At the University of North Carolina Wilmington, passionate and engaged teaching, learning and research are paramount. UNCW is an active learning community that uniquely combines a small-college commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching with a research university’s opportunities for student involvement in significant faculty scholarship. The university’s prestige has grown in recent years, as has its population, which now includes more than 13,000 students and more than 1,800 full-time faculty and staff.
For 14 consecutive years, UNC Wilmington has been ranked among the top 10 public master’s universities in the South in the U.S.News and World Report “America’s Best Colleges” guidebook. UNCW is ranked fourth in the 2012 edition and is tied for third among 46 “up-and-coming” master’s universities in the South. The university also received the “Best in the Southeast” designation for 2012 by The Princeton Review, is included in the 2012 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges and is on the G.I. Jobs magazine 2011 list of military friendly schools.
Established as Wilmington College in 1947, the institution was granted community college status in 1957, achieved four-year status in 1963 and joined the state university system in 1969. The first graduate programs were authorized in 1977. In 1985, the UNC Board of Governors elevated UNC Wilmington to a Comprehensive Level I university. The university’s academic units include the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the Cameron School of Business, the Watson School of Education and the Graduate School. UNCW offers bachelor’s degrees in 52 majors and 33 graduate degree programs, which include a Ph.D. in marine biology, one of only three offered on the East Coast, and an Ed.D. in educational leadership.
The university has taken a leadership role in the long-term economic, environmental, educational, social and cultural health of the region. It has a strong commitment to adult learners and offers short, non-credit university courses, seminars, lectures, travel excursions and other educational opportunities.
The campus has changed dramatically in the last 10 years with the construction or renovation of more than 40 buildings for academics, housing, athletics and campus life. Construction is underway for a teaching laboratory building for psychology, the expansion of the student recreation center and a marine biotechnology building at the Center for Marine Science.
The UNCW Seahawks compete in the Colonial Athletic Association as an NCAA Division I program, fielding 19 intercollegiate teams. UNCW’s athletes excel not only on the playing field but in the classroom as well. The university’s student-athletes have consistently recorded the highest graduation rates among NCAA Division I public universities in North Carolina for the four-year class average. In 2010-11, Seahawk teams captured four Colonial Athletic Association championships in men’s and women’s golf, men’s swimming and diving and men’s tennis.