University Policies

Regulations and Policies

The personal conduct of students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (“University” or “UNC–Chapel Hill”) is subject to the moral and legal restraints found in any law-abiding community. Additionally, the Honor Code is a positive force for good citizenship. University regulations are not specifications for acceptable conduct or detailed lists of offenses subject to penal action. They are intended to provide information about systematic procedures and equitable decisions in many situations involving individual students and officers of the University.

Code of the University of North Carolina

Section 502D(3)–Subject to any policies or regulations of the Board of Governors or of the Board of Trustees, it shall be the duty of the chancellor to exercise full authority in the regulation of student affairs and student conduct and discipline. In the discharge of this duty, delegation of such authority may be made by the chancellor to faculty committees and to administrative or other officers of the institution, or to agencies of student government, in such manner and to such extent as may by the chancellor be deemed necessary and expedient. In the discharge of the chancellor's duty with respect to matters of student discipline, it shall be the duty of the chancellor to secure to every student the right to due process. Appeals from these disciplinary decisions are allowable only on the following grounds:

  1. a violation of due process, or
  2. a material deviation from the Minimum Substantive and Procedural Standards for Student Disciplinary Procedures, Section 700.4.1 of the UNC Policy Manual.

Where the sanction is suspension or expulsion, an appeal may be made to the Board of Trustees. No appeal to the president or Board of Governors is permitted.

Whistleblower Policy

The purpose of this policy is to encourage individuals to report possible wrongful conduct to an appropriate authority so that prompt, corrective action can be taken by the University and to protect reporting individuals from any retaliation for reporting wrongful conduct. Please see the full text of the Whistleblower Policy on the University’s policy website.

Religious Accommodation Policy

The University is committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment that is respectful of the religious beliefs and practices of all members of the University community. As part of this commitment, the University will make good faith efforts to provide reasonable religious accommodations to individuals covered by this policy whose sincerely held religious beliefs and practices conflict with a University policy, procedure, or other academic or employment requirement unless such an accommodation would create an undue hardship.

The University is committed to diversity and nondiscrimination and supports the employment of all qualified individuals, regardless of religious affiliation or beliefs. This commitment is in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its accompanying regulations, as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Religion, and North Carolina General Statute § 116-11(3a). Please see the full text of the Religious Accommodation Policy on the University’s policy website.

Alcoholic Beverages

Possession and use of alcoholic beverages is substantially regulated by federal, state, and local laws and ordinances. Within this legal framework, the University's Alcohol Policy sets out the conditions under which alcoholic beverages may be used on University property.

According to North Carolina law

  • Generally, persons 21 or older may purchase or consume alcoholic beverages and may possess alcoholic beverages at their homes or temporary residences.
  • It is against the law for any person under 21 to purchase or possess any alcoholic beverage. (General Statute 18B-302)
  • It is against the law for anyone to sell or give any alcoholic beverage to a person under 21 or to aid or abet such a person in selling, purchasing, or possessing any alcoholic beverage. (General Statute 18B-302)
  • No alcoholic beverages may be sold by any person, organization, or corporation on a college campus except as permitted by North Carolina General Statutes, Sect. 18B-1006 (a).

According to Chapel Hill ordinance 3-3, it is against the law for anyone to possess any open container of alcohol on streets, sidewalks, alleys, or any other property owned or controlled by the Town of Chapel Hill.

In addition to following the law, the University’s Alcohol Policy sets out special rules about alcohol for University employees and for students and student organizations. For University employees, the Procedure for Requesting Permission to Serve Alcoholic Beverages at University-Sponsored Events describes how University Departments and Units may request permission to serve alcohol at University-sponsored events. For University students and student organizations, the Procedures for Adjudication and Response to Student and Student Organization Violations of the UNC–Chapel Hill Alcohol Policy describes the procedural rights, administrative process, sanctions, and appeal process for students and student organizations accused of violating the University’s Alcohol Policy. The Office of the Dean of Students will provide copies of the policy and procedures and assistance in understanding their full implications. The text of the policy and procedures can also be accessed on the University’s policy website.

Illegal Drugs Policy

The University’s Illegal Drugs Policy addresses education, counseling, and rehabilitation to help all members of the University Community avoid involvement with illegal drugs. The policy also describes enforcement and penalties, consistent with state and federal law, to eliminate illegal drugs from the University community. Please see the full text of the Illegal Drugs Policy on the University’s policy website.

Commercial Activities

Commercial exchanges, including selling or soliciting for the sale of goods or services by any person on the campus of the University is prohibited except as provided for in the Facilities Use Policy.

