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In a curricular context, a concentration is generally a collection of 3-4 courses (or requirements) that focus on a specific subfield (usually optional); a track is a unique set of requirements for a major (usually required); an emphasis is somewhere in the middle. However, all three are approved and administered in the same way. For the purposes of this Web site, we will use the term “concentration.” The name of the concentration appears on a student’s academic record (i.e., transcript, but not diploma). Concentrations do not need approval from the UNC System.

Submission Process

The academic department/unit sponsoring the concentration must submit the following materials:

  1. Departmental memo (on letterhead, signed by the chair), including a brief statement (several paragraphs) of the goals and rationale of the concentration, evidence of demand for the concentration and anticipated enrollment, student advising strategy for planning and completing the concentration, and a list of majors or minors (if any) whose students should be prohibited from electing this concentration, either due to significant overlap of course requirements or to proximity of subject matter.
  2. Undergraduate Catalog text with a summary of the requirements.
  3. If the requirements include courses from other departments/units, the proposal should include letters of support from the department chair(s).

A few tips and reminders:

  • Confer with the relevant Senior Associate Dean prior to developing your proposal.
  • Courses must be approved and in the ConnectCarolina course inventory to be included in the proposal. If you recently submitted the course for approval, please mark the course “pending approval.”
  • Consult widely, particularly for interdisciplinary minors.

Proposals for new programs may be submitted at any time, but departments/curricula are encouraged to submit materials in the fall semester to allow enough time for review and revision before the Undergraduate Catalog is finalized for the next academic year. Please see the specific submission deadlines for the Program Committee meetings.

Send all materials to the Curriculum Director in the Office of Undergraduate Curricula.

Approval and Notification Process

Proposal is reviewed by the Office of Undergraduate Curricula. If changes are needed or clarification required, the department /curricula will be contacted. The Office of Undergraduate Curricula will also review proposal drafts and/or consult with departments/curricula during the planning process.

  1. Proposal and all supporting documents are sent to members of the Program Committee for review and approval. A representative from the department/curricula will be invited to the Program Committee meeting to provide an overview and respond to questions. Attending the meeting is not required.
  2. If approved, the proposal and all supporting documents are sent to members of the Administrative Boards for review and approval.
  3. The department/curricula is notified of the Administrative Board’s decision by letter. If the committee requires additional information, the Office of Undergraduate Curricula will notify the department/curricula.
  4. The Office of Undergraduate Curricula notifies the Academic Advising Office (worksheets) and the Office of the University Registrar (Tar Heel Tracker degree audit).
  5. The Office of the University Registrar sends an implementation memo when the new program code(s) have been added to ConnectCarolina.
  6. In coordination with the Office of Undergraduate Curricula, the department/curricula will update the next edition of the Undergraduate Catalog.

Requirements for Concentrations

For a list of all majors, see the Undergraduate Catalog.

The total number of credit hours of the major cannot change when a concentration is added. For requirements and limitations that apply to all undergraduate majors, see below.

From the Undergraduate Catalog:

The following requirements and limitations apply to all undergraduate academic majors at the University:

  • Unless specifically prohibited by departments or curricula, major or minor courses may be used to satisfy General Education requirements.
  • Courses in a student’s major academic unit, or specifically required by the major, including foreign language courses, electives, and any additional required courses (or any courses cross-listed with such required courses) may not be declared a Pass/Fail course.
  • Although a specific grade point average in the major is not required, a minimum of 18 hours of C or better (C- does not qualify) in the major core is required. Certain majors require 21 hours of C or better grades in the major core.
  • Students transferring credits in their major field must earn a grade of C (not C-) or better in at least three-fourths of those courses and credit hours in the major that are taken at UNC–Chapel Hill. Courses taken on a study abroad program through the UNC Study Abroad Office may receive TREQ credit; TREQ credit contributes to the hours of C in the major.
  • All students, including students transferring from another institution, must take at least half of their major course requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill.
  • Some majors require a gateway course that must be taken first, before enrolling in any other courses that satisfy the core requirements in the major. Students must earn a grade of C or better (C- does not qualify) in the gateway course. Unless otherwise noted, the gateway course is not counted in the hours of C in the major core.
  • No more than two courses (six to eight credit hours) of BE credit may be used as part of the major core.