Student Handbook - Graduate Education
Transferring Course Credit
General Guidelines Requests for courses to be transferred for credit toward a graduate degree are reviewed by The Graduate School upon recommendation by the student’s academic program. Such work must represent graduate-level courses relevant to the degree being sought, with course content and level of instruction resulting in student competencies at least equivalent to those of currently enrolled graduate students as determined by the academic program. Students seeking transfer credit must provide the following to their academic program:
- Published course description;
- Course reading list;
- Course requirements, including assignments and grading criteria;
- Information on the types of tools and methods that were used to engage students in learning; and
- Official transcripts noting earned credit for the course.
Students then should submit the Transfer Credit Recommendation Form to their academic unit for review and signature, and the department/unit then will provide this information to The Graduate School for processing. Additional Transferring Course Credit guidelines information can be found here.
All master’s and doctoral programs administered through The Graduate School operate under the same grading system. The graduate grading scale in use at UNC-Chapel Hill is unique in that it cannot be converted to the more traditional ABC grading scale. Graduate students do not carry a numerical GPA.
Grading at the graduate level is intended to offer feedback to students on their performance in a given course, including once students reach the thesis and dissertation stage. Faculty members are encouraged to specify course requirements and grading expectations for students. Students enrolled in courses numbered 400 and above must receive one of the following grades.
Graduate Permanent Grades
H High Pass – Clear Excellence
P Pass – Entirely Satisfactory Graduate Work
L Low Pass – Inadequate Graduate Work
Special Permanent Grades
- F* Fail-Administratively Assigned; equivalent to F
The Office of the University Registrar automatically converts the temporary grades of AB and IN to F* when the time limit for a grade change on these temporary grades has expired. Receiving a grade of F* results in the student becoming academically ineligible to continue in The Graduate School.
- NG No grade assigned; administratively assigned only. The symbol ‘NG’ is recorded for pending conduct situations. Should a faculty member need to assign a NG grade, please contact the Registrar’s Office, Records Section or the Office of Student Conduct.
- XF Fail-Honor Court hearing outcome; equivalent to F. A grade of XF indicates an Honor Court sanction of a failing grade in a course. Receiving a grade of XF results in the student becoming academically ineligible to continue in The Graduate School.
Temporary Grades (AB, IN, NR)
Failure to remove temporary grades of IN, AB and NR by the last day of classes of the term in which a student plans to graduate will prevent graduation. A temporary grade converts to F* unless the grade is replaced with a permanent grade by the last day of classes for the same term one year later. Temporary grades may not be assigned in thesis and dissertation research courses (992/993/994). Faculty and instructors should use the permanent HPLF graduate grading scale for reflecting academic progress on research in a given term.
Exception requests should be directed to The Graduate School. When extenuating circumstances warrant, The Graduate School may grant a student a time extension to complete a course and replace a temporary grade. The student first must complete the Request for Extension of Time Form and receive approval from their academic program, after which time the program’s director of graduate studies may forward a petition for extension to The Graduate School.
- AB: Absent from final examination
An AB grade must be given to a student who did not take a final exam regardless of the reason, but might have passed the course had they done so. AB is a temporary grade that converts to F* unless the grade is replaced with a permanent grade by the last day of classes for the same term one year later. An AB must be requested by the student within 30 days following the missed examination. If the absence is officially excused by the instructor, the student must take the final examination at a reasonable time designated by the course instructor, in no case to exceed one year from the original examination. Since the grade of AB is given after the deadline to change courses in that semester, a student may not retroactively drop a course in which an AB was received. The student must complete the final exam in the timeframe expected or earn F*.
- IN: Work incomplete
A grade of IN is given when the course instructor determines that exceptional circumstances warrant extending the time for the student to complete the course. Instructors should assign an IN when the student took the final examination but did not complete some other course requirement. IN is a temporary grade that converts to F* unless the grade is replaced with a permanent grade by the last day of classes for the same term one year later. An incomplete grade may not be submitted when a student is absent from the final examination; in such cases, AB is the appropriate grade. The instructor may set the maximum allowable period for completing the course, but in no case will this extension exceed one year. If the time allowed is to be less than one year, this information should be transmitted in writing to the student and copied to The Graduate School. It is the sole responsibility of the student to complete the course and initiate the grade change prior to the one-year deadline. Since the grade of IN is given after the deadline to change courses in that semester, a student may not retroactively drop a course in which an IN was received. The student must complete the work in the timeframe expected or earn F*.
