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Navigating/At a Glance

Navigating IDEA’s in Action

Ideas in action graphic

First-Year Foundations

If you enter Carolina in your first year, you will need to meet all five of these requirements. The first four courses must be taken in your first two semesters. If you transfer to Carolina, you may be exempt from completing three of these requirements.

First-Year Thriving *1FY-THRIVE
First-Year Seminars & Launches *3FY-SEMINAR, FY-LAUNCH
Triple-I: Ideas, Information, & Inquiry *4FY-TRIPLE
Writing at the Research University,
ENGL 105/105i
Global Language3 to 4GLBL-LANG

* Transfer students with at least 24 hours of transfer credit are exempt from these requirements.

Focus Capacities

To build upon your First Year Foundations, you will need to take courses to meet each of the following nine Focus Capacities. A course can only be used to meet one Focus Capacity. If there is more than one option for a course, you will need to choose which Focus Capacity you want to fulfill.

* You will also need to take an Empirical Investigation Lab that is associated with one of your nine Focus Capacity courses.

Reflection & Integration

To put your learning into action both inside and outside the classroom, you will need to complete these five Reflection and Integration requirements before you graduate.

RequirementCreditsGen Ed Attribute
Research & Discovery1 to 3RESEARCH
High-Impact Experience
Study Abroad
Service Learning
Undergraduate Learning Assistant
Lifetime Fitness1LIFE-FIT
Communication Beyond Carolina3COMMBEYOND
Campus Life experienceN/ACAMPUS-EXP

Disciplinary Distribution

All students must take at least one general education course in each of the three major divisions of the College of Arts and Sciences:

  1. Humanities and Fine Arts
  2. Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  3. Social and Behavioral Sciences

The courses may come from any of these requirements:

  • FY-Seminar/FY-Launch
  • Focus Capacity
  • Research and Discovery
  • High Impact Experience

Supplemental Education

For a BA degree, you will also need to fulfill the Supplemental Education requirement by doing one of the following:

  • Complete a second major
  • Complete a minor
  • Complete three courses numbered above 199 in a department outside your major

Overlapping Courses

Some courses may be used to fulfill more than one General Education requirement.

A course that fulfillsMay also fulfill one or more of the following
FY-Seminar or FY-Launch
  • Focus Capacity
  • Research and Discovery
  • High-Impact Experience
Focus Capacity
  • FY-Seminar
  • FY-Launch
  • Research and Discovery
  • High-Impact Experience
  • Communication Beyond Carolina
Research and Discovery
  • FY-Seminar
  • FY-Launch
  • Focus Capacity
  • Communication Beyond Carolina
High-Impact Experience
  • FY-Seminar
  • FY-Launch
  • Focus Capacity
  • Communication Beyond Carolina
Communication Beyond Carolina
  • Focus Capacity
  • Research and Discovery
  • High-Impact Experience

Information for Transfer Students

If you applied to UNC as a transfer student, there are a few elements of the IDEAs in Action curriculum that will be different for you.

If you transferred to UNC with…You are exempt from…
At least 24 hours of transfer credit
  • First-Year Seminar/First-Year Launch
  • Ideas, Information, and Inquiry
  • College Thriving
An AA or AS degree from a North Carolina Community CollegeAll IDEAs in Action requirements, except:
  • Global Language
  • Research and Discovery
  • Lifetime Fitness
  • Communication Beyond Carolina
  • Campus Life Experience (for the semesters at UNC)

Degree Requirements

In addition to the IDEAs in Action curriculum, to complete a degree at UNC-Chapel Hill you must also complete:

  • Requirements for a major
  • Supplemental education – for BA degrees only
  • At least 120 credits
  • At least a 2.000 cumulative grade point average
  • A minimum of 45 credits earned from UNC-Chapel Hill courses

A list of majors, minors, and their requirements are available in the Undergraduate Catalog.