UNC Charlotte Academic Policy: Registration (Graduate)

I. Executive Summary

This policy outlines the registration process at UNC Charlotte for graduate students.

II. Policy Statement

The Office of the Registrar is responsible for the management of the registration process by which students enroll in, drop, and withdraw from courses. Through the registration process, students assume academic and financial responsibility for the courses in which they enroll. They are relieved of these responsibilities only by formally terminating enrollment by dropping or withdrawing in accordance with deadlines specified in the Academic Calendar and the corresponding prorated refund schedule available on the Niner Central website.

Registration Deadlines

University policies determine when students may enroll or adjust their enrollment in courses. General deadlines are shown below and specific deadlines for a given term are available online.

Add/Drop Period

The Add/Drop period runs through the 6th business day of the Fall and Spring semesters and on the 2nd business day for Summer full and half terms.

During the Add/Drop Period, students can:

  • Register for courses
  • Drop a course(s) without record (and remain enrolled in other courses)
  • Drop all courses without record
  • Change the grade type to Audit or Pass/Unsatisfactory (refer to Auditing Courses below and the Pass/Unsatisfactory Option in the Grading policy)
  • Opt out of retaking a course with Grade Replacement (refer to Repeating Graduate Courses in the Grading policy)

After the Add/Drop Period students can withdraw from one or more courses in accordance with the Withdrawal policy.

Prerequisites and Permits

All students, including visitors and non-degree students, are required to meet course prerequisites and to obtain the required permissions to enroll in courses through the department which sponsors the course.

Auditing Courses

With the permission of the instructor and Graduate School, a Graduate Student may audit any course in which space is available. Fees and procedures for this non-credit enrollment are the same as those for a credit enrollment. The procedure for adding, dropping, or withdrawing from an audit course is the same as for credit enrollments. In order to audit a class, a student must register for the course, then complete a Graduate Academic Petition and receive approval from the instructor and the Graduate School by the withdrawal deadline of a semester.

No student will be allowed to change the designation of a course from audit to credit or from credit to audit after the withdrawal deadline of a semester (or a proportional period for Summer terms). Participation of auditors in course discussions and in tests or examinations is optional with the instructor. Students who audit receive no University credit, but they are expected to attend the course regularly.

Early Entry to Graduate Programs

Exceptional undergraduate students at UNC Charlotte may be accepted into some certificate, master’s, and doctoral programs and begin work toward a graduate certificate or degree before completion of the baccalaureate degree. In those programs offering this option, an applicant may be accepted at any time after completion of 75 or more credit hours of their undergraduate coursework, although it is expected that at least 90 credit hours of undergraduate coursework will have been earned by the time the first graduate course is taken. These students will have provisional acceptance status in the graduate program, pending the award of the baccalaureate degree.

To be accepted to this program, the student must complete an application online at gradadmissions.charlotte.edu/apply for the given graduate program and be approved for it. In addition, the student must complete the Early Entry Program Form, which requires approval by the Undergraduate Advisor, the Graduate Program Director, and the Graduate School. The petition is available on the Graduate School website under Current Students. [Note: The Early Entry Program Petition must be approved by the Graduate School before the student begins the Early Entry graduate coursework. Failure to obtain prior Graduate School approval negates the ability to “double count” courses in an accelerated Early Entry Program.] An undergraduate student must have at least a 3.2 overall GPA and have taken the appropriate graduate standardized test and earned an acceptable score, if required by the academic program. A given program may have more rigorous admissions criteria. If an Early Entry student has not met the normal admission requirements of a 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA at the end of their baccalaureate degree, they will be dismissed from the graduate program.

Students accepted into an Early Entry Program will be considered subject to the same policies that pertain to other matriculated graduate students. However, the undergraduate program will remain the student’s primary program. Early Entry students are eligible only for undergraduate-level financial aid, grants, and tuition awards.* Early Entry students are restricted to 15 credit hours of graduate level coursework prior to the completion of the baccalaureate degree. No courses taken before admission to the graduate program may be applied to a graduate degree.

Some Early Entry Programs permit students to “double count” graduate-level coursework towards outstanding requirements for the undergraduate degree. The maximum number of graduate credits which may be “double counted” towards an undergraduate degree varies by program. However, under no circumstances will more than 12 credit hours be double-counted. Students use the Early Entry Petition to detail which courses they plan to “double count” and which courses will be taken solely for graduate credit. Only those graduate-level courses which are applied towards the undergraduate degree are eligible for undergraduate-level financial aid.

Many graduate programs currently offer an Early Entry option. A list of Early Entry Programs may be found on the Graduate Admissions website. To be considered for Early Entry admission, a student must submit a completed application via the Graduate School’s admissions system and provide supporting documents.

*Note: While students admitted to an Early Entry Program are not eligible to hold a graduate assistantship since they have not completed a baccalaureate degree, they may be considered for a Student Temporary Wage position. Students admitted into an Early Entry Program pay undergraduate fees and undergraduate tuition for all courses (graduate and undergraduate) for which they register until such time that the baccalaureate degree is completed (typically within two semesters).

Accelerated Master’s Programs

Exceptional undergraduate students may be accepted into an Accelerated Master’s Program whereby they simultaneously pursue the baccalaureate and master’s degrees and gain invaluable mentoring and research experience along the way. The Accelerated Master’s Program may also be accelerated in which up to 12 hours earned at the graduate level may be substituted (“double counted”) for required undergraduate hours. A list of Accelerated Master’s Programs may be found on the Undergraduate Admissions website.

In the programs offering this option, an applicant may be considered for admission to the Master’s Program directly from high school with a minimum GPA 3.75 or above (on a 4.0 scale) and a minimum score of 1220 on the SAT. For details, see the Undergraduate Admissions website.