- NR: Not recorded
A grade of NR is administratively assigned by the University when the deadline to assign grades in a given term passes and the instructor has not finalized the grade roster. NR is a temporary grade that converts to F* unless the grade is replaced with a permanent grade by the last day of classes for the same term one year later. Since the grade of NR is listed after the deadline to change courses in that semester, a student may not retroactively drop a course in which an NR was received. The student must complete the work and work closely with their instructor to ensure a permanent grade is assigned.
Leave of Absence
Within a five-year limit (master’s) – or eight-year limit (PhD and DrPH) – a graduate student in good academic standing may request a leave of absence from graduate study for a definite, stated period of time (up to one year) during which the student does not plan to make academic progress. To be eligible for a leave of absence, a student must not have received an extension of time limit for the degree, and must not have temporary grades IN or AB on coursework taken.
In advance of the leave period, the graduate student shall complete and submit to The Graduate School a Request for Leave of Absence form. This form requires approval by the adviser and program director. If the Graduate School approves the leave of absence, the time of that leave shall not count against the total time allowed for the degree. The student must formally apply for readmission to T he Graduate School after an approved leave of absence. This is generally a formality. Ordinarily, a leave of absence may not be renewed.
Withdrawal from the University
Official withdrawal from the University is required if a student wishes to drop all courses after a semester begins. The student must submit an electronic withdrawal form through his/her ConnectCarolina Student Center and complete the withdrawal steps as indicated. If at the time of withdrawal, the student is failing any course, a grade of F is assigned to the student’s permanent record and the student becomes ineligible to continue in The Graduate School.
A student who withdraws during the first semester of enrollment in an academic program may request Readmission if the student later wishes to pursue the degree. After two years have passed, the student must submit a Reapplication to that program if the student later wishes to pursue the degree. Withdrawal from the University is not equivalent to a formal leave of absence from The Graduate School.
An official medical withdrawal from the University must be processed directly by Campus Health Services. A student who receives a medical withdrawal may be required to receive medical clearance before being readmitted.
International students who withdraw from the University may face critical consequences regarding their visa status. International students should contact the International Student and Scholar Services to discuss the implications of noncompliance well in advance of processing a withdrawal.
Withdrawal from the University also has financial consequences for students who have been awarded tuition remission and/or in-state tuition award through a fellowship or assistantship appointment. See the withdrawal policy for students receiving tuition support under Tuition and Other Charges.
Cancellation of Registration
The University will only cancel registration for students who did not attend any courses. If a student attended any portion of his/her courses, then Dropping Courses or official Withdrawal from the University processes should be followed. Appropriate justification and approval by the academic program should be included with the cancellation request prior to submission for electronic processing by The Graduate School. Additionally, registration may be canceled under the following circumstances:
- Academic Ineligibility
The Graduate School automatically will cancel the registration of those students who become academically ineligible. See Academic Eligibility.
- Nonpayment of Tuition and Fees
A student’s registration will be canceled if he or she does not pay tuition and fees (or properly arrange for their deferment) by the payment deadline given in the University Registrar’s Calendar. To register subsequent to such cancellation, students must pay tuition and fees in advance and add courses no later than the last day for adding courses specified in the University Registrar’s Calendar.
- Failure to Submit Campus Health Services Forms
If a new or transfer student, or a matriculated student not registered for two years, fails to submit the immunization record and Medical History Form, registration will be canceled. For additional information about the University’s Cancellation policies, please refer to the Office of the University Registrar.
Registering for Courses
Students may search the course schedule and register for most classes using the ConnectCarolina system, accessed via https://my.unc.edu (requires ONYEN login). Research credits, thesis writing, and special seminar course listings are also available, but are usually registered with permission from a faculty member. Students should discuss courses with their major advisers prior to registering for classes.
