Instructions for Graduate Applicants

Welcome graduate applicants! We are pleased that you are applying for admission to the UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School and the Program in Applied Physical Sciences. Admission to academic programs is competitive and students are selected on the basis of their academic preparation, ability, and program fit. For some programs, an on-site pre-admissions interview may be required. Early contact with your program of interest can be helpful in preparing your application.

Please review our detailed program information, which shows contact and application deadlines.

International applicants have an additional application material requirement as explained below.

The Graduate School relies mainly on email to communicate with all applicants. Therefore, please include a current email address on your application and be sure to promptly respond to all correspondence.

Required Application Materials

Required materials for all applicants include:

Graduate School Online Application

Application Fee $87.50, non-refundable

Transcripts, complete transcript, not selected courses

One unofficial transcript from each university attended must be uploaded within the application. All unofficial transcripts must be uploaded to your application in order for your application to be reviewed. Please do not mail transcripts as part of your admission application; we only accept unofficial uploads for application evaluation. If you are offered admission, one official transcript for each university attended will be required prior to the first day of the term.

Current letters of recommendation. The email address of three recommenders will be required within the application for electronic submission.

Standardized test scores, such as the GRE, GMAT, et cetera, no more than 5 years old

Statement of purpose

Resume/CV

Supplemental information, including all additional information or materials required by our program. These items must be uploaded within the application




Minimum Graduate Admission Requirements

Our minimum requirements are:

A bachelor's degree, based on a four-year curriculum, completed before graduate study begins, or its international equivalent with an accredited institution

An average grade of B, cumulative GPA 3.0, or better

Along with these minimal requirements, admission decisions are based on a number of factors, including academic degrees and record, written statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, test scores, and relevant work and research experience. All admission recommendations are made by each individual program or department.

Application Process

Applications for admission to the UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School and our program are submitted via the online admission application. All required materials listed above should be submitted according to the instructions provided. Your application will not be reviewed until the application is submitted and the application fee is received. Application submission and payment must occur by your program's specific deadline in order for your application to be reviewed. By submitting an application to UNC-Chapel Hill, consent is granted to university staff to obtain any additional or missing information as needed, including campus safety information.

Application Deadlines

Please be aware that our program has an application deadline, and that we admit only for Fall Semester only.

Each offer of admission is specific for the term stated in the admission letter. If you do not register for classes you must apply again in a subsequent semester; application materials that are submitted to this institution are kept on file for one year after the term for which you are applying. Contact our Director of Graduate Studies for questions about deferrals of admission offers.

Completed applications and non-refundable application fees must be submitted before our program's application deadline. The application and payment portal close at 11:59pm Eastern Time on the posted deadline date.

Applications will not be accepted for review or consideration after the posted graduate program deadline has passed. International applicants should apply early in order to allow sufficient time for financial and visa document preparation. We recommend that international applicants submit a complete application no later than December 1.

Fellowship and Financial Aid Deadlines

Most of the financial support available to graduate students is based within individual programs. In addition, a limited amount of financial support is available from The Graduate School and is based upon nominations from individual programs. In order to allow sufficient time for our program to nominate you for Graduate School fellowships, your application should be received before December 12.

Should our program continue to accept applications after December 12, you are still eligible for program-based support. Contact our Director of Graduate Studies for questions about available graduate student financial support and relevant deadlines.

The University awards loans and Tuition Enhancement Grants to graduate students who qualify, based on information provided in the FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, form due March 1. For more information, please visit the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.

Application Fees

A non-refundable $87.50 application fee is required for our program.

Applicants can pay their application fee one of three ways:

Credit or Debit Card Visa or MasterCard only. For security purposes, the credit card address manually inserted during the final payment process must exactly match the credit card billing address for a successful transaction.

