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This webpage is designed to assist students in identifying and navigating academic exceptions. We understand that the information can be overwhelming; furthermore, we want to make sure that you understand the ramifications of a given request. Therefore, we strongly encourage students to meet with an Academic Advisor in a scheduled appointment or drop-in hours.


Students apply for graduation within ConnectCarolina. Please follow the instructions outlined on the Registrar website. For a list of graduation-related dates and deadlines, visit Important Graduation Dates.

If you are not able to apply for graduation in ConnectCarolina, either because you have missed the deadline for this term or you do not have access to ConnectCarolina because you are not currently enrolled, please complete this form.


Academic course load policy refers to University rules concerning the minimum and maximum number of hours in which students may enroll during a term. Academic course load rules are laid out in the University Catalog. Students seeking exceptions to these rules must follow appropriate procedures in the circumstances outlined below.

The maximum academic course load per term is as follows:

  • Fall /Spring semester course load limit: 18 hours
  • Maymester course load limit: 4 hours
  • Summer Sessions I & II load limits: 8 hours each (Summer 2020 & 2021: 9 hours per session)

“Credit overload” refers to permission from a Dean in Academic Advising to take more than the maximum number of academic hours allowed in a term. Ordinarily, you may enroll in up to 18 hours in a fall or spring term, eight (8) hours in a summer I or II term*, and four (4) hours in a Maymester. Requests to enroll in more than these credit hour levels require approval.

There are three ways to qualify for an overload of 19 hours (requests for 20 or 21 hours are rarely granted and typically reserved for seniors who need the hours for graduation or students in truly extenuating circumstances):

  • You earned a cumulative GPA of at least 2.500 and previous semester GPA of at least 3.000
  • You require an overload to graduate in the term requested
  • You obtain special permission from a dean

Credit Overload Requests are reviewed:

Fall –
Spring –
Summer I –
Summer II –

If granted, credit overloads go into effect day before the first day of classes of the term.

Please note that meeting basic criteria does not guarantee a request for credit overload will be granted, as your circumstances are reviewed fully.

If you are interested in requesting an overload, please fill out this form.

Additional Semester Request


Students are expected to complete their undergraduate degree in a maximum of eight semesters* of full-time enrollment at UNC, excluding summer terms. If you need to request an additional semester due to extenuating circumstances, you must fill out the Additional Semester Appeal Form.

Appeal reasons that are usually approved:

  • You have not yet met minimum requirements for degree completion (120 hours earned, 2.0 GPA, and completion of one major)
  • You are participating in a UNC-endorsed program that requires undergraduate status
  • You must retake a course required for graduation that was failed in the final semester

Appeal reasons that are usually NOT approved:

  • Sole purpose of completing multiple areas of study (i.e. a second major and minor or two minors)
  • Raising a grade point average
  • Taking prerequisites for graduate or professional school
  • Taking courses related to employment
  • Changing major from BA to BS degree
  • Completing degree requirements on campus in a fall or spring semester when there are readily available alternatives via summer sessions or online courses

This is not an exhaustive list of reasons for approval or denial; appeals are taken on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions about whether you are eligible for an additional semester, please meet with your assigned academic advisor. Decisions will be based on UNC Academic Policy and our shared commitment support your degree completion.

*Transfer students who transfer in the UNC-Chapel Hill equivalent of two or more semesters (24+ hours) may automatically enroll in up to 10 semesters and complete up to three areas of study (i.e. a second major and a minor or two minors) without permission.


Final Exam Excuse

Certain circumstances warrant the rescheduling of a final exam. We invite students to meet with an advisor during drop-in hours to discuss and clarify policy, and answer any questions.

An exam excuse is commonly granted for:

  • Three exams that start within a 24-hour period
  • Two exams offered at the same time
  • An exam scheduled on a day of religious observance
  • A student with a serious illness
  • A student with a personal or family emergency

Three Exams in 24 Hours or Two Exams at the Same Time

In the case of a scheduling issue, such as three exams that start within a 24-hour period or two exams at the same time, students may submit an online request.

Religious Observance

Students may be excused for a final exam for religious observances required by their faith. Students are advised to submit an online request.


Students who are seriously ill during the time of their final exams should consult Campus Health Services (CHS) or Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) about having their names entered on the Examination Excuse List. Students on this list may obtain an official exam excuse from a Dean or from the Office of the University Registrar.

If students are treated at CHS or CAPS but do not appear on the Examination Excuse List, or they are not treated at CHS or CAPS, they should see a Dean in the Academic Advising Program as soon as possible. Documentation should be provided.

Interinstitutional Enrollment

Under the Inter-Institutional Program, any approved enrolled full-time degree seeking undergraduate student (excluding continuing studies, visiting, or non-degree students), may register for courses with appropriate approval at:

The student may take a course, provided seats are available, at a participating university if the student’s academic advisor or dean can certify that the course is appropriate for the student’s degree program, e.g., undergraduate courses are available only to undergraduate students, and the intended course must not be offered available during the same academic term at the home institution.

Visit the registrar’s Inter-Institutional page for more information and see an academic advisor to discuss the process.

Reduce Your Course Load

Course Drop

For those who plan to maintain full-time enrollment (12 hours) in a Fall/Spring semester or drop a course in Summer, please see the information about dropping a course on our Registration FAQ page.

Underload (enroll in less than 12 hours in a Fall/Spring semester)

Please schedule an appointment or utilize our drop-in hours to speak with an advisor to discuss your unique circumstances.

