Minimum Admission Requirements

The University of North Carolina minimum admission requirements address three areas: high school courses, high school GPA, and test scores. The minimum requirements for admission are established by the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina. However, admission is a competitive process and individual campuses may have additional requirements beyond the minimums listed in this publication. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission to any specific university or program. Please check with each campus for additional information related to their specific admission requirements.

Minimum Course Requirements

Six course units* in language, including

  • - four units in English emphasizing grammar, composition, and literature, and
  • - two units of a language other than English.

Four course units of mathematics, in any of the following combinations

  • - algebra I and II, geometry, and one unit beyond algebra II,
  • - algebra I and II, and two units beyond algebra II, or
  • - integrated math I, II, and III, and one unit beyond integrated math III. (The fourth unit of math affects applicants to all institutions except the UNC School of the Arts.) It is recommended that prospective students take a mathematics course unit in the 12th grade.

Three course units in science, including

  • - at least one unit in a life or biological science (for example, biology),
  • - at least one unit in physical science (for example, physical science, chemistry, physics), and
  • - at least one laboratory course.

Two course units in social studies, including one unit in U.S. history. An applicant who does not have the unit in U.S. history may be admitted on the condition that at least three semester hours in that subject will be passed by the end of the sophomore year.

* “Course units” as defined in these requirements may include those high school-level courses taken and passed by an applicant after graduating from high school, as well as those taken while enrolled as a high school student. For some transfer students and students who graduated from high school prior to 1990, special considerations have been made.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is the GPA score based on theweighted or unweighted GPA?
    The weighted GPA will be used to determine if the student satisfies the minimum GPA requirement.
  2. Is the GPA calculated based on all my courses or just the courses for the college preparatory curriculum?
    The GPA is the cumulative GPA based on all courses taken during high school.
  3. If I take the SAT more than once, will my highest combined score be used even if it is from two different test dates?
    Yes, the highest score received on any administration of the same version of the SAT for critical reading will be combined with the highest score received on math. The College Board implemented a new version of the SAT in March 2016. Scores can be combined within test versions (ex: old math and old reading), but cannot be combined between test version (ex: old math and new reading).
  4. What if my GPA is over 2.5, but my SAT is less than 880 on the new version (or less than 800 on the old version), or my ACT is less than 17 - do I meet the requirement?
    No, you must meet both the minimum GPA and the minimum SAT or ACT score to be eligible for admission. In rare cases, a campus may offer a student with extenuating circumstances or with a special talent a waiver from one of the requirements.
  5. What if I graduated in 2015, but don’t apply to college until 2019? Will I need to have the GPA of 2.5 and the SAT of 800?
    Students 21 and older are exempt from minimum high school GPA, test score, and minimum course requirements.
  6. If I take the ACT, will my highest individual sections be used to calculate a new composite score?
    Yes, the highest individual scores will be used to determine a new composite score.


Student’s Age and College Credits Minimum Admission Requirements for High School Graduates and GED
  High School GPA Test Scores High School Courses
20** years and younger with fewer than 24 transferable credits 2.5 cumulative weighted GPA SAT of 880 on new or 800 on old version (verbal and math) or ACT composite of 17 See UNC Minimum Course Requirements on page 1
21** years or older Exempt from minimum High School GPA, test scores and course requirements***
Any age with 24** or more transferable college credits (does not include AP, IB or credit by exam) Exempt from minimum High School GPA, test scores and course requirements***
Active duty service member or veteran with 3** or more years of active duty service Exempt from minimum High School GPA, test scores and course requirements***

**- Criteria must be met by the time of enrollment at the UNC institution

***- Being exempt from these requirements does not guarantee admission. While applicants are not required to meet these GPA, test score and course requirements, institutions will only admit applicants who meet all campus-specific admission requirements.

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