Check or Money Order. Mail-in payments are restricted to a check in U.S. funds, which contains the pre-printed electronic routing numbers or an international money order. All check or money order payments should be made payable to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. If choosing to pay by check or money order, you will receive an email with further payment instructions, including the payment mailing address. Please ensure that any check or money order payment mailed to The Graduate School includes your full name as it appears on your application, your application ID number, and current contact information. Your application fee must be postmarked no later than your application deadline date or it will be returned. Applications that arrive without the required application fee will remain on file, unprocessed, pending receipt of the application fee. If someone is paying the application fee for you, please ensure they include your name, application ID number, and current contact information, as well.

Fee Waiver. There are several categories of applicants who may qualify for an application fee waiver. Please see Information on Application Fee Waiver requests. Fee waiver requests and required documentation are submitted in the online admissions application. Please do not mail fee waiver documentation.

Transcripts

Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary education, including community colleges, summer sessions and extension programs, are required to be uploaded in the application. Study Abroad experiences that appear on your undergraduate institution transcript do not need to be listed separately on the application. You should obtain a copy of your unofficial transcript, obtained from a student account, as official transcripts scan very poorly.

These unofficial transcripts must be complete, not simply show select courses, include grades, be issued in the original language and be accompanied by certified English translations when applicable. Transfer credit posted on the transcript from other institutions is not accepted in lieu of transcripts from the institution attended. You may upload unofficial transcripts before mid-year grades are posted. Applicants will be able to upload one optional, updated unofficial transcript from their current institution, if applicable, after submitting their application.

You should follow the instructions in the application for uploading unofficial transcripts, including:


Applicants should either upload the document directly if it is in an accepted format or scan each unofficial transcript into a file that can be uploaded as part of the application.

Transcripts should be scanned using the gray scale option for clarity.

Your scanning software should ask you what resolution to scan your document, either before or after the scan. We recommend a setting of 72dpi.

Scan multiple page transcripts into one file.

Preview your uploaded transcript(s) to ensure legibility so that the processing of your application is not delayed. If you cannot read the file clearly, please try another scanner or different settings and upload again.

A transcript from each institution is always required.


Please do not mail paper transcripts as part of your admission application; we only accept unofficial uploads for application evaluation. If you are offered admission, one official transcript for each university attended will be required prior to the first day of the term. Instructions for how to submit official transcripts will be included in the admission offer letter.

Transcripts will not be kept on file in The Graduate School for admitted students who did not accept their admission offer from a previous admissions cycle or enroll at UNC-Chapel Hill.


A Note on Foreign Degrees

As part of the transcript submission, degree credentials are also reviewed. Assessment of a foreign degree, including those conferred from institutions participating in the Bologna Accord, is based upon the characteristics of a national system of education, the type of institution attended, its accreditation and the level of studies completed. The following guidelines indicate the level of study expected of international applicants prior to graduate enrollment:


British patterned education bachelor's degree with honors

French patterned education degree of diplome requiring four years of post baccalauréat study

Germany university Diplom preferred. Applicants with very strong academic records may be considered if they have completed the Staatsexamen, a bachelor's degree after a 13-year Abitur, or at least one year of full-time study beyond the Vorprfung, Zwischenprfung, Vordiplom, or any other bachelor's degree

Other European countries: university degree requiring a minimum of four years of study

Canada three year bachelor's degree from Québec; four-year bachelor's degree from all other provinces

Latin America university degree requiring a minimum of four years of study

India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal bachelor's degree in engineering or medicine; master's degree in all other fields

Philippines five year bachelor's degree or four year bachelor's degree plus one year of graduate work

Other Asian countries: university degree requiring a minimum of four years of study


Individuals with only 3-year degrees and others who do not meet the educational requirement for graduate admission are welcome to consider other admission options available at UNC admissions.


Letters of Recommendation

Three current letters of recommendation from persons qualified to evaluate your academic and professional qualifications are required. You should solicit recommendations from individuals who are familiar with your academic achievement and who can address your potential for success in this particular academic setting. If you have been out of school for a number of years and are unable to contact former professors, letters from other individuals who can address your achievement and potential will be accepted. We advise against using generic letters of recommendation such as those provided by campus career planning and placement offices. Please see the information and instructions specific to your intended program for more information.

