Newly Admitted First-Year Students

Our mission is to create a supportive environment in which we partner with undergraduates as they explore personal goals, develop educational plans, and thrive at Carolina.  Academic Advising will assist students with all aspects of their academic planning throughout their undergraduate studies. We can help with major and minor advising, course planning, and academic policies. Our office is here to support you along your academic journey.

First of all, congratulations! We are so excited to have you on campus! Take a look at the First-Year Enrollment Checklist. This checklist will tell you everything you need to do before you arrive at New Student Orientation. We also suggest checking your UNC email address daily.

No. We suggest that you choose a New Student Orientation that works best with your schedule, because your registration dates are based on when you attend. We have an equal number of course seats reserved for every registration window just for first-year students so it does not matter which orientation session you attend.  

To prepare for your Group Advising and Registration Workshop at New Student Orientation, all you need to do is complete your Academic Interest Survey and your Get Ready to Register form. Both of these will be sent to your UNC email a little closer to your orientation session date. If you have questions, you can also bring those to orientation to be answered.

Here is a link to the majors and minors offered at UNC. Also, you can explore the UNC Catalog and learn more about what majors and minors interest you and the degree requirements.

That’s for you to decide! We encourage you to talk to your family, advisor and career services about your interests and career plans to help you decide. We will have breakout sessions at New Student Orientation for you to explore majors based on your interest. You should also attend our Majors Fair in the fall where you can learn more about the different majors and minors we offer. Check the advising.unc.edu website for the date and time of that event.

No! In fact, we will have a break out session just for undecided students at New Student Orientation. One of the advantages of a liberal arts education is that you will take courses in many different disciplines. This will allow you to explore different majors and career paths. You do not have to declare your major until the end of your sophomore year.

You will be able to change your major at New Student Orientation. If you have already been to orientation, don’t worry.  You can change your major once you return to campus this fall.

You will have a group advising session at New Student Orientation where you will be able to work with an advisor to learn about first-year appropriate courses. During this session, you will be able to identify courses that you want to register for during your registration window in July.

Your registration date will be based off of your New Student Orientation date. Visit the New Student & Family Programs website for more details.

Yes. Once you have accepted your admission offer and finalized a payment option, send an email to unchelp@admissions.unc.edu. Your email should specifically state your desired session (Maymester, Summer Session I/II) and include your name and date of birth. Once Admissions processes your request, they will respond to confirm the change.

Yes. Once you are an enrolled student, you can use the Transfer Credit Evaluation form to ensure the credit will transfer back to UNC. Once the course(s) is/are completed, send your official transcript reflecting the final grade(s) to the Undergraduate Admissions office for posting to ConnectCarolina.

You will have an assigned advisor listed on your ConnectCarolina Student Center during the fall semester (based on your major) but you are welcome to see any advisor that you like.

ConnectCarolina is your student center. This tool is where you will enroll in courses, change courses, see your financial details, and manage your academics. It will also be where you can order transcripts and textbooks, see your final grades or any holds on your record.

For your first semester only, Academic Advising will pre-register you for two courses to help you get a “jump start” on your registration for fall. The courses are based on your answers to the Academic Interest Survey. If you need to change these courses, you will be able to do so once your registration period opens in July.

Your shopping cart is a feature on ConnectCarolina that keeps all the courses that interest you together so you don’t have to keep searching during registration. We suggest putting 30-40 classes in your shopping cart, including multiple sections of courses if available, so if your first choice isn’t available, you have plenty of back up options.

Sakai is UNC’s course management system. You may have heard of BlackBoard or Moodle – Sakai is very similar. This is where you will find information for your courses such as syllabi, grades, homework, quizzes, and calendars. UNC Academic Advising has its own Sakai site for incoming first-year students. We will update the Sakai site with additional information throughout your first year at UNC.  

All official transcripts should be sent to:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Campus Box 2200, Jackson Hall

Chapel Hill, NC 27599-2200

After your transcripts have been processed, they will show up on your ConnectCarolina Student Center. Go to My Academics, then to Transfer Credit: Report. Please note that these credits may not be posted until you arrive to campus in the fall.

You will send your AP/IB scores to Admissions directly from the respective testing service. For instance, SAT and AP scores need to be sent directly to UNC Admissions from the College Board. Please visit the First-Year Checklist for more information.

