GEARS at NC State University

Global Education, Academics, and Research Skills

The GEARS program at NC State University is a unique academic-research-cultural exchange program that enables academically gifted undergraduate students from our domestic and overseas partner institutions to come to our Raleigh campus, engage in a non-degree and non-credit campus experience, participate in cultural programs, and explore research relevant to students’ programs at their home institution. There are several sessions to choose from in Winter (January or February) and Summer (May to August).

The university has reduced operations and limited the number of students, faculty, and staff on campus. The GEARS program will continue this summer in an online/virtual format and include faculty and labs from partner universities across the state. Please click the project links below for a list of online offerings.  Admissions decisions will begin in May and be made on a continual basis.

This full-time program will:

  1. Introduce students to the life of a graduate student in the U.S.; visiting students can interact with NC State students, faculty, and researchers
  2. Introduce students to different aspects of studying at a U.S. graduate institution; as a visiting student you will have the opportunity to engage in various workshops, observe classes, and engage in a study project.
  3. Introduce students to university research (planning experiments, managing time, ethical issues in research, summarizing results, lab safety, using the library and other campus resources, etc.) Students will not engage in classified research or access research where IP issues are an issue, but we endeavor to pair students with NC State faculty conducting relevant or similar research.
  4. Provide workshops on academic oral and digital presentation skills and various aspects of U.S. American culture.
  5. Support students as they determine if they are truly interested in pursuing a graduate research degree program at NC State or elsewhere in the U.S.
  6. Provide cultural excursions and weekend trips to learn more about life at a U.S. university and U.S. culture. Note: this will not be available in the online Summer 2020 session.

Creating Cross-Cultural Exchange

Read more about the program’s success 

This is a competitive full-time (35 hours per week) academic program that does not involve credit or culminate in a degree. It is limited to students with a GPA of 3.0 or above, with a very good command of English language ability, are in good academic standing at one of our partner institutions overseas. Acceptance into this program is not guaranteed and also depends on the capacity and interest of relevant faculty and departments at NC State. Students are encouraged to apply early.

Please contact your school’s international office, sponsoring agency, or email us for information about the program and application process. This is a very competitive program, so you may not be accepted even if you meet the minimum eligibility requirements. Below is a list of the minimum required test scores for proof of your English ability. You only need to submit ONE test.

  • TOEFL – iBT: 85 total points
  • Previous Paper Version (PBT): 563
  • CET 6: 480
  • IELTS: 6.5
  • Duolingo: 100

Click here for a list of possible online research lab projects. Students can choose up to 3 topics of interest during their initial application. This list will continue to be updated throughout the year.

Summer GEARS Program Application

Apply now for the online/virtual program

If you are interested in participating in this program as a research mentor or workshop presenter, please contact us at for more information regarding benefits, processes, and expectations.

Click here to register your lab details after confirming your participation as a faculty mentor with a GTI team member.