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Rankings and Facts | NC State University

Essential Facts

We think and do — and the world takes notice.

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.

  • 37,500+ students, 2,500+ faculty and 7,100+ staff
  • Educating more North Carolinas 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
  • $1.95 billion endowment, among the top 90 largest higher-education endowments in the country
  • $1.639 billion budget for fiscal year 2021

#1 Best Public College for Your Money in North Carolina



  • #1 best public college in North Carolina (Money)
  • Top 1% of universities worldwide (Center for World University Rankings)
  • #4 veterinary medicine program nationallyUS News & World Report)
  • #6 best value among public universities nationallyUS News & World Report)
  • #7 online graduate engineering program nationally (US News & World Report)
  • #8 in MBA programs with the best return on investment (Poets & Quants)
  • #12 graduate engineering program among public universities (US News & World Report)
  • #12 online MBA nationally (Princeton Review)
  • #15 nationally in online graduate computer and information technology programs (US News & World Report)
  • #15 in undergraduate entrepreneurship nationally (Princeton Review)
  • #15 in graduate entrepreneurship nationally (Princeton Review)
  • #16 graduate statistics program nationally (US News & World Report)
  • #18 green college nationally (Princeton Review)

#4 College of Veterinary Medicine in the Nation

US News & World Report

Student and Faculty Success

  • More than 100 of our students were national scholars and fellows over the past five years.
  • NC State students won two Goldwater Scholarships and 19 National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships in the 2020-2021 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.
  • Twenty-three of our faculty are members of the National Academy.

#8 MBA Program for Return on Investment

Poets & Quants

Partnerships and Research

  • $384 million in sponsored research awards for fiscal year 2021
  • #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 Quantum Hub, a collaborative effort to advance quantum computing
  • Home to two major interdisciplinary National Sciences Foundation-funded centers launched in 2021:
  • A hub for driving 5G innovation through the $24 million Aerial Experimentation and Research Platform for Advanced Wireless (AERPAW) project
  • A partner in seven of the 16 public-private institutes that make up Manufacturing USA, a federal initiative to revitalize the US manufacturing industry
  • Home to the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center, one of eight such centers in the United States

$384M in New Sponsored Research in FY21

Office of Research and Innovation

Centennial Campus

  • NC State’s Centennial Campus is a nationally acclaimed public-private research campus where 65+ corporate, government and nonprofit partners work alongside 70+ research and academic units
  • Home to the College of Engineering, the Wilson College of Textiles, the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Institute for Emerging Issues, a think tank focused on tackling big issues that affect North Carolina’s prosperity
  • Supporting lifelong learning through K-12, graduate and continuing education, distance and online learning, and executive education
  • Houses the Office of Research and Innovation, which supports the university’s research and commercialization mission
  • James B. Hunt Jr. Library: Winner of the prestigious Stanford Prize for Innovation in Research Libraries, and one of the most technologically advanced learning and collaboration spaces in the world
  • Offers a wealth of dining options, housing and amenities, most of which are available to the public

#2 for Research Commercialization

among US universities without a medical school

Economic Impact

  • 190+ startups and spinoffs based on NC State research, attracting a total of $1.7 billion in venture capital
  • #4 nationwide for startups launched among universities without a medical school; #5 for licenses and options executed
  • 1,500+ patents issued in the US, 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 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 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.

190+ 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 US Public Universities

US News & World Report

Philanthropy and Giving

  • Supporters contributed $235 million in new gifts and pledges to NC State in FY20.
  • 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.
  • An extraordinary gift from Bill and Frances Henry funded the restoration and completion of the Memorial Belltower, including the installation of 55 bells.
  • A group of generous supporters of NC State athletics made a $5 million pledge to name the James T. Valvano Arena at Reynolds Coliseum.
  • The Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign — the most ambitious fundraising effort in NC State’s history — surpassed its $1.6 billion goal two years early, raising a total of $2.1 billion by the campaign’s end in 2021.
  • Donors created some 2,100 new funds and 636 new scholarships and fellowships through the campaign.
  • Of the 234 endowed faculty positions at NC State, 104 were created during the campaign.

$235M in Private Support in FY20

Recent Accolades

  • Two NC State students — physics and computer science graduate Ana Sofia Uzsoy and computer science and genetics graduate Nikhil Milind — earned prestigious Churchill Scholarships for graduate study at elite universities in the United Kingdom. They were two of only 17 scholars chosen, and NC State was one of only two schools in the country with two scholars in the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Ten faculty members across five NC State colleges were recognized as top young scholars by the National Science Foundation’s Early-Career Development Program.
  • Fred Kish, MC Dean Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
  • Hollylynne Lee, professor of mathematics and statistics education in the NC State College of Education and senior faculty fellow at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, received one of the nation’s top teaching awards, the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching.
  • In 2020, 10 NC State faculty members were elected as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a record for NC State and the second-est number of fellows of any university that year.
  • The National Science Foundation awarded its prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship to 19 NC State students. The fellowship program recognizes outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.
  • Two NC State students won a Goldwater Scholarship, presented to outstanding undergraduates preparing for careers as mathematicians, scientists and engineers: physics major Jack Featherstone and aerospace engineering major Andrew Mistele.


For more on how NC State stacks up against other universities across the country, Institutional Strategy and Analysis lists our top national and international rankings.


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