Carolina Undergraduate Admissions

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The Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Apr 24

Four Years Ago…Carolina (and the World) in 2011

If there’s one thing a new student at UNC-Chapel Hill is used to hearing from upperclassmen, it’s that time flies at Carolina. And for the Class of 2015, that sentiment rings true as they finish their last week of classes as undergraduates. But four years ago, as they received their Carolina acceptance letters and made the decision to enroll, the world looked just a little different. So let’s take a trip down memory lane to the world as it was when the class of 2015 were new students at Carolina:

Social media continues to dominate how we communicate, and at the admissions office, we mostly interacted with new students on Facebook. Now it’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. (And you should follow us @UNCAdmissions!)

Timeline 12

The Class of 2011 celebrated their graduation, and Carolina was proud to hand out 7,629 degrees total: 4,566 bachelors, 1,947 masters, 465 doctoral, and 651 professional. Kenan Stadium was packed. In just a couple weeks, we’ll get to honor the Class of 2015!

Timeline 9

In the wedding watched around the world, Prince William and Catherine “Kate” Middleton became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in a royal affair.

Timeline 2

It was the final battle of good versus evil, as the beloved series, Harry Potter, came to an end with the release of the final film, The Deathly Hallows part II. It would go on to receive more than $380 billion worldwide as well as invoke a whole lot of tears from the fans.

Timeline 1

Before classes started, first-year and transfer students came together to discuss the 2011 summer reading book, Eating Animals. Each year, a committee of students, faculty, and staff select a book for the incoming class to read and discuss, fostering an academic experience before they step foot in a classroom.

Timeline 8

Whether you felt the rumble on campus or not, Virginia was hit with a 5.8 earthquake that was felt from New England to the Carolinas. Fortunately there was no serious damage or injury, just a whole lot of surprise and confusion. And it did spawn some pretty funny memes.

Timeline 4

Thanks to an anonymous commitment of $1.5 million, Carolina’s Campus Y launched the first Global Gap Year, allowing incoming students to volunteer internationally before stepping foot on campus. It is the only college-sponsored gap year program that allows students to design their own experience.

Timeline 11

The innovator who reminded us to “Stay hungry, stay foolish,” Steve Jobs, passed away at the age of 56. He co-founded Apple Computers and Pixar Animation Studios.

Timeline 3

The UNC Men’s Soccer team took home the NCAA national championship for the first time in 10 years, winning against UNC-Charlotte’s 49ers. Go Heels!

Timeline 5

President Obama visited Chapel Hill to discuss college affordability at Carmichael Arena. Other sitting Presidents who have swung by in Carolina’s history include: James K. Polk (Class of 1818), James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and William “Bill” Clinton. In fall 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama would also pay Carolina a visit.

Timeline 6

In a continuation of the day’s excitement, President Obama would then go on to meet popular talk show host Jimmy Fallon in Memorial Hall to tape a special show of NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon with The Roots and musical guest Dave Matthews band. The President, Fallon, and the Roots slow jammed the news.

Timeline 7

We couldn’t possibly fit everything that happened in 2011-12 in one list, but it’s exciting to see how the world has changed and how our Tar Heels change with it. Congratulations to the Class of 2015!

Timeline 10

Every year, the incoming class gets to vote for its class logo and the winner is unveiled at Convocation.


Apr 24

Whitney’s #WhyCarolina

With 70+ majors, 600+ student organizations, 300 study abroad programs, and countless other opportunities, every student’s journey at Carolina is different and every student has a different reason to love Carolina. Whitney Barker , one of our Admissions Ambassadors, shares her #WhyCarolina in this video:

Apr 24

Senior Traditions at Carolina

Senior year might seem forever away, but there are a lot of traditions to look forward to!

In honor of this year’s seniors, we’re recapping some of the traditions here. We’ll miss you Class of 2015!


    • Senior Bell Tower Climb
      • What’s really up there? Only one way to find out–climb the Bell Tower! Every senior can participate. So don’t miss out on the best view on campus. This event is popular and lines can be long. So save yourself some trouble–students who donate to the senior class and purchase a GAA membership qualify for a “fast pass,” to skip the line.
      • We weren't joking about that line...

        We weren’t joking about that line…

    • Making a donation to the Senior Class
      • Speaking of which, seniors are encouraged to donate to the Senior Class Campaign for Carolina. The cool part?  When you donate you can designate it for a specific cause of your choice like an academic department of campus organization. And if your class reaches the record participation rate. a Tar Heel footprint will be added to your Bell Tower stone
    • The Last Lecture
      • Inspired by Dr. Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture,” a selected faculty member shares reflections from their life’s journey and to speak to students as if it was their last lecture ever. Below is a video of last year’s speaker, Dr. Lois Boynton.

    • Senior Night at the Planetarium
      • Seeing a show at the Morehead Planetarium is a Carolina Bucket list tradition. If you want to save a few bucks, why not go for free as a senior? Seniors are invited see “Carolina Skies” as a part of senior week.
    • LDOC (Last Day of Classes)
      • No matter how you celebrate LDOC, the important thing is that you celebrate it. Hanging out on the quad all day with your friends, going to the Clef Hangers’ Old Well Sing and more. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the fact that you’ve made it! (Well almost– You still have to pass those finals.)

Apr 23

Catherina’s #WhyCarolina

With 70+ majors, 600+ student organizations, 300 study abroad programs, and countless other opportunities, every student’s journey at Carolina is different and every student has a different reason to love Carolina. Catherina Leipold , one of our Admissions Ambassadors, shares her #WhyCarolina in this video:

Apr 23

A Fresh Look at Our Tar Heel Brand – #OurBlue


This week UNC Athletics, in partnership with Nike, refreshed its marks and colors to create a consistent look for Carolina, which is one of the most recognized brands in college sports.

The whole campus is taking advantage of this opportunity to celebrate what makes us so special — our own unique shade of blue, what the world knows as “Carolina Blue.” On Friday (tomorrow), everyone on campus is encouraged to wear this shade of blue so if you’ll be visiting us, don’t be surprised to see us showing a little extra Tar Heel spirit! The weather forecast shows clear skies for tomorrow and you know what that means….a very Carolina blue sky. We’re so excited!

As a preview, below please see a picture of Brand Ambassador Ashley Spruill, ’15, who is modeling the new look for the Admissions Office! The shirt she’s  wearing is now for sale in our Student Stores, and proceeds from sportswear such as this help fund scholarships and special opportunities like Excel@Carolina for new students.

According to Ashley: “The allure of the Carolina Blue is one thing, the meaning behind it is another.  For me, coming into Carolina as a first-year student, I just thought it was a pretty color.  But as I came to understand the community that I had become a part of, my views shifted.  For a lot of people, being a Tar Heel is more than just being a fan of the sports teams.  It seems dramatic, but it’s a way of life.  It’s pushing yourself – and being pushed by your peers and mentors – to think critically about the academic material, to give back to the local and global community, and to take the Carolina experience and grow as a leader.  And whenever I or my fellow Tar Heels look up into that Carolina Blue sky, we’re thinking of that community and that passion that binds us as a Tar Heel family.  There is beauty in #ourblue not just because it’s a pretty color, but because the color itself has come to represent pride for the university that has made such a difference in our lives and allows us to go out and make a difference in the world.”


And there’s more! This week there have been stories on and celebrating the history of our colors and the use of our argyle, which was designed by our own Alexander Julian and began appearing on men’s basketball uniforms during the 1991-1992 season.

In celebration of this milestone in Carolina’s history, there is also a special campaign on Twitter, #OurBlue, where students such as Ashley, faculty, and staff, are tweeting pictures of themselves wearing Carolina blue and sharing what it means to them.

If Carolina blue is special to you, we hope you join in the fun and tweet your own pictures and stories!

Apr 21

Gabriella’s #WhyCarolina

With 70+ majors, 600+ student organizations, 300 study abroad programs, and countless other opportunities, every student’s journey at Carolina is different and every student has a different reason to love Carolina. Gabriella Pickett, one of our Admissions Ambassadors, shares her #WhyCarolina in this video:

Apr 20

And the Round 2 #UNC19 Winners are…

Congrats to our winners!

But remember, if you’re #UNC19 you’re a winner either way!

Office Favorites:


Fan Favorites:


Coincidence I’m wearing a Carolina blue dress in my 4-year-old portrait in the background? I think not. #UNC19 !!!!!!!

A photo posted by Bellamy Harden (@bellamyharden7) on



— David Peede (@PapaPeede) April 11, 2015

Winners, we’ll be sending your gift cards to Student Stores soon!

Apr 17

Carolina Celebrates 16 Years of Undergraduate Research

As a top public research university, faculty and students at Carolina are leading in the development of new ideas, new businesses, and new solutions to important problems every day. Last year, UNC received nearly $800 million in total research funding. And it’s not just faculty and graduate students who engage in research—our students get started at the undergraduate level, with resources like the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) working closely with academic departments to provide students with the opportunities to explore their interests and find their passions.

But what happens at the end of the year when the research is edited and finalized with a seal of approval?

We celebrate it, of course!

On Wednesday, April 15, the public was welcomed to the 16th Annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research hosted by OUR in the student union. Faculty, staff, family, and students gathered for a showcase of the research undergraduates had been conducting all year. Over 200 students in the Fine Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences presented either at the poster session (where students exhibited their research) or the panel session (where students discussed with faculty, in a smaller setting, their findings).

Photo Credit: Dan Sears

Photo Credit: Dan Sears

The great part is that there are various outlets for students interested in doing and presenting research at the undergraduate level. Senior Kimberly McCullough, a sociology major with a minor in Education, did research through the Capstone course that was part of her required minor courses. Already needing to take the course, she had an opportunity to pursue her interests in how after-school programming affects engagement for students, particularly minorities in low-income areas. With the assistance of her professor, she and many of her classmates were able to present their individual research findings.

