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Foundations Requirements

(13 - 18 hours)

Foundations courses develop the ability to communicate effectively both in English and another language; to apply quantitative reasoning skills in the context of college courses; and to develop habits that will lead to a healthy life.

The Foundations section of the General Education curriculum includes courses in English composition and rhetoric, at least one foreign language (through level 3), and quantitative reasoning. It also includes a lifetime fitness course that encourages the lifelong health of graduates. Students must maintain continuous enrollment, beginning in the first semester, in Foundations foreign language courses until the requirement is satisfied; they must complete the composition and rhetoric course during the first academic year.

English Composition and Rhetoric (3 hours)

Beginning in fall 2012, all entering first-year, first-time students at the University must complete, or transfer in, ENGL 105 or 105I, the Composition and Rhetoric (CR) requirement. ENGL 105 introduces students to several disciplinary contexts for written work and oral presentations required in college courses, whereas ENGL 105I introduces students to one specific disciplinary context - natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, law, business, or medicine - for such writtten and oral assignments.

  • Students must complete the CR Foundations requirement during the first academic year on campus.
  • Transfer students who have not completed the CR Foundations requirement are strongly urged to register for ENGL 105 during their first semester at Carolina.
  • Exempting the course on the basis of national examination scores is not possible.
  • Transfer students have the option of completing a portfolio of written work that will be evaluated by instructors in the Department of English and Comparative Literature to receive credit for ENGL 105; for additional information see the Department of English and Comparative Literature.
  • If placement scores or the portfolio indicate a need for instruction and practice in preparation for ENGL 105, students will be required to pass ENGL 100 before taking ENGL 105.
  • Any student whose native language is not English will be required to complete ENGL 105; however, the student may be permitted to waive, without credit, the foreign language Foundations requirement up to or through level 4.

Foreign Language (6-8 hours)

The study of a foreign language (FL) enables students to see more clearly the nature and structure of their native language while also gaining an understanding of a different culture. All students must complete level 3 of a foreign language, and continuous enrollment beginning in the first semester is required until the foreign language requirement is completed.

Placement in a foreign language is determined by the student's score on the SAT Subject Test, the AP Test, or the appropriate placement test administered by a UNC-Chapel Hill department.

  • Students who place beyond level 3 are considered to have satisfied this requirement. Certain majors may require additional levels of foreign language study.
  • Students who place into level 1 of the language studied in high school (and who continue study in that language) must complete level 3 but will not receive credit toward graduation for level 1, with the exceptions of Japanese and Modern Hebrew.
  • Successful completion of ENGL 105 satisfies the foreign language requirement for non-native speakers of English.

Quantitative Reasoning (3 hours)

Through the study of quantitative reasoning and methods (QR), students acquire and reinforce the ability to use analytic and quantitative ideas in both theoretical and applied contexts. All students must complete one core mathematical sciences course that helps them to develop skills and understand concepts in mathematics, data analysis, computing, probability or modeling. Suitable courses include basic courses in calculus, statistics, and finite mathematics.

Some majors require specific courses that have MATH 110 (Algebra) credit or placement as a prerequisite, but the quantitative reasoning requirement also can be met with courses that do not have a MATH 110 prerequisite. Placement in or exemption from some courses is based on scores on the AP Calculus (AB or BC) Test and SAT Subject Test in Mathematics, Level 1 or Level 2.

Lifetime Fitness (1 hour)

All students must complete one lifetime fitness (LF) course. This course combines the practice of a sport or physical activity with instruction in life-long health. The course carries one hour of graded academic credit that counts toward graduation and in determining a student's full-time status in the semester in which the course is taken. Only one lifetime fitness course can be taken during a student's career at the University, but it may be taken on a Pass/D+/D/Fail basis. [With the exception of PHYA 998 and 999, physical activity (PHYA) courses do not meet the Lifetime Fitness requirement.]