  • #16 graduate statistics program nationally (U.S. News & World Report)
  • #18 best public school for making an impact nationally (Princeton Review)
  • #29 best national university (Washington Monthly)
  • #30 public institution worldwide (Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education)

#4 College of Veterinary Medicine in the Nation

U.S. News & World Report

Student and Faculty Success

  • Recent first-year classes boast the highest ACT and SAT scores in university history.
  • More than 100 of our students were national scholars and fellows over the past five years.
  • NC State students won four Goldwater Scholarships and 14 National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships in the 2018-2019 academic year.
  • The Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program groups world-leading educators and researchers into 20 interdisciplinary clusters, including bioinformatics, precision medicine and public science.
  • NC State ranks #3 among national research universities in producing Fulbright Scholars.
  • Twenty-three of our faculty are members of the National Academies.

#8 MBA Program for Return on Investment

Poets & Quants

Partnerships and Research

  • $373 million in sponsored research awards for fiscal year 2019
  • No. 4 in the nation for the share of our research sponsored by private industry, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
  • One of only two universities in the nation leading two National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers:
  • The first North American location for an IBM Q Hub, a collaborative effort to advance quantum computing
  • Leading three federally funded collaborative institutes tackling some of our world’s biggest challenges:
  • A partner in seven of the 14 public-private institutes that make up Manufacturing USA, a federal initiative to revitalize the U.S. manufacturing industry
  • Home to The Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center, one of eight such centers in the United States

$398M in New Sponsored Research in FY20

Office of Research and Innovation

Centennial Campus

#2 for Research Commercialization

among universities without a medical school

Economic Impact

  • 170+ startups and spinoffs based on NC State research, attracting a total of $1.7 billion in venture capital
  • #2 nationwide in licenses and options executed among universities without a medical school; #4 for startups launched
  • 1,500+ patents issued in the U.S., yielding 600+ consumer products
  • The Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN) matches NC State alumni investors with promising university-affiliated startups to facilitate mentoring, support and angel investments for entrepreneurial businesses. WIN currently has 150 members, and WIN members have invested more than $10 million in 18 NC State startups.
  • The Milken Institute, an economic think tank, cited the collaboration and innovation fostered by NC State — and particularly by Centennial Campus — as key reasons why Raleigh is one of the top 11 best-performing large cities in the United States.
  • NC State and its students, alumni and associated startups generate $6.5 billion of North Carolina income annually.

170+ Startups and Spinoffs

Office of Research and Innovation


  • NC State has more than 250,000 living alumni, approximately 160,000 of whom live in North Carolina.
  • The NC State Alumni Association has more than 23,000 dues-paying members, including about 3,000 members of the Student-Alumni Association.
  • Wolfpack alumni stay in touch via more than 50 regional networks around the United States.

#6 Best Value Among U.S. Public Universities

U.S. News & World Report

Philanthropy and Giving

  • Supporters contributed $220 million in new gifts and pledges to NC State in FY19.
  • The year’s total continues the momentum of the previous two fiscal years, when NC State recorded giving of $224 million (2016-17) and $215.4 million (2017-18).
  • Alumnus Frederick Eugene Wilson Jr. and the Wilson family gave the transformational gift of $28 million to name the Wilson College of Textiles in perpetuity.
  • Alumni Edward P. Fitts Jr. and Edgar S. Woolard jointly gave a $25 million gift allowing the university to break ground on Fitts-Woolard Hall, which will house programs and facilities of the College of Engineering.
  • A group of generous supporters of NC State athletics made a $5 million pledge to name the James T. Valvano Arena in Reynolds Coliseum.
  • The Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign, the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of NC State, has surpassed its $1.6 billion goal.
  • To date, donors have created some 2,100 new funds and 636 new scholarships and fellowships through the campaign.
  • Of the 234 endowed faculty positions at NC State, 89 have been created during this campaign.

$215.4M in Private Support in FY18

Recent Accolades

  • Zach DeVries — a postdoctoral researcher in the entomology lab of Blanton J. Whitmire Distinguished Professor Coby Schal — received a National Institutes of Health Director’s Early Independence Award, part of the federal agency’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program.
  • Three NC State faculty members received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the U.S. government’s top award for early-career scientists and engineers: Lorena Bociu, associate professor of mathematics; Hsiao-Ying Shadow Huang, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; and James LeBeau, associate professor of materials science and engineering.
  • Three NC State faculty members were named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors: Rodolphe Barrangou, Todd R. Klaenhammer Distinguished Professor in Probiotics Research; Kenneth R. Swartzel, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor Emeritus; and Carlos Pignataro, an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  • Dali Sun, assistant professor of physics, received a U.S. Department of Energy Early Career Research award, which supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers.
  • Three NC State faculty members were elected as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science: Carol K. Hall, Camille Dreyfus Distinguished University Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Jacqueline Krim, Distinguished University Professor of Physics; and Louis Martin-Vega, dean of the College of Engineering.
  • The National Science Foundation awarded its prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship to 18 NC State students. The fellowship program recognizes outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.
  • Three NC State students won a Goldwater Scholarship, presented to outstanding undergraduates preparing for careers as mathematicians, scientists and engineers: chemical and biomolecular engineering major Daniel Haller, chemistry major Jonathan Palmer, and physics and math major Noah Wolfe.

Last updated on Oct. 13, 2020