Credit and Evaluation

Calculation of Transferred Semesters Based on the Number of Transferred Credit Hours

Several academic procedures, including the determination of academic eligibility, depend on the tally of semesters that students have completed. When credit hours are transferred, a calculation must be made as to the number of semesters the student is regarded as having used up. This calculation is based on the number of credit hours accepted by UNC–Chapel Hill for transfer, not on the number of semesters in which the student was enrolled at other colleges. Excluded from this calculation are transfer hours awarded for courses taken concurrent with high school.

Students are regarded as having used up one semester for every full multiple of 15.0 semester credit hours accepted for transfer. When credits are transferred from a college that operates on the quarter-term system, one quarter-term credit hour equals two-thirds of a semester credit hour.

See “Transfer Candidates” in the “Undergraduate Admissions” section of the Catalog for additional information.

The same formula is applied to credit hours that a student earns while enrolled in a part-time program of study at UNC–Chapel Hill, with 90 hours regarded as six semesters and 105 hours regarded as seven semesters. Note: Hours earned in any UNC–Chapel Hill summer term are not included in this formula.

The formula also applies to transfer credit hours awarded for any courses taken at other institutions during a fall or spring semester (but not during summer terms) after a student matriculates at UNC–Chapel Hill.

Credit by College Board Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or SAT Subject Examinations

Students who meet UNC–Chapel Hill standards on certain approved College Board Advanced Placement examinations, examinations of the International Baccalaureate Program, or certain SAT Subject Tests (e.g., foreign language) may receive academic credit for comparable University coursework. Each year the Office of Undergraduate Admissions publishes the minimum scores necessary for the awarding of course credit (also listed below for AP and IB exams); however, final authority for awarding this placement credit lies with the chair of the department or curriculum in which credit is to be received. Minimum scores for placement may change from year to year. Regulations for credit in the year in which the student began study at UNC–Chapel Hill as a full-time student determine the standards that apply, not the year in which the student took the examination. Such credit will not be contingent upon the completion of further work in the subject unless specified by an academic department.

By-Examination (BE) credit awarded based on a student’s scores on the Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, SAT Subject Tests, or departmental examinations may be used to fulfill General Education requirements. For students admitted as new first-year or transfer students beginning in fall 2009 or later, the following limitations apply to the use of By-Examination (BE) credit in a major or minor:

  • No more than two courses (six to eight credit hours) of BE credit may be used as part of the major core.
  • No more than one BE credit course (three to four credit hours) may be used as part of a minor.
  • Grades of BE from an Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or SAT II Subject Test may not count toward the requirement that students earn at least 18 hours of C or better grades in the major core, or toward the minimum hours of C required in the minor.

Students who wish to enroll in a course for which they have By-Examination credit should discuss their decision with an academic advisor. In the event that a student takes a course for which Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or SAT Subject Test credit is awarded, the By-Examination credit will be forfeited when the course is completed, as well as any higher-level BE credit in that sequence. For example, a student whose test scores would award BE credit for MATH 231 and MATH 232 and who chooses to take MATH 231 at UNC–Chapel Hill will forfeit BE credit for both MATH 231 and MATH 232.

