Office of Admissions
Undergraduate BulletinOffice of Admissions
Programs of Study
The UNCSA college division is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees and an Undergraduate Arts Certificate. UNCSA is one of the 17 constituent campuses of the University of North Carolina. The undergraduate curriculum includes majors in dance, design and production, drama, filmmaking, and music. Students in these majors may enroll in a program that leads to a bachelor’s degree or an undergraduate arts certificate in dance, drama or music.
Applicants applying to the bachelor’s degree program must meet the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ academic requirements, as well as the Minimum Course Requirements (MCRs) and Minimum Admissibility Requirements (MARs) of the University of North Carolina. Applicants for the undergraduate division must submit official proof of high school graduation or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED).
All freshman and sophomore college students MUST reside in housing provided by the School for a minimum of two years. All college students are automatically assigned housing and the meal plan unless they are assigned to the Center Stage Apartment complex. A student who has turned or will turn 21 within the Fall semester of the academic year, is married or living with a dependent, domiciled with family who lives within a 25-mile radius of the campus at the time of their enrollment, a second-year college student who graduated from the UNCSA’s high school program, a student classified as a college junior or college senior, or is a special student, may apply to live off campus.
The Housing Review Board will hear appeals from college students who are required to live on campus and may grant exemptions in cases of medical, psychological or other highly exceptional reasons. This board meets at the end of each semester and mid-August to hear appeals for the subsequent semester.
Academic Requirements for Undergraduate Candidates
All applicants must pass their audition/interview and submit a valid SAT or ACT score. In addition, students must satisfy both the Minimum Course Requirements (MCRs) and Minimum Admissibility Requirements (MARs) outlined by the University of North Carolina.
Minimum Course Requirements (MCRs) of the University of North Carolina:
ENGLISH -- four (4) course units emphasizing grammar, composition and literature;
MATHEMATICS -- three (3) course units including Algebra 1, Algebra II and Geometry, or a higher-level mathematics course for which Algebra II is a prerequisite, or integrated Math I, II and III;
SCIENCE -- three (3) course units including one unit in physical science (physical science, chemistry, physics), one unit in life or biological science and at least one (1) laboratory course;
SOCIAL STUDIES -- two (2) course units, including one (1) U.S. History -- an applicant who does not have the unit in U.S. History may be admitted on the condition that at least three (3) semester hours in that subject are passed by the end of the sophomore year; and
FOREIGN LANGUAGE – two (2) course units in the same language other than English.
It is recommended that prospective degree applicants take a mathematics course unit in the 12th grade.
Minimum Admissions Requirements (MARs) of the University of North Carolina:
All applicants for first-time admission as freshmen must achieve either a minimum 2.5-weighted high school grade point average (GPA) or a minimum SAT of 1010 or ACT of 19.
A. The SAT score scale on which this minimum standard is based is the sum of the critical reading and mathematics subtests, a sum that has a possible range of 400-1600. The ACT score scale on which this minimum standard is based is the average (rounded to the nearest whole number) of the four subtests, and the possible range is 1-36.
B. The test score minimum may be met by a “superscore,” defined as a combination of subtests from more than one administration of the same test. However, the SAT scores may not be calculated by conversion of ACT scores, or vice versa.
Please note that these are minimum GPA and test scores in effect for all constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina, as outlined by the Board of Governors. Individual art schools and programs at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) may set minimums that exceed those listed here. Please consult the individual art schools for additional information.
Due to the impact of COVID-19 on test availability, the UNC Board of Governors waived the standardized test requirement for first-year students applying for admission in Fall 2023.
Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Music Degrees
The BFA program in Dance is a four-year program offering specialization in ballet or contemporary dance. For specific course information, please refer to the Dance section of this Bulletin.
The BFA program in Design and Production is a four-year program offering specialization in costume design and technology, lighting, scene design, scene painting, scenic technology, sound design, stage management, stage properties, or wig and makeup design. For specific course information, please refer to the Design and Production section of this Bulletin.
The BFA program in Drama is a four-year program offering specialization in acting and a directing option beginning in the third year. Transfer students must have the equivalent of the first two years of actor training. For specific course information, please refer to the Drama section of this Bulletin.
