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Foreign Languages, Experiential and Native Speakers

Language Placement is a great resource for all languages taught at UNC. This is also a great place to learn more about the Foreign Language Placement Coordinators for each language, as well as the placement exams times/locations.

All students must complete through the third level of a foreign language. This does not mean that you have to complete three courses at UNC, just through the third level. For instance, if you place into level 2 of a foreign language, you only need to complete level 2 and 3 to fulfill the general education requirement. If you place into level 3, you would only need to pass the level 3 course and you are done!

If you believe you have placed into the wrong level of the language you plan to study, we encourage you to sign up for the level you were placed into. After attending class for a day or two, you may speak with the instructor about possibly changing your placement level.

  • Latin: If you place into LATN 204 or higher based on the UNC-CH online placement exam, and do not have LATN 203 BE from another test, you are required to take Part II of the UNC-CH exam to earn LATN 203 BE and place out of the UNC-CH foreign language requirement.  Students who fall into this category will be contacted by the Department of Classics to schedule taking Part II.
  • Chinese, Japanese or Korean: If you have experience in Chinese, Japanese or Korean and wish to continue study of the language at UNC-CH, you must take the on-campus placement exam regardless of any IB, SAT or AP test scores.

A student is considered an experiential speaker if the student:

  • Grew up speaking a language* other than English or lived several years in another country, and;
  • Is conversant and literate in that language* (based on UNC-CH language departmental standards) and English.

*The language must be currently offered at UNC.

For academic purposes, a student is considered a native speaker of a language other than English if the student:

  • Was raised in a country outside of the U.S., and;
  • Was formally educated through all or most of high school in a language other than English.

To verify that you are an experiential speaker, you must:

  • A student meeting the above criteria may take a placement test in that language (if it is currently offered at UNC-CH). In this case:
    • The placement test is for placement only.
    • No academic credit will be awarded.
  • If the student places beyond Level 3 (usually numbered 203 or 403), the placement credit for the language may be used to fulfill the General Education Foreign Language requirement.

To verify status as a native speaker, students must complete an online questionnaire, which will be reviewed by the College of Arts & Sciences.  An in-person interview may be required to confirm status.

Upon verification of status as a native speaker of a language other than English, the student:

  • May use ENGL 105, or its transfer equivalent, to satisfy the General Education Foreign Language requirement.
  • May not be awarded academic credit hours for Levels 1 through 4 of the native language(s).
  • May, upon recommendation of the appropriate UNC-CH language department, receive credit for courses taken at UNC-CH beyond Level 4, if those courses are heavily based on literature, film, culture or other content.


Courses can be declared pass/fail beginning the fifth day of classes through the eighth week of classes for the fall and spring semesters. The deadline to declare a course pass/fail is posted on the registrar’s academic calendar each term. To declare a course pass/fail, you select Pass/Fail Request in the drop-down menu in your Student Center in ConnectCarolina. You can read more about the rules, regulations, and the pass/fail policy in the Catalog by clicking on the Pass/Fail Option section.

Resolving Temporary Grades

We encourage you to work closely with your faculty to resolve temporary grades as promptly as possible. This worksheet was developed to serve as a guide for you to complete the remaining coursework in a timely manner.

Incomplete grades (IN) denote that there is incomplete work in a course and has a negative impact on eligibility until it is resolved with a passing grade. This is a temporary grade that converts to F* at the end of eight weeks into the next semester unless the student makes up the incomplete work. It is important that students connect with their instructors in a timely manner to determine next steps in resolving this grade. The deadline to resolve IN grades from spring and summer 2020 is October 6, 2020.
When a student is absent from the final exam, an AB grade may be awarded if the student could have passed the course if exam was taken. This temporary grade converts to an F* after the last day of class for the next semester unless the student makes up the exam. It is important that students connect with their instructors in a timely manner to develop a plan for completing the exam and resolving the grade. The deadline to resolve AB grades from spring and summer 2020 is November 17, 2020.
CV grades stem from the Emergency Grading Accommodation from spring 2020. It was implemented to support students impacted by the pandemic and offers an extension to complete work beyond the spring and summer 2020 terms. This temporary grade that has no immediate impact to academic eligibility. If left unresolved or is resolved with a low or failing grade, it will negatively impact academic eligibility. The deadline to resolve CV grades from spring and summer 2020 is January 12, 2021 but we encourage students to work with their instructors to resolve them as soon as possible to avoid any potential negative consequences. Once the course is complete, the grade will convert to a letter grade, or may be declared pass/fail by August 7, 2020. If the course is not resolved by the deadline, it will convert to an F*.

We encourage you to reach out with any questions about these policies, and to develop a plan to resolve your temporary grades.

Final Exam Excuses

Certain circumstances warrant the rescheduling of a final exam.  You may need to see a dean in the Academic Advising Program, as well as provide documentation, for some excuses.

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 or see an advisor about obtaining an exam excuse during drop-in hours (after the 8th week of class in fall and spring terms or the 3rd day of class in summer terms).  Advisors can discuss, clarify policy, and issue excuses if warranted.

Religious Observance

Students may be excused for a final exam for religious observances required by their faith. Students are advised to see a dean in the Academic Advising Program in these circumstances.


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.

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:

  • Taking courses required for graduation that are offered only in certain spring or fall semesters – assuming you made your best effort to complete these in a timely manner
  • Completing an honors thesis
  • Participating in a study abroad program that requires you to be enrolled as an undergraduate
  • Serving the University community via special student activities that significantly benefit the campus community
  • Serve the University as a red-shirted student-athlete or in the capacity of student personnel important to a varsity team and endorsed by the team’s coaching staff
  • Retaking 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). While you can enroll in an extra semester and retain your second major and minor(s), Advising will not approve appeals for the sole purpose of finishing one of these optional programs of study.
  • 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

Appeal reasons that are sometimes approved:

  • Change of majors as recommended by an academic advisor
  • Loss of transfer credits Financial need necessitating heavy employment hours, thus reducing the your ability to take 15-hour semesters or to attend summer sessions
  • Health-related matters
  • Personal and family situations that necessitate your support
  • Course sequences for courses that are not offered every semester
  • Failure of a course required for graduation
  • Insufficient hours of “C” grades in the major core

**Transfer students who transfer in the UNC-Chapel Hill equivalent of two or more semesters 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.

Additional Academic Policies and Procedures