A full-time student is one who is matriculated and meets the conditions for each term noted below:
- Registers for nine or more graduate credit hours in a fall or spring term; or
- Registers for a minimum of three hours of thesis substitute (992), thesis (993), or dissertation (994) in a fall, spring or summer term. Note: A student may register for additional courses as needed, but if registering for less than nine hours, this must include a minimum of three hours of 992/993/994 to be considered full-time; or
- Registers for fewer than nine graduate credit hours in a fall, spring or summer term, exclusive of 992/993/994, and has been granted a “waiver of hours” for that term.
A student who was registered for the immediately preceding fall and spring semesters does not need to enroll during either of the summer sessions to maintain status as a full-time matriculated student.
Individual graduate programs may set guidelines on research enrollments, including which academic milestones should be passed before enrolling in 992/993/994. Once students successfully defend their dissertation or thesis or complete their thesis substitute, no further research enrollments are necessary or permissible, and graduation should not be delayed.
All 992/993/994 courses are similarly named following University guidelines and hold fixed credit hours at 3.0, thereby always conferring full-time status. Students should contact the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid with questions about full-time status for financial aid purposes.
Waiver of Hours
Graduate School approval of a waiver of hours is contingent upon the student submitting a Waiver of Hours form. This form also must include a statement from the academic program certifying that the student’s overall academic involvement, including teaching assignments and research projects, is consistent with the workload of a full-time student. All waiver of hours requests must be received by The Graduate School by the close of the normal add period (generally five days after classes begin) for final review and processing before the semester’s census date (“census date” is generally two weeks after classes begin). No waiver of hours requests will be retroactively approved.
Students are required to be registered whenever degree progress is being made or University resources (including faculty time) are being used to appropriately reflect work being done. Academic programs and students should be aware that students who lapse enrollment lose official student status and recognized University affiliation. Relinquishing formal student status can disadvantage students by eliminating their eligibility for financial aid and student campus services and benefits.
Assistantships and Fellowships
Each student holding a service (assistantship) or non-service (fellowship) appointment must be registered full-time in order to hold that position during the fall and spring semesters. Students must be on campus unless the award requires their presence at another campus or research center.
Examinations and Thesis/Dissertation
A student must be registered during the semester(s) or summer terms in which any written and/or oral examinations are taken and graded.
Students must be registered for a minimum of three credit hours of thesis substitute (992), thesis (993), or dissertation (994) during the semesters or summer terms in which the thesis/dissertation is proposed and defended or a thesis option is completed.
Registration for the prior semester will cover events that occur during a break between semesters. This registration covers a student from the first day of class in a semester until the day before classes begin for the next semester. For example, if a student is registered for a minimum of three credit hours of 992/993/994 in the fall semester and intends to defend in the same term, the student must defend between the first day of fall classes and the day before the first day of spring classes. Similarly, summer registration would cover a defense occurring anytime between the first day of summer session I classes until the day before the first day of fall classes. If the defense takes place during a summer, students must be registered for a minimum of three credit hours of 992/993/994 during either the first or second summer session to be covered for the entire summer term.
Individual graduate programs may set guidelines on research enrollments, including which academic milestones should be passed before enrolling in 992/993/994.
Once the student has completed all courses, including a minimum of three credit hours of thesis substitute (992)/thesis (993) or a minimum of six credit hours of dissertation (994), the student must continue to register for three credit hours of 992/993/994 each academic semester (fall/spring) until the degree is completed to reflect academic progress and in order to use University resources (including faculty time).
Once students successfully defend their dissertation or thesis or complete their thesis substitute, no further research enrollments are necessary or permissible, and graduation should not be delayed.
Students should register for no more than 16 hours in any semester. A student enrolled in the summer may not register for, and will not receive graduate credit for, more than eight hours per session. Overload requests are considered on an exceptional basis and should be initiated by the student’s academic program and forwarded to The Graduate School for approval.