The BFA program in Filmmaking is a four-year program offering specialization in animation, cinematography, directing, picture editing & sound design, producing, production design & visual effects and screenwriting. For specific course information, please refer to the Filmmaking section of this Bulletin.
The BM program is a four-year program offering specialization in bassoon, cello, clarinet, composition, double bass, flute, guitar, harp, horn, oboe, organ, piano, percussion, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, tuba and euphonium, viola, violin, or voice. For specific course information, please refer to the Music section of this Bulletin.
Undergraduate Arts Certificate
The Undergraduate Arts Certificate program in Dance is a four-year, college-level program offering specialization in ballet or contemporary dance. Students take the same dance curriculum as those enrolled in the BFA program, but have no liberal arts coursework requirements.
The Undergraduate Arts Certificate program in Music is a two-year, college-level program offering specialization in bassoon, cello, clarinet, composition, double bass, flute, guitar, harp, horn, oboe, organ, piano, percussion, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, tuba and euphonium, viola, violin, or voice. For specific course information, please refer to the Music section of this Bulletin. No liberal arts coursework is required.
Undergraduate students who wish to transfer from other institutions of higher education must comply with the School’s audition and entrance requirements. Academic college courses carrying a grade of “C” or better may be considered for transfer credit, by the Division of Liberal Arts. Credit for academic courses in which the student has earned at least a “C” at another accredited college, and which are equivalent to specific UNCSA academic courses, may be transferred to the UNCSA record.
Upon enrollment in the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, an undergraduate transfer student is placed at the appropriate arts instruction level by the relevant arts school. The School makes every effort to place the student at the arts level that best reflects his or her proficiency at the time of admission. Upon placement, the student proceeds through the remaining sequence of arts courses, regardless of age or academic level.
International applicants should plan on applying no later than March 1 of the year they intend to enroll in the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
- Applicants must submit the application and application fee along with the documentation outlined by each department.
- Applicants must audition and/or interview.
- Transcripts MUST be translated to English with both a credential evaluation and GPA equivalent from a certifying agency. Transcripts from each high school/secondary and post-secondary schools attended must be sent to the certifying agency for evaluation and certification. Approved agencies can be found at www.naces.org or www.aice-eval.org.
- Courses in which the applicant is enrolled at the time of application must accompany the application.
- College applicants for whom English is not the primary language must submit an official TOEFL test score with a minimum score of 79 internet-based, 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based or an IELTS test score with a minimum of 6.5 or a Duolingo test score with a minimum of 100.
- Undergraduate applicants currently enrolled in American schools may substitute the SAT or ACT score; however, if the verbal score is insufficient, the Admissions Committee may request that the applicant submit an official TOEFL score.
- If accepted to UNCSA, applicants who are transferring from a college or university in the United States must supply a copy of his or her current I-20 and visa to the Office of Admissions.
- If accepted to UNCSA, applicants must fill out a Financial Statement Form and supply a bank statement or a certificate of finance proving sufficient funds to cover all educational and personal expenses while studying at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. The statement must be translated into English and detail the amount of U.S. dollars on account. A bank official must notarize the certificate.
- The Office of Admissions completes the I-20 paperwork only after an applicant has been accepted and paid his or her advanced tuition and housing deposit. I-20 paperwork will show the anticipated length of study of the applicant’s chosen program of study.
- All international applicants must obtain an F-1 visa prior to enrollment.
- International applicants are not eligible for state or federal financial aid.
- Health insurance is required of every student.
English Language Proficiency Requirement
The ability to read, write, speak, and understand the English language is vital for success at UNCSA. In order to ensure this success, the institution requires all students whose first language is not English, regardless of the applicant’s citizenship status or permanent residency in the United States, to satisfy the English Language Proficiency Requirement. UNCSA does not accept non-native English speakers below a certain level of proficiency.
Undergraduate program applicants to UNCSA can fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of three ways:
1. Submit official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores at or above the following minimum scores
|TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Home Edition||79|
|Duolingo English Test||100|
The TOEFL institution code for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is 5512
2. Students who have completed 3 years of education in a US secondary school, and have an anticipated graduation date from that school, may submit official SAT or ACT scores at or above the minimums listed below. A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required. In addition to domestic schools, US schools located throughout the world and either assisted or officially endorsed by the US Department of State will also satisfy this requirement.
|SAT: Evidence-Based Reading & Writing (ERW)||540|
|ACT: English Language Arts (ELA)||21|
The UNCSA code for submitting SAT scores electronically is 5512.
