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Certificate in U.S. Culture and Higher Education

Study at NC State

Overseas undergraduate students can take classes for a semester at NC State that count towards their degree. Students enroll in 4-5 courses* during their semester at NC State, including the GTI 401 course on U.S. Culture and Higher Education. Students who wish to participate in the program should coordinate with the NC State department’s director of advising and their home university’s faculty advisor to determine academic eligibility.

*Students may not get their first choice for courses because enrollment is based on class space availability and students’ previous coursework. Certain academic departments at NC State may not allow certificate students to enroll in their courses.

  • Calculate the estimated cost of attendance of an academic year for “out-of-state” students. A semester is half the amount.
  • GTI Application Fee: $100 paid at the time an application is submitted (non-refundable and non-transferable).
  • GTI Administration Fee: $500 paid during the semester at NC State (billed to your student account).
  • The U.S. government charges visa and SEVIS fees.
  1. Before applying, contact the GTI about your preferred field of study. We will work with the department to determine your academic eligibility.
  2. Once you’re deemed eligible, apply online at least 90 days before the start of the fall semester. Select the “Global Training Education Certificate” option. This application will ask for personal data and the Global Training Initiative has taken additional steps to ensure the data collection complies with new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standards. If you are or will be a resident of an EU Member State, please review the following data privacy notice.
  3. Submit all supporting documents at least 60 days before the start of the semester.
  4. Pay the $100 application fee.
  5. Processing does not begin until all supporting documents are received and the application fee is paid.
  6. Processing time is typically 5-10 business days after all steps are completed by the applicant.

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


A copy of the biographical page of your passport is required (see example). The information should match your application.


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

  • TOEFL – iBT: 75 total points
  • Previous Computer Version (CBT): 200
  • Previous Paper Version (PBT): 525
  • CET 6: 480
  • TSE: 50
  • TOEIC: 680
  • IELTS: 6
  • Michigan/MELAB: 70
  • EIKEN: 1

Program participants must show they have enough money to cover the costs of tuition, books, and living expenses. See the estimated cost of attendance for an academic year. You must also factor in additional money for the cost of student health insurance (usually around $1500 a semester).

Students must submit a bank statement in English that:

  • is an official statement from the bank (on bank letterhead, stamped by the bank, or a printout of an online statement)
  • states the amount of money currently in the bank account
  • clearly states the name of the account holder

Students also need a letter of support 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.


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


State law requires students to have health insurance while studying at NC State. Program participants can enroll in the university’s UNC System Student Health Insurance Plan. The cost of health insurance can be found on Campus Health’s website.

Academic Recommendation: The student’s advisor or faculty member at their home institution should explain the applicant’s current program of study and how aligns with courses to be taken at NC State. This recommendation should be emailed to