A student who holds a service appointment within the University or is employed either on- or off-campus is advised to register on the following basis:
- A student engaged in teaching three to six credit hours or in performing other part-time duties for 10 to 20 hours weekly is advised to register for no more than nine hours of course credit.
- A student engaged in teaching more than six credit hours or in performing other part-time duties for more than 20 hours weekly is advised to register for no more than six hours of course credit.
- A student engaged in full-time employment is advised to register for no more than three hours of course credit. During a summer session, a student who holds a service appointment should register for no more than three hours of course credit.
Course Overload Request
Generally, students should register for no more than 16 hours in any semester. A student enrolled in the summer may not register for, and will not receive graduate credit for, more than eight hours per session. Overload requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. Students should contact their department’s Student Services Office for a course overload form. That form must include a valid reason for taking more than 16 credit hours and must be signed by the student’s academic adviser and student services manager. Once signed, the course overload form will be forwarded to the Graduate School and registrar’s office for approval.
School Core Course Exemption
To receive an exemption/substitution from any required School Core course, a student must demonstrate an understanding of the competencies addressed in the course. This understanding is demonstrated through completion of a comparable course within five years of enrollment in the current degree program in which the student received at least a ‘B.’ The previous course(s) and/or experience must be certified by the relevant core course instructor as being at least as rigorous as the Gillings School core course. Students who wish to be exempted from a core course(s) must download and complete the specific Core Course Exemption Application from the Academic Forms and Policy page.
Courses may be added only during the official add period. Please refer to the University Registrar’s Calendar for official add period dates. The Graduate School can serve as the Dean’s Office authorization for University Registrar forms. A Graduate School signature is required to process and add after the census date in a given term.
Drop deadlines are listed in the University Registrar’s Calendar. To drop a course after the close of the normal drop period (generally eight weeks after classes begin) and before the last two weeks of a semester, the student must complete and obtain the required signatures on the Registration Drop/Add Form, available through the student’s academic program or the Office of the University Registrar.
No course may be dropped in the last two weeks of classes in a fall or spring semester or during the last week of a summer session.
The Graduate School can serve as the Dean’s Office authorization for University Registrar forms. A Graduate School signature is required to process a drop after the normal drop period in a given term.
Dropping a course after the census date may have financial and academic consequences. Please refer to the Academic and Financial Policy Regarding Tuition and Drop Dates.
A student registered for and wishing to drop an inter-institutional course follows the same procedures and deadlines as required for dropping courses at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Official withdrawal from the University is required if a student wishes to drop all courses after a semester begins.
Post-Semester Registration Changes
Course changes after the last day of classes for the current term must be submitted by the student’s Program on a Post-Semester Registration/Drop/Add form available through the Office of the University Registrar. Forms must be signed by the student’s Dean’s Office. For Graduate students, appropriate justification and approval by the academic program should be attached to the post-semester form prior to sending for approval from The Graduate School.
Students may take a maximum of two graduate-level courses through inter-institutional registration during a fall or spring term or a maximum of one graduate-level course during a summer term, provided that the student also is registered for the balance of his/her normal load (at least three credit hours) at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Students may take courses in residence at North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, North Carolina Central University or Duke University. Students also may take courses online though the UNC System inter-institutional website by having a request approved and paying tuition directly to the visited institution.
No inter-institutional course may be taken pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory, and all courses must earn a specific grade. Please refer to the Graduate Grading section of this Handbook for the policy concerning inter-institutional grading. To register for a residential inter-institutional course, the student must complete an Inter-Institutional Approval Form and obtain his/her director of graduate studies’ signature.
Parental Leave Policy
The UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate Student Parental Leave Policy is designed to assist a full-time graduate student who is the primary child-care provider immediately following the birth or adoption of a child. This policy will ensure the student’s full-time, registered status and will facilitate his or her return to full participation in class work (and, where applicable, research and teaching) in a seamless manner. All matriculated, full-time graduate students who have been full-time for at least one academic year are eligible to apply for this leave. A Parental Leave Application Form must be completed and submitted to The Graduate School at least eight weeks prior to the anticipated birth or adoption of the child.
The Graduate and Professional Student Emergency Fund (GPSF)
The GPSF Emergency Fund was created in 2013 to assist graduate and professional students at UNC-Chapel Hill affected by unforeseen financial circumstances that could hinder their ability to complete their graduate career. Please review funding guidelines for additional details.
Health Insurance Plans
As per the UNC Board of Governors, all students enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill are required to have verifiable health insurance coverage. Graduate students are offered health insurance coverage through either an RA/TA plan (offered as part of a teaching or research assistantship) or the student plan. While enrolled, a student can switch back and forth between these two options as appropriate. For information on either plan, see Campus Health Services.
North Carolina Residency
Out-of-state students are expected to apply for in-state residency as soon as possible because the University’s out-of-state tuition waiver funds are very limited. Thus, it is important for students to take steps to secure residency as soon as they arrive in North Carolina. It is strongly suggested that students obtain a North Carolina driver’s license, register vehicles in N.C., register to vote, actually vote in elections, join the public library (Carrboro/Chapel Hill) and take part in other local organizations and activities. These changes should occur before the end of August of your first year in The Graduate School. Waiting until September or stretching your changes in residency out over several months may be a poor indicator of residency and you are likely to be declined. It also demonstrates that you are not serious about the tuition remission requirements and will not receive a priority when we are selecting students for tuition remissions after the first year.
Students can apply one year after “setting up residency” in N.C. (generally July or August after the first year). The online application and guidelines for in-state status are located on The Graduate School’s website (http://gradschool.unc.edu/residency/index.html), and The Graduate School regularly offers workshops on the process. The Student Services Manager in your department also can answer additional questions regarding the residency application process.
International students should consult with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (http://isss.unc.edu) for information on maintaining student visas and paying federal and state taxes. The Graduate School’s Preparing International Teaching Assistants Program is available to help international students meet their responsibilities as teaching and research assistants.
Funding Basics and Payment Schedule
Each school and program has different tuition and fee charges. Tuition and fees also vary for in-state residents and nonresidents. All students must pay tuition and fees according to the schedule printed in the University Registrar’s Calendar unless they qualify for a deferment under policies described in the Directory of Classes. Refer to the Student Account Services Office for current cost of attendance (tuition and fees) information.
Tuition Remission and In-state Tuition Awards
A non-resident student who is awarded a fellowship or assistantship appointment may be eligible for a Tuition Remission Award reducing tuition to in-state rates. In addition to tuition remission, non-resident and resident students who are awarded a fellowship or assistantship appointment may be eligible for an In-State Tuition Award. Requests for tuition remission and in-state tuition award privileges are initiated by the academic program in which the student is enrolled.
Tuition remission and in-state tuition awards are available fall and spring semesters only. No summer awards are made. Students must be on campus unless the award requires their presence at another campus or research center. Additional financial policies and procedures can be found on the Funding Resources website.
Assistantships and Fellowships
Students may be awarded a service (research or teaching assistantship) or a non-service (fellowship) appointment. As part of this award, students may receive a Tuition Remission Award, reducing tuition to in-state rates, and/or an In-State Tuition Award.
The Graduate School recognizes that graduate students are first and foremost “students” and their making continual significant progress toward their degree is paramount to the ethical training and education of students. The Graduate School recommends that students should not normally conduct service work (research or teaching assistantships) in excess of 15-20 hours per week on average. This policy enables them to work on their own studies and research for at least the remaining 20-25 hours per work week. However, it is not simple to set maximum service work hours due to the complexity inherent in the education and training of graduate students. Directors of graduate studies, therefore, need to be thoughtful about the specifics involved in each particular student’s situation and sensitive to the incremental gains in knowledge and skill acquisition in the particular situation.
The University asks graduate students to perform work that is simultaneously both training and service. Their training may take various forms, including apprentice-type training under faculty mentors within the research lab, classroom or community, as well as more traditional coursework. This training of ten is the primary way in which students learn the core skills, expectations, norms, ethics and content of aspects of their graduate disciplines/fields. However, when examining a particular student’s educational/training program, it may be seen that while initial training is requisite to acquiring appropriate knowledge and skills, additional similar training may add only incrementally to their development. In such cases, the standard of not exceeding 15-20 hours per week should apply.