BE (by examination) credit is UNC course credit that is awarded based on your AP, IB, SAT Subject Test, or departmental exam scores. Transfer Credit is credit awarded for a course that you took at a NC Community College or a four-year institution.  Click Here for more information and UNC’s policies regarding BE and Transfer Credits. For information about AP, IB, A-level and French Baccalaureate scores click here.

Prior to New Student Orientation, you should jot down the questions that you have and bring them to New Student Orientation. Most (if not all) questions will be answered during the parent session and your student’s advising session. During orientation, you will learn more about FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). According to federal law, once a student enrolls at the University, the student’s parents/guardians do not have automatic access to the student’s educational records unless they claim the student as a dependent for federal income tax purposes or have the student’s written consent. Students will learn how they can give consent at orientation. The FERPA consent form takes a little while to be processed, so we encourage parents/guardians to have students call with any questions that they have. For more suggestions for families, click here.

No worries. You will have ample opportunities to have your questions answered at New Student Orientation. Make a note of your questions, and bring them with you!

Newly Admitted Transfer Students

After you accept your admission, you will need to pay your enrollment deposit and add yourself to the Academic Advising transfer Sakai page. Log in with your Onyen. (See below for how to create your Onyen.)

From there some notable next steps include:

  • Create your Onyen. Your Onyen (the only name you ever need) is your user name to be used for all things Carolina.
  • Set up your HeelMail. Your HeelMail is your email account for UNC. This will be used for all official communication with the university.
  • Log in and complete your to-do list items on Sakai, most importantly, watch your Transfer Student Advising module and register for classes.
  • Make an Academic Advising Appointment this can be done in-person, via Skype or the phone. During this meeting, you will discuss the credits that you have received from your previous institution, contact information about your new department, as well as your progress towards your Carolina degree.
  • Welcome to the Carolina Family letter 2019

Now that you are here at UNC-Chapel Hill, it is important to familiarize yourself with the new policies, procedures, and overall degree requirements. Many of these policies may differ from your previous institution. The University Catalog is a great place to start to learn UNC-Chapel Hill policies.

As soon as you have accepted your admission and paid your deposit, we encourage you to enroll as soon as possible. This can be even before you meet with an academic advisor. Registering immediately will help you to get into classes, and then you will be able to refine your schedule once you meet with an advisor.

You can use the online catalog and major worksheets to review the course requirements for your major at Carolina.

  • Be sure to have your final transcript sent from your previous institution. If you received an associate’s degree, please be sure that the degree date is stated on the transcript. Once this has been submitted, the Admissions team on campus will evaluate your transcript to determine which transfer credits you will receive at UNC.
  • You can find the credits on your transfer credit report, course history and in your Tar Heel Tracker.

If UNC rejected a course from your previous institution or you were awarded elective hours but think the course fits a general education or major requirement, you can submit a Transfer Re-evaluation. Be sure to read the rules on the transfer re-evaluation page to determine if it is appropriate to request a revaluation.

If you have already paid your deposit but are still have difficulty accessing Sakai, please complete this form for assistance.

  • Transfer Student Sakai Log-In Issue Form

    Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your issue. You should have already added yourself to Sakai via this site: https://sakai.unc.edu/portal/site/TransferAdvising. If you never used that link, well, then that's why you haven't been added! If you did add yourself through that link and still can't access the Sakai site, please complete that form and allow us 2-3 business days to respond and help you troubleshoot.
  • Tar Heel Tracker Tutorial: The Tar Heel Tracker is our graduation audit system. This a great guide on how your credits are working towards meeting all graduation requirements. Please note, this should not be used for graduation clearance, please be sure to check in with Academic Advising.
  • ConnectCarolina Tutorial Video Series: Connect Carolina is the portal in which you will register for classes. These short video tutorials will walk you through how to register.

When you arrive at UNC for the start of the fall semester, you should make an effort to get connected to your academic department. The best place to start is by attending your department transfer meetings. These will occur the day before classes begin. Check out the schedule and contact names for each department.

A new policy began in fall of 2017 for any students transferring in at least 30 hours (post-high school). This policy grants transfer students a ninth and tenth semester automatically, if it is desired. This provides more flexibility for students completing a sequenced major, opting into a double major or adding a minor. If you have questions about your credits, please feel free to stop by academic advising.

