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Effective Date: February 10, 2005


The purpose of this memorandum is to bring together in one document the special procedures and policies used in registering and keeping records on students who are registered to study abroad through the Honors Program or through the Burch Field Research Seminar Program. These same special procedures and policies apply to programs of study within the United States when those programs are arranged by and administered through the Honors Office. Throughout this document, the words “study abroad” are used to describe programs that are taught either stateside or abroad.

Note: These policies and procedures do not govern the administration of Summer School Study Abroad Programs, Business or Law School study abroad programs, or “Year Abroad” programs administered by the Study Abroad Office (YAP, ISP). For policies and procedures governing “Year Abroad” programs, see RPM# 14. For information on the other study abroad programs, contact the appropriate school or department.

General Provisions

The Honors Program sponsors various programs of study in foreign countries and within the United States. These programs fit into one of two categories: Honors Study Abroad and Burch Field Research Seminars.

    1. Honors Study Abroad allows qualified students to take courses abroad.
    2. Burch Field Research Seminars allow qualified students to work with faculty members on research projects either abroad or in different locations within the United States.

Specific details outlining how these programs are administered are provided below. In all cases, students must maintain enrollment in order to be eligible for student aid from this campus, health insurance, and student discounts while participating in Honors-administered study abroad programs.

Student Selection and Admission

The student must apply to the individual program that interests him or her. Any UNC undergraduate with a 3.0 or above is eligible to apply to participate in an Honors Study Abroad program. Any UNC undergraduate in good standing is eligible to apply to join a Burch Field Research Seminar. Once a student has applied, the Honors Office and/or the faculty member leading the program the student has selected may contact the student for an interview.


The Honors Office will coordinate the scheduling of courses and registration of these students with the Study Abroad Office, the Office of the University Registrar, and the Cashier’s Office, as follows:


The Honors Office creates “place holder” courses that indicate the location of the study (e.g., BFRS055, Streetlife in China, and YAP 053, HNRS Semester in Berlin). For YAP courses, the Honors Office may work with the Study Abroad Office to identify available YAP course numbers, as the YAP designation is shared between these offices.

This “place holder” BFRS and YAP designation can be used in conjunction with the Robertson (ROBT) “place holder” designation, as long as the ROBT “place holder” carries zero hours.

Additionally, the Honors Office will set up individual courses with section numbers 01S-09S. These specific section numbers distinguish UNC courses taught abroad or stateside from UNC courses taught on campus. These sections are set up so that students outside the Burch Field Research Seminars and Honors Study Abroad programs cannot register for them. For HNRS courses, the Honors Office will annotate each course with the UNC course equivalent in the Title2 (subtitle) field, so that this information will be available to students, advisors, and deans’ offices.


The Study Abroad Office will place either BFRS (for Burch Field Research Seminars) or YAP (for Honors Study Abroad) “place holder” courses on students’ records with the appropriate number of hours. For a semester program, the number of hours would range from 12 to 15; for summer, 6 per session. Registration for the “place holder” course allows students to be counted as full time students for enrollment certification purposes.

In certain programs, course offerings are already established and students will be able to select individual classes prior to departure. The Honors Office will register these students in the appropriate classes. In other programs, students will be able to register only after they arrive at the site. The Honors Office will facilitate this registration once the student has selected classes.

If the student will be earning foreign language TREQ credit in addition to UNC course credit, those hours should be left in the “place holder” course YAP until the student completes the study abroad program.

Example: a student participating in a 15 credit hour program can be registered for 4 courses carrying 3 credit hours each (a total of 12 hours) and 3 YAP credits. The 3 YAP credits will be converted to TREQ foreign language placement credit once the student has finished the program of study. For more on foreign language credit, see below under “Course credit and grades.”

The credit hours can be greater, but not less than 12 (or 6 for summer) in order to maintain full time enrollment. These students must be registered each semester they are studying abroad. If they are abroad during an Early Registration Period, the Honors Office must make special arrangements for registration in the upcoming semester. Registration must take place by the deadlines published in the University Registrar Calendars in order to ensure compliance with administrative processes and University policies relative to accurate enrollment reporting.

Tuition and fees

The University Cashier’s Office will enter a code of YAP into the Special Program field on each student’s record based on the “place holder” course BFRS or YAP. Please note: YAP is used to designate both BFRS and YAP in this instance. Based on this special program code, on-campus tuition and fees will not be charged to these students. Instead, the tuition and fees and other program costs are placed on the student’s account by the Study Abroad Office. In most programs, scholarships, loans, and/or other educational funds are deposited with the University Cashier to cover tuition, fees, and other expenses to participate in the program of study.

Course credit and grades

After the program is completed abroad, students will receive UNC letter-grades (or PS, but only for PS classes). UNC grades are assigned by the instructor or instructor representative on official grade rolls and returned to the Registrar’s Office based on the final exam calendar.

Please note that certain international programs operate on timetables that make it impossible for grade rolls to be returned according to the final exam schedule; in such instances, the grade roll would be due to the Registrar’s Office within 72 hours after the completion of the course study. At the end of the semester, the place holder YAP or BFRS course is recorded with a “NG” grade. This enables the degree audit system to track student degree requirements properly. “NG” grades are retained permanently on the student record.

Students receiving foreign language placement will be awarded either UNC letter-grades or TREQ placement credit, as determined in advance by the Honors Office and the relevant UNC foreign language department. When letter-grades are to be given, the Honors Office and the foreign language department(s) will set up in advance and register students for the appropriate off-campus sections of language courses. TREQ credit will be processed by the Study Abroad Office according to established procedures.

Financial Aid

UNC-CH students should do the following in order to assure prompt delivery of financial aid funds.

    1. Apply for financial aid by March 1.
    2. Complete and sign the Study Abroad Enrollment Agreement, specifying program and hours of course credit to be attempted.
    3. Complete and return all forms sent with the award letter by the acceptance deadline specified on the award letter.
    4. Obtain forms or web sites required to apply for financial aid for the subsequent year if returning to UNC-CH for further course work after study abroad.

Veterans Administration Educational Benefits

Students eligible to receive VA educational benefits should contact the Veterans Certifying Official in the Office of the University Registrar, Suite 3100, SASB North prior to their departure in order to ensure payments of benefits while absent from the University.


Description of Program: Burch Field Research Seminar; Honors Study Abroad

Classification of Student: Normal school, class, and major. Spec Prog= YAP

Tuition and Fee Payment:Pay fee to Study Abroad Office.

Enrollment Count:Counted in head count. Not counted in FTE.

Registration Process: Initially registered for a BFRS or YAP course with 12-15 hours credit then changed to UNC numbered courses, or a combination of TREQ hours and UNC courses.