Emergency Evaluation and Action Committee Policy and Procedures

In keeping with the long tradition of student self-governance at the University, the chancellors of the University have delegated a portion of their authority in matters of student discipline to a student judicial system that functions in accordance with The Instrument of Student Judicial Governance. From time to time, however, the University is faced with situations involving behavior of applicants for admission, who are not yet within the jurisdiction of the student judicial system, and situations involving students that require a University response because they pose some danger to the University and/or its processes but that are not cognizable under the Instrument. Occasionally emergency situations arise in connection with student behaviors, which require a faster response than the student judicial system's procedures can provide. To address all of these situations and to fulfill the University's obligation to provide a safe campus, the Emergency Evaluation and Action Committee has been established. The full text of the committee's policies and procedures is on the University’s policy website.

Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act

Information compiled under the federal Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act is available on request from the Department of Athletics Business Office.


Per UNC System Policy 700.4.3[G], a student who has been expelled from one constituent institution may not be admitted to another constituent institution of the University, unless and until the sanction of expulsion has been rescinded by the institution that imposed the sanction.

Faculty-Led Off-Campus Domestic Academic Travel

Faculty members who want to have academic travel as part of their class must inform prospective students about the mandatory academic travel before course enrollment. For mandatory or optional travel, faculty must also give students an instructional agenda and itinerary two weeks (14 calendar days) before the academic travel including:

  1. Time and location of the academic travel,
  2. A detailed description of the activity, and
  3. Any cost that is the student's responsibility.

Faculty are encouraged to provide enough detail in the description to help participants understand potential risks. Please refer to the Policy on Faculty-Led Off-Campus Domestic Academic Travel for additional information.

Fireworks, Firearms, and Other Weapons

Per N.C. General Statute 14.269.2(b) and (b1), it is a felony, punishable by fine and/or imprisonment, to possess or carry, openly or concealed, any gun, rifle, pistol, or other firearm of any kind, or any dynamite cartridge, bomb, grenade, mine, or powerful explosive on any University campus, in any University-owned or operated facility, or at a curricular or extracurricular activity sponsored by the University. Such conduct also may constitute a violation of the Honor Code.

Per N.C. General Statute 14.269.2(k1) and (k2), a person who has a concealed handgun permit that is valid under North Carolina law, or who is exempt from obtaining a permit pursuant to North Carolina law, may have a handgun in a closed compartment or container within the person’s locked vehicle or in a locked container securely affixed to the person’s vehicle. A person may unlock the vehicle to enter or exit the vehicle provided the firearm remains in the closed compartment at all times and the vehicle is locked immediately following the entrance or exit.

Per N.C. General Statute 14.269.2(e), it is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by fine and/or imprisonment, to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any BB gun, stun gun, air rifle, air pistol, bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slingshot, leaded cane, switchblade knife, blackjack, metallic knuckles, razors and razor blades (except for personal shaving), fireworks, or any sharp-pointed or edged instrument (except instructional supplies, unaltered nail files, and clips and tools used solely for preparation of food, instruction, and maintenance) upon any University campus or in any University-owned or operated facility. Such conduct may also constitute a violation of the Honor Code.

Housing and Residential Education

For policies and procedures related to living on campus, visit the Housing and Residential Education website.

Immunization Requirement

All new and transfer students are required to submit documentation of immunizations required under N.C. General Statute 130A-155.1. Students who were previously enrolled at UNC–Chapel Hill are not required to resubmit immunization documentation. 

Per North Carolina state law 130A-155.1(a), students will be withdrawn from the University 30 days after classes begin if immunization requirements have not been met.

Improper Relationships between Students and Employees

On March 15, 1996 (updated July 1, 2007), The University of North Carolina Board of Governors adopted a system-wide policy (300.4.1) that prohibits amorous or sexual relationships between faculty or staff employees and

  1. students they evaluate or supervise by virtue of their teaching, research, administrative, or other employment responsibility and
  2. students who are minors below the age of 18.

The policy also states that faculty or staff employees may not supervise or evaluate students to whom they are related by blood, law, or marriage. The full Improper Relationships Between Students and Employees Policy based on the UNC Board of Governor’s policy is available on the University’s policy website.

Veterans' Educational Benefits

Students who expect to use their veterans’ educational benefits must contact the Veterans' Services Assistant in the Office of the University Registrar, located in the Student and Academic Services Building North. Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress to be eligible for VA educational benefits. Students who are not eligible at the end of the term will not be eligible for veterans' educational benefits in subsequent terms until they regain their eligibility. For further information, please visit the Office of the University Registrar’s web page on Veteran Affairs.

