North Carolina
Postsecondary Admission Requirements


Four-Year Institutions

The Board of Governors has established minimum course requirements that align with the North Carolina State Board of Education’s (NCSBE) college preparatory curriculum. First-time undergraduates must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.5 and produce minimum qualifying scores on the SAT (800 or higher, or the corresponding score on the redesigned SAT) or ACT Composite (17 or higher).

System institutions may set higher admission standards. Institutions may make exceptions to the minimum SAT/ACT score or GPA requirements for up to one percent of their incoming classes.

UNC – NCSBE College Preparatory Curriculum

Subject Units Course Requirements



Units must emphasize grammar, composition, and literature



Four allowable combinations:

  • Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and one unit beyond Algebra II
  • Algebra I & II and two units beyond Algebra II
  • Common Core I, II and III
  • Integrated Math I, II and III, and one unit beyond Math III

(the fourth unit of math affects applicants to all institutions except the N.C. School of the Arts)



Three course units in science, including:

  • At least one unit in life or biological science (e.g., biology)
  • At least one unit in physical science (e.g., chemistry, physics)

At least one laboratory course

Social Studies


Two course units in social studies, including

  • At least one unit in U.S. history

Institutions may admit students without this unit if they complete a three-credit course by end of sophomore year.

Foreign Language


Two units in the same language




Two-Year and/or Technical Colleges

Community colleges have open-door admissions policies for applicants who are at least 18 years old and who possess a high school diploma or an equivalency credential.