Directors of graduate studies in each graduate program are best informed to make these judgments on an individual basis and should be responsible for assuring that service expectations do not impede any student’s significant progress toward their degree.
All policies on graduate teaching assistants should adhere to the UNC System policy Guidelines on Training, Monitoring and Evaluating Graduate Teaching Assistants. The Office of the Provost maintains policies about the Professional Development of Graduate Teaching Assistants, as well as an Eligibility Waiver Request Form. Additional financial policies and procedures can be found on our Funding Resources website.
Credit and Residence Requirements
The Graduate School requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate course credit, 24 of which must be taken in residence. Individual program credit hour requirements may be higher, and must be satisfied. Master’s students are required to complete a minimum program residence credit of two full semesters, either by full-time registration or by part-time registration over several semesters.
The 20-Percent Rule
Upon recommendation of the academic program and approval by The Graduate School, up to 20 percent of the total hours required for the master’s degree may be graduate-level courses transferred from another approved institution or from this institution for courses taken before admission to an academic program in The Graduate School (e.g., courses taken as a Continuing Studies student, an undergraduate or as a non-degree student). Credit received for graduate-level courses taken as an undergraduate may be transferred into an academic program with the program’s approval, provided the course did not count toward the requirements of the undergraduate degree. Transferred credits will not be included in the program residence credit calculation.
The Master of Public Health degree is designed to prepare students for positions requiring a considerable breadth of knowledge in the field of public health and a lesser degree of specialization in one area. Students in this degree program may take nearly half of their courses outside of the major department or curriculum and undergo extensive field training (if previous experience is not deemed sufficient by criteria set by the student’s department or curriculum). Typically, Master of Public Health students already have acquired education in a health or health-related profession or have some experience in a field related to public health. The Master of Public Health is often a terminal degree, and qualified students may proceed in the Gillings School of Global Public Health to a DrPH or PhD program for further study. This degree is offered in the departments of biostatistics, environmental sciences and engineering, epidemiology, health behavior, health policy and management, maternal and child health, nutrition, and the Public Health Leadership Program.
The Master of Science in Public Health is designed to prepare students for professional careers in specialized areas of public health and health policy. Students in this degree program typically take courses primarily in one major department or curriculum in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Core requirements provide for orientation to a broader view of public health. Programs of study leading to the MSPH degree are offered by the following departments: environmental sciences and engineering, health policy and management, and maternal and child health.
The Master of Healthcare Administration, offered by the health policy and management department, is designed to prepare students for management careers in health-care organizations, including managers or consultants for hospitals, health-maintenance organizations, clinics, public health departments and other health-care settings. Courses focusing on health-care services are supplemented with core courses offering a broader view of public health.
The Master of Science degree is offered in the departments of biostatistics, environmental sciences and engineering, and nutrition (with a focus in biochemistry only).
The curriculum leading to the Master of Science in Environmental Engineering is designed to prepare graduates for careers in the environmental engineering profession with special emphasis on water resources and air and industrial hygiene. Specifically, the School prepares students for professional work with private firms of consulting engineers, with public agencies at the national, state, regional and local levels of government, and with a variety of industrial organizations.
The Master of Science in Clinical Research is offered through the epidemiology department. It complements the substantive training in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and other health affairs disciplines by enhancing the student’s ability to apply appropriate research methodologies to his or her chosen or established field of research. Applicants will be required to demonstrate a clear relationship with a mentor in this field of research to provide content-area guidance during the program.
Transferring Course Credits
Upon recommendation of the academic program and approval by The Graduate School, a doctoral student may transfer into his or her degree program relevant graduate courses from approved institutions or from other graduate programs within this institution. The doctoral student may be examined on all transferred courses at the time of the doctoral oral examination. There is no limit to the number of hours that can be transferred into a doctoral program to meet course requirements with the academic program’s approval.
