Policies and Procedures

The University provides a list of campuswide official policies. The policies and procedures in this section of the catalog include information about course credit; registration and enrollment; attendance, grading, and examination; academic standing, transcripts; and other important information. 

Regulations and Requirements for Undergraduate Students

Students are responsible for observing the procedures, regulations, and requirements of the University as they are set forth here and in other official University publications. This section describes many of the requirements and regulations that apply to undergraduates, but it is not a complete list of all such regulations and requirements. Unless otherwise stated, the regulations described in this section will govern the academic progress of students from their first year in the General College through their final semester in the College of Arts and Sciences or one of the undergraduate professional schools. The staff of the University will gladly provide students with detailed information concerning their academic program or academic problems, but this does not relieve any student of individual responsibility for meeting the University’s requirements and observing University regulations.

Regulations and Requirements for Graduate Students

The Graduate School Handbook contains most of the policies and procedures of The Graduate School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Students should become familiar with the material pertaining to their degree programs, and, together with their faculty advisors, make certain that the chosen program of study complies with all policies.

If University policies change during the academic year, those changes will appear here.

Note: The following policy was updated with this new text on August 23, 2023, after the 2023–2024 Catalog was initially published. See it also at https://catalog.unc.edu/policies-procedures/registration-enrollment-withdrawal/#text.

Pass/Fail Option

The Pass/Fail (PS/F) option provides students an opportunity to explore areas of interest without penalty to their overall GPA. Courses declared on a PS/F basis do not count towards a student’s GPA, unless the course is failed, but do count towards credit hours for graduation and Satisfactory Academic Progress and Eligibility completion rates. Students who declare a course PS/F will receive:

  • the notation of PS (pass) when a letter grade of A through C is earned,
  • the notation of LP (low pass) when a letter grade of C-, D+, or D is earned,
  • and a grade of F when the course is failed.

PS and LP notations do not impact a student’s grade point average (GPA); however, an F grade is treated in the same manner as F grades earned in any other course and therefore does impact a student’s GPA.

Courses used to fulfill “Gateway”, “Prerequisite” or “Additional Requirements” for a declared major or minor (as outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog) may not be declared as PS/F. Also, students may not elect to change their major or minor for the purpose of declaring a course on a PS/F basis. Understanding that exploration may also lead to interest in a particular area, students may elect to use one course completed with a grade of PS, not LP, towards major and/or minor “Core Requirements” (as outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog).

Instructors are not informed when a student changes the grading basis to PS/F and report earned grades to the Registrar’s Office where the grade is converted to a PS or LP. All PS/F declarations are final. Once a course has been declared as PS/F, students cannot reverse their decision and change the grading basis back to a letter grade.

Pass/Fail Declaration Procedure

To declare a course Pass/Fail (PS/F), a student must complete the Pass/Fail Course Request Form within ConnectCarolina. Students are advised to discuss the advisability of declaring a course PS/F with their assigned advisor or faculty advisor (if appropriate) before committing themselves to a formal declaration. Students considering this option are cautioned that many admissions representatives from professional schools and graduate school programs consider applicants whose transcripts have a significant number or trend of PS/LP grading notations less favorably than applicants whose transcripts contain none or very few.
The period for PS/F declarations begins on the fifth day of classes of each semester and concludes at the end of the eighth week of classes.

Regulations Governing the Pass/Fail Option

The following regulations govern the use of the Pass/Fail (PS/F) option:

  1. Students may only take one student-elected PS/F course each semester.
  2. No more than 23 total credit hours of PS/F credit hours will be allowed in a student’s undergraduate career, with no more than 16 hours (of the 23) from student-elected PS/F classes and no more than 13 hours (of the 23) from established PS/F courses.
  3. The following courses may not be declared PS/F:
  • Courses only offered on a PS/F grading basis per the Undergraduate Course Catalog
  • Courses used to satisfy First-Year Foundations requirements
  • Courses used to satisfy General Education requirements
  • Global language courses levels 1 through 3 if the language is being used to fulfill the General Education requirement
  • Courses successfully completed for a letter grade (A–D)
  • Courses used as “Gateway,” “Prerequisite,” and/or “Additional Requirements” for declared majors and minors per the Undergraduate Course Catalog (i.e., courses not listed as “Core Requirements”)
  • Summer School courses
  • An honors seminar or honors course
  • Courses taken via interinstitutional enrollment

Maintained by the Educational Policy Committee. Last approved on April 28, 2023.