Military Tuition Benefit

As a member of the armed services, the North Carolina National Guard or a military dependent, if you do not qualify as a North Carolina resident for tuition purposes, you may still be eligible to pay a reduced tuition rate if you meet the eligibility requirements for the Military Tuition Benefit (N.C. General Statute 116-143.3).

Note: The benefit only determines the amount of tuition you pay. You must still qualify academically for admission.

For additional information about the UNC–Chapel Hill military tuition benefits, please see the Office of the University Registrar’s web page on Active-Duty Military Benefits.

Policies on Prohibited Harassment and Nondiscrimination

The University is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community. The University values safety, diversity, education, and equity and is firmly committed to maintaining a campus environment free from discrimination, harassment, and related misconduct.

In accordance with its Policy Statement on Nondiscrimination, the University does not unlawfully discriminate in offering equal access to its educational programs and activities or with respect to employment terms and conditions on the basis of an individual’s age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status (collectively referred to as “protected status”). The University’s protection of these statuses is grounded in federal law.

Federal law also governs the University’s response to sexual assault, sexual violence, interpersonal violence (including domestic and dating violence), and stalking. Such acts violate the essential dignity of our community member(s) and are contrary to our institutional values. Please visit these links to see the full text of the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct and the Policy Statement on Nondiscrimination.

Gender-Inclusive Language Policy

The University is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our University Community. Consistent with that commitment, gender-inclusive terms (chair; first-year student; upper-level student, etc.) should be used on University documents, websites, and policies.

A guidance handout (“Gender-Inclusive Language”) may be found on the UNC Writing Center website. Please see the full text of the Gender-Inclusive Language Policy on the University’s policy website.

Posthumous and Memorial Degree

In the unfortunate event of a recently enrolled student death, the University may award a degree posthumously or a memorial degree of achievement to the next of kin of the decedent. The following criteria are used to determine awarding a degree posthumously and it is included in the official degree count. Detailed information on the criteria for awarding of a posthumous degree or memorial degree of achievement are in UPM#13 Authorized Degrees, Major Fields in Each Degree, and Assigned Code Numbers.  

Undergraduate Students 

Upon the recommendation of the Dean of Students Office in conjunction with the Dean’s Office of the student’s academic college/school, a posthumous degree may be awarded to a deceased undergraduate student if the student was in good academic standing and at least 90 percent of academic requirements for earning the degree are already completed. This is typically in the last two semesters or year of study for undergraduate degrees.   

Graduate and Professional Students 

Upon the recommendation of the Dean of Students Office in conjunction with the Dean’s Office(s) of the student’s academic college/school(s), a posthumous degree may be awarded to a deceased graduate or professional student if the student was in good academic standing and significant progress had been made toward academic requirements for earning the degree. For graduate and professional degrees this can vary but generally the following considerations apply: 

  • For degrees requiring a research or other creative/practicum activity, the student must have completed all course and other requirements pursuant to the degree and must have been near completion of the dissertation/thesis/substitute product; and the student’s committee must have determined the scholarship to be substantial work and worthy of the degree. 

  • For degrees requiring primarily coursework, at least 90 percent of academic requirements for earning the degree are already completed. This is typically in the last two semesters or year of study. 

In cases where requirements for awarding a doctorate have not been met, a master’s degree could be awarded if those requirements have been satisfied and if supported by the student’s committee.   

Memorial Degree of Achievement 

If requirements for awarding the degree posthumously are not met, the University may issue a memorial degree of achievement. This is neither recorded as an official degree nor included in the official degree count. The Dean of Students Office, in conjunction with the academic college/school of the student, issues this memorial degree of achievement to honor the memory of the deceased student’s contributions to the UNC–Chapel Hill academic community. 

Certificate of Achievement  

In circumstances when awarding a degree is not appropriate, the University can issue a certificate of achievement recognizing a former student. The Dean of Students office determines if a situation warrants issuing this recognition.  This is neither recorded as an official certificate nor included in the official certificate count. 

Residence Status for Tuition Purposes

Under state law, North Carolina residents are eligible for a lower tuition rate to state universities, including UNC–Chapel Hill.

In order to qualify as residents for tuition purposes, students must have established legal residence (or domicile) in North Carolina and maintained that legal residence for at least twelve (12) months prior to their classification as residents for tuition purposes. Each student is classified as an in-state or out-of-state resident upon admission.

If you believe that you qualify as a North Carolina resident for tuition purposes, you may apply for in-state resident status by following the instructions provided by your admissions office. Continuing students who believe they may now qualify as a resident for tuition purposes may apply through the North Carolina Residency Determination Service (RDS). For additional information about the UNC–Chapel Hill residency requirements and procedures, please see the Office of the University Registrar’s web page on Residency.

