< To First Years

Before You Apply

Challenge yourself.

College is hard. You’ll be challenged academically, socially, and mentally. Your high school years are your chance to train for the challenges you’ll face when you get to college. As we review your application, we’re looking to see that you’re doing everything you can to get ready for four great years.

We recommend that students take advantage of the advanced coursework that’s available in their school—for most students, that means taking AP, IB, or dual-enrollment courses. We know that students who have this type of coursework in high school are best prepared to do well in college. We don’t prescribe a certain number or type of these courses—we want you to choose the balance that’s right for you. We hope you’ll challenge yourself academically while also having the time to pursue your interests and life outside the classroom.

If your school doesn’t offer these types of courses, don’t worry. We encourage you to let us know on your application if your curriculum was limited by forces outside your control, whether from scheduling conflicts or course availability. If your school environment offers a very limited curriculum, look for other ways to challenge yourself, whether that’s through summer programs or enrolling at a local community college.

University policy states that all students must meet our minimum course requirements to be eligible for admission. Keep in mind that most successful applicants go well beyond these minimum requirements.

Extra-Curricular Involvement
As with coursework, there’s no specific list of extra-curricular activities that we are looking for as we consider students for admission. What we are looking for is evidence that you are, for lack of a better phrase, doing things. You are interested and engaged in your community, curious about how things work, and motivated to explore the world around you.

We’re not looking to see that every student is “well-rounded” either. We know that some students have a wide range of interests and do lots of different types of activities, while others are specialists who focus on one or two things. Most people fall somewhere in between these two. We’re not looking for well-rounded students, we’re looking for a well-rounded class. And by enrolling all different kinds of students with all different kinds of interests, that’s what we get.

Pursue the activities that interest you. And keep an open mind, because you never know what exciting places it will lead you.

Comm Ceremony
Students collaborate during robotics class at UNC Chapel Hill