Undergraduate Students

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SILS Undergraduate Handbook

Part I.  Admission

Part II.  Academic Eligibility at SILS

Honor Code
Grading System
Dean's List
Academic Progression and Eligibility Requirements
Underloads and Overloads

Part III.  Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Information Science
Double Majoring at SILS
Electives
Readmission

PART I.  ADMISSION

Undergraduate students who have completed at least the first semester of their sophomore year (i.e., have 45 academic credit hours ) may apply for admission to either the major in information science or the minor in information systems at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS).  Participation is limited, and admission is competitive.  Criteria for admission include the candidate’s academic record, work and extracurricular experience, and substantive thinking about the role of information in society (and, for applicants to the minor, in his or her major field).  Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are sought for the minor.  Level of prior computer experience is not a criterion for admission.  The recommended minimum GPA for admission into the major or minor is 2.5.

Note:  The School does not admit external transfer students; students must already be enrolled at UNC Chapel Hill before applying to SILS.  For information about applying to the university, please consult the UNC-CH Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

To apply for admission to either of the undergraduate programs, students must complete an application.

  • A current résumé, including information about work experience and/or extracurricular activities
  • A brief essay (100–300 words), discussing the role of information (its creation, storage, transmission, and use) in a particular application area or in society at large and the candidate’s reason(s) for pursuing the major in information science or minor in information systems
  • A copy of your UNC transcript

The School admits new students twice per year during the Fall and Spring semesters.  Application deadlines are:

  • October 1
  • March 1

Applications will be available online beginning September 1 and February 1.  

Questions may be addressed to:

Undergraduate Student Services Manager
School of Information and Library Science
100 Manning Hall, CB #3360
sils-ug@ils.unc.edu

T:  (919) 962-0208
F:  (919) 962-8071

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PART II.  ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY AT SILS

Honor Code

All SILS students must follow the University Honor Code. In brief, the Honor Code is a standard of conduct that upholds “high ideals of personal honor and respect for the rights of others.” It requires students to refrain from giving or receiving unauthorized aid on examinations or assignments: cheating and plagiarism are strictly prohibited and punished.  For more information, please consult the Instrument of Student Governance

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Grading System 

UNC’s official grading system is located on the Office of the University Registrar’s website.  Undergraduate students may receive the following grades: A, B, C, D, F. 

Grade points are assigned as follows:

A 4.0   C+ 2.3
A- 3.7   C 2.0
B+ 3.3   C- 1.7
B 3.0   D+ 1.3
B- 2.7   D 1.0
      F 0.0

Grades of AB, FA, IN, PS, and W are assigned as explained below.

AB - Absent from final examination, but could have passed if exam taken. This is a temporary grade that converts to an "F" after the last day class for the next regular semester unless the student makes up the exam.

FA - Failed and absent from exam. The FA grade is given when the undergraduate student did not attend the exam, and could not pass the course regardless of performance on the exam. This would be appropriate for a student that never attended the course or has excessive absences in the course, as well as missing the exam.

IN - Work incomplete. This is a temporary grade that converts to F at the end of eight weeks into the next semester unless the student makes up the incomplete work.

PS - Passing grade for a course using Pass-Fail grading. For undergraduate students who elect to take a class under the PS/D/D+/F option, the instructor must assign the regular appropriate letter grade. Instructors are not informed of which students have elected the Pass-Fail option. The Office of the University Registrar will convert grades of C- or better to PS.

W - Withdrew passing. Entered when a student drops after the six-week drop period.

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Dean’s List

To be eligible for the Dean’s List, students must meet one of the following requirements:

  • A 3.2 grade point average with no grade lower than a C if enrolled in 15 or more hours of academic credit-bearing courses (For students entering prior to Fall 2010)
  • A 3.5 grade point average with no grade lower than a C if enrolled in at least 12 but fewer than 15 hours of academic credit-bearing courses (For students entering prior to Fall 2010)
  • A 3.5 grade point average with no grade lower than a C if enrolled in at least 12 hours of academic credit-bearing courses (For first-year students entering in Fall 2010) 

The grade point average is based on the grades received and recorded by the Office of the University Registrar at the time the Dean’s List is published.  No changes are permitted to the Dean’s List after that date.

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Academic Progression and Eligibility Requirements

To remain in good academic standing with SILS and UNC Chapel Hill, students must adhere to the academic eligibility standards set forth by UNC Academic Advising.  To review policies and procedures for maintaining or reinstating your eligibility, please refer to the UNC Academic Eligibility website.  Students not in good academic standing will go under review by the SILS Undergraduate Committee; reviewed students may be dismissed from the SILS undergraduate program and transferred to the College of Arts and Sciences.

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Underloads and Overloads 

Full-Time Students
The minimum course load for undergraduates for a single semester is 12 academic credit hours (one hour physical education activities do not count towards academic hours.) You may not go below 12 academic credit hours without permission of the SILS Dean. You should discuss semester enrollment of fewer than 15 academic credit hours with your advisor because such enrollments necessitate: 

  • Summer School 
  • Correspondence 
  • A heavier course load during a later semester 
  • Possible changes in financial aid and/or health insurance

If a senior wishes to register for an underload in his or her final semester, a petition must be submitted to the Undergraduate Student Services Manager for review by the Associate Dean. Please note that the UNC Registrar’s Office does not honor senior underloads for external purposes.  If a student takes fewer than 12 hours, he or she will be classified as a part-time student.  