Tuition Waiver for Family Members of Deceased or Disabled Emergency Workers

Certain family members of emergency workers killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty may become eligible for tuition-free enrollment.

For additional information about the UNC–Chapel Hill emergency worker tuition benefits, please see the Office of the University Registrar’s web page on Emergency Worker Tuition Benefits.

Policies and Guidelines for a Cooperative Learning Environment

Teaching and learning occur simultaneously through a partnership between instructor and student. Instructors share knowledge, experience, and ideas with their students. Students process these thoughts, generate new ones, and share them with their teachers and classmates. In most cases, students and instructors communicate clearly and effectively. However, misunderstandings do occur. In an attempt to foster a positive academic environment, the Faculty Council, upon recommendation of the Educational Policy Committee, establishes the following policies and guidelines.

The Faculty Council resolves:

Part I. Policies

Section 1.

The Faculty Council recognizes and affirms the following policies. This recognition is not to be interpreted as precluding modification of any policy by the appropriate authority.

Copies of these policies can be obtained from the Office of the Dean of Students. They contain information about how to file a grievance. A grievance based on incidents that occurred more than six months before the complaint was filed will not be considered.

  • Student Access to Academic Records—Protection against Improper Disclosure. As stated in The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, students may have access to their full academic records. Individuals who are, or have been, in attendance at UNC–Chapel Hill may inspect and review their education records. Otherwise, education records are subject to confidentiality requirements as specified by law and may not be disclosed improperly. Requests for recommendations imply that the student has given consent to the disclosure of information related to ability and performance. Judgments of ability and character may be provided under appropriate circumstances, normally with the knowledge or consent of the student. “Education records” are those records directly related to a student that are maintained by an educational institution. Particular University policy provisions are found in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Policies and Procedures under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
  • Appealing a Grade. The University has systems for appealing a grade. The exact procedures vary among the academic units. Students should consult with their dean or department chairperson to obtain information about grade appeal procedures. See the section on “Grade Appeals” in this catalog.

Part II. Guidelines

Section 2.

The Faculty Council endorses the following guidelines for the faculty-student relationship. This endorsement shall not be construed as faculty legislation, is not intended to establish a contractual undertaking by the University or any individual, and shall not constitute the basis for civil action in a court or a claim in any administrative or judicial body of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Clear Definition of Potential Honor Code Violations. In an attempt to avoid unintended misunderstanding, instructors should clearly state what is acceptable in their classes. When study aids such as computers are allowed, the instructor is responsible for explaining what constitutes proper use of these items. These rules should be established at the beginning of the course and should not be changed without giving students proper notice.
  • Assignment of Graded Work during the Last Week of the Semester. Instructors may not assign graded work during the last week of classes unless the course syllabus clearly states that such an assignment will be given.
  • Suggested Classroom Procedures. In general, instructors are strongly encouraged to follow the guidelines for course design and classroom procedures recommended by the Center for Faculty Excellence. When students enter into a learning relationship, they have certain needs and expectations. They are entitled to information about course procedures, attendance policy, content, and goals. Instructors should provide a syllabus that describes the course and methods of evaluation. Particular attention should be paid to several areas of special concern to students, including provision of reserve readings and grading policy.
    Evaluated assignments should be returned to the students within a reasonable amount of time. Since part of the purpose of such assignments is to provide feedback, students should be given time to assess and to learn from their mistakes. Ideally, such assessment would take place while the relevant topics are still fresh in their minds. Extra credit, if offered, should be announced publicly and made available to the entire class.
  • Students Should Have Freedom of Expression. Students should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study. They are responsible, however, for learning the content of any course of study in which they are enrolled. Incorrect facts and poorly supported arguments or opinions inevitably have an impact on grades. Nothing herein shall be construed to limit the freedom of the faculty to assign grades according to appropriate academic standards.
  • Responsibilities of Students and Teachers. Just as students ought to expect instructors who are knowledgeable and well-prepared, so should teachers expect their students to be motivated, eager to learn, and actively engaged in class. It is the responsibility of teachers to make their courses serious intellectual experiences for themselves and for their students. It is the responsibility of students to take seriously the courses in which they enroll. Good teachers need good learners.

Students should understand that they are members of a community of scholars, and membership in such a community is not a passive activity. To be full participants in the educational community and to maximize the educational value of a class, preparation before class is necessary. Proper class preparation involves obtaining course materials as they are needed and completing assignments as they are due. Full participation in a class requires regular attendance, arriving on time and remaining until class conclusion, and active involvement in the work of the class. Students should also consider the extent of their own involvement in a class in assessing the educational value of the class.

