About UNCW

UNCW in the News


The university is organized into the following academic units:

Degrees offered include:

  • Bachelor’s degrees in 52 majors
  • 38 master’s degrees
  • Ph.D. in marine biology
  • Ed.D. in educational leadership and administration

A Vision Founded on UNCW Values

still image of 2014 Brand Spot

UNCW's vision is built on the university’s deepest values. This vision reflects our hopes, dreams and expectations, but it is also designed to help UNCW face great challenges and opportunities in the years to come.

The university's strength lies in three enduring values:

  • A commitment to the journey of learning
  • A love of place and
  • An unshakable conviction in the power of ideas and innovation

Commitment to the Journey

UNCW has always emphasized students’ journeys to inquire and discover and, through those processes, better themselves and their communities. Our deepest and most sustaining value is our fundamental commitment to this journey. The university further strengthens these journeys through its time-honored focus on the collaboration of students and faculty in research and scholarship.

Love of Place

Our vision for the future must include a strong sense of place. To be a national and global leader in demonstrating how universities can serve their regions, we must come to understand and embrace the importance of our coastal location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River.

As North Carolina’s coastal university, UNCW must utilize its location to explore modern questions related to commerce, human health, nutrition, the environment and social and cultural dynamics. There is no complete understanding of human history, the human condition or literature and music and art in the absence of the sea.

The Power of Ideas and Innovation

Our faculty, staff and students are inventing the future by embracing a culture of innovation. Creating this culture will involve examining traditions, taking risks, making difficult choices and accepting and learning from failure.

The university’s innovative culture is built on UNCW’s educational philosophy, which is rooted squarely in the liberal arts and sciences. Our ideals of inquiry, comparison, critical thinking and creativity are the perfect garden of invention.

SACS Accredited

The University of North Carolina Wilmington is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Ga., 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of UNC Wilmington.

Our Mission

The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is dedicated to learning through the integration of teaching and mentoring with research and service. Our powerful academic experience stimulates creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression and responsible citizenship in an array of high-quality programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels, and in our doctoral programs in marine biology and educational leadership. Substantial research activity, combined with our hallmark teaching excellence and moderate size, advances distinctive student involvement in faculty scholarship. We are committed to diversity and inclusion, affordable access, global perspectives, and enriching the quality of life through scholarly community engagement in such areas as health, education, the economy, the environment, marine and coastal issues, and the arts. 

UNCW faculty in UgandaPoints of Pride graphicdowntown Wilmington on the Cape Fear River

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