The online application will prompt you to submit the names and email addresses for your three required recommenders.

Email invitations will be sent to recommenders once you select 'Save' in the online application. You can also update recommender information and send reminder emails to your recommenders within the online application.

Standardized Test Scores

UNC Graduate School Institution Code: #5816 — No Department Code

Official GRE General Test scores, or GMAT, MCAT, et cetera, if accepted by your intended program, are required for applicants to all programs except Studio Art, Dentistry — except Oral Biology and Orthodontics — Dramatic Art, Nursing, and the School of Information and Library Science's Post-Master's Certificate.

We recommend that you plan to take any required exams no later than October to allow time for scores to arrive in time for consideration for fall admission.

Standardized test scores must be official and reported directly by the Educational Testing Service, ETS. They must be current and no more than five years old.

In order for a test score to be considered complete, applicants must provide a numeric score in all sections of the GRE.

Standardized test scores that are submitted to this institution are kept on file for one year after the term for which you are applying.

When you register for any tests, you should indicate the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School, institution #5816, as a score recipient. If you did not specify the UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School as a score recipient at the time of taking the test, you must promptly ask ETS to send your scores to us, institution #5816. No departmental code is required.

GMAT scores should be sent to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Kenan-Flagler Business School — Other Graduate Programs, code D40-HL-34 — or Kenan-Flagler Business School — PhD Program, code D40-HL-50.

While self-reported scores are useful for informal evaluation, the official report of your scores from ETS must arrive before final review and admission can be offered.

Please note: If you have already sent in your official test scores to UNC-CH upon submitting your application, expect a minimum of seven business days in order for your test scores to be matched to your application.

Applicants who already hold a research or professional doctorate degree may be exempted from the standardized test score requirement. This waiver request must come from the program to which you are applying. Applicants near completion of a doctoral degree may request an exemption based on the receipt of appropriate degree verification status from the university Registrar of the institution. If the degree or official verification is not received, the standardized scores will remain a requirement. Please contact your intended program to determine if they will support this exemption.

Average scores of applicants offered admission

International applicants must also submit official TOEFL or IELTS standardized test scores.

Statement of Purpose

All graduate programs require a written statement to be uploaded within your application. The form and content requirements may vary by program. Please read the information and instructions specific to your intended program before applying. Your written statement is a critical component of your application for admission and can sometimes be the determining factor in approval of admittance or financial support. Therefore, your statement should reflect your professional goals, as well as familiarity with the program and faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Resume/CV

All graduate programs require a resume or CV to be uploaded within your application. Your resume/CV should provide information about your work and volunteer experiences, research, awards, recognitions and activities pertinent to your proposed program of study.

Campus Safety Information

Applicants for admission will be asked several questions regarding criminal pleas, charges and convictions, academic suspensions, and military discharges. If additional information is needed, you may be asked to submit information for a criminal background check, including a nominal fee. You must describe violations of law in your home country and in any other country in which you have resided. The term “law” includes codes, legal rules and regulations, and other criminal-type statutes or violations of municipal, local, provincial, state, federal, national, commonwealth, and other governmental jurisdiction. Failure to provide complete, accurate, and truthful information will be grounds to deny or withdraw your admission, or to dismiss you after enrollment. The same actions will occur if you fail to notify The Graduate School promptly in writing of such charges that occur at any time after you submit the application.

Application Status

Once we have received all required application materials and fees, the review and evaluation of your application will begin. You may monitor the status of your application checklist through the application website.

It is your responsibility to monitor your application for completeness by logging into your application and checking your application status. If your official test scores do not appear as received within two weeks of submitting your application, please email gradadmissions@unc.edu.