Photo Credit: Dan Sears

Photo Credit: Dan Sears

Some students used the opportunity to present the findings after a year of research for their honors thesis. Senior Tope Elutilo-Ayoola, a political science and global studies double major, presented in a panel on contemporary Russia with a focus on Vladimir Putin.

After presentations, the Award and Recognition Ceremony that followed acknowledged the Best Poster award winners (evaluated on content, design, and presenter engagement), Graduate Student Mentor award winners, graduating OUR Student Ambassadors, and this year’s Carolina Research Scholars. Keynote speaker Dr. Carol Folt, our chancellor, shared her personal connection with research and her pride in the efforts taken by the university. Not only is the research conducted at Carolina run almost entirely from donations and volunteer efforts, but almost 60 percent of undergraduate students participate in research. And Carolina is looking to continue to grow that number.

Linda and John Benner take a picture of their daughter Kendra in front of her display. The couple drove 14 hours from their home in Chicago to see their daughter's display. [Photo & Caption Credit: Dan Sears]

Linda and John Benner take a picture of their daughter Kendra in front of her display. The couple drove 14 hours from their home in Chicago to see their daughter’s display. [Photo & Caption Credit: Dan Sears]

 So the only question that remains is what will you discover at Carolina?

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) was founded in 1999 and serves more than 16,162 undergraduate students in the Fine Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. OUR also serves 2,208 students in professional degree programs including business, education, nursing, journalism, and public health. For more information regarding undergraduate research opportunities and funding, visit

Apr 14

Meet Ashelee Yang, International Transfer Student!


Today we’re posting an interview with UNC senior Ashelee Yang, who is a Physiology and Chinese Studies major. Ashlee transferred to UNC from Beijing Normal University in China and joined the Carolina Research Scholars Program during her second semester, when she conducted her own research funded by a SURF grant. And in the fall, Ashlee traveled to the Third International Congress on Borderline Personality Disorder and Allied Disorders conference in Rome, Italy. Here she presented her research findings in her paper Challenges in the Implementation of the DSM-5 Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnostic Criteria.

Do you have a favorite professor? Professor Yong Cai from the sociology department. He was the person who offered generous help when I just transferred here and was looking for research opportunities. He offered me a great opportunity to conduct my own independent research under his supervising, and he has always been so supportive in my career as a student as well as a researcher. I have learned so much from him and I really enjoy working with him.

What are your career goals? I plan to get a PhD in sociology and hopefully enter the academia. Carolina provides me all kinds of research opportunities, from the introductory IDST 194 course to departmental research assistant positions and then to my independent research projects. I am honored to work with some of the best researchers in my field and they really respect my work, even if I’m just an undergraduate student, so I feel valued here. Carolina also offers a variety of funding opportunities for undergraduate research and thank to that, I am able to conduct my independent study overseas and build up my own career as a researcher. I appreciate all the opportunities here at Carolina because I would never have become a qualified undergraduate researcher without these supports.

Why did you choose Carolina? Frankly speaking, before I came here, I chose Carolina because I enjoy sports and the campus is so beautiful. However, after spending a wonderful year here, I have to say that I am now grateful to Carolina for its great professors, various opportunities and diverse student body. Everybody here has a unique story that they’re willing to share, and everything you learn here is so interesting and mind-blowing. You are not expected to be “successful” or “brilliant” here. You are expected to be YOU. That’s what I love the most about Carolina.

Favorite memory? When Professor Hagan from the sociology department emailed me back and said she would advise my senior thesis research. I’ve always admired her so it is really a great honor to work with her.

Favorite class? I really like the Honor Thesis Seminar I’m currently taking. It’s a small class so there are only seven of us meeting every week, and we know each other’s research pretty well. This course is not about a professor lecturing in the front while everyone is taking notes, nor is it about trying to catch the deadline every day. It’s about sharing what you’ve read, what you’ve achieved, and what you think with your fellow students, and it’s about supporting each other emotionally as well as giving academic feedback. His course not only helps me develop professional skills and knowledge as a researcher, but also provides extensive emotional support, so I really like the way it is conducted.

Apr 13

Vote on our 2016 Essay Prompts

We’re contemplating essay questions for next year’s applications, and we’d love your feedback! See our poll below and let us know which questions you like. Which would inspire you to write a great essay? Which would give you the opportunity to showcase your writing, share your personality, and tell us something about yourself that we might not otherwise learn from your application?

2016 Essay Prompts

Tell us which are your favorites!


(Is the embedded poll not working for you? Then click here to submit your votes!)

If you’re planning to apply for Fall 2016 admission, the application will be available in early August through the Common Application. But we’ll share our final essay prompts here on the blog in early summer so you can get a head-start on the application by writing your essays.

We’ve shared some tips for essays in the past (check out this video by Assistant Director Melody Levy), and we plan to offer more information and advice this summer. We’ll be sharing sample essays as well as the criteria on which your essays will be evaluated. So stay tuned to the blog (or follow us on Twitter) to learn more.