About UNCW

Image of Seahawk Sculpture and Hoggard Hall Lawn

North Carolina's Coastal University 

Located in the heart of “the Port City” and touted as one of the most attractive campuses in the South, the University of North Carolina Wilmington is dedicated to the integration of teaching, mentoring, research and service. One of 17 institutions in the University of North Carolina System, UNCW offers a powerful academic experience to stimulate creative inquiry and critical thinking and a community rich in diversity, inclusion and global perspectives. Just under 18,000 students attend UNCW.

In 1947, New Hanover County leaders and citizens founded Wilmington College to enhance the quality of life in the region by offering students the advantage of an excellent education. The institution grew and flourished over time. In 1969, Wilmington College joined the UNC System and became what is now the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  

The UNC Board of Governors approved UNCW’s latest Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in April 2022. Scheduled to launch in fall 2023 (pending final approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges), the program will build on the existing master’s program in chemistry, particularly the pharmaceutical chemistry concentration. UNCW’s doctoral program tally is now at six; the others are Applied Coastal and Ocean Sciences (Ph.D.), Integrative, