Registration, Enrollment, and Withdrawal
- Auditing Courses
- Changes in Fall and Spring Semester Schedules
- Interinstitutional Registration
- Academic Course Load
- Pass/Fail Option
- Tuition Guarantee Program
UNC–Chapel Hill students use the ConnectCarolina Student Center to register for courses. Students should refer to the Registration Guide on the Office of the University Registrar’s website for instructions regarding registration.
Students who register during the billing period must pay tuition and fees, or give notice of anticipated aid, to the Office of Student Accounts and University Receivables by the published tuition and fees due date or their schedule will be cancelled and all their classes dropped before the beginning of classes. Students who register after the billing period must pay estimated tuition and fees or give notice of anticipated aid before they can register for that semester. Students who register after the date designated for official registration must pay an additional fee of $20.00 for late registration. If the delay results from circumstances clearly beyond the student’s control, an appeal may be made in writing to the registrar. The appeal must show sufficient justification for the delay and has to be approved by the dean of the school in which the student is enrolled. In the College of Arts and Sciences, dean’s office approval is granted by the Associate Dean for Academic Advising or their designee. Students should refer questions to the Academic Advising Program.
North Carolina law requires that no person shall attend a college or university in North Carolina without presenting a certificate of immunization to the college or university on or before the first day of matriculation. This certificate indicates that the student has received immunizations required by law. New students at UNC–Chapel Hill must provide the director of Campus Health Services with an immunization record certified by a physician. Students who fail to present the required certificate of immunization within 30 days of enrollment will be withdrawn from the University. Their enrollment will not be reinstated until they have provided a certificate of immunization to Campus Health Services.
Registration for credit for any course at the start of the semester is limited to the first five days of classes unless a late registration is approved by the course instructor and the student’s dean or academic advisor. Any student who has not registered for courses after the primary billing date will be restricted from accessing the registration system for that term and will be required to submit a prepayment. For more information, please see “Course Schedule Changes” below.
Registration Advising for First-Year Students and Sophomores
All first-year students and sophomores are assigned a primary academic advisor in the Academic Advising Program in the College of Arts and Sciences but may see any advisor as appropriate. Advisors’ names and office locations are posted on the web. First-year students must meet with an advisor for registration advising at least once during their first year before registering for their third semester on campus; an online module to assist students with registration, policies, and procedures is also available. All students are strongly encouraged to review their Tar Heel Tracker each semester and regularly meet with an advisor to ensure that they remain on track to graduate.
Advisors will answer students’ questions and review their tentative course selections to help students achieve appropriate academic progress. In subsequent semesters, students are encouraged to discuss academic progress with their academic advisor. Students should follow instructions received from the Office of the University Registrar, which may be accessed by logging on to ConnectCarolina.
Registration Advising for Juniors and Seniors
Juniors and seniors receive academic advising during registration periods according to the directives set out by their college/professional school and major. Juniors who have not yet declared a major must meet with an advisor in the Academic Advising Program before registration.
The department or curriculum in which the student’s primary major is housed determines the procedures juniors and seniors must follow for registration. In some cases, the student must meet with a faculty advisor in the department or curriculum of the primary major before being able to register each semester. These advisors answer questions specific to the major and about graduate and career opportunities in the field.
Students admitted to a professional school will receive advising and assistance on all academic matters from an advisor in their school.
All students who begin their undergraduate careers at UNC–Chapel Hill are considered first-year students for the first and second semesters. In their third semester and thereafter, a student’s classification (sophomore, junior, senior) is determined by the cumulative number of credit hours earned:
- 1–29 credit hours earned: first-year student
- 30–59 credit hours earned: sophomore
- 60–89 credit hours earned: junior
- 90 + credit hours earned: senior
A student’s first available date for registration (registration priority) is based on the number of earned credit hours (excluding in progress credits and test credits) and the number of semesters completed.
By policy of the Faculty Council (Resolution 2007–3), the University limits students to eight semesters of full-time study. Transfer students who transfer in the UNC–Chapel Hill equivalent of two or more semesters (see "Calculation of Transferred Semesters Based on the Number of Transfer Hours") may enroll in up to 10 total semesters (Resolution 2017-1). To help ensure graduation within the eight-semester limit, students’ registration priority will include the number of semesters completed in the calculation.
