Student Handbook - Undergraduate Education
Bachelor of Science in Public Health
The undergraduate degree offered is the Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH). Four majors are available to undergraduate students – biostatistics, environmental health sciences, health policy and management, and nutrition. Each of these combines features of a broad-based education with concentrated study in a specific public health discipline. The programs prepare individuals for pre-professional positions in health-related fields and provide a firm base for graduate study. Students may pursue two majors in the School. Students are subject to the requirements in place when they are admitted to the Gillings School of Global Public Health as well as to any additional requirements or policies instituted by the School.
BSPH Admissions Requirements
Students who wish to obtain the BSPH degree typically spend two years in the General College of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (or in an equivalent core program of academic study elsewhere) and two subsequent years under the administration of the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Enrollment in the BSPH degree programs is limited. Typically, a student is selected in the latter half of the sophomore year and admitted on a competitive basis. The minimum recommended grade-point average for admission to programs in biostatistics, environmental health sciences, health policy and management, and nutrition is 3.0.
Requirements Common to All Undergraduate Majors in the Gillings School of Global Public Health
The Gillings School of Global Public Health requires that students earn a C (not C-) or better in prerequisite, core public health and department-required courses. The Department of Nutrition requires at least a B- (or by-exam credit) in BIOL 252, BIOL 252L , CHEM 102, CHEM 102L, CHEM 261 and NUTR 240.
The last 30 hours of degree credit must be taken in residence in Chapel Hill.
At the end of the sophomore year, students are expected to have earned approximately 60 semester hours of credit. These must include all Foundations and Approaches requirements and at least five Connections requirements, including global issues, experiential education and U.S. diversity. One of the two physical and life science Approaches courses must be BIOL 101/101L . (Environmental health sciences majors are not required to have completed all Foundations, Approaches, and Connections courses by the end of their sophomore year.) The junior/senior total of approximately 60 semester hours includes BIOS 600 (BIOS 500H for biostatistics students), ENVR 600, EPID 600, HBEH 600, HPM 600, and for most departments, a minimum of three electives (seven credit hours) outside the school. (Environmental health sciences majors and health policy and management majors, see details under department-specific requirements.)
Pursuing a Second Major
Undergraduates must obtain written permission from the Gillings School’s associate dean for academic affairs or that dean’s designee to declare a second major in the College of Arts and Sciences or in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Students wishing to pursue a major within the Gillings School and with another professional school must apply and be admitted into both programs and, if admitted, comply with the policies and requirements of each school. Students first must speak with their BSPH program faculty coordinator when the student has their approval, and the student must follow the Guidelines for Declaring a Second Major in Another School or College at UNC-Chapel Hill or the Guidelines for Declaring a Second Major at the Gillings School. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure s/he is making good progress toward completing the second major.
Pursuing an Academic Minor
Gillings School students must obtain permission from their BSPH faculty program coordinators to declare academic minors, and submit the Declaration of Minor form to the School’s Office of Student Affairs in 263 Rosenau Hall.
The Office of the University Registrar is responsible for posting academic calendars for the regular semester, including registration dates, drop/add deadlines and the semester exam calendar (registrar.unc.edu/AcademicCalendar/index.htm). An online directory of classes, viewed via ConnectCarolina, is available to show courses that are open, closed and cancelled. Students are encouraged to check online throughout the registration period if they wish to register for a particular course. If the course is closed, students should inquire with the instructor about wait-listing.
Tar Heel Tracker
During the first five days of classes, students can drop and add courses online using the Connect Carolina website. After the first five days of classes, the addition of a course to a student’s registration schedule requires the permission of the course instructor or the department concerned. Additionally, students must obtain a registration/drop/add form from their academic adviser, the concerned department or the Office of Student Affairs. Students are required to have the signature of their school’s designated official if they register or make additions to their schedule after the final day to add classes. This signature can be obtained in the Office of Student Affairs, 263 Rosenau Hall. After the final day to add classes, deans will approve only those registrations or course additions that have been approved first by the instructor.
During the first two weeks of classes, students may drop a course using the registration system, but they are responsible for ensuring that their schedules do not drop below the minimum 12 academic hours required for full-time registration. After the second and before the end of the eighth week of classes, students who wish to drop a course must obtain a registration/drop/add form from the Office of Student Affairs. Students are required to have the signature of their adviser or an official in the Office of Student Affairs on the form.
You are enrolled in a professional school and are beginning the process of your professional development. The Undergraduate Bulletin of the University describes regular class attendance as “a student obligation” and reminds us that “no right or privilege exists that permits a student to be absent from a given number of class meetings.” Students must make every effort to attend class.
