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UNC System Minimum Academic Requirements

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Minimum Graduation Requirements to enter a public 4-year public university in NC:

Six course units in language, including

  • four units in English emphasizing grammar, composition, and literature, and
  • two units of a language other than English (ex. Spanish I and II)

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

  • NC Math 1(Algebra I), NC Math 2 (Geometry), NC Math 3 (Algebra II), and one unit beyond NC Math 3 (Algebra II)
    • NC Math 4, Honors Pre-Calculus, or AP Statistics 

The University strongly encourages future students to take at least one 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, but 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.



In order to predict student success, the UNC System also considers how well students perform in their high school coursework and in national achievement tests.

The UNC System is committed to serving students from all walks of life and at every stage in their intellectual and professional development. Older students seeking admission to the University for the first time, transfer students, veterans, and active members of the military all have encountered immersive learning experiences that enhance their academic histories. Consequently, the University’s expectations regarding GPAs and scores differ according to the applicants’ age and previous experience in higher education and the military.

The chart below maps out the minimum requirements for GPA and national test scores based on age and experience.


Student’s Age and College Credits 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 1010 or ACT composite of 19 See UNC Minimum Course Requirements above

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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