Advanced Placement Exam Scores

Exam Minimum Score Awarded Credit for the Following Courses Credit Hours Awarded
Art History 3 ARTH 152 3
Art Studio Drawing 4 ARTS 104 3
Art Studio Drawing 3 Studio Art General Elective 3
Art 2D 4 ARTS 102 3
Art 2D 3 Studio Art General Elective 3
Art 3D 4 ARTS 103 3
Art 3D 3 Studio Art General Elective 3
Biology 3 BIOL 101/101L 4
Biology 5 BIOL 101/101L, BIOL 279/279L 8
Calculus AB 2 MATH 110P, MATH 129P 0
Calculus AB Subscore 2 MATH 110P, MATH 129P 0
Calculus AB 3 MATH 110P, 129P, 231 4
Calculus AB Subscore 3 MATH 110P, 129P, 231 4
Calculus BC 3 MATH 110P, 129P, 231, 232 8
Chemistry 3 CHEM 101/101L 4
Chemistry 5 CHEM 101/101L, 102/102L 8
Chinese 3 CHIN 203 * 4
Computer Science A 3 COMP 101 3
Computer Science A 5 COMP 101, 110 6
Economics - Either Micro or Macro 4 ECON 100 3
Economics - Either Micro or Macro 3 Economics General Elective 3
Economics - Both Micro and Macro 4 ECON 100, 101 7
English Language and Composition 4 ENGL 110 3
English Language and Composition 3 English General Elective 3
English Literature 5 ENGL 191 3
English Literature 3 English General Elective 3
Environmental Science 4 ENEC 202 4
Environmental Science 3 Environmental General Elective 3
European History 3 HIST 104 3
French Language and Culture 5 French General Elective, FREN 203, 204, and placement into FREN 255, FREN 260, or FREN 262 9
French Language and Culture 4 French General Elective, FREN 203, and placement into FREN 204 6
French Language and Culture 3 French General Elective and placement into FREN 203 3
Geography (Human) 3 GEOG 120 3
German Language 5 German General Elective, GERM 203, GERM 204, and placement into GERM 301 or GERM 302 * 9
German Language 4 German General Elective, GERM 203, and placement into GERM 204 * 6
German Language 3 German General Elective and placement into GERM 203 * 3
US Government and Politics 4 POLI 100 3
US Government and Politics 3 Political Science General Elective 3
Italian Language and Culture 5 Italian General Elective, ITAL 203, 204, and placement into ITAL 300 9
Italian Language and Culture 4 Italian General Elective, ITAL 203, and placement into ITAL 204 6
Italian Language and Culture 3 Italian General Elective and placement into ITAL 203 3
Japanese 4 JAPN 203 * 4
Japanese 3 Japanese General Elective * 3
Latin 5 LATN 203, 204 6
Latin 4 LATN 203 3
Latin 3 Latin General Elective 3
Music Theory 5 MUSC 121, 130, 131 7
Music Theory 3 MUSC 121 3
Physics B 5 PHYS 104, 105 8
Physics B 3 Physics General Elective 3
Physics 1 4 PHYS 104 4
Physics 1 3 Physics General Elective 3
Physics 2 4 PHYS 105 4
Physics 2 3 Physics General Elective 3
Physics C Mechanics 4 PHYS 104 4
Physics C Meachnics 3 Physics General Elective 3
Physics C E&M 4 PHYS 105 4
Physics C E&M 3 Physics General Elective 3
Psychology 4 PSYC 101 3
Psychology 3 Psychology General Elective 3
Spanish Language and Culture 5 Spanish General Elective, SPAN 203, 204, and placement into SPAN 261 9
Spanish Language and Culture 4 Spanish General Elective, SPAN 203, and placement into SPAN 204 6
Spanish Language and Culture 3 Spanish General Elective and placement into SPAN 203 3
Spanish Literature and Culture 5 Spanish General Elective, SPAN 203, 204, 261 12
Spanish Literature and Culture 4 Spanish General Elective, SPAN 203, and placement into SPAN 204 6
Spanish Literature and Culture 3 Spanish General Elective and placement into SPAN 203 3
Statistics 4 STOR 155 3
Statistics 3 STOR 151 3
US History 3 HIST 102 3
World History 3 HIST 103 3

International Baccalaureate Scores

Appropriate credit/placement will be awarded by the end of July for any enrolling student who has sent official scores.

Subject Minimum Score Awarded Credit for the Following Courses Credit Hours Awarded
Art Studio HL 4 ARTS 104 3
Art Studio SL 5 ARTS 104 3
Biology HL 4 BIOL 101/101L 4
Biology HL 6 BIOL 101/101L, 279/279L 8
Biology SL 5 BIOL 101/101L 4
Chemistry HL 5 CHEM 101/101L, 102/102L 8
Chemistry HL 4 CHEM 101/101L 4
Chemistry SL 5 CHEM 101/101L 4
Chinese HL 4 CHIN 203 * 4
Chinese SL 5 CHIN 203 * 4
Economics HL 4 ECON 101 4
Economics SL 5 ECON 101 4
English A1 HL 4 ENGL 191 3
English SL 5 ENGL 191 3
French B HL 4 FREN 203, 204 6
French B SL 5 FREN 203, 204 6
French A Language and Literature 5 FREN 203, 204 6
French A Literature 5 FREN 203, 204, 260 9
German HL 6 GERM 203, 204 6
German HL 5 GERM 203 3
German HL 4 German General Elective 3
German SL 7 GERM 203, 204 6
German SL 6 GERM 203 3
German SL 5 German General Elective 3
History Africa HL 4 HIST 103, HIST 130 6
History Africa SL 5 History General Elective 3
History Americas HL 4 HIST 102, HIST 103 6
History America SL 5 History General Elective 3
History of Asia and Oceania HL 4 HIST 103, HIST 134 6
History of Asia and Oceania SL 5 History General Elective 3
History Europe HL 4 HIST 103, HIST 104 6
History Europe SL 5 History General Elective 3
Italian HL 4 ITAL 203, 204 6
Italian SL 5 ITAL 203, 204 6
Japanese HL 4 JAPN 203 * 4
Japanese SL 5 JAPN 203 * 4
Latin HL 6 LATN 203, 204 6
Latin HL 5 LATN 203 3
Latin HL 4 Latin General Elective 3
Latin SL 7 LATN 203, 204 6
Latin SL 6 LATN 203 3
Latin SL 5 Latin General Elective 3
Math SL 5 MATH 110P, 129P 0
Math HL 4 MATH 110P, 129P, 231, 232 8
Further Mathematics HL 4 MATH 110P, 129P, 231, 232 8
Music Comp HL 4 MUSC 141 3
Music Comp SL 5 MUSC 141 3
Philosophy HL 5 PHIL 101 3
Philosophy HL 4 Philosophy General Elective 3
Philosophy SL 5 Philosophy General Elective 3
Physics HL 4 Physics General Elective 3
Physics SL 5 Physics General Elective 3
Psychology HL 4 PSYC 101 3
Psychology SL 5 PSYC 101 3
Spanish B HL 4 SPAN 203, 204 6
Spanish B SL 5 SPAN 203, 204 6
Spanish A Language and Literature 5 SPAN 203, 204 6
Spanish A Literature 5 SPAN 203, 204, 261 9
Visual Arts HL 4 ARTS 104 3
Visual Arts SL 5 Art Studio General Elective 3
World Religion SL 5 RELI 101 3

