A middle-sized institution with a small university look and feel created by dedicated faculty, an energetic, friendly campus and outstanding research and applied learning opportunities.
Wilmington is a thriving coastal community seated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River. Nationally known as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts, it offers a relaxed lifestyle, historic charm and the natural beauty and advantages of a coastal location. Locals and visitors alike also know Wilmington as "Hollywood East" thanks to EUE/Screen Gems Studios, the largest production facility east of Hollywood.
Located just five miles from shopping, dining and entertainment along the downtown riverfront and five miles from Wrightsville Beach, UNCW is central to all Wilmington has to offer. Partnerships with the film industry, through the university's CREST Research Center for marine science and with local businesses and nonprofits create endless student opportunities for hands-on learning and valuable work experience.
Dare to Soar — our deepest and most sustaining values:
A commitment to the journey of learning
We emphasize inquiry, discovery, learning and serving self and community. Each student's journey is strengthened through collaboration with faculty in research and scholarship.
A love of place
As North Carolina's coastal university, we use our location to explore modern questions related to commerce, human health, nutrition, the environment and social and cultural dynamics. We believe the sea is also important in the context of history, the human condition, literature, music and art.
A belief in the power of ideas and innovation
Seahawks "invent the future" by embracing a culture of innovation—examining beliefs, taking risks, making difficult decisions and accepting and learning from both our failures and our successes.
Points of Pride
UNCW has one of the highest four year graduation rates and the highest transfer graduation rate of all North Carolina public universities.
The Princeton Review consistently designates UNCW as one of the best overall bargains among the most academically outstanding colleges in the nation based on cost and financial aid.
UNCW is among the top public universities in the nation and one of the top three in North Carolina.
U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UNCW among the top 10 public regional master’s universities in the South.
G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education recognize UNCW as a 2015 Military Friendly School.
Eight straight years on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
More than 74 percent of incoming students surveyed said UNCW was their first choice.
Ranked 25th out of medium-sized schools in the nation for producing undergraduate Peace Corps volunteers.
Over the past decade, the university has constructed or renovated more than 40 buildings, including the state-of-the-art School of Nursing building and the Teaching Laboratory building for the Department of Psychology.
Our graduates are better prepared to succeed and lead in the 21st century. Applied learning is a graduation requirement for all students in the College of Arts and Sciences. Through applied learning, students learn to solve complex problems in real-world settings. Opportunities include internships, one-to-one research with faculty, field courses, creative projects, service learning and study abroad. Other departments offer similar hands-on experience with the skills of their major fields.
After graduation, Seahawks attend graduate and professional school or work in nearly every field, all over the world—from North Carolina to Uganda. Within five months of graduation, 65 percent of UNCW graduates are employed.
Our counselors in our Career Center are here to help:
- Over 4,300 one-on-one career counseling sessions each year
- Resumé clinics
- Interview workshops
- Job and internship fairs
- Database of more than 5 million U.S. employers
Seahawks tend to be health and fitness-minded—always up for a run on the beach, a hike in the trails beside campus or a workout session at the fitness center. Some options for athletes who want to play an NCAA Division I sport:
- Cross Country
- Swimming and Diving
- Track and Field
- Beach Volleyball
- Cross Country
- Swimming and Diving
- Track and Field
Plus more than 50 club and intramural sports!
UNCW continues to grow and encourage diversity in all forms through initiatives like Seahawk Admissions Network for Diversity, LGBTQIA Resource Center, Studies and Resource Center, Upperman African American Cultural Center, Centro Hispano and others.
At UNCW, 16.4 percent of first-year students, 16 percent of transfers and 22 percent of faculty identify themselves as minority.
Admission to UNCW is competitive. More than 13,000 freshman students applied for one of 1,970 spaces available in the Class of 2017. More than 4,000 transfer students applied for one of the 1,500 spaces available.
Admitted Freshmen Averages
Middle 50% SAT: 1130–1250
(math and critical reading only)
Middle 50% SAT total: 1670–1870
Middle 50% ACT composites: 25-28
Admitted Transfer Averages
Average credit hours: 48
First Year Admission Deadlines
- Application Postmark
- November 1 (early action)
- February 1 (regular decision)
- On or about January 20
- On or about April 1
Transfer Admission Deadline
Fall & summer semesters, apply by March 1. Spring semester, apply by October 15. See website for details.
Visit and Apply
We invite you to visit, ask questions and tour campus.
Create a SeaLevel account and:
- access UNCW's online application
- schedule a campus visit
- receive important messages about application status, special campus events and news
Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid
Last year, more than a third of our students received financial aid. For in-state students, more than 40 percent of their total cost of attendance was covered by financial aid. Apply early for optimal access to funding.
Bachelor's degrees in 52 majors and 38 master's degrees. The university is divided into academic units, including the Cameron School of Business, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, Watson College of Education and the Graduate School.
The atmosphere on campus is energetic but relaxed—on any given day, you'll find students outside, studying and enjoying the weather in hammocks, heading to class on bikes and skateboards, meeting for athletic practice or play rehearsal, chalking walkways, getting the word out about an organization or participating in the thousands of campus meetings and events that take place each year.
On-campus housing options range from suite-style residence halls to apartments with full kitchens and amenities like gyms, outdoor pools, washers and dryers in each unit and quiet study rooms.
Off-campus housing options are plentiful, with 26 communities within a one-mile radius of campus. The free Seahawk Shuttle system makes convenient stops on campus within this radius. Students who live farther than one mile away may park on campus with a parking pass.