You will be able to upload one optional, updated unofficial transcript from your current institution, if applicable, after submitting your application. Additionally, you may be asked to upload specific additional materials through your application status page after submission. The Graduate School cannot alter any application materials once your application is submitted. If you would like to send new information or updated documents to the academic program to which you applied, please contact the program directly.




For International Applicants

UNC Graduate School Institution Code: #5816 — No Department Code

Together with the instructions above, international applicants are also required to submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores as part of their application. These scores must be no more than 2 years old! The Graduate School understands it is difficult and sometimes confusing to apply to universities in another country, and we will assist you in clarifying requirements whenever possible.

All international applicants must submit acceptable, official TOEFL, reported directly from ETS, or IELTS, reported directly from IELTS, scores. We accept no other English Language tests.


We recommend that you plan to take any required exams no later than October to allow time for scores to arrive in time for consideration for fall admission.

Standardized test scores must be official and are reportable for a period of two years from the date of the exam. Exam results more than two years old cannot be considered.

Standardized test scores that are submitted to this institution are kept on file for one year after the term for which you are applying.

When you register for any tests, you should indicate the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School as a score recipient. If you did not specify the UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School as a score recipient at the time of taking the test, you must promptly ask to send your scores to us. While self-reported scores are useful for informal evaluation, the official report of your scores must arrive before final review and admission can be offered.

The required minimum total score on the exams are:

The internet-based TOEFL exam = 90

The IELTS exam = 7

Some programs have their own minimal score requirements which are higher than those stated above, in which case these higher standards will be required.

Exceptions to the English Standardized exams are available for the three categories listed below:

1. Applicants from countries where English is the SOLE OFFICIAL language of instruction. These countries are Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada-except Québec, England, Ghana, Ireland, India, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad, Tobago, Uganda, and Wales.

2. Applicants who have received or will receive a degree from an accredited university in the United States. You must upload an unofficial transcript showing degree awarded or in progress, or a letter from your Registrar or Dean verifying your degree candidate status from that institution within the online admissions application. If you are offered admission, the official transcript must be received, or the English exam scores will be required to enroll.

3. Applicants who have received or will receive a degree from an accredited university where English is the SOLE language of instruction. If you are a degree candidate in a university where English is the SOLE language of instruction, along with your request, you must submit an official verification from that university that English is the SOLE language of instruction along with your anticipated date of graduation. If the degree or an official verification is not received, the English exam scores will again be required.


Applicants in category 1 will automatically receive the exception. If you believe you qualify for a waiver of the English standardized exam under categories 2 or 3, you must indicate this request and upload the appropriate documentation within the online admissions application.

All newly admitted international students will be reviewed for their level of English proficiency prior to enrolling for classes. You will receive communications from the University regarding English language, writing, and speaking support services to support your transition to our campus.


Financial Certification

International applicants who are offered admission to a graduate program are required by United States federal regulations to certify that you have sufficient funds to pay for your expenses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for the entire length of your studies. Every international applicant offered admission, including applicants who may receive teaching or research assistantships or other awards, must complete and upload the International Student Data Form and Financial Certification Instructions/Worksheet to their ConnectCarolina Student Center after being offered admission. The Office of International Student and Scholar Services, ISSS, will send you information and instructions for completing and uploading these forms in order to document that you meet necessary financial requirements. ISSS will then send you the appropriate documents to use in obtaining or updating your visa once it has been determined that you have met the necessary financial requirements.

International applicants in need of financial aid may write to the Institute of International Education, 809 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, or review the IIE website.

The University's Office of Scholarships and Student Aid can only fund students who are U.S. citizens, nationals, permanent residents with I-151 or I-551 Alien Registration Receipt Cards, permanent residents of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Trust Territory or the Pacific Islands, and other non-citizens who have Arrival-Departure Records, I-94, showing "refugee" or "adjustment applicant" or official grant of asylum in the United States. Students who meet these requirements should apply for financial assistance before March 1.

For any additional questions, please review our Admissions Office Contacts.