Only course instructors excuse absences from class for valid reasons (illness or family emergency, religious observance, etc.). A student should present his or her explanation for any absences in writing to the course instructor in advance if the reason for the absence could be foreseen, or as soon as possible thereafter if the reason for the absence could not be foreseen.
A student may appeal a course instructor’s denial of a request that an absence be excused if the request to be excused from class and the reasons for the request are presented to the course instructor in writing within the time limits above. The appeal is to be made to the course instructor’s immediate academic supervisor.
Students who are members of regularly organized and authorized University activities and who may be out of town taking part in some scheduled event are to be excused during the approved period of absence. Notification of such an absence must be sent by the responsible University official to the course instructor before the date(s) of the scheduled absence.
Excused Absences for Religious Reasons
Students are authorized up to two excused absences each academic year for religious observances required by their faith. Students who wish to request more than two excused absences in an academic year for religious observances required by their faith will need to contact their course instructors and request the additional absence, which will only be granted with the course instructor’s permission. Primary holy days for religious observance are noted on a web-based interfaith calendar.
Students are responsible for providing a written notice for an excused absence for a religious observance two weeks in advance of the date requested or as soon as possible if the date occurs within the first two weeks of the semester. This policy also applies to students who have an excused absence for a religious observance during the summer.
Students must be given the opportunity to make up tests and other work missed due to an excused absence for a religious observance. Make-up tests may entail an alternative examination or other accommodation which allows the student not to be penalized for an excused absence for a religious observance.
The Pass/D+/D/Fail option allows students to take a class outside their major or minor while reducing concerns about competing with majors in the given subject. Course requirements are the same for Pass/D+/D/Fail students as they are for other students. To receive a ‘Pass,’ a student must earn the equivalent of a ‘C-’ or better. Students earning a ‘D+’ or ‘D’ will receive credit for the course, but the grade will be recorded on the transcript and calculated into the overall GPA. A grade of ‘F’ earns no credit hours and will negatively impact the GPA.
A course that is declared on the Pass/D+/D/Fail basis cannot be used to fulfill any general education requirement. No course in the department in which a student is majoring or minoring may be declared Pass/D+/D/Fail , even if the course is not part of the major/minor requirements. For a full policy statement on the Pass /D+/D/Fail option, consult the Undergraduate Bulletin.
The period for declaring Pass/D+/D/Fail begins after the 10th class day of the semester and concludes the eighth week of class. For exact dates, students are advised to consult the Office of the University Registrar’s Academic Calendar website. Since a Pass/D+/D/Fail declaration may not be revoked, students generally are advised to wait until after graded work has been received in the class to formalize their decision. Note that this there is no guarantee that grades will be received in a class prior to the deadline.
To declare a class Pass/D+/D/Fail , students must see an adviser in their department. The adviser will review policy, confirm deadlines, and if deemed appropriate, complete the required form. Forms are available in the Office of Student Affairs, 263 Rosenau Hall.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s official Explanation of Grading System is located on the Office of the University Registrar’s website. Grade points are assigned as outlined in the Undergraduate Grade definitions.
To be eligible for the Dean’s List, full-time students who enter the University as first-time, first-year students (beginning in fall 2010 and later) must meet the following requirement – a minimum of a 3.500 semester grade point, with no grade lower than a ‘C’ if enrolled in at least 12 hours of letter-grade credit, exclusive of physical education activities (PHYA) courses.
Note: Students who have requested “Restricted Release of Directory Information” or removal of their student data from the web at Student Central and the Online campus directory will NOT appear on the Dean’s List.
The academic course load policy determines the minimum and maximum number of hours students may take during a term and are detailed in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Students must be enrolled in at least 12 academic hours to be considered full-time. Those seeking exceptions to these rules must follow appropriate procedures as outlined below. Students seeking to enroll in fewer than 12 academic hours in a fall or spring term are encouraged also to consider transferring to part-time classroom studies, which allows them to enroll in eight (8) or fewer academic hours. Students may consult with an academic adviser to discuss their options. Students who have a financial aid package, receive financial aid or who are a part of one or more scholarship programs are advised to check with the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid to understand how any course drops might affect their financial aid in the current term and/or their eligibility to receive financial aid in future terms.