The following are other resources on campus that support transfer student success:

  • Transfer Student Resources is a one stop shop for academic resources for new transfer students. This site highlights opportunities to get involved in and out of the classroom as you transfer to Carolina.
  • Transfer Student Ambassadors are a group of students that work with New Students and Family programs to ensure new transfer students have a positive transition to campus.
  • Transfer United is our Residential Learning program on campus for new transfer students. Students in this program live together in Carmichael Residence Hall.
  • Tau Sigma National Honor Society is a national honor society that recognizes new transfer students that achieve a 3.5 GPA or higher in their first semester on campus.
  • Tar Heel Transfers is a student group on campus specifically for transfer students.
  • Carolina Firsts is a program for first generation college students at Carolina designed to equip students for social, academic and professional success at Carolina and beyond.
  • Other Campus Organizations for more than 700 student organizations on campus.

Newly Admitted Student-Athletes in Summer Session 2

All students at the University are assigned an academic advisor prior to beginning their first semester at UNC. We work closely with the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes to enhance the academic advising experience for our student-athletes. Student-athletes will meet regularly with both departments and will possess a working knowledge of the services provided by each.

Once on campus, students will have the opportunity to meet with both their academic counselor (Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes) as well as their Academic Advisor in the Academic Advising Program. We will also meet with you during your time at New Student Orientation as part of the standard Day 1 program.

Prior to attending summer school we would like you to complete the following four steps:

STEP 1: Review the Making Connections Curriculum (You must click on and read/view all 5 bullet items.)

STEP 2: Review Information on Majors and Minors (You must click on and read/view all 3 bullet items.)

STEP 3: Learn about course registration in Connect Carolina (You must click on and view all 5 bullet items.)

STEP 4:  Schedule a 30-minute Academic Advising Appointment

  • Schedule a 30-minute telephone (or Skype) appointment. An academic advisor will assist you with course selection for summer school as well as provide an opportunity for you to ask questions once the information above (Steps 1, 2 and 3) has been reviewed.

Thank you for taking the time to complete Steps 1-4. We look forward to meeting you this summer and assisting you in your academic journey! Please do not hesitate to contact us at advisingforstudentathletesAAP@unc.edu should you have additional questions and concerns.

For additional information, contact the following individuals in the Academic Advising Program:

  • Spencer Welborn, Assistant Dean, 2018 Steele Building, 919-843-8917
  • Leah Frierson, Assistant Dean, 2017B Steele Building, 919-843-8909

First-Year Students

We request that all first-year students visit Academic Advising during their first year at Carolina. This is important to set the stage for the next four years. In this meeting, you will discuss majors and minors you are interested in, goal setting, your course schedule and more. Come in early to be sure you make the connection with an advisor.

You will be assigned an advisor after orientation, however, you can meet with any advisor.

Your first year at Carolina is an important time for major exploration. You will need to declare your primary major by the end of your sophomore year, but if you have majors in mind, it is a good idea to take major exploration classes to test out those majors. Some majors also have sequences in them. Schedule an advising appointment to chat further and/or check out the academic worksheets to see what is expected in each major.

Workshops are offered in the fall and the spring to prepare you for registration. Look out for emails and/or announcements on Sakai about Advising 101 workshops if you would prefer a group advising environment.

The University Registrar sets the academic calendar including when you will register. These dates are set at the beginning of each semester. Your enrollment period will show up on your student center of connect Carolina.

Steps for Success in Sophomore and Junior Years

The following are steps to success that we recommend in your sophomore and junior years:

  • By the end of your sophomore year, you must declare your primary major. You can do this through an appointment with an academic advisor.
  • Failure to declare by the start of your junior year will result in a hold on your account that will prevent registration in the fall for your sixth semester (spring junior year).
  • If you have entered your junior year and are considering changing your major, it may still be possible. You are able to change your major if you can complete the new major within your allotted eight semesters. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with an advisor to talk about your options.

We encourage you to schedule an appointment to check in on your progress and talk about how your interests have changed since your first year at Carolina. This is the time to see where you stand with your general education requirements, progress toward your major and talk about your short and long term academic goals.

Your sophomore and junior years are a great time to consider pursuing a second major or minor. Consider declaring or talking about options with an academic advisor.

  • Your sophomore year is a critical time to build relationships with your academic department. Stop by and utilize office hours, join clubs in your major and check out your department listserv for up-to-date information and opportunities. Building these relationships now can be essential as you become a Junior/Senior and may need letters of recommendation, an advisor for a thesis and more.
  • Some academic departments will require you to meet with the department each semester, but even if yours does not, check in with them. Consider meeting with a departmental advisor or the Director of Undergraduate Studies. This can be a great way to connect with the department to share your career and personal goals.