Terms in residence are tallied in three ways:
- UNC–Chapel Hill full-time enrollment
Regardless of the number of credit hours, any fall or spring semester of enrollment in UNC–Chapel Hill courses (including UNC–Chapel Hill study abroad courses, but excluding Carolina Courses Online) counts as one semester of full-time study, unless the student is enrolled as a part-time student through Part-Time Classroom Studies. (Summer sessions at UNC–Chapel Hill do not count as semesters.)
- UNC–Chapel Hill part-time enrollment
Each full multiple of 15 cumulative credit hours earned at UNC–Chapel Hill in fall or spring terms (not summer terms) counts as one semester of full-time study for any student enrolled as a part-time student through Part-Time Classroom Studies.
- Transfer credits awarded for courses taken at other colleges
Each full multiple of 15 cumulative transfer-credit hours counts as one semester of full-time study. Excluded from this calculation are transfer hours awarded for courses taken either concurrent with high school or during any summer term after the student has matriculated at UNC–Chapel Hill.
Students may refer further questions to the Academic Advising Program (if the student is in the College of Arts and Sciences) or to their respective dean’s office.
A student who proceeds with enrollment in a course not designated as repeatable can only earn credit once toward the fulfillment of the University's minimum undergraduate degree requirement. The credit is earned from the course with the highest passing grade or, if grades are the same, the latter attempt. The grades of all attempts of the course, however, are computed in the student's cumulative grade point average.
Certain University courses (e.g., applied music, special studies, undergraduate research, etc.) may be taken more than once for credit and are so designated in the course catalog as repeatable. A particular physical education activity (PHYA) course may be taken more than once, so long as a different level of the same course (beginning, intermediate, and advanced) is taken during each separate enrollment. PHYA courses do not award academic credit hours toward an undergraduate degree, but the grade is factored into the cumulative grade point average. Students may enroll in no more than one lifetime fitness (LFIT) course, and only one LFIT course will count toward academic credit hours for an undergraduate degree.
For the purposes of receiving financial aid, hours for repeated courses will only be considered a part of the total upon which awards are based if:
- the student is repeating a course previously failed, or
- the course is the first repeat of a prior course in which a passing grade (D or higher) was received.
Maintained by the Educational Policy Committee. Last approved on April 21, 2017, see Resolution 2017-6.
A cancellation of enrollment is, in effect, the same as a student not registering. Classes are not reflected on the student’s transcript, and no tuition and fees are charged. If a student registered for classes a cancellation is only applicable if there no documentation of student attendance or for the following administrative reasons. A registration cancellation will be processed for any student who has a “hold” on the tuition and fees due date for each term, and students will be notified. A cancellation will be processed if a student is not cleared financially; is not academically eligible to continue in school; or shows a cashier’s hold, Office of Undergraduate Admissions hold, dean’s office hold, or Campus Health Services cancellation hold. In some cases, a student may request to cancel his or her registration for personal reasons and may do so by following instructions listed on the Office of the University Registrar’s website. To request a cancellation after classes begin, however, students must process the cancellation through their academic advising dean’s office. Students may refer further questions to the Academic Advising Program (if the student is in the College of Arts and Sciences) or to their respective dean’s office. For more information also see the sections on withdrawing from the University.
Administrative Changes to Course Registration
Students have the responsibility to maintain the accuracy of their course schedule. A department or curriculum in the College of Arts and Sciences has the option to drop a course from a student’s registration if the student fails to attend both of the first two class meetings (or the first class meeting if the course meets only once each week). The appropriate dean’s office will be responsible for informing departments of students who cannot attend the first two class meetings because of illness or other reasons approved by a dean. Students should never presume that an instructor or department/curriculum will systematically drop classes from the student’s schedule. However, if such an action is taken by a department/curriculum, the registration openings resulting from these drops will be offered to other students seeking enrollment in the courses during the official add period (first five days of classes) or thereafter, as determined by the instructor of the class or by the department, curriculum, or school.
Departments/curricula can drop students’ courses using the computerized registration system prior to the last day to reduce a course load for financial credit. To effect such a drop after that date but before the end of the eighth week, a student can drop the course through ConnectCarolina. (See "Course Schedule Changes" below.) Students who have applied for graduation and who have requested an academic underload must have that request approved to receive financial credit for reducing their course load.
To audit a class, registered students and persons not registered must obtain a registration/drop/add form from the teaching department offering the class. Permission from the class instructor and the department chair is required and should be indicated on the form with a written signature. This procedure applies to fall, spring, and both summer terms.