Academic Credit Overload Request
Before the start of a term, students may request to register for more than 18 hours in fall or spring and more than eight in a summer session. There are three ways to qualify for an overload of 19 hours: you earned a GPA of at least 3.0 in the previous semester and your cumulative GPA is at least 2.5; you require an overload to graduate in the term requested; or you obtained special permission from the associate dean for academic and student affairs.
Requests for 20 or 21 hours are rarely granted and typically reserved for seniors who need the hours for graduation or students in truly extenuating circumstances. Students must see an adviser in their BSPH department and submit a Course Overload Request to the Office of Student Affairs, 263 Rosenau Hall.
Before the end of the eighth week of classes:
Students experiencing issues of a medical nature which they believe necessitate enrollment in fewer than 12 academic hours in a fall or spring term must consult with either Campus Health Services or Counseling and Psychological Services about a medical underload. These offices, in turn, recommend medical underloads or suggest alternate courses of action. Students who are approved for a medical underload as recommended by Campus Health Services or Counseling and Psychological Services must see an adviser in their BSPH department and submit a Course Underload Request to the Office of Student Affairs, 263 Rosenau Hall. The student must initiate a drop request before the end of the last day of classes during the term.
After the eighth week of classes:
Students seeking to drop a class or classes with the possible result that they may be enrolled in fewer than 12 academic hours for medical or non-medical reasons after the eighth week of classes must meet with someone in the Office of Student Affairs, 263 Rosenau Hall, about submitting an appeal.
Academic Appeals for an Underload
If a student experiences non-medically related extenuating circumstances that s/he believes necessitates a schedule of fewer than 12 academic hours in a fall or spring term, the student may appeal to the Office of Student Affairs, 263 Rosenau Hall, for permission to drop below 12 hours. Students should visit the Office of Student affairs to discuss the appeal form and submit appropriate documentation. Approval to drop below nine hours is rarely granted.
Seniors in their final semester who do not require 12 or more academic hours to complete graduation requirements may request an underload as part of the graduation application process. Details are available on the Underloads for Seniors section of our web page. Students must see an adviser in their BSPH department and submit a Course Underload Request to the Office of Student Affairs, 263 Rosenau Hall.
You must obtain permission to repeat courses you already have taken and passed at the University. If you repeat a course without securing permission, the grade earned may be removed by the University. Therefore, you should see an adviser in your academic department or visit the Office of Student Affairs, 263 Rosenau Hall, about repeating courses well before the term commences. More information about repeating courses is available in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
Academic Progression and Eligibility Requirements
To remain in good academic standing at The Gillings School of Global Public Health and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, students must adhere to the academic eligibility standards set forth by the University. To review policies and procedures for maintaining or reinstating your eligibility, please refer to the Academic Eligibility Policy information in the Undergraduate Catalog. Students not in good academic standing may be dismissed from the BSPH undergraduate program and may be eligible to be transferred to the College of Arts and Sciences, as long as the student meets minimum University academic eligibility standards.
Academic Appeal Types and Processes
Petition to Drop after Eighth Week
After the eighth week of classes, students must petition to drop courses through the Office of Student Affairs, 263 Rosenau Hall. The petition must include a statement from the student, a statement from the course instructor and any pertinent documentation (e.g., statements from employers, physicians, etc.) that provides compelling support for the petition. If the petition is based on extenuating medical or psychological concerns , the student should visit Campus Health Services or Counseling and Psychological Services and seek a medical withdrawal.
The student must submit the completed form and accompanying documentation to the Office of Student Affairs. Because submission of a petition does not assure that the request will be granted, students must continue to attend classes until informed of the decision. If a course drop is approved, the registration/drop/add form is processed through the Office of the University Registrar. All drops approved appear with the notation of ‘W’ (withdrawn without penalty) unless an exception is made by the associate dean for academic affairs.
Past Semester(s) Course Drop
Given extraordinary circumstances, and for non-academic reasons, students may appeal for course drops and withdrawals from past semesters. Students with extraordinary circumstances may make an academic appeal to the Office of Student Affairs, Rosenau 263 Hall. Before you submit an appeal, you should consult with your departmental adviser, departmental student services manager and the Office of Student Affairs to understand the process, confirm you are pursuing the correct appeal option and get connected to appropriate resources.
Final Exam Excuse
A student who has three final examinations scheduled by the Office of the University Registrar within a 24-hour period or two scheduled at the same time may request for permission to have one of the scheduled examinations rescheduled. In the event that one of the scheduled examinations is a common-hour exam, that examination is the one to be rescheduled. In all cases in which an examination is to be rescheduled, the instructor may reschedule that examination during the final examination period, but not later than the end of the following semester. Any petition for a change in the examination schedule because of the “three exams in a 24-hour” rule must be made to the Office of Student Affairs, 263 Rosenau Hall, before the first day of the final examinations.
