UPM #13 – Authorized Degrees, Major Fields in each Degree, and Assigned Code Numbers
This memorandum lists the approved degrees, and the majors in each degree, awarded by each of the schools and colleges on this campus and the code numbers assigned to each degree and major. The list contains the Classification of Instructional Program Code (CIP) assigned by the Office of the President. The CIP codes are reported to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) by UNC system General Administration to meet national reporting needs.
The University is authorized to award bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees. Selected certificates are approved for offering at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels. The University does not award any credential below a bachelor’s degree credential and any approved undergraduate certificate must be awarded in conjunction with a bachelor’s degree. Conditions for the conferral and awarding of degrees are included in this memorandum.
In 2023 provisions were formalized for awarding an earned degree posthumously or a memorial degree of achievement to the next of kin of a deceased student. This information is at the end of the document.
The UNC system General Administration publishes an Inventory of Approved Degree credentials (Degree Programs) with codes and program titles used in the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP).
Degrees awarded in majors listed in this publication must have been approved by the General Administration and appear in the UNC System inventory. The appropriate major is indicated on a student’s diploma (with some exceptions) and transcript for each degree received.
The University relies on automatic data processing requiring that both UNC Major Codes and CIP Codes be assigned to each degree and each major field in order that accurate statistical data is generated for reports used on our own campus, by the University System offices and NCES.
Schools and departments that have questions about any degree, major field or code shown herein are urged to contact the Office of the University Registrar.
Data Collection and Data Entry
The student database is programmed to receive only the data which has been approved. Likewise, schools and colleges may award degrees and with major fields of study only as listed herein. The “Application for Degree” and diplomas must use the degrees and majors as approved. Note, there are selected Graduate degrees which are awarded jointly by the Graduate School and the Professional Schools, and there are Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees appearing independently in several different professional schools, but with different majors all of which are approved with the degree program.
List of Approved Credentials
Click to download a list of approved degree programs and credentials at UNC-Chapel Hill. This table will be updated periodically and at a minimum annually as new credentials are approved. Any errors, additions, or deletions should be reported to the University Registrar.
Conferral of Degrees
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill confers degrees three times a year, each May, August and December, to students who have completed all degree requirements. Students must apply to graduate on a degree award date through ConnectCarolina no later than the last day of classes of that term.
A degree cannot be awarded to a student who does not meet requirements by the conferral deadline, such as:
- Has any temporary grade on their academic record; this includes but is not limited to non-permanent grades: AB, IN, NG, NR, SP.
- Has pending credits to be approved and posted to their academic record (even if not required for graduation); this includes but is not limited to:
- Credit earned while studying abroad
- Transfer credit
- Interinstitutional credit
- Robertson Scholars credit
- UNC Online credit
Students with temporary grades or pending credits not resolved within 60 days of the degree award date must request a subsequent graduation. The degree is conferred following completion of requirements at a later date. A degree will not be awarded retroactively.
Adjustments may be made to a transcript only for one year following the date of graduation. For instance, grade appeals can be initiated after graduation. However, graduation with distinction or highest distinction is based only on the grade point average at the time that the degree is conferred. In such Indications of a second major or minor can be added to the transcript within one year after the degree conferral date for students who neglected to declare a second major or a minor prior to graduation, provided that all requirements were completed at the time of graduation.
Awarding of Undergraduate Degrees
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will award only one bachelor’s degree to a student, regardless of a possible second-major declaration, and will not admit or award a degree to a student who has already earned a bachelor’s degree through another school of the University or at another college. Undergraduates in the professional schools in the Divisions of Academic Affairs and Health Affairs may earn a second major (not a second degree) in the College of Arts and Sciences or another professional school, but the first major must be in the professional school. Exception: a student may earn a second bachelor’s degree in one of several health profession schools of the University after receiving a bachelor’s degree if the student is admitted to the professional school.
Students pursuing two major fields of study for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree earn only one degree and receive only one diploma. Both the diploma and the official transcript will indicate the degree and the two majors.
Students completing the requirements for both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree earn only the Bachelor of Science degree and receive only that diploma. Students completing the requirements for both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Music degree earn only the Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Music degree and receive only that diploma. Note that these students must complete General Education requirements pertinent to the Bachelor of Arts as well as all requirements for the Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Music degree. Both the diploma and the official transcript will indicate the degree (with its major) and the second major.
Under no circumstances can a second undergraduate degree be awarded in Academic Affairs after one has been earned in Health Affairs. In the rare instance that an undergraduate student completes the requirements for an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree at the same time, the two degrees cannot be awarded at the same graduation. The undergraduate degree must be awarded first, and the graduate degree awarded at a subsequent degree award date.
Posthumous and Memorial Degrees
In the unfortunate event of a recently enrolled student death, the University may award a degree posthumously or a memorial degree of achievement to the next of kin of the decedent. The following criteria are used to determine awarding a degree posthumously and it is included in the official degree count.
Upon the recommendation of the Dean of Students Office in conjunction with the Dean’s Office of the student’s academic college/school, a posthumous degree may be awarded to a deceased undergraduate student if the student was in good academic standing and at least 90% of academic requirements for earning the degree are already completed. This is typically in the last two semesters or year of study for undergraduate degrees.
Graduate and Professional Students
Upon the recommendation of the Dean of Students Office in conjunction with the Dean’s Office(s) of the student’s academic college/school(s), a posthumous degree may be awarded to a deceased graduate or professional student if the student was in good academic standing and significant progress had been made toward academic requirements for earning the degree. For graduate and professional degrees this can vary but generally the following considerations apply:
- For degrees requiring a research or other creative/practicum activity, the student must have completed all course and other requirements pursuant to the degree and must have been near completion of the dissertation/thesis/substitute product; and the student’s committee must have determined the scholarship to be substantial work and worthy of the degree.
- For degrees requiring primarily coursework, at least 90% of academic requirements for earning the degree are already completed. This is typically in the last two semesters or year of study.
In cases where requirements for awarding a doctorate have not been met, a master’s degree could be awarded if those requirements have been satisfied and if supported by the student’s committee.
Memorial Degree of Achievement
If requirements for awarding the degree posthumously are not met, the University may issue a memorial degree of achievement. This is neither recorded as an official degree nor included in the official degree count.The Dean of Students office, in conjunction with the academic college/school of the student, issues this memorial degree of achievement to honor the memory of the deceased student’s contributions to the UNC–Chapel Hill academic community.
Certificate of Achievement
In circumstances when awarding a degree is not appropriate, the University can issue a certificate of achievement recognizing a former student. The Dean of Students office determines if a situation warrants issuing this recognition. This is neither recorded as an official certificate nor included in the official certificate count.