the UNIVERSITY

The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is consistently recognized at a national level for academic excellence and affordability. UNCW is dedicated to learning through the integration of teaching and mentoring with research and service. A public institution with over 14,000 students, the university is widely acknowledged for its superb faculty and staff and a powerful academic experience that stimulates creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression and responsible citizenship. The university is dedicated to offering a community rich in diversity and inclusion, 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.


University of North Carolina Wilmington


Consistently recognized by national publications as a top public undergraduate institution, UNCW ranked #16 on the “Best Regional Universities in the South” list on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2016,” placing 6th among public universities. The university ranked 8th on The Education Trust's list of most impressive gains in graduation rates nationally among four-year public universities. UNCW significantly improved six-year graduation rates among underrepresented minorities and reduced the gap between white and minority students over the past decade. That progress occurred even as average graduation rates improved for all students. UNCW was also named to the 2015 list of “Best Southeastern” schools by The Princeton Review, making this the 11th consecutive year the university has been honored with this designation. The prestigious Fiske Guide to Colleges featured UNCW in its 2015 edition, and Consumer’s Digest ranked UNCW 10th on its list of the “Top 50 Values for Public Colleges and Universities.” Best Value Schools also ranked UNCW 15th on its “30 Most Beautiful Coastal College Campuses” list.

Established as Wilmington College in 1947, the institution joined the state university system in 1969. The first graduate programs were authorized in 1977. Visit the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the Cameron School of Business, the Watson College of Education, University College, the Honors College and the Graduate School to learn more about the university's academic programs. UNCW offers 55 bachelor’s degrees in 49 majors and 42 graduate degree programs, as well as four doctoral degrees: an Ed.D. in educational leadership, a Ph.D. in marine biology, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and a Ph.D. in psychology.