Requests to audit a class may be submitted only after the end of the official registration period (last day for students to add a class or late register) when it has been determined that there is still space available in the class. This date can be found on the University Registrar’s Calendar for the specific term.
Auditing classes is permitted only in lecture-based courses and never in courses that include laboratories or performances. Auditing is not permitted in courses that focus on the development of written or oral communication skills or that rely heavily on class participation. Auditing is not permitted in independent studies courses, internships, special topics, directed readings, or similar courses. Auditing is also not permitted in classes that are offered primarily online. Students may not audit courses offered through the Friday Center for Continuing Education (Part-Time Classroom Studies, Carolina Courses Online, Self-Paced Courses, or tutorial programs) or courses preparing students for credit by examination.
Students auditing a course do not write papers, take quizzes or examinations, or request review of their work, and do not participate in class discussions unless otherwise directed by the course instructor. Students who audit a course may not subsequently receive course credit for that course. Additional information on the University’s policy on auditing is available online.
Students officially registered for other classes in the same term may audit a class without paying a fee. Persons not registered for classes must pay a $20.00 fee per class to the Office of Student Accounts and University Receivables, then bring the permission and receipt to the Office of the University Registrar to complete the process. Payments will only be accepted after the end of the official registration period. Effective fall 2017, individuals of age 65 or older may audit a class without paying a fee.
If requested, a copy of the registration transaction will be given to the student to provide to the class instructor at the beginning of the term.
Continuous Course Enrollment: Foundations English Composition and Foreign Language Requirements
Effective in fall 2012, students admitted as first-year or as transfer students are required to complete ENGL 105/ENGL 105I (ENGL 100 and ENGL 105/ENGL 105I, if applicable) during their first year, and they must maintain continuous enrollment in Foundations global language courses until they have completed this requirement. Students are not permitted to drop ENGL 100, ENGL 105/ENGL 105I, or global language levels 1 through 3 being used to fulfill the Foundations requirement after the second week of the semester, unless approved by a dean in the Academic Advising Program. Such approval will be for exceptional circumstances only. Students should not stop attending English composition and rhetoric and Foundation global language classes without speaking with a dean in the Academic Advising Program.
Course Schedule Changes
Insofar as possible, changes in course registration schedules should be made during the first five days of classes. During this time, students may add courses using the online registration system. During days six through ten of classes, students must obtain permission to register or make additions to their schedule from the course instructor; if approved, the academic department, curriculum, or school will add the student through the computerized registration system. After the tenth day of classes, if students wish to register or make additions to their schedule, they must obtain a registration/drop/add form from their academic advisor, the concerned department, or their professional school and must obtain the signatures of both their instructor and their school dean (or dean’s designee). For students in the General College and the College of Arts and Sciences, only the associate dean for advising (or dean’s designee) has this authority. After the tenth day of classes, deans (or deans’ designees) will approve only those registrations or course additions that have first been approved by the instructor. Approval of additions to a student's schedule during this period is at the deans' (or the deans' designees') discretion.
Course Schedule Changes during Weeks One and Two
During the first two weeks of classes, students may drop a course using the online registration system, but they are responsible for ensuring that their schedules do not fall below the minimum 12 academic hours required for full-time registration.
Course Schedule Changes during Weeks Three through Eight
When a course is dropped between the second and eighth week of classes, a notation of WC (withdrawal by choice) shall be recorded and used internally for tracking and reporting purposes. For external purposes, the WC notation is equivalent to the W grade. Once declared, a WC notation cannot be rescinded except when a student withdraws from an entire semester due to extenuating circumstances. All first-year, first-time students entering the University in fall 2014 or thereafter are allowed to accumulate no more than 16 hours of WC notations during their undergraduate career.
Different drop-add procedures apply to first-year students who entered the University as degree-seeking students prior to fall 2014, along with sophomore and junior transfer students who entered in fall 2014, and junior transfer students who enter in fall 2015. Details on the previous policy can be found on the University Registrar’s website.
After the eighth week of classes, students must petition to drop courses through the dean’s office of the school in which they are enrolled. For students in the General College and the College of Arts and Sciences, the associate dean for advising (or designee) has this authority.
To drop a course after the eighth week of classes, students must complete and submit an appeal to the appeals committee of their college or school. In the General College and the College of Arts and Sciences, an appeals committee meets weekly (except the week of July 4 and Christmas). Possible legitimate reasons for requesting a course drop after the eighth week of classes include serious illness, personal or family problems, financial problems requiring employment after the start of the semester, or other compelling and extenuating circumstances that prevent students from meeting their academic responsibilities.
