Online and Distance Education

You can be a Tar Heel from all over the world through a growing selection of online graduate programs and undergraduate classes, as well as a variety of additional distance ed credit or noncredit offerings from professional schools or UNC-Chapel Hill Digital and Lifelong Learning.

A man types on a laptop.

Of the public, for the public – in North Carolina and beyond

At its core, and fundamental to its future, Carolina is “of the public, for the public.” Historically, distance and continuing education has been a foundational part of this mission, serving as the “Gateway to Carolina” for the community. Looking ahead, this service mindset drives UNC-Chapel Hill’s planning via its strategic plan, Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good.

Online and distance education look very different than they did even one year ago, but they are still ultimately about the students. We’re working to extend Carolina learning opportunities to those who might not otherwise have access, removing barriers to a great education. Along the way, we’re bringing the best of current standards and emerging trends to our online offerings.

We hope you’ll join us.

Facts & Figures

  • 18online degree programs
  • 66,750enrollments in online courses (2019-2020 academic year)
  • 4,315sections offered online (2019-2020 academic year)
  • 46departments/programs with online courses (2019-2020 academic year)
  • 539instructors teaching online courses (2019-2020 academic year)

Fall 2021 Online Courses

To support students as they make degree progress, the University continues to provide limited online course options for undergraduate students who need to attend remotely. We have carefully selected a range of courses that are likely to help most undergraduate students, and we will reserve seats for those students who have been identified as needing this flexibility before opening registration to all students.

View Fall 2021 online courses

Graduate Level Online Programs

Eshelman School of Pharmacy

Graduate School

Kenan-Flagler Business School

School of Government

School of Media and Journalism

School of Information and Library Science

School of Public Health

  • Certificate in Community Preparedness and Disaster Management
  • Certificate in Core Public Health Concepts
  • Certificate in Field Epidemiology
  • Certificate in Global Health
  • Certificate in Occupational Health Nursing
  • Certificate in Public Health Leadership
  • Executive DrPH in Health Leadership
  • Master’s in Health Administration in Public Health Policy and Management
  • Master’s in Public Health in Public Health Leadership
  • Master’s in Public Health in Public Health Policy and Management

Allied Health Sciences

  • Master of Clinical Laboratory Science
  • Master’s in Radiologic Science
  • Transitional Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy

Programs at other UNC institutions

Visit online.northcarolina.edu for current information about all online academic programs offered through the University of North Carolina System.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is a voluntary 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 (NC-SARA) and administered by four regional education compacts.

North Carolina is a member state of SARA, through the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). UNC-Chapel Hill is a participating institution of SARA and authorized to offer distance education courses and programs to students located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

Student Complaints about Delivery of Distance Education

Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act includes regulations regarding the delivery of distance education to out-of-state residents. The United States Department of Education requires that institutions comply with any applicable state approval or educational requirements in each state to which distance education instruction is delivered.

Students have the right to file a complaint against an institution when these requirements are not followed or regarding the loss of tuition and fees as a result of unfair business practices. Institutions must provide both current and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting body and the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in a student’s resident state.

Examples of consumer protection complaints for SARA purposes include, but are not limited to:

  • Accuracy of recruitment and marketing materials;
  • Accuracy of job placement data;
  • Accuracy of information about tuition, fees and financial aid;
  • Complete and accurate admission requirements for courses and programs;
  • Accuracy of information about the institution’s accreditation and/or any programmatic/specialized accreditation held by the institution’s programs;
  • Accuracy of information about whether course work meets any relevant professional licensing requirements or the requirements of specialized accrediting bodies;
  • Accuracy of information about whether the institution’s course work will transfer to other institutions; and
  • Operation of distance education programs consistent with practices expected by institutional accreditors (and, if applicable, programmatic/specialized accreditors) and/or the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C‐RAC) Guidelines for distance education.

If you have a complaint about UNC-Chapel Hill’s distance education programs and the issue could not be resolved internally, read more and learn about options and resources related to student complaints about delivery of distance education.