Advanced Level General Certificate of Education (A-Level)

Credit is awarded for courses with a grade of C or higher. 

British A-Level Course UNC Course Equivalent Credit Hours Awarded
Accounting BUSI 100 3
Biology BIOL 101/101L, 202 8
Chemistry CHEM 101/101L 4
Classics CLAS 121, 361 6
Economics ECON 101 3
English Literature ENGL 120, 121 6
French FREN 203, 204 6
Geography GEOG 110, 120 6
German GERM 203, 204 6
Government and Politics POLI 100, 232 6
History History General Elective 3
Mathematics MATH 110P, 129P, 231, 232 8
Philosophy PHIL 101 3
Physical Education EXSS 101, 175 6
Physics PHYS 104, 105 8
Politics POLI 100, 232 6
Religious Studies RELI 106 3
Spanish SPAN 203, 204 6
Sociology SOCI 101 3
Theatre Studies DRAM 115, 116, 120 9

Cambridge Pre-University (PRE-U)

Credit is awarded for courses with a grade of M3 or higher.

Pre-U Course UNC Course Equivalent Credit Hours Awarded
History-Europe HIST 158 3

French Baccalaureate Exam

Credit is awarded for exams with a mark of 10 or higher. Both the French-Written and French-Speaking exam scores must be 10 or higher, and both scores are averaged for a single score. If either score is below 10, even if the average total is 10 or higher, credit will not be awarded.

Exam UNC Course Equivalent Credit Hours Awarded
Economics and Social Sciences ECON 101 3
English ENGL 191 3
French FREN 203, 204 6
History and Geography HIST 140, 152 6
Mathematics MATH 110P, 129P, 231, 232 8
Philosophy PHIL 101 3
Science BIOL 101/101L 4
Spanish SPAN 203, 204 6

CLEP Exams 

Exam Minimum Score Placement into the Following Courses Credit Hours Awarded
French II 63 FREN 204 Placement credit for FREN 203; 0 hours awarded
Spanish II 63 SPAN 204 Placement credit for SPAN 203; 0 hours awarded

Scottish Examinations Authority (SQA)

If students take this exam, they will need to submit an official exam score to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and they will manually award test credit.

SQA Subject Minimum Score Awarded Credit for the Following Courses Credit Hours Awarded
Advanced Higher Physics A2 PHYS 104, 105 8

Foreign Language, French SAT II

SAT II French and SAT II French with Listening accepted. 

SAT II Score Placement into the Following Course Credit Awarded
350-440 FREN 101 none
450-470 FREN 105 none
480-540 FREN 203 none
550-590 FREN 204 Placement credit for FREN 203, no credit hours awarded
600-690 FREN 255 or 260 FREN 203, 204
700 & above Placement by department interview FREN 203, 204

Foreign Language, Spanish SAT II

SAT II Spanish and SAT II Spanish with Listening accepted. 