Enroll Part-Time

Part-Time Classroom Studies (PTCS) allows students to continue their studies toward their degree on campus on a part-time basis. Students approved for part-time course load are allowed to take up to 8 academic hours in a fall or spring term. PTCS does not apply to summer enrollment.

In the fall term, students may transfer to part-time until November 1. In the spring term, students may transfer to part-time until April 1. If you move to part-time, you must remain for two semesters (this does not include summer), before you can return to full time status.

To take advantage of any of these options, please connect with one of our Advisors via a scheduled appointment or drop-in support.

Retroactive Course Drop/Term Withdrawal

The Course Drop & Withdrawal Appeal process applies to:

  • Any requests for course drops in the current semester that result in enrollment in less than 12 hours
  • Any requests for course drops in the current semester after the term drop deadline
  • Any requests for course drops or term withdrawals for a previous term

Before beginning an appeal, we expect that you will connect with an advisor to understand the process, confirm whether it is the right appeal option for you, and discuss appropriate resources. We also invite you to review the Student Guide to Preparing & Submitting a Course Drop & Term Withdrawal Appeal (pdf, opens in a new window). Should you be navigating an especially personal matter that is difficult to disclose in an appeal, please contact the Chair of the Appeals Committee. Your Academic Advisor will be happy to connect you.

Preparation Tips:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the Faculty Guidelines for Academic Appeals because these guidelines inform appeal decisions.
  2. While the form will save your progress, it is best to compose your responses in a separate document prior to beginning the online form.
  3. Collect supporting materials for the circumstances shared in your appeal. You cannot submit an appeal without supporting documentation.
  4. Please use the following form to acquire any signatures you will need: Academic Appeals Signature Form(pdf, opens in a new window).
  5. The Appeal must be received by Monday at 10:00 am of a given week to be heard that same week. The Appeals Committee meets weekly except the weeks of July 4, Thanksgiving, and Winter Break.

Decisions: An appeals decision will be emailed to your official university email address within 4 days of review. If you no longer have an official university email, the decision will be sent to the personal email address indicated on the Academic Appeal Form. Appeals decisions are final; however, we invite you to meet with an advisor to discuss the ramifications of the decision and your options moving forward. Please note that it is highly unlikely that appeals for course drops over multiple terms will be approved for similar reasons.

Ready to submit? Begin the Academic Appeal Form online.

Return to Carolina

We encourage you to schedule a Returning Student Consultation to address any questions that you may have with an Academic Advisor. We are available to meet with you via Zoom video conference or by phone.

Students who wish to return to the university and who were not enrolled during the most recent semester (fall, spring) need to submit the Return to Carolina survey through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to officially notify the University of their intent to re-enroll at UNC.

We also encourage you to address any holds on your account before submitting the Return to Carolina survey. An Academic Advisor can walk you through the holds in place to help inform your next steps.

For additional readmission related questions, contact

Appeal for Probation

Students with an academic eligibility status of Suspension or Ineligible are required to appeal for probation to enroll in any courses in any term (fall, spring and summer, including Carolina Courses online). You are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor to address academic concerns and eligibility issues.

The support available while enrolled with a status of probation is designed to help students and promote a successful experience at Carolina. We are committed to the academic success of each of our students, and understand that success is not always achieved in a predictable path. There are many reasons students experience academic challenges, including personal, financial, health, family, or other issues. Our goal is to help you identify the factors that are relevant to you and to help you address them. You are not alone in experiencing these difficulties. Many students participate in the probation process each year and make progress towards achieving their goals.

We encourage you to reflect on the challenges that have impacted your academics as you prepare your appeal. Should you be navigating an especially personal matter that is difficult to disclose in an appeal, please contact the Coordinator for Academic Appeals. Your Academic Advisor will be happy to connect you.

To find out more about appealing for probation, please visit our Probation page.

Non-Traditional Readmission

The nontraditional readmission appeal process recognizes that individuals can gain personal and intellectual maturity over a period of several years. In such cases, the University may choose to evaluate applicants for readmission on the basis of their current academic promise rather than their earlier academic performance. This process offers a way for former students who are far from current eligibility standards to restore their academic eligibility and work towards graduation.

Under the nontraditional readmission policy, the University reviews applicants who have not been enrolled full time in a formal educational program for at least five years. To learn more and submit a request for nontraditional readmission, please talk with an Academic Advisor and visit the Nontraditional Readmission Student Form. The deadlines to apply for readmission are July 25 for fall and December 5 for spring.

Please Note: This process is separate from the Return to Carolina survey. Regardless of your interest in the non-traditional readmission process, you must submit the Return to Carolina survey if you were not enrolled in the previous term.

Grade Appeal

A student who feels he or she has been awarded an incorrect grade should first attempt to resolve the matter with their instructor. You may also consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Chair of the academic department that offers the class. If your issue is still not resolved, you can appeal the grade through Academic Advising by submitting the Grade Appeal Student Form. Please note that this is not a request to drop a course, but rather appeal the grade received. Information about appealing for retroactive course drops is available here.

For a grade appeal to be considered, it must be based on one or more of the following grounds: arithmetic/clerical error, arbitrariness, discrimination, harassment, or personal malice. For more on this policy, visit the Faculty Guidelines for Academic Appeals. For more information about the University’s discrimination and harassment policies, refer to the Equal Opportunity/ADA Office’s policy summary.

The Grade Appeal form must be submitted by the last day of class of the following fall or spring term.


Still have questions about Academic Appeals & Requests? Check out our FAQs and check in with an Advisor.