Recording Classes Best Practices

The following information was posted to the Catalog on 8/18/2020 and distributed to faculty, instructors, and teaching assistants. The recommendations were developed by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. 

  1. Indicate on syllabi and on the departmental learning management system or website that classes may be recorded, noting that recordings will only be made available to students enrolled in the classes recorded.  
  2. When practicable, notify students and any guest speaker when a class is actually recorded. This notification may be provided verbally by the instructor or electronically through the online learning management system or telecommunication service used. It is advisable to make a more substantial notice during one of the initial classes, and then simply have a way to note that the class is being recorded during other classes in a more routinized way.
  3. Ensure recordings are only made available to the students enrolled in the classes recorded. A recorded classroom lecture should not be used for any purpose except to meet the educational objectives of that particular class. Should the department or instructor wish to use recordings for any other purpose, the department should contact the Office of University Counsel.
  4. Prohibit students from making individual recordings of the class in any format without prior consent from the instructor and the school or department.
  5. Prohibit students from sharing or distributing recordings obtained from the University or elsewhere.
  6. Develop processes for how your department will record, store, and distribute such recordings.
    • Consider whether to encourage or require all faculty to record all classes routinely.
    • Consider whether certain classes include student discussion of sensitive or personal topics that may require further controls on recording.  
    • Consider recording options that best protect students’ privacy (e.g., if practicable depending on the mode of instruction, audio-only recording or video that only displays the instructor and class materials without showing students’ faces).
    • Consider IT security practices and ways of providing recordings to students that minimize the risk of further disclosure (e.g., providing a non-downloadable version on the learning management system rather than sending it as an attachment in an email).
    • Consider the process and specific circumstances by which enrolled students may make requests to record the class privately. Consider limiting student recordings to audio-only recordings.

Example Language for Syllabus or Other Communication to Students

The University may record meetings of this class for educational purposes. These recordings will be shared only with students enrolled in the course for purposes of academic instruction only. Your instructor will communicate to you how you may access any available recordings.

Unauthorized student recording of classes on personal devices or on any other format is prohibited.

Students requesting the use of assistive technology as an accommodation should contact Accessibility Resources & Service. Other students must obtain express permission from the department to record the class, and the University will only grant such permission in extraordinary circumstances in which the student otherwise lacks access to a recording made by the University or instructor. Students shall not copy, reproduce, or distribute any recordings of their classes, and students shall delete any recordings at the conclusion of the course.

Any violation of these prohibitions or restriction on the making, use, copying, or distribution of recording of classes shall constitute an honor code violation.

Example Language for Instructor

This class is being recorded for educational purposes only, and the recordings may only be made available to students enrolled in this class. Any use of a recording of this class by a student shall be for educational purposes only. Students may not record this class on their own, in any format, without prior express authorization from the University and may not copy, reproduce, or distribute any recording that they access.

Out-of-State Disclosures for Distance Education Programs

Disclosure for Indiana Residents Enrolled in UNC–Chapel Hill Distance Education Programs

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is authorized by The Indiana Board for Proprietary Education, 101 W. Ohio St., Suite 670, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

Disclosure for Louisiana Residents Enrolled in UNC–Chapel Hill Distance Education Programs

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is currently licensed by the Board of Regents of the State of Louisiana. Licenses are renewed by the State Board of Regents every two years. Licensed institutions have met minimal operational standards set forth by the state, but licensure does not constitute accreditation, guarantee the transferability of credit, nor signify that programs are certifiable by any professional agency or organization.

Disclosure for Minnesota Residents Enrolled in UNC–Chapel Hill Distance Education Programs

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is registered as a private institution with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 and 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.

Disclosure for Washington Residents Enrolled in UNC–Chapel Hill Distance Education Programs

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is authorized by the Washington Student Achievement Council and meets the requirements and minimum educational standards established for degree-granting institutions under the Degree-Granting Institutions Act. This authorization is subject to periodic review and authorizes The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to advertise, recruit, and offer field placements for specific degree programs. The council may be contacted for a list of currently authorized programs. Authorization by the Council does not carry with it an endorsement by the Council of the institution or its programs. Any person desiring information about the requirements of the act or the applicability of those requirements to the institution may contact the Council at P.O. Box 43430, Olympia, WA 98504-3430.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

As a general rule, under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), personally identifiable information may not be released from a student’s education records without his or her prior written consent.

To learn more about FERPA, please visit these links:

UNC–Chapel Hill FERPA Policy
UNC–Chapel Hill Registrar's website