Colleges usually have minimum admissions requirements for GPA, test scores, and course curriculum. This means that in order to be considered for admissions, you must have a GPA equal to or above a certain number (on the 4.0 scale), SAT or ACT test scores at or above a specified score, and you must have taken certain classes in high school.Here are policies for the three main sectors of higher education in North Carolina:

University of North Carolina Campuses (16 Campuses)

    • Minimum High School GPA: 2.5
    • Minimum combined SAT score: 880 (800 old)
    • Minimum ACT score: 17
    • Minimum Course Requirements:
          • 4 course units of English (grammar, composition, and literature)
          • 2 units of foreign language
          • 4 units of high school math (several courses qualify)
          • 3 units in science (including biology, physical science, and one lab course)
          • 2 units in social studies (including one in U.S. history)

Each campus may have additional requirements, and certain majors may set higher or different standards for scores, grades, and required coursework.

North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities

Entrance requirements for North Carolina’s 36 independent colleges and universities vary among institutions. Prospective students should contact the admissions office at individual colleges and universities to determine specific entrance requirements. Additional information is available on the colleges’ websites. Use CFNC’s College Search to locate independent North Carolina colleges and universities, and visit their websites, by clicking the button below.

Postsecondary NC Schools

Open Door Admissions Policy for the North Carolina Community College System

The colleges of the North Carolina Community College System maintain an “Open Door” admissions policy. This policy provides for the admission of any persons who are 18 or over or who have attained a high school diploma or its equivalent (GED). Admission to a college does not imply admission to all programs of study as selected programs have limited enrollment. For more information, contact the admission office at the college where you wish to apply.

Applicants 18 or older who do not have a high school diploma or GED may enroll in classes leading to a high school equivalency (GED) certificate or an Adult High School diploma.

Average Test Score and GPA of Incoming Freshmen

While the minimum requirements for colleges are important to know, most admitted freshmen have much higher GPAs and test scores. Knowing the average GPA and test score range for incoming freshmen can help you determine whether you have a good chance of getting into a particular school. The average GPA and test score range for 2017 incoming freshmen at UNC Charlotte, for example, is:

High School Grade Point Average:

            • 3.8–4.5 weighted
            • 3.2–3.7 unweighted

SAT score:

            • 1130–1280

ACT score:

            • 22–27

You can find average test score and GPA information for most colleges by looking it up online (try searching for the school’s average GPA, test scores, or class profile) or by contacting the university. Remember that these averages are just that—averages, not minimum requirements—so if one of your numbers is below the average, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get in. It just means the other parts of your application (essay, GPA, test scores, extracurriculars) will have to be strong enough to balance it out.