The UNC Policy Manual


Adopted 02/10/84

 Amended 04/12/00

 Amended 04/11/03

 Amended 07/01/07

Amended 01/11/08

Amended 02/27/15

Amended 04/15/16

Amended 07/29/16

Amended 03/30/20


Policy on Minimum Eligibility Requirements for Undergraduate Admission for the University of North Carolina System


I.        Purpose.  The University of North Carolina (UNC) Board of Governors has, since 1988, established minimum requirements for undergraduate admission to any constituent institution.   These requirements serve to provide a common set of minimum standards to be considered for admission as an undergraduate student. Exceptions and special considerations to these minimum eligibility requirements are provided in Sections 700.1.1.1[R], 700.1.1.2[R], 700.7.1, and 700.7.1[R] of the UNC Policy Manual.  Any constituent institution may set admissions requirements that exceed the minimums established in this policy upon the approval of their board of trustees.


II.           High School Diploma. All students should hold a high school diploma or its equivalent.


III.          Minimum Course Requirements. The following courses must be completed at the high school level, although those courses may be completed at an earlier time (e.g., middle school).


A.       English:  four course units emphasizing grammar, composition, and literature.


B.       Mathematics:  four course units in any of the following combinations:[1]


1.      Algebra I, algebra II, geometry, and one unit beyond algebra II; or


2.            Algebra I, algebra II, and two units beyond algebra II; or


3.            Common core math I, II, and III, and one unit beyond common core math III; or


4.            Integrated math I, II, III, and one unit beyond integrated math III; or


5.            NC Math 1, 2, 3, and one unit beyond NC Math 3 identified as meeting the 4th level mathematics requirement for admission to UNC System institutions.


C.       Science: three course units, including:


1.            Life or biological science (e.g., biology); and


2.            Physical science (e.g., chemistry, physical science, physics); and


3.            One laboratory course.


D.       Second Language: two course units of a language other than English.


E.       Social Studies: two course units,  including one unit in U.S. history.[2]


IV.          High School Grade Point Average and Standardized Test Scores. Students must meet either the minimum high school grade point average (GPA) or standardized test score in order to be considered for admission. All applicants for admission, except those exempted by current UNC policy or regulation, must submit a standardized test score, even if they satisfy the minimum eligibility requirement through the high school GPA.


A.       High School GPA: A minimum weighted GPA of 2.5; or


B.       Standardized Test Scores: A composite ACT score of 19, or combined SAT (mathematics and evidence-based reading and writing) of 1010.


C.                Chancellor’s Exceptions: The maximum number of chancellor’s exceptions is limited to one percent of the total number of applicants accepted as first-time undergraduates each year. A chancellor’s exception may be applied to the SAT/ACT minimum requirement or the high school GPA minimum requirement.


V.           Graduates of Cooperative Innovative High Schools (Early College).  Each UNC constituent institution must offer to any student who graduated from a cooperative innovative high school program with an associate degree and who applies for admission to a constituent institution the option of being considered for admission as a first-time (freshman) or as a transfer student.


A.               The constituent institution shall also provide written information to the student regarding the consequences that accompany each option and any other relevant information that may be helpful to the student when considering which option to select.


B.               Beginning March 1, 2017, the Board of Governors shall report annually regarding the number of students who graduated from a cooperative innovative high school program with an associate degree and which option was chosen by those students when applying for admission to a constituent institution.


VI.          Notification of Stakeholders and Educational Policymakers. The president is directed to develop plans and further recommendations to inform key stakeholders and education policymakers of the changes in requirements. 


VII.         Other Matters


A.               Effective Date. The requirements of this policy shall be effective for all first-time students applying for admission at a constituent institution for any semester beginning with the 2020 fall semester through the 2022 fall semester (including students who attended the institution for the first time in the prior summer term).



B.               Relation to Federal and State Laws. The foregoing policy as adopted by the Board of Governors is meant to supplement, and does not purport to supplant or modify, those statutory enactments which may govern or relate to the subject matter of this policy.


C.                Regulations and Guidelines. This policy shall be implemented and applied in accordance with such regulations and guidelines as may be adopted from time to time by the president.



[1]Students applying to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts must only complete three mathematics courses in order to be eligible for admission.

[2]An applicant who does not have the unit in U.S. history may be admitted on the condition that at least three semester hours in that subject be passed by the end of the sophomore (second) year.