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.

If you’re a Ukrainian citizen living in North Carolina, we’d like to offer you additional support as you’re applying. Please email us at unchelp@admissions.unc.edu with the subject line ‘Ukraine’ so that we can connect.

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Pick Your Deadline

 

Early Action (Non-Binding)

Application Deadline – October 15
Decision Available – January 31


Regular Decision

Application Deadline – January 15
Decision Available – March 31


enrollment confirmation deadline

For Early Action and Regular Decision – May 1

Complete your Application

Apply online through the Common Application. Then, be sure to have your supporting materials sent to us, which will help us gain a fuller understanding of you as a student and the contributions that you make in the classroom.

What’s on the Common Application?

  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Essay and Two Short Answers
  • Your College and University Courses
  • Global Opportunities
  • Honors Carolina and Special Opportunities
  • Application Fee or Fee Waiver

 

What supporting materials are required?

  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Official Transcript and School Report
  • SAT or ACT Scores (optional for 2025 admission)
  • English Proficiency Exam Scores
    • When you complete your Common Application, provide us with your personal email address to make sure our messages go straight to you.

      • Extracurricular Activities
        Tell us about how you spend your time outside the classroom and why it’s important to you.

      • 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.

      • Global Opportunities
        This section of your application is optional.
        In addition to considering applicants for fall enrollment, we are looking for students who want to go abroad before enrolling at Carolina through either the Global Gap Year Fellowship or Carolina Global Launch. If you’d like to be considered for either, indicate your interest and submit two additional short answer responses that share your interest in global experiences.
      • 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 or Fee Waiver
        The non-refundable application fee is $85, and if you can’t pay the fee right now, please talk with your school counselor about asking us to waive it. The bottom line: whether you apply with a fee or a waiver, we’ll be grateful to receive your application, and we’ll consider you with care, appreciation, and respect.
      • 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 Transcript
        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
        On May 23, 2024, the Board of Governors of the UNC System updated the minimum admissions requirements to apply to any of the UNC System constituent institutions.

        • For students applying for the 2024-2025 academic year, students are not required to submit a test score.
        • For students applying for the 2025-2026 academic year, students with a weighted GPA of 2.8 or above (on a 4.0 scale) are not required to submit a test score. Students with a weighted GPA below 2.8 (on a 4.0 scale) are required to submit either an ACT or SAT score.
        • For students applying for the 2026-2027 academic year and beyond, students with a weighted GPA of 2.8 or above (on a 4.0 scale) are not required to submit a test score. Students with a weighted GPA below 2.8 (on a 4.0 scale) are required to submit either an ACT score of 17 or higher or an SAT score of 930 or higher.
      • For the full UNC System policy, please visit www.northcarolina.edu/students/admission/.
      • Most successful applicants (domestic and international) to Carolina have very strong grades in their core academic coursework and have well above a B+ average in their courses. If your school does not provide a weighted GPA on a 4.0 scale, but you have above a B+ average in your courses (weighted if applicable), you will not be required to submit an ACT or SAT. If you are an international student in a Cambridge-based or similar educational system, we consider your grades made in A-level or external exams for the purposes of this UNC System GPA-based testing requirement.
      • At Carolina, 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 self-report test scores on your application, are admitted, and choose to enroll, we will require that your official scores be sent directly from the testing service. If you self-report test scores from multiple testing dates, we will “superscore”, considering your highest score for each section among all of your testing dates.
      • English Proficiency Exams
        If you do not hold U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status, we’ll ask you to share your English proficiency exam scores when you apply. We accept TOEFL (our code is C182), IELTS, Duolingo, Cambridge English C1 Advanced and Cambridge C2 Proficiency. These exams show us that you’ll be ready to jump into coursework taught in English. Strong applicants typically score the following, though please note that these are not minimums and testing is always one factor among many, and never the sole or dominant reason we make our decisions:

        • TOEFL or TOEFL iBT Home Edition –  100 or higher.
        • IELTS Academic – 7.5 or higher.
        • Duolingo – 130 or higher.
        • Cambridge English C1 Advanced – 185 or higher.
        • Cambridge English C2 Proficiency.

 

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 need to add information to your application after you’ve submitted it, you’ll be able to send it to us using MyCarolina. If a school official or recommender has additional information, please ask them to email us at uncsubmit@admissions.unc.edu and include your full name and date of birth.
  • 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.

Helpful Deadlines

DeadlineEarly ActionRegular Decision
Application and FeeOctober 15January 15
ResidencyOctober 15January 15
Supporting Materials and Test ScoresDecember 1February 15
Admissions Decisions AvailableJanuary 31March 31
Enrollment Confirmation if AdmittedMay 15May 15
DeadlineEarly ActionRegular Decision
Application and FeeOctober 15January 15
ResidencyOctober 15January 15
Supporting Materials and Test ScoresDecember 1February 15
Admissions Decisions AvailableJanuary 31March 31
Enrollment Confirmation if AdmittedMay 15May 15