Correctional Education

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety works with UNC-Chapel Hill’s Friday Center for Continuing Education to provide a variety of educational resources to inmates. Only those incarcerated in the North Carolina prison system qualify for the Correctional Education Program.

Who is Eligible?

Incarcerated individuals must meet academic and sentence criteria for eligibility. The academic criteria are a GED score of at least 250, a WRAT reading grade level of at least 10.0, or prior college (or community college) academic credits. Students must be able to provide proof of their GED score or a high school transcript. The sentence criteria exclude all Class A and Class B felons, as well as other adult offenders whose parole eligibility and discharge dates are more than 10 years in the future. Further, inmates with a STG affiliation status level of 1 through 3 are prohibited from taking on-site courses.

The Procedure

Qualified inmates should contact a Programs or Education staff member, preferably their case manager, at their correctional facility for assistance in the following matters:

  • to confirm that they qualify to take low-cost (postage only) Self-paced Courses and no-cost on-site classroom courses
  • to obtain the registration form for Self-paced Courses
  • for instructions on how to apply for and schedule a Self-paced Courses final examination to be administered at the prison.

Self-paced Correspondence Courses

Inmates can take correspondence courses in the Friday Center’s Self-paced Courses program. These courses have a nine-month enrollment period. A renewal of four months is available for a $30 fee (paid by the Correctional Education Program). A second four-month renewal is available in some circumstances, but the $75 second-renewal fee is not covered by the Correctional Education Program.

On-site Classroom Courses

On-site classroom courses for college credit are currently offered at seven North Carolina correctional facilities throughout the year. As with campus courses, each course consists of forty-five total classroom hours. Class sessions consist of fifteen three-hour classes, either one evening a week (for fifteen weeks) or two evenings a week (for seven and a half weeks). The final examination in on-site courses is given by the instructor during the last class of the term.

Transferring Credits

Credits for self-paced and on-site classroom courses taken through the Correctional Education Program generally are transferable to other colleges, universities, and community colleges that offer an equivalent course, as long as the student has a final course grade of C or better.


Academic advising for incarcerated individuals is provided by Academic Advising at the Friday Center for Continuing Education. Inmates who are trying to decide which course to take or how they should begin working on their college degree are welcome to contact our advisor by telephone (919-962-3449) or by correspondence sent to:

Academic Advising
Friday Center for Continuing Education
Campus Box 1020
UNC-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-1020

Friends or relatives of inmates are also welcome to get in touch with an advisor. In addition to the information listed above, an advisor can be reached via email at

For More Information

Raphael Ginsberg
Associate Director of Correctional Education

Supporting Correctional Education

If you are interested in supporting Correctional Education, please contact Raphael Ginsberg at 919-966-3587 or