Courses and Schedules
Advanced Placement & International Baccalaureate Credit
Students may receive academic hours of credit for some Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses. Credits awarded may be used toward graduation requirements, with some limits. To be considered for credit and/or placement, students must ask the appropriate testing service to send the Office of Undergraduate Admissions their official test results. Generally, scores from the senior year of high school reach Admissions in late July. Credits are posted to a student’s records in ConnectCarolina usually by the end of the first week of the Fall term. Score reports for exams taken before the senior year must also be sent directly to Admissions from the testing service once a student is admitted; junior year scores sent prior to admission are not retained. The table of scores, tests, and credits awarded can be found on the Admissions website. Minimum scores for placement are determined by the faculty in the appropriate academic departments and may change from year to year.
On-Campus Placement Exams for Math
The MATH department now offers two on-campus placement exams. To learn more about the exams see below.
Calculus Placement Exam: intended for students who know calculus but do not have AP scores
ALEKS Placement Exam: intended for students who know Algebra and/ or trigonometry but do not have ACT or SAT Subject Tests. Taking this exam can give you credit for MATH 110 PL or MATH 130 or MATH 231.
On-Campus Placement Exams for Computer Science
Beginning Summer/Fall 2020, the Computer Science department is now offering two on-campus placement exams. To learn more about the exams, please visit the Computer Science website.
SAT Math Subject Test
UNC-Chapel Hill strongly recommends that all incoming first-year students take the SAT Subject Test in mathematics. The SAT Math Subject Test is the main vehicle for determining placement into the Mathematics (MATH) or Statistics and Operations Research (STOR) courses that are integral to majors in the natural science, mathematics, business, economics and pre-health professions. If your student thinks they will ever need to take calculus, statistics, or chemistry, they should take the SAT Subject Test. The Chemistry Department does not allow students to sign up for Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 101/101L) without a math placement score. While some majors do not require a course specifically in Mathematics or Statistics and Operations Research, we recommend that students take the test since students often change majors in their first two years.
There are two versions of the SAT Subject Test in mathematics. Students should take level 2 if they took calculus in high school or plan to declare a major that requires calculus, and especially if they plan to take calculus their first semester. Students should take level 1 if they intend to take college algebra or precalculus as their first mathematics course.
Important note: Because AP and IB scores are not reported until mid-July, we recommend that students take the SAT Subject Test in mathematics during their senior year in high school. This should ensure that the student has a math placement score by the beginning of the Fall semester.
Please note: Please refer to the On-campus placement Math exams above to learn more about new opportunities for placement tests on campus.
Students will receive most of the information and guidance they need for registration during New Student Orientation. Further information can be found on the University Registrar’s website, here on our website, and on your student’s Sakai page. We strongly recommend that students use the online class search function to determine the availability of courses during a given semester. There is a master list of all courses offered in each semester, in alphabetical order, on the University Registrar’s website.
We know that the registration process, especially for your student’s first semester, can be a stressful time. The most important thing to remember is that registration is a very fluid process. While a course may be closed or restricted now, it is very possible that the course will open. Course restrictions are lifted in the weeks before the semester starts. That date is listed for each semester on the Registrar’s Calendar. The first week of classes in the new semester is an optimal time to try to add a previously closed class since there are many students who drop classes once they have attended. Students may be able to add a class that was full at Registration but is now open. Only the professor and the department control the number of students in a class. Students may attend the first meeting of the class and ask if they may be allowed to sit in with hopes of adding the class. The Romance Studies Department and the Psychology Department do not allow students to sit in on courses in their effort to add the class; nor may a student sit in on English composition classes (ENGL 100/105/105i). Students are encouraged to explore other interests and consider alternate classes whenever possible.
If a student is waitlisted for a course, the student will remain on the waitlist until it is purged. If seats in the course open, students will be enrolled in the course based on their priority on the waitlist. If no seats become available, when the waitlist is purged all students are dropped from the waitlist.
A recitation section is a required small group discussion section connected to a large lecture course. Its purpose is to provide students with an opportunity to ask questions and further explore topics from the lecture. Attendance in recitations is required.
Students generally meet with their advisors to determine which courses will satisfy degree requirements. In the meeting with the advisor, the individual student’s online Tar Heel Tracker report is a tool that allows the student and the advisor to chart the student’s academic progress towards graduation. It reflects courses that have been taken and indicates how the courses fulfill general education and major requirements and shows what requirements the student has left to complete. The Tracker is a general outline of the student’s undergraduate education. All students must complete specific General Education requirements such as English Composition and Foreign Language, regardless of major. Information about degree requirements can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin. More information can be found on the Office of Undergraduate Curricula’s website.
Regular class attendance is a student obligation, as is completion of all the work, including tests and written work, for all class meetings. For more information on class attendance policy, please visit the Undergraduate Bulletin. If your student must miss class, your student should email their instructor. For additional information, please visit The University Approved Absence Office.
The final examination schedule, published prior to the beginning of each semester, sets the time for each examination. A student who has three final exams within a 24-hour period or two scheduled at the same time may receive an exam excuse from an academic advisor for one of the exams. Other extenuating circumstances (illness, death in the family, etc.) may also warrant an exam excuse from a Dean in Academic Advising, but other documentation may be required. Exam excuses may only be issued for serious illness and personal/family emergencies, we cannot issue excuses for family activities or plans.
For more information on our policies, please visit the Final Exams Excuse section.