3. Transfer students can fulfill the English language proficiency requirement by submitting evidence of coursework at a US institution if ALL of the following apply:
- Enter with an associate’s degree, or at least 60 semester credits from another U.S. higher education institution;
- Earned a 2.75 or higher overall grade point average (GPA);
- Completed 6 semester credits in core Liberal Arts courses such as Humanities, English, Writing, or Composition with a combined GPA of 3.0 or higher.
The university reserves the right to request TOEFL or IELTS scores in cases where the admissions office determines that more information regarding an applicant's English language proficiency is needed.
UNCSA provides ESL assistance for undergraduate students whose first language is not English. The mission of the ESL Program is to assist non-native English speakers in their transition to the college classroom and to provide the tools and support necessary for success. In order for the ESL Program to make placement decisions all students whose first language is not English are required to take the Comprehensive English Language Test (CELT).
The applicant who wishes to enter as a special student should follow the regular admissions process.
Students Returning to UNCSA to Complete a BFA or BM
A student with a UNCSA GPA of 2.0 or higher in Liberal Arts courses who is seeking to complete a BFA or BM within seven years of his or her last enrollment may transfer in the remaining required credits, provided that he or she received a grade of C or higher in each transferable course from a regionally accredited college or university.
A student who has completed the Arts Diploma or Arts Certificate and satisfactorily completed all general education requirements with a GPA of 2.0 or higher, but was unable to graduate with a BFA or BM due to low SAT or ACT test scores, outstanding high school minimum course requirements, or unreported test scores may apply for readmission once she or he reaches the age of 24. In these cases, the student must enroll at UNCSA for a minimum of 6 credit hours of coursework in Liberal Arts courses and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA in these courses from the date of readmission.
The UNCSA Forgiveness Policy is a mechanism through which a student who has completed all arts course requirements was awarded the Arts Diploma or Arts Certificate but has not satisfactorily completed the general education requirements toward a BFA or BM with a GPA of 2.0 or higher can return to UNCSA to complete the degree. The Forgiveness Policy defines pertinent parameters and procedures, including the situations in which such completion can be undertaken, the work that must be accomplished, and the minimum standards of achievement.
In order to use the forgiveness policy a returning student must meet the following criteria:
- The student may not have been enrolled at UNCSA within the last 24 consecutive months.
- The student must contact the Dean of the Division of Liberal Arts to discuss the terms of his or her return. As part of this discussion, the student must present a “course enrollment plan” that details how the remaining degree requirements will be realistically fulfilled. This course enrollment plan will become part of the Application for Readmission submitted through the Office of Admissions.
- A student who has been enrolled at another regionally accredited college or university since his or her last enrollment at UNCSA must submit official transcripts to the Office of Admissions along with the Application for Readmission indicating that a minimum cumulative 2.0 average has been earned in all courses attempted.
- The student will re-enter UNCSA as degree- seeking, but will be placed on probation with continuation in the program conditional on maintaining a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA in Liberal Arts courses taken after the date of readmission.
- The student will follow the Liberal Arts course requirements for the degree that are in place at the time of readmission and not when the student was last enrolled.
- A student who returns to UNCSA under the Forgiveness Policy will not be permitted to take Arts courses.
- The student must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours at UNCSA, which may be taken over a maximum period of two semesters. The student must take a minimum of 6 credit hours each semester and maintain a 2 .5 average over the 12 credits to be eligible to graduate.
- In some cases, the student may have more than 12 credit hours remaining to complete the general education requirements for the degree. In these cases the student may take the remaining required credit hours at UNCSA, and must maintain a 2.5 GPA to graduate. Alternately, the student may request the Dean of Liberal Arts review credits in which a C or better was earned at a regionally accredited college or university for possible transfer toward the UNCSA degree requirements. Applicable transfer credit will be applied only after the student has reached a cumulative GPA of 2.5 in required Liberal Arts courses upon his or her return to UNCSA.