The Doctor of Public Health provides professional training to prepare students effectively to conduct or supervise research, usually of an applied nature. Graduates also are prepared to integrate new knowledge and techniques into community and/or public health practice. Graduates typically are employed by operating community or public health programs at the local, state, national or international level. Programs of study leading to the DrPH degree are offered by the departments of biostatistics and health policy and management (online learning format).
The Doctor of Philosophy degree prepares students for leadership in academic and related settings involving teaching and research. Students learn how to develop and apply theories for understanding public health, health care services and policy. Graduates typically are employed by universities or other organizations conducting research. This degree is offered in the departments of biostatistics, environmental sciences and engineering, epidemiology, health behavior, health policy and management, maternal and child health, and nutrition.
A number of dual-degree programs are offered in departments. Under the dual-degree arrangement, a student may earn two professional degrees in a period of time less than the total required by the two degrees separately. Medical students may pursue a dual degree through the departments of epidemiology, health policy and management, maternal and child health or nutrition, or through the Public Health Leadership Program. Dentistry, business, law, city and regional planning, and information and library science students may enroll in dual-degree programs through the Department of Health Policy and Management. A dual degree also is offered through the Department of Maternal and Child Health, in conjunction with the School of Social Work, and between the Department of Health Behavior and the Department of City and Regional Planning. Recently, several dual-degree programs were established with the Eshelman School of Pharmacy (PharmD) within the departments of maternal and child health, epidemiology, health policy and management, and the Public Health Leadership Program.
Graduate Certificate Programs
Certificate programs are intended for matriculated, degree-seeking students or for non-matriculated students at UNC-Chapel Hill whose objective is the development of specialization in the field of the certificate program. These programs signify accomplishment, specialization and achievement. Students may be interested in gaining both a graduate degree and a certificate credential. Students must be admitted to both programs. Academic credits for both credentials must be discrete; transfer guidelines will apply.
Residential Certificate Programs (for matriculated, degree-seeking students)
- Community Preparedness and Disaster Management
- Interdisciplinary Health Disparities
- Global Health
- Interdisciplinary Health Communication
- Public Health Informatics
Non-residential Certificate Programs (for non-matriculated students)
- Community Preparedness and Disaster Management
- Core Public Health Concepts
- Field Epidemiology
- Global Health
- Occupational Health Nursing
- Public Health Leadership
Transfer of Course Credit to Certificate Programs
The student’s director of graduate studies and the director of the certificate program sponsoring unit have discretion in allowing course credit transfer within these guidelines. All students must apply and be accepted to certificate programs. Certificates will not be awarded retroactively.
Students may be working toward a certificate and degree concurrently, but under this policy, the total number of academic credits transferred shall not exceed 40 percent of the total required for a certificate. Total credits allowed to transfer may be less, as determined by the certificate program. The courses to be transferred must be graduate level courses taken at UNC-Chapel Hill using the regular graduate grading scale – H, P, L.
All grades earned in the transferred courses will be included in the calculation of academic eligibility in the certificate program. Transferred credit shall not be included in the residence credit calculation, if required by the certificate program.
Transfer of Course Credit to Degrees
The student’s director of graduate studies and the director of the certificate program sponsoring unit have discretion in allowing course credit transfer within these guidelines. All students must participate in and be accepted through a competitive application and admissions process to the degree program.
Under this policy, the total number of academic credits transferred shall not exceed 40 percent of the total required for a certificate. Total credits allowed to transfer may be less as determined by the degree program. Courses must be taken as part of an approved, formal certificate program. The courses to be transferred must be graduate-level courses taken at UNC-Chapel Hill using the regular graduate grading scale – H, P, L.
All grades earned in the transferred courses will be included in the calculation of academic eligibility in the degree program. Transferred credit shall not be included in the residence credit calculation.
Students wishing to earn more than one certificate must be aware of the transfer restrictions, i.e., no certificate course can be counted more than once and discrete academic credits for each individual credential must be earned. Students are encouraged to discuss their plans with their certificate program director(s) and their degree program director of graduate studies as early as possible to ensure all requirements for their degree and certificate(s) can be met.
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