Students are required to take final examinations as scheduled. The only exceptions are for illness as documented by Campus Health Services or for other medically documented or family or personal emergency situations. Students who wish to request an exam excuse may petition the associate dean for academic affairs in the Office of Student Affairs, 263 Rosenau Hall, before the first day of the final examinations, and documentation will be required.
A grade appeal is a request to change a course grade based on arithmetic or clerical error, arbitrariness, discrimination, harassment or personal malice. Generally, students who wish to appeal a course grade should first attempt to resolve the issue with their instructors. Students also may consult the chair of the academic department that offers the class. Failing a satisfactory resolution, the student may appeal the grade in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Such appeals must be made no later than the last day of classes of the succeeding fall or spring semester to the Office of Student Affairs, 263 Rosenau Hall.
For additional information on The University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct, see policies.unc.edu/files/2013/04/PPDHRM.pdf.
Additional Semester Appeal
The University’s academic eligibility rules impose limits on the number of semesters (fall or spring) in which students are allowed to enroll. (There is no limit on summer sessions.) New academic eligibility rules were instituted in 2007. To see the types of appeals that are often granted and those that are not, consult the Additional Semester Information handout.
- Students who entered UNC as first-years/freshmen are limited to eight semesters. Special permission is required to enroll in a ninth semester for students who have experienced exceptionally extenuating circumstances. You may request permission to enroll for an additional semester beyond the applicable maximum. Students who are permitted to enroll in an additional semester may graduate with only a single major and no minor, even if all the work for the minor or second major has been completed.
- Transfer students (who transfer in 30 or more hours to UNC) will be granted permission to enter a ninth or 10th semester after meeting with the faculty coordinator of their BSPH program and submitting the necessary forms for approval.
To do so, students must fill out and submit a SPH Petition to Enroll for an Additional Semester form and submit it to the Office of Student Affairs, 263 Rosenau Hall. The request will be reviewed by the associate dean for academic affairs.
Petition for Course Substitution for General Education Requirements
If you took a course that did not fulfill a specific general education requirement, but you feel it meets the criteria for that requirement, you may be eligible to submit a course petition. More information about the supporting documentation required for your petition is available here.
Withdrawals and Cancellations
An official withdrawal occurs when you, as an enrolled student, decide you must leave the University in a given term once the term begins and you have attended at least one class. If you must leave, you are required to notify the University through the withdrawal process and then cease attendance in all classes and/or academic activities. To make an informed decision, carefully read the withdrawal policy before you decide to withdraw. A withdrawal has several important potential impacts that may apply to you. Please review the financial, academic and campus service Impacts of a Withdrawal.
A cancellation results in removal of all enrollments for the term. Cancellations are not noted on the permanent record. No tuition or fees are charged, but other charges related to attending the University (e.g., mandatory student health insurance, housing, meal plan) are the responsibility of the student. Students may contact these offices directly for any questions about charges. Prior to the first day of classes, if you decide you cannot or will not attend the University that term, you may request to cancel your registration. More information about cancellations is available here. The University will only cancel registration for students who have not attended any classes in a term.
If you have never attended a single class this term, and classes have begun, you must request a cancellation of your registration through your department student services office and provide verification of non-attendance from each professor. If you cancel a fall or spring term registration and wish to return to UNC-Chapel Hill in a future term, you must apply for readmission. If you cancel your registration for a summer term, readmission is not required.
Students who do not attend or who fail to complete a semester at the Gillings School of Global Public Health must reapply for readmission through the University Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Instructions for the UNC readmission application process are available through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. If the student is approved by the UNC Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the student subsequently will be reviewed by the Gillings School. Readmission may be approved or denied.
The University offers a broad range of resources to meet your needs at all points throughout your academic career, and we encourage you to explore these options that are uniquely available to you. Remember, the use of campus resources is a sign of strength – it shows perseverance, responsibility and a commitment to your goals.
Course Approval for Transfer Credit
Current students who wish to receive credit for courses taken at another institution must have these courses evaluated by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions in order for the credit and hours to transfer to the University. Please review the General Rules for transfer credits. Once you complete the course, all official transcripts should be sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. If you plan to take a course at another institution, please complete the Course Evaluation Form.
Degree Residency Requirement
The last 30 hours of degree credit must be taken in residence at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Avoid transferring credit in during your last 30 hours.
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