First-Year Admission - Course Requirements

To be considered for admission to UNCW, first-year applicants must meet minimum course requirements (MCR) established by the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina System. Any student not meeting MCR will not be considered for admission. If you have questions about a course fulfilling a requirement in a MCR category, please consult your high school counselor and/or contact the Office of Admissions. The minimum course requirements are typically consistent with NC public school graduation requirements. Please review the following to ensure that you have met the minimum course requirements:

  • Four (4) Course Units of English
    Emphasizing grammar, composition and literature.
  • Two (2) Course Units of the Same Foreign Language
    Two consecutive units of the same foreign language. American Sign Language (ASL) does fulfill the foreign language requirement in North Carolina.
  • Four (4) Course Units of Mathematics
    Including algebra I, geometry, algebra II, and a fourth mathematics course for which algebra II was the prerequisite (typically, this may include pre-calculus, advanced functions and modeling, discrete math, college algebra, an AP- or IB-level calculus or statistics course, etc.).

Please note that any students in North Carolina attending a public school must take a specific fourth math (from the list below) to meet this requirement. For any students in North Carolina attending a nonpublic school, as well as all out-of-state students, the fourth math must be comparable to one of the courses listed below or it must be approved by the Office of Admissions.

    • Algebra I and II, Geometry, and one unit beyond Algebra II,
    • Algebra I and II, and two united beyond Algebra II, or
    • Integrated Math I, II, and III, and one unit beyond Integrated Math III.
    • An acceptable course beyond Algebra II can include, but is not limited:
      • Pre-calculus
      • Calculus (1, 2, AB, BC)
      • Statistics
      • Advanced Functions and Modeling (AFM)
      • Discrete Math
      • Math IV
      • Integrated Math IV
      • Algebra III/Statistics
      • Algebra III/Trigonometry (must be the combo course)
      • College Algebra
      • Math Analysis
      • Bridges Math
      • Any others: please be sure to contact our office or speak with your high school counselor.
  • Two (2) Course Units of Social Studies
    Including at least one course unit of United States history.
  • Three (3) Course Units of Science
    Including at least one course unit of a physical or chemical science (chemistry, physics, physical science, etc.), and one course unit of a life or biological science (biology, oceanography, anatomy and physiology, etc.). At least one course unit must contain a laboratory portion.


Meeting MCR does not guarantee admission to UNCW; most first-year students successful in gaining admission to the university go well beyond these requirements. The admissions committee strongly encourages you to take courses beyond the MCR which will allow you to be most academically successful.

Home School Students

Home-schooled students must submit a transcript that is signed by the School Administrator. Detailed course descriptions are not necessary. If more information is needed about a course, the student will be contacted.  For enrollment, the final transcript indicating graduation will need to be notarized .