Applying as an International First-Year Student
Carolina wouldn't be Carolina without the unique worldview that our international students contribute to campus.
If you’re a student without U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status, you’ll be applying to Carolina as an international student. When you apply, we’ll consider everything we learn about you from reading your application. You’re a unique individual, and we want to treat you as you deserve to be treated — with care, appreciation, and respect.
- Extracurricular Activities
Tell us about how you spend your time outside the classroom and why it’s important to you. We hope you’ll share any achievements, impact, or leadership of which you’re particularly proud.
- Essay and Two Short Answers
Your personal essay and short answers give us the chance to hear your voice and see you as a whole person, not just a student. When you respond, we hope you’ll be yourself and sound like yourself.
- Excel@Carolina, Honors Carolina, and Special Opportunities
This section of your application is optional.
You can express interest in a range of special opportunities including Honors Carolina, assured enrollment in professional or dual-degree programs, or specific scholarships.
- Application Fee
The non-refundable application fee is $85. You may see an option to waive this fee as you’re completing the application; however, we are unable to waive the application fee for international students.
- Extracurricular Activities
Step 3: Send Supplemental Materials
These materials help us have a full and thorough understanding of you as a student and the contributions that you make in the classroom.
- Letter of Recommendation
This letter should come from a secondary school teacher who taught you in a core academic area, like English, math, science, social science, or world language.
- Official Transcripts
Please ask your school to send us your official transcript, including an official English translation, by secure electronic delivery. To be considered for admission, we need the official transcript for your secondary (and, if applicable, higher secondary) schoolwork. Middle school transcripts are not required for admission.
- Secondary School Official Report
You’ll need to submit a statement from an official at your secondary school – often a university counselor, advisor, or headmaster. This report cannot come from a private counseling company or agent.
- College and University Courses
If you’ve taken courses for credit at a college or university, you are required to report them on your application and include the specific courses and grades in the UNC supplement, but you don’t need to send official transcripts when applying. If you’re admitted and choose to enroll, we’ll need official transcripts for these courses along with your final high school transcript before you begin classes at Carolina.
- SAT or ACT Scores
Because of disruptions related to COVID-19, the UNC System has approved a one-year waiver of the SAT or ACT requirement for candidates who are applying for fall 2021 admission. This waiver means that you may apply whether or not you’ve taken either test, and if you do take a test, you can choose to share your scores and have us consider them. Whether or not you ultimately share test scores, we will consider you carefully and comprehensively for admission, scholarships, and other opportunities. For us, testing is always one factor among many — always viewed alongside those many other factors, and never the sole or dominant reason we make our decisions. If you share your scores, are admitted, and choose to enroll, we will require that your official scores be sent directly from the testing service. Our SAT code is 5816 and our ACT code is 3162.
- English Proficiency Exams
Unless English is your first language or you’re a citizen of a country where English is the national language, we’ll ask you to share your English proficiency exam scores – either the TOEFL (our code is C182), the IELTS, or the PTE. These exams show us that you’ll be ready to jump into coursework taught in English. NOTE: Because of disruptions related to COVID-19, UNC Chapel Hill has approved the TOEFL Special Home Edition, TOEFL ITP Plus for China, and IELTS Indicator to fulfill the proficiency requirement for candidates who are applying for admission for Fall 2021. Strong applicants typically score:
- TOEFL or TOEFL Special Home Edition – 100 or higher.
- TOEFL ITP Plus for China – 627 or higher.
- IELTS or IELTS Indicator – 7.0 or higher.
- PTE – 68 or higher.
- Letter of Recommendation
Keep in Mind
- International students aren’t eligible to receive need-based financial aid, so you’ll want to be prepared to pay the full cost of attendance for non-resident students.
- Check your email regularly. If we need materials or more information as we’re reviewing your application, your email is where you’ll hear from us.
- If you believe your academic progress has been affected by disability-related issues, we encourage you to share this information with us. Learn more about submitting disability-related documentation.
- We require all applicants (including students offered admission) to disclose any new school-based disciplinary incidents or criminal charges that occur after the application was submitted within ten days of the occurrence. The student’s written explanation as well as any required corroborating documentation (from a school official or legal representative) can be shared through MyCarolina.