The maximum course load for undergraduates for a semester is 18 credit hours.  If you wish to enroll for more than the credit hour limit you must obtain permission from the SILS Dean to carry a credit hour "overload". For up to 20 credits, the SILS Dean can approve the request; for 21 credits or more, the Undergraduate Committee must review the request.  

The registration system will not permit you to register for more than the credit load limit without obtaining the Dean's approval. Only the Dean's Office can increase credit hours.  

Part-Time Students
Continuing Studies students are limited to 8 credit hours.  If a student wishes to enroll for more than the credit hour limit, he or she must obtain permission from the Dean of Continuing Studies to carry a credit hour “overload.”  

Full-time students who wish to become part-time students due to medical, financial, or other personal reasons must receive permission to do so from the SILS Dean.  Students switching to part-time will be moved to Continuing Studies.  As Continuing Studies students are held to different academic eligibility requirements, it is in the student’s best interest to remain a part-time student until he or she is ready to commit to a full-time enrollment load; therefore, students will not be allowed to frequently change their status.

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PART III.  DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Bachelor of Science in Information Science

To qualify for an undergraduate degree, a student must successfully complete at least 120 academic semester hours.  Also, the student must have a 2.0 average on all work attempted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A minimum of 45 academic credit hours must be earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses, and at least 24 of the last 30 academic credit hours applied to the degree requirements must be earned from UNC–Chapel Hill. These may include credits from study abroad programs sponsored by the University; up to 18 credit-hours earned through Carolina Courses Online; and in exceptional circumstances, Self-Paced Courses. Students may complete no more than 40 hours of course work in their major.

At SILS, all majors must receive grades of a C or better in all required coursework (core and elective courses). Beginning with the first day of classes in the term for which the students expect to graduate, students should file an application for a degree in the SILS Dean’s Office (100 Manning Hall). A student who has not filed an application for graduation on or before the announced deadlines for Fall graduation and for Spring graduation will not be included in the graduation program.

Students must pay tuition, fees, and other obligations owed the University before receiving a diploma.

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Double Majoring at SILS

SILS undergraduates must obtain written permission from the SILS Dean or designee to declare a second major in the College of Arts and Sciences.  The student must first speak with the SILS faculty advisor, and when he or she has the advisor’s approval, the SILS Undergraduate Student Services Manager will write a recommendation letter to Arts and Sciences recommending the student for double major status. 

Students should then schedule an academic advising appointment with an academic advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences by using Academic Advising’s online appointment calendar.  This calendar can be accessed from the Academic Advising website.  Students must bring their Dean’s endorsement (letter from SILS Undergraduate Student Services Manager) and any relevant documentation to the appointment.

In this appointment, an advisor from Academic Advising will prepare an academic worksheet and review all general education and major requirements with the students.

The academic advisor will then submit the academic worksheet to the Associate Dean of Academic Advising or designee for review.  A letter will be sent to the student and to the professional school indicating whether the second major request has been approved or denied.  Please note that students who double major must complete their major in the College of Arts and Sciences within the eight semesters allotted to all students.  

Students wishing to double major with SILS and another professional school must apply and be admitted into both programs.  Students must comply with the rules and regulations of each school.

It is the student’s responsibility to make sure he or she is making good progress towards completing the second major.  To that end, students are encouraged to periodically meet with an academic advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences or professional school.

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Electives

Electives may be selected from the SILS offerings or from other courses related to information science/systems at UNC. Students are encouraged to pay particular attention to INLS 490: Selected Topics, which focuses on different topics each semester.  

If an elective has not been approved it must be submitted to the Undergraduate Student Services Manager for approval by the Undergraduate Committee.  Petitions for approval of electives are available on the Forms page and should be submitted directly to the Undergraduate Student Services Manager, 100 Manning Hall, CB #3360. 

It is to the student’s advantage to submit a petition before taking the class.  Some of the classes listed on the Electives page cover similar concepts; all redundant course requests will be rejected by the Committee.  Electives will also be evaluated based on other elective courses you have taken.  The Committee expects you to research and choose significant electives, not just pick four from this list.  For those not listed here, you should provide a syllabus from the class for the Committee’s evaluation.

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Readmission

Students who do not attend or who fail to complete a semester at SILS must reapply for readmission through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.  Instructions for the UNC readmission application process are available through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.  If the student is approved by the UNC Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the student will subsequently be reviewed by the SILS Undergraduate Committee and by the SILS Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  Readmission may be approved or denied by SILS.

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Still have questions? Contact the Undergraduate Student Services Coordinator at:

100 Manning Hall, CB #3360
UNC Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3360
sils-ug@ils.unc.edu
T: (919) 962-0208
F: (919) 962-8071