At its December 17, 2020 meeting, the UNC Board of Governors approved the following amendment to UNC Policy 400.1.5 Policy on Fostering Undergraduate Student Success:

The UNC System Office shall, in consultation with faculty and staff from the constituent institutions, establish and maintain a common course numbering system for undergraduate lower division courses, which shall be mapped to the unique course numbers used at each respective institution of higher education. The president shall approve regulations to describe and implement this common undergraduate course numbering system, which shall be established and operational by the 2022-23 academic year.

In collaboration with institutional faculty, staff, and administration, the UNC System Office has begun the work of identifying and developing a set of course equivalencies for commonly taught, lower-division courses. Many equivalencies already exist, particularly for those courses designated in the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) that governs transfer from NC community colleges.  This work will also be focused on transfer credit among UNC universities.

The project will culminate in several tools and services made available to students, advisors, registrars, etc., that clearly indicate accepted transfer courses. To meet the intent of the policy, we will initially develop a searchable database that will be housed on the UNC System website and available to institutional websites. Eventually, migration into the Student Information System on each campus will enable automated assignment of transfer.

To guide this work, content experts from across the UNC System and chancellor-appointed points of contact are meeting regularly to identify the path forward that will establish a system of course equivalencies to improve awarding of transfer credit and overall transfer student success.

Regular updates will be made available here and to leadership across the UNC System. 


Operations Manual

CNS Updates


Updated 4/13/21


CNS org chart
Updated 4/13/21


AppalachianMark GinnVice Provost for Undergraduate 
East CarolinaAngela AndersonVice Provost for Academic
Elizabeth CityGloria PayneInterim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic
Fayetteville StateRollinda ThomasAssistant Vice Chancellor for Academic
NC A&T StateStephanie Luster-TeasleyInterim Vice Provost for Undergraduate
NC CentralMichelle MayoAssociate Provost for Academic Programs and Undergrad
NC School of Science and MathematicsAngela TeacheyAssociate Vice Chancellor for Academic
NC StateLouis Hunt / Charles CliftSr. Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and;
UNC AshevilleLynne HorganUniversity
UNC Chapel HillLauren DiGraziaAssistant Provost and University
UNC CharlotteCoral WaylandAssociate Dean for Undergraduate
UNC GreensboroAndrew HamiltonAssociate Vice Provost of Student Success and Dean of Undergraduate
UNC PembrokeElizabeth NormandyAssociate Vice Chancellor for Planning and;
UNC WilmingtonPaul TownsendAssociate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate
UNC School of the ArtsSharon HushInterim University
Western CarolinaBrandon SchwabAssociate Provost for Academic
Winston-Salem StateMarquita GravesUniversity
Faculty AssemblyTim IvesChair, UNC Faculty 
Updated as of 4/13/21

UNC System Common Numbering System Frequently Asked Questions  

April, 2021 

What is the Common Numbering System (CNS)? 

The CNS is an amendment to the UNC Policy 400.1.5 Policy, Fostering Undergraduate Student Success.  It was introduced by President Hans, and passed by the UNC System Board of Governors in December 2020.  The amendment directs the UNC System Office, in consultation with faculty and staff from the constituent institutions, to establish and maintain a common course numbering system for undergraduate lower division courses, which shall be mapped to the unique course numbers at each respective institution of higher education. 

What is the goal of the CNS project? 

To develop a set of course equivalencies for commonly taught, lower division courses and to produce a searchable database of those courses for use by students, advisors, registrars, admissions, etc., to support the transfer process. 

Why is the CNS important? 

The UNC Common Numbering System will enable students and advisors from all institutions to review lower-level, undergraduate courses, to determine equivalent credit when transferring from one institution in the UNC System to another system institution.  This helps the student stay on track for graduation.  

How will this benefit students? 

More equivalent and applicable credit will be identified across the institutions, increasing the maximum credit possible when transferring between public institutions of higher education in North Carolina.  

Where can I research the course equivalencies? 

A searchable database is being developed for public access and will be available from the UNC System website, as well as from some institutional websites. 

Will colleges and universities have to change their course catalogue numbering? 

No, the advantage of the UNC System CNS is that institutions will retain their course prefixes, numbers, and titles. Institutional courses will be mapped to an overarching UNC System numbering system, which will help to identify how a course transfers as semester credit hours, but not as general education or program requirements.  

When will the CNS be available? 

Coming Fall, 2022!