Note: Students admitted to an Accelerated Master’s Program (undergraduate + graduate degrees) are not eligible to hold a graduate assistantship until their final year of study when they are only taking graduate courses. In the Accelerated Master’s Program of study, when only graduate courses are taken (typically the final year of study), students are considered “graduate” students and are charged graduate tuition and fees.

Dual Undergraduate and Graduate Registration

First undergraduate degree students at UNC Charlotte who are required to take fewer than 12 credit hours of undergraduate work to fulfill all requirements for the bachelor’s degree may be allowed during their final semester to enroll in certain courses for the purpose of obtaining graduate credit. Dually enrolled students will continue to be considered undergraduate students and be charged for the courses taken at the undergraduate level. The total credit hours to be carried in this status shall not exceed 12 credit hours, of which no more than 6 may be for graduate credit. On the basis of work attempted prior to the final semester, such students must meet the grade point criteria for admission to a graduate degree program at the University. No course for which credit is applied to an undergraduate degree may receive graduate credit. Permission to take graduate courses under dual registration does not constitute admission to any graduate degree program at the University. (Undergraduate students may also take graduate courses if admitted to an Early Entry Program or an Accelerated Master’s Program.)

Note: Only UNC Charlotte students pursuing their first undergraduate degree are eligible for dual undergraduate and graduate registration. Fifth-year undergraduate students (i.e., students pursuing a second undergraduate degree) are not eligible for dual undergraduate and graduate enrollment.

Inter-Institutional Registration

An inter-institutional registration program is available, for a limited number of undergraduate and graduate students, with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina Central University. The registration process is initiated in the Office of the Registrar and requires the approval of the student’s College Dean and the Associate Dean of the Graduate School. The proposed course cannot be offered at UNC Charlotte. Enrollment for Inter-Institutional is normally limited to the following:

  • Fall and Spring terms: two courses per term for a graduate or professional student provided that the student is also registered for the balance of their normal load at UNC Charlotte.
  • Summer terms: one course per summer term provided the student is also registered for at least three hours per session at UNC Charlotte.

Tuition will be billed by UNC Charlotte for all courses taken, including the Inter-Institutional courses, at the prevailing tuition rate. Fees will be waived at the visiting institution unless there is a special fee associated with a particular course. In such a case, the student is responsible for payment of the fee. Students must adhere to the academic calendar for all adds, drops, and withdrawals at both institutions.

III. Definitions

  • Academic calendar – An official list of dates and deadlines found at the beginning of the Undergraduate Catalog and on the website for the Office of the Registrar. The academic calendar specifies the dates for semesters and terms, enrollment periods, examination periods, holidays, periods classes are not in session, and commencement.
  • Add/Drop Period – The time during which students may add or drop courses without a record or academic penalty, also called the “course adjustment period.”
  • Early Entry – Accelerated program for students who begin graduate study during their undergraduate senior year.
  • Registrar – The official at the University who is responsible for maintaining student records. The Office of the Registrar plans and oversees registration, academic record maintenance, transcript preparation, graduation, a degree audit report system, and curricular records.
  • Registration – Students select courses to enroll in for the subsequent term.
  • Semester or Term – A period of study, usually a third of the academic year (i.e., Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters). Fall and Spring semesters generally include a period of study of one 15-week and two 7-week half terms. The Summer semester generally includes one eleven-week and two five-week half terms. UNC Charlotte offers courses for the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters, as well as varying term lengths associated with each semester.  For the definition of each term refer to the Office of the Registrar.

IV. Policy Contact(s)

V. History

  • Approved: April 3, 1980
  • Revised: March 29, 1984
  • Revised: May 2, 1985
  • Revised: February 20, 2014 [Updated mentions of withdrawals due to new Withdrawal policy]
  • Revised: September 30, 2015 [Consortium Registration section removed; Charlotte Area Educational Consortium no longer exists]
  • Revised: March 17, 2016 [Add/Drop period changed from 8 instructional days to 8 calendar days for Fall & Spring semesters, effective Fall 2016; and updated Dual Undergraduate and Graduate Registration information to match what is listed in Graduate Catalog]
  • Revised: October 19, 2017 [Add/Drop period and Audit to Credit/Credit to Audit period changed from 8 calendar days to 6 business days for Fall & Spring semesters, and from 2nd instructional day to 2nd business day for Summer sessions]
  • Revised: April 23, 2020 [Updated Add/Drop period definition]
  • Revised: May 21, 2020 [Updated maximum graduate credit hours under “Dual Undergraduate and Graduate Registration” from 9 to 6 to clear up the discrepancy between the Dual Undergraduate and Graduate Registration and Post-Baccalaureate transfer credit policy]
  • Revised: April 23, 2021 [added Greater Charlotte Consortium]
  • Revised: August 15, 2021 [revised grade replacement option under Add/Drop Period from “elect” to “opt out” due to revisions to Grading policy changes that take effect Fall 2021]

VI. Related Policies, Procedures and Resources

VII. Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where is this policy referenced?
    The policy is published on the Academic Policies & Procedures webpage of the Provost website and in the Degree Requirements & Academic Policies section of the Graduate Catalog.
  • Which students are covered under this policy?
    This policy applies to all graduate students at UNC Charlotte.
  • How are course requirements handled if students add the course during the Add/Drop period?
    If students add a course during the Add/Drop period, they should work with their instructor to obtain materials and to make up any missed work (including quizzes or assignments).
  • What is the Add/Drop date for half terms during Fall and Spring? Similar to the Add/Drop date for Summer half terms, the Add/Drop date for Fall and Spring half term is the 2nd business day.