- Upon establishing the requisite cumulative 2.5 GPA over the minimum 12 credits, any Liberal Arts courses taken at UNCSA prior to readmission in which the student earned below a C- will be excluded from the UNCSA cumulative GPA calculation (the GPA that includes all arts and liberal arts classes taken at UNCSA). While these courses will be excluded for GPA calculation purposes, they will nonetheless remain on the student’s transcript, as they are part of the calculation of attempted hours. The student will retain credit for those courses in which a passing grade was earned. Finally, before the degree can be granted, the student’s UNCSA cumulative GPA must meet the current graduation minimum for the appropriate Art School as published in the Bulletin under which the student re-enrolls at UNCSA.
- A student may only use the Forgiveness Policy to reapply once. Failure to achieve and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 GPA in Liberal Arts courses completed after the date of return will result in dismissal.
A student who returns to UNCSA under the Forgiveness Policy may be eligible for financial aid if his or her prior coursework at UNCSA meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy currently in force. A student interested in pursuing financial aid should provide the Financial Aid Office with a “course enrollment plan” showing that she or he can complete his or her program within the maximum time-frame allowed by SAP.
Advanced Standing for Undergraduate Students through Placement Tests
Undergraduate students may qualify for advanced standing or credit through placement tests. A student who participated in the Advanced Placement® (AP) Program of the College Board may have his/her record considered for advanced standing or credit or both in the college program when a score of three (3) or above has been achieved on an Advanced Placement exam.
College Level Examination Program® (CLEP) test scores in areas that correspond to courses in the UNCSA curriculum also may be presented for evaluation for possible credit. Credit for CLEP tests is available only to students with freshman or sophomore standing and is considered inappropriate for more advanced students. UNCSA will only consider credit for such tests that have been completed prior to the beginning of the junior year.
International Baccalaureate® Diploma students may have their records considered for advanced standing or credit in the college program with a minimum score of five (5) or higher on the official IB exam for each subject. Credit awarded will vary for higher-level or standard-level subjects.
Cambridge International Certificate® AS Level, A Level, or AICE Level examinations at scores of C or higher will be awarded course credit. UNCSA recognizes Cambridge qualifications for admission, as well as awards credit and advanced standing placement.
Application and Admissions Procedures
Guidelines for applying to the undergraduate program vary. Applicants should follow the guidelines provided with the application. Applicants must submit the following:
- A fully completed application signed by the applicant, and a parent if under the age of 18 at the time of application, along with the nonrefundable application fee.
- Applicants who submit the online application must complete the application agreement statement, complete all required information, sign the application agreement statement (parent signature is required if the applicant is under the age of 18 at the time of application) and upload the documentation to the Office of Admissions.
- Two letters of recommendation, preferably one from an arts instructor and one from an academic instructor
- Official transcript(s) and test scores of high school or previous college work. Transcripts are needed from each school attended. The documents must bear the school seal or signature of a school official. Each applicant to a college program must present proof of high school graduation or receipt of a General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
- SAT or ACT score(s)
- A resumé
- Artistic Statement
- Required application documents, as needed by conservatory
Admission to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is based on demonstrated talent, achievement and career potential. Faculty members of the school to which the applicant is applying assess these areas at the audition and/or interview. The dean and faculty of each school set performance standards and levels of achievement for their professional training program.
Specific audition/interview dates, instructions and information are provided with the Application for Admission and are available from the Office of Admissions. Auditions and interviews are scheduled on the University of North Carolina School of the Arts campus in Winston-Salem and at selected locations throughout the United States.
Applicants who pass the audition and have been accepted by the Admissions Review Committee into the BFA, BM programs or Undergraduate Arts Certificate will be notified by letter of their acceptance.
Wait List Policies
The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) places students recommended for acceptance on a wait list when enrollment capacity has been reached at the art school of the student’s choice. If they need financial assistance, students should follow financial aid application procedures as indicated by the Office of Student Financial Aid. Students on the wait list will be notified by the Office of Admissions with an official letter of acceptance if an opening becomes available. At the time their admissions status changes, students should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to discuss their financial aid status. Wait lists will be in effect until the start of classes.