Graduation and Seniors

It’s not uncommon for students to study abroad in their final year at UNC—even in their final semester. However, there are certain things to keep in mind. Review the information below and meet with both your Academic Advisor and Study Abroad Advisor.

Credit Transfer Process

Make sure to note your correct graduation term on your Credit Request Form(s). Consult with your Academic Advisor throughout your study abroad program and become familiar with the credit transfer process.

Senior Underload

Due to the time required to receive final, official transcripts and all necessary approvals for credit transfer, students who study abroad in the term just prior to their final semester should be aware that their study abroad credits may not be processed by the senior underload deadline. Students should consider how this may impact their plans for underloading and discuss concerns with an academic advisor.

Studying Abroad in the Final Semester

Students studying abroad in their final semester may be eligible to earn a diploma in that semester if they need absolutely no credit (including elective hours towards graduation) from the program, or are enrolled in a UNC faculty-led program.

Students who study abroad in their final semester, and need transfer credit from their program, officially apply for graduation for the following term. This allows time for the credit transfer process. Students are not required to enroll in courses while “waiting” for their diploma.

University-wide degree requirements, relevant to those studying abroad:

  • A minimum of 45 academic credit hours must be earned from UNC-Chapel Hill courses. These may include credits from UNC faculty-led study abroad programs.
  • At least 24 of the last 30 academic credit hours applied to the degree requirements must be earned in UNC-Chapel Hill courses. UNC Study Abroad programs are excluded from this requirement.
  • All students, including students transferring from another institution, must take at least half of their major course requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC-Chapel Hill.
  • At least nine hours of the minor must be completed at UNC-Chapel Hill and not at other academic institutions. Certain academic units may require that more than nine hours must be completed at the University.
  • View full list of University-wide degree requirements

More Information: Seniors and Graduation