Students must first discuss their reasons for requesting a late course drop with an academic advisor or their academic dean. The advisor or dean will explain the process for an appeal and refer the student to the online information and link to the online appeal form. The appeal must include a statement from the student and pertinent documentation that provides compelling support for the appeal. The student must submit all documents online to the office of the associate dean for advising in the Academic Advising Program of the College of Arts and Sciences and General College. Submission of an appeal does not ensure that the request will be granted, and students must continue to attend classes and complete all assignments until informed of the committee’s decision. If a course drop is approved, the registration/drop/add form is processed through the Office of the University Registrar.
Students enrolled in professional schools should acquaint themselves with the appropriate appeals procedures in their schools.
The notation of W (withdrawn) is entered in the grade column of academic transcripts if students are permitted by their school to drop a course after the eighth week of classes or proportional equivalent for summer terms and other nonstandard enrollment periods. This notation is automatically entered unless the student’s academic dean specifies otherwise.
A student regularly enrolled in a degree program at the University may enroll by interinstitutional registration for a course at Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, or the University of North Carolina at Greensboro under the following conditions:
- Space must be available in the course.
- The student’s advisor as well as their academic advising dean's office must certify
- that the course is appropriate for the student’s degree program, and
- that an equivalent course is not available at this university during the same term.
- Enrollment in interinstitutional registration is limited to one interinstitutional course per regular term, provided that the student is registered for the balance of her or his full-time load at UNC–Chapel Hill. All enrollment transactions must be processed by the Office of the University Registrar.
- A student will be billed by his or her home institution for all the courses taken (including interinstitutional courses) at the prevailing tuition rate. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will receive no fees from an interinstitutional student taking courses at this campus unless there is a special fee associated with a particular course. In such a case, the student must pay the fee.
- The last day for a student to submit an interinstitutional request to the Office of the University Registrar will be the last day to add a course without departmental approval, according to the registrar’s calendar. If a student is interested in a course that begins after this deadline, due to differing university schedules, or separate modules that the course is being offered in, the deadline will be the fifth day after the start of that class. Start dates will be verified with the school offering the course.
- Students must comply with the academic calendar of their home institution for all dates, such as deadlines for adding and dropping courses.
- A student taking a course by interinstitutional registration will be graded in the course in accordance with the grading system of the institution where the course is taken, and grades will be converted in accordance with the grading system of the home institution. The transcript will identify the institution where the course was taken in the space where the descriptive course title is normally shown.
Additional information, procedural instructions, and forms are available at the Office of the University Registrar's website.
Fall and Spring Semesters
To meet the minimum graduation requirement of 120 academic hours within the eight-semester limit, students should average 15 hours each semester. However, four-hour foreign language courses and four-hour laboratory science courses often account for course loads of 16 to 18 hours. Students may not enroll in more than 18 academic hours unless they have earned a 3.000 grade point average in the preceding regular semester and have a cumulative 2.500 grade point average. Exceptions require the approval of the student’s dean. With approval of their dean, seniors meeting graduation requirements during their final semester in residence may enroll in up to 21 academic hours if they have a cumulative and preceding semester grade point average of 2.000. In the College of Arts and Sciences, dean’s office approval is granted by the Associate Dean for Academic Advising or their designee. Students should refer questions to the Academic Advising Program.
The minimum course load for a single semester is 12 academic hours. Students may not go below the 12-academic-hour minimum without permission of their dean. All students should discuss semester enrollment of fewer than 15 academic hours with their advisor because such enrollments may affect academic eligibility and the ability to complete all degree requirements in the required eight semesters.
The approved maximum course load for students in a part-time program is eight credit hours in a fall, spring, or summer term.
The summer term begins with the first day of Maymester and continues through the last day of the Summer Session II. Administered by Summer School, summer courses are offered in two sessions (Summer Session I and Summer Session II), with a Maymester period overlapping the first three weeks of Summer Session I. For UNC–Chapel Hill students, credit hours and grades count the same as in fall or spring terms. For visiting students, transfer of grades or credit is determined by their home institution.
The typical full course load is two courses, usually six credit hours. However, effective Summer 2021, students may enroll in up to nine credit hours each in Summer Session I and in Summer Session II. It is recommended that, if students enroll in a Maymester course, they not enroll in a second Maymester or Summer Session I class.
Note: The following policy was updated with this new text on August 23, 2023, after the 2023–2024 Catalog was initially published.
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:
- Students may only take one student-elected PS/F course each semester.
- 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.
- 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.
Effective fall 2016, undergraduate students seeking a baccalaureate degree at UNC–Chapel Hill are eligible for fixed tuition as required by the North Carolina General Statute §116-143.9 and UNC Policy 1000.17, Policy for the Tuition Guarantee Program. Further information about the Tuition Guarantee Program can be found on the website for the Office of the University Registrar.
After the term start, students withdrawing from the University should submit an official withdrawal request through their ConnectCarolina Student Center to start the process (see sections on medical and academic withdrawal below) before the end of classes during a semester or summer session. Students in attendance considering withdrawal should contact their academic advising dean’s office, Campus Health Services, or Counseling and Psychological Services for additional information. Official term withdrawal from the University is required if a student wishes to drop all classes after a semester begins. An official withdrawal may facilitate readmission in a future term. Leaving the University without completing the official withdrawal process can result in the assignment of final class grades computed as failing in establishing grade point averages and possibly rendering a student academically in-eligible. Enrolled students who do not withdraw officially will be responsible for the full tuition and fee payments associated with enrollment for the entirety of the semester.
If a student decides to withdraw for reasons of illness, either physical or psychological, the student should contact Campus Health Services or Counseling and Psychological Services, whether the treatment was received there or elsewhere. If a medical withdrawal is authorized, the official withdrawal will be handled through the Office of the Director of Campus Health Services or Counseling and Psychological Services.
A student who is withdrawn for disciplinary purposes must comply with the specific requirements or conditions outlined by the adjudicating body (e.g., Honor Court, Emergency Evaluation and Action Committee, etc.) prior to readmission. Unless specified by the adjudicating body, the term(s) in which disciplinary suspension is active shall not be calculated in the four academic year degree credit hour equivalency. Preclearance from the adjudicating body may be required in certain cases.
Academic Withdrawal from All Courses
If a student decides to withdraw for reasons other than health related, or if a withdrawal cannot be authorized through Campus Health Services or Counseling and Psychological Services, the student should submit an official withdrawal request through the ConnectCarolina Student Center. Grades are required from instructors once the drop deadline has passed. In determining an undergraduate student’s eligibility for readmission the following conditions apply:
- For students who officially withdraw from the University after the second week of a fall or spring semester, a grade of W is assigned to each course the students were enrolled in at the time of withdrawal.
- Students who officially withdraw from the University are assigned a semester in residence if their withdrawal is initiated before the end of classes during a fall or spring semester and if it is accompanied by the recording of six or more academic hours of F grades for that semester’s work (grades recorded after the drop deadline). This means that the F grades and no others will be computed in the semester and cumulative grade point average.
- Withdrawal from a summer session is not counted as a semester in residence. If the withdrawal is initiated after the drop deadline during a summer session, a grade of W is assigned to each course that the student is enrolled in at the time of withdrawal. The credit hours associated with the withdrawal will count as attempted but not passed hours in the determination of the student's academic eligibility. If the student is enrolled in five or more more academic hours, the student must obtain grades from their instructors before the withdrawal can be processed; if the withdrawal is accompanied by the recording of five or more academic hours of F grades for that semester’s work the F grades will be recorded and computed in the semester and cumulative grade point average.
- Students enrolled as summer session visitors from schools outside UNC–Chapel Hill must withdraw through the Office of the Dean of Summer School.
- If a student completes an official withdrawal or is withdrawn administratively for any reason from a fall or spring semester, tuition and fees will be prorated over a period of nine weeks at a rate of one-tenth of the semester’s bill, after deducting an administrative charge. The last date for credit on a student’s financial account for withdrawal is nine weeks after registration. If a student completes an official drop from a summer class within the first three days of classes for the session, tuition and fees will be prorated.
- If a student withdraws from the University during a semester and receives financial aid funds prior to the date of withdrawal, a portion of that money will be returned to the aid program(s). The repayment will be calculated by the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid when the official withdrawal is noted within the ConnectCarolina system.
- Students may request a retroactive term withdrawal from a semester or summer session under extraordinary circumstances. Such requests must be made in writing to the appeals committee of the college or school in which the student is currently enrolled. The decision of that appeals committee is final. If the retroactive term withdrawal is approved, the effective date of this action is always the last day of classes in the term or session. No refunds are ever provided when a retroactive withdrawal from a semester or summer session is approved.