If you did not get involved in your first year, your sophomore year is a great time to find a few organizations that match your interests and career aspirations. Check out a list of all orgs. 

Sophomore year is the year to do this. Check out this one-stop shop to learn about our professional schools on campus and how to apply

If you are considering law school, medical school or a graduate program, we encourage you to get connected to Career Services. They have pre-law, pre-professional and pre-health advisors/resources that can support you as you prepare for entrance exams and graduate applications.

Also, check out the resources the Learning Center has to prepare students for the GRE, GMAT, LSAT and MCAT (including access to free practice tests and additional resources).

There are many offices on campus that can support you academically. Here are a few that can be helpful:

Senior Year and Graduation

During your final year at UNC, you should do the following:

You should apply for graduation when you register for your final term at UNC. If you are blocked from applying for some reason or if you miss the application deadline, you must contact the Graduation Coordinator in Academic Advising. Late applicants are not guaranteed to have their names listed in the commencement program.

  1. Log in to your ConnectCarolina Student Center with your UNC Onyen and password.
  2. Select “Apply for Graduation” from the drop-down menu on the Academics tab.
  3. Follow the directions to confirm all program and personal information.

Once you’ve applied, advisors will review your application. This can take quite a while since we receive 3,500 applications each spring. We will confirm what you’ve got left and email you the requirements. When grades are in, assuming you’ve met all requirements, we’ll approve you for graduation!

All diplomas are mailed by the Registrar to your permanent address about 3 months after the official graduation date. To assure your diploma is delivered correctly, verify and update your address online if needed.

To assure your diploma is printed correctly, verify the spelling and punctuation of your name in the University’s records. You must visit the Office of the University Registrar in the Student & Academic Services Building for official name changes.

You can request an official transcript or proof of awarded degree after you’ve completed all degree requirements.

If you have fewer than 12 hours of required coursework left in your final semester, you are eligible to apply for a senior underload. To do so, you must apply for graduation and request the Senior Underload option. There are several rules and regulations to consider:

  • Senior underloads are allowed only in the semester in which you are graduating.
  • You must be enrolled in all remaining degree requirements and intend to graduate at the end of the current semester.
  • Applications for graduation with senior underload status must be submitted by the posted deadline each semester (the option to request a senior underload is available as part of the graduation application process).
  • Academic Advising will NOT drop the courses for you; this is your choice and responsibility.
  • You have until the drop deadline of the semester to decide whether or not to drop any courses not required for graduation.

Yes, there are several financial consequences that you should assess thoroughly before applying for a senior underload:

  • You are responsible for full payment of student fees, but you but may be entitled to a partial refund of tuition.
  • Any refund will be based on the number of enrolled hours and the published Tuition and Fee rates for the current semester.
  • You must check with the Cashier’s Office regarding the amount and timing of any refund.
  • Students who are approved for a senior underload will be allowed to drop non-required courses after the 10th day of the semester, but will not be eligible for a tuition refund.
  • Check with the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid to see whether dropping below twelve hours will affect your aid package.
  • Check with other insurance providers (car, rental, other) to see if your rates will change if you carry fewer than twelve hours.
  • Consider the perceptions of future employers and admissions committees. Do they expect applicants to maintain full-time status?  Are you doing anything else substantive with your time?
  • The University Student Health Insurance Plan requires full-time degree-seeking status AND enrollment in at least six academic hours. Seniors on underload meet the degree-seeking status requirement. Students in part-time studies do not.

Yes. Our part-time studies division does not grant degrees, so all students must be listed as full-time, even if underloading.

Underloading students are still eligible for basketball tickets, gym privileges, and all the other perks of being a full-time student because they’re paying student fees.

This takes careful planning with Advising and the Study Abroad Office as it can take several weeks or months for study abroad credit to be approved and posted to your ConnectCarolina. We recommend you make an appointment with each office to discuss how this may impact your graduation timeline.

No more than six of your final 30 hours may be transfer credit. If you want to try transferring credit in during your senior year, be sure to discuss your plans with an advisor to understand how transfer policies relate to completing your graduation requirements.

That’s perfectly fine! It is common for summer graduates to participate in the May or December ceremonies since there is not a ceremony in August. Keep in mind your official graduation date is when you complete all of your degree requirements and walking is not synonymous with graduating. Check with your major department regarding their policy on summer graduates participating in their individual ceremony.

Students who graduate in August or December will be listed in the December program. Students graduating in May will be listed in the May program.

Learn more about the main commencement ceremony for December and May.