Distance Education

What Distance Education Offers

UNC-Chapel Hill’s distance education programs, certificates and courses offer students opportunities to participate in the Carolina experience without having to live on or near campus. Courses are offered in completely online, blended (a mix of technology-mediated and face-to-face instruction) or correspondence formats. Students interested in distance education courses, certificates or degree programs can learn more by investigating each program’s website.

Undergraduate Distance Education Courses

Individuals interested in undergraduate courses may enroll in Carolina Courses Online or Self-paced Courses (online or correspondence) through the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education. Carolina Courses Online offers credit-based courses during the fall semester and spring semester and one extended summer session. The courses are completely online; students interact with classmates and their instructor via e-mail and discussion forums. Students who enroll in self-paced courses complete courses at their own pace and enroll for up to nine months at any time of year.

Graduate and Professional Certificates and Degree Programs

Individuals interested in graduate and professional degrees may apply to enroll in a wide range of nationally ranked graduate and professional certificates through Kenan-Flagler Business School, and the schools of Media and Journalism, Nursing, Gillings Global Public Health, Social Work and the Department of Allied Health Sciences in the School of Medicine. Visit the website for each program to learn more.

Search the University Catalog for online/off-campus programs

State authorization and student complaints about delivery of distance education

Read about other UNC system universities’ online programs

NC-SARA Approval

UNC-Chapel Hill distance education programs are approved by the state of North Carolina to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts.