UNC Core Certificate

The UNC Core Certificate program is a curriculum of UNC-Chapel Hill distance courses designed to fulfill general education requirements needed for entry into a degree completion program. Credit is granted and a certificate is awarded through the College of Arts and Sciences at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Some courses are offered on a semester basis while others can be started at any time and do not operate on a semester schedule.

Another option offered by the UNC Core is a selection of individual courses that fulfill general education requirements and that can be taken from a distance through seven participating University of North Carolina institutions. If you are not sure which option is better for you, contact the UNC Core military academic advisor or your base education officer.

Certificate Requirements

In order to be admitted to the UNC Core Certificate program:

    • you must be on active duty in the United States armed forces, an honorably discharged veteran of the United States armed forces, or a National Guard or Reserve member;
    • you cannot already hold a baccalaureate degree;
  • you must have either graduated from high school or completed the General Education Diploma (GED);

As a UNC Core Certificate student, you will complete nine courses, earning a total of 27 to 28 academic credit hours in key subject areas. Once admitted to the program, you can work with an academic advisor or your base education officer to make sure you’re selecting the right courses for your degree path.

Category/Requirement Courses/Credit Hours
English Composition 1 course/3 hours
Humanities and Fine Arts
(from at least two different disciplines)
3 courses/9 hours
Social and Behavioral Sciences
(from at least two different disciplines)
3 courses/9 hours
Mathematics 1 course/3 hours
Natural Sciences 1 course/3-4 hours (depending on course/lab)
TOTAL: 9 courses/27-28 credit hours


Course Format Options

Carolina Courses Online (CCO). These are fully online courses that you will complete on a semester schedule in the spring, summer, or fall terms. Classes don’t meet at set times, allowing you to complete coursework on a weekly schedule that works best for you. You will communicate with your classmates and your instructor in various ways, including email, video chat, and discussion forums. In most courses, final exams are taken online or are in the form of a final project.

Self-paced Courses, Online (SPCo). These fully online courses can be started at any time of the year; they are not tied to a semester schedule. You will have up to nine months to complete these courses, with the possibility of requesting an extension if needed.

Self-paced Courses, Correspondence (SPCc). These print-based courses can be started at any time of the year; they are not tied to a semester schedule. Internet access is not needed; you will mail coursework to your professor for grading. You will have up to nine months to complete these courses, with the possibility of requesting an extension if needed.

Certificate Program Course List

Course Options CCO SPCo SPCc
English Composition Requirement
(select one course)
English (ENGL) 105 X
Humanities/Fine Arts
(select 3 courses from at least two different disciplines)*
Art History (ARTH) 151 X
English (ENGL) 128 X
Music (MUSC) 145 X
Philosophy (PHIL) 101 X
Social and Behavioral Sciences
(select 3 courses from at least two different disciplines)
History (HIST) 127 X X X
History (HIST) 128 X X
Political Science (POLI) 100 X
Sociology (SOCI) 101 X
(select 1 course)
MATH 110** X X
MATH 130 X X
MATH 231  X
Natural Sciences
(select 1 course)
Astronomy (ASTR) 101+Lab X
Biology (BIOL) 101 X
Geology (GEOL) 101 X
Psychology (PSYC) 101 X
TOTAL: 9 courses; 27-28 credit hours

* Students with an interest in mathematics and sciences may choose to replace 1 course (3 hours) from the humanities/fine arts category with 1 additional course (3-4 hours) from the mathematics or natural sciences categories. **MATH 110 cannot be used to fulfill a requirement for the UNC Core Certificate, but it is a prerequisite for taking MATH 130, 152, and 231.

Admission Requirements

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will assess each applicant’s capacity to succeed academically in UNC Core and contribute to the University’s mission. 

Applicants are required to submit an official transcript that reflects their graduation from high school or completion of the GED, as well as a copy of their Joint Services Transcript.  For additional information, visit: http://admissions.unc.edu/apply/military-veterans/unc-core-certificate-program/.

Need Additional Help?

Map out your plan with the help of academic advisors, base education services, and University admissions representatives. Click the links below to get started.
UNC Core Academic Advising

UNC Core Academic Advising
Nohemi Ramirez, Military Academic Advisor
UNC-Chapel Hill’s Friday Center for Continuing Education
Email: coreadvising@unc.edu

North Carolina Base Education Centers

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Education Services
Watkins-Das Learning Center
Base Education Services Office
1520 Goodson St, SJAFB
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Education Services Website

U.S. Coast Guard – Atlantic Beach and Elizabeth City, NC Education Services
Education Service Officer
Sector North Carolina DHS/USCG
2301 East Fort Macon Rd
Atlantic Beach, NC 28512-5633

Commanding Officer/ESO
USCG Support Center
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Coast Guard Institute Website

NC National Guard and Air Guard Education Services
NC National Guard Education Services Office (ESO)
Email: ng.nc.ncarng.mbx.education-service-office@mail.mil
North Carolina National Guard Services Website