SAT II Score Placement into the Following Course Credit Awarded
350-440 SPAN 101 none
450-470 SPAN 105 none
480-540 SPAN 203 none
550-590 SPAN 204 Placement credit for SPAN 203, no credit hours awarded
600-690 SPAN 255 or 261 SPAN 203, 204
700 & above Placement by department interview SPAN 203, 204

Foreign Language, Latin SAT II

SAT II Score Placement into the Following Course Credit Awarded
500 & below LATN 101 none
510-540 LATN 102 none
550-600 LATN 203 none
610-650 LATN 204 Placement credit for LATN 203, no credit hours awarded
660 & above LATN 221 LATN 203, 204

Foreign Language, German SAT II

SAT II German and SAT II German with Listening accepted.

SAT II Score Placement into the Following Course Credit Awarded
450 & below GERM 101 none
460-500 GERM 102 none
510-550 GERM 203 none
560-640 GERM 204 Placement credit for GERM 203, no credit hours awarded
650 & above GERM 301 or 303 GERM 203, 204

Foreign Language, Chinese SAT II

SAT II Score Placement into the Following Course Credit Awarded
650 & above Placement by department exam CHIN 203

Foreign Language, Japanese SAT II

SAT II Score Placement into the Following Course Credit Awarded
650 & above Placement by department exam JAPN 203

Foreign Language, Korean SAT II

SAT II Score Placement into the Following Course Credit Awarded
650 & above Placement by department exam KOR 203

English

Beginning in fall 2012, the English department started offering a new foundation course, ENGL 105, which took the place of ENGL 101 and 102. All students entering in fall 2012 and beyond are required to take this course; there is no exemption through test placement. For additional information on English placement, please see the department's Web site

Mathematics

For information about placement, see the department's Web site on math placement. 

Credit by Departmental Examination

Enrolled students who, through individual study or experience, have gained knowledge of the content of undergraduate courses offered by the University may, with the approval of the relevant department and school or college, receive credit (without grade) for such courses by special examination. The student must receive the approval of the department and college/school at least 30 days before the examination is taken, and the examination must be taken before the beginning of the last semester or full summer session before the student’s graduation.

Policy on Credit for Internships—The College of Arts and Sciences

No internship automatically earns academic credit. Students who want academic credit for an internship should contact the director of undergraduate studies in a relevant academic department or curriculum before beginning the internship and must complete an internship course in that academic unit. Not all departments and curricula offer internship courses.

Internships may not be used to meet the experiential education (EE) requirement unless the student earns academic credit for the internship through a department or curriculum. A student must enroll in a course that has been approved as meeting the EE requirement in order for an internship to fulfill that requirement.

Students who must earn academic credit as a condition of doing the internship—and who cannot get credit through an academic department or curriculum—should contact a counselor at University Career Services for possible credit in SPCL 493 before beginning the internship. The student must write a statement describing his or her learning objectives and a paper reflecting on the experience. SPCL 493 is a one-credit, Pass/Fail course that does not count toward any graduation requirements.

Distance-Learning Courses

The policy governing the use of distance-learning courses applies to all new and continuing full-time and part-time degree-seeking students, and they refer to Carolina Courses Online (CCO), Summer School, and other for-credit courses offered completely via similar modalities. The regulations do not apply to coursework taken prior to matriculation as degree-seeking students.

The following policies apply to distance-learning courses:

  1. The maximum number of credit hours that can be counted toward an undergraduate degree in the College of Arts and Sciences is 24. There can be no exceptions to this upper limit.

  2. First-semester, first-year students may not enroll in for-credit online courses unless unusual circumstances prevail, nor may first-year students take an online course in the summer prior to matriculation.

  3. Full-time undergraduate students may enroll in a maximum of one for-credit online course per regular semester (after the first semester, if they are a first-year student) and a maximum of two for-credit online courses per summer session (courses offered over the full summer would count in both Summer Session I and Summer Session II).

  4. Degree-seeking students who are not enrolled may take a maximum of two for-credit online courses in a regular semester or summer.

  5. No more than two for-credit online courses may count toward a major (core requirement) or minor in the College of Arts and Sciences.

  6. Self-Paced courses cannot count toward a degree in the College of Arts and Sciences.

  7. It is the responsibility of the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, in consultation with the Associate Dean and Director of the Academic Advising Program, to determine whether students in unusual circumstances warrant an exception to these policies.

Distance-learning courses offered at UNC–Chapel Hill are identified with the following section numbers in Connect Carolina:

  • 956 – 974 (Departmental Distance Learning)

  • 975 – 989 (Friday Center Distance Learning)

  • 990 – 994 (Friday Center Distance Learning Carolina Courses Online)

  • 01W – 09W (On-Campus Web Delivery Courses)

This policy is maintained by the College of Arts and Sciences. Last revised November 9, 2018; September 20, 2016.

Carolina Courses Online

Carolina Courses Online is a distance-education program that offers courses over the Internet. In-person attendance is not required, but courses follow the semester schedule. The courses are administered through the Friday Center for Continuing Education. To enroll, contact the Friday Center at (919) 962-1134 or visit its Web page. Certain restrictions may apply. Students should consult the dean’s office of their school for details.

UNC Online (UNCO)

UNC Online (UNCO) is a collaborative effort among the institutions of the UNC System, of which UNC–Chapel Hill is a part. UNCO is administered by the UNC System Office. Via the UNCO portal, students at UNC–Chapel Hill can enroll in semester-based online courses offered by other system institutions. Students taking courses through UNCO remain subject to the academic integrity and conduct policies of their home institution while participating in UNCO courses. Any currently enrolled degree-seeking student is permitted to enroll in UNCO courses; non-degree students are not permitted to enroll through UNCO. Students should consult with their academic advisor before enrolling in UNCO courses. Existing policies regarding transfer credits and using online courses toward graduation requirements still apply. UNC–Chapel Hill permits students to take one UNCO course per semester, up to 4 credits. Students will pay tuition at UNC–Chapel Hill at the prevailing tuition rates for that particular semester. Transfer credit will be posted to the UNC–Chapel transcript after completion of the course. The host institution’s calendar will determine all start and end dates as well as breaks for the host institution’s course and grade submission dates; these dates might not coincide with UNC–Chapel Hill dates. Withdraw and drop dates are determined by UNC–Chapel Hill. All registration, drop, and withdrawal actions must originate in the UNCO portal.

Foreign Language Placement Credit

Experiential Speakers of a Foreign Language

Enrolled students who have learned a language currently offered at UNC–Chapel Hill by experience (i.e., having grown up speaking another language in the home or having lived several years in another country) and who are conversant and literate in that language and in English, may take a placement test in that language for placement (PL) only and not for credit hours. If the student places beyond level 3, the student can use that language to fulfill the General Education foreign language requirement, but again, no credit hours will be awarded. The placement test must be taken before the beginning of the last semester or full summer session before graduation.

Native Speakers of a Foreign Language

For academic purposes, a native speaker is a student raised in a country outside the United States and formally educated through all or most of high school in a language other than English. Native speakers cannot use By-Examination (BE) credit in their native language to reduce the requirements for a major in that language and will not receive credit for levels 1 through 4 of their native language(s). However, upon recommendation of the appropriate language department, they may receive credit for courses taken at UNC–Chapel Hill beyond level 4 if those courses are heavily based on literature, film, culture, or other content. Native speakers of languages other than English may use ENGL 105, or its transfer equivalent, to satisfy their General Education foreign language requirement. Native speakers who wish to pursue placement (PL) in their language should complete the online form

Hours of Credit

Work is valued and credited toward degrees by semester hours, one such hour usually being awarded for one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week. One hour of credit is usually awarded for each three hours of laboratory or field work or work in studio art.

For more information on the University’s course numbering system, see UPM #4.

For the definition of a credit hour, see UPM #29.   

Independent Studies for Credit

The University offers independent study experiences for undergraduate students. Such courses, including directed readings, internships/practica, mentored undergraduate research, and senior honors thesis courses for an individual student, are offered for academic credit through departments and curricula. Twelve hours of graded independent study credit may be counted toward graduation (excluding six hours of senior honors thesis credit). No more than 12 hours may be taken in any one semester, with the exception of students completing a full-time teaching internship program in the School of Education and other approved practicum/internship programs in the professional schools. Students may participate in formalized programs, or they may make individual learning contracts for work under the supervision of a member of the permanent faculty at the department/curriculum level. For information about independent study courses in their majors, students should consult the director of undergraduate studies or independent study coordinator in their major department or curriculum. Students, in consultation with the faculty member, must complete a learning contract and have it approved by the director of undergraduate studies (or designee). Registration for an independent study course must be completed after the learning contract has been approved and no later than the last day of "late registration" (the end of the second week of classes in fall or spring semester or the equivalent date in each summer session). A template for such a learning contract is available online. Students are strongly encouraged to begin this process early, well before the beginning of the semester.

For more information, see UPM #30.

This policy is maintained by the College of Arts and Sciences and Educational Policy Committee. Last revised November 28, 2017. See also Resolution 2012-12 and Resolution 2013-6

Semester Schedule

UNC–Chapel Hill academic operations are on a semester calendar, primarily divided into the fall and spring semesters with standard course meetings within a 17-week session. Summer School offers two sessions of five weeks each, a three-week Maymester, and other short courses with various beginning and ending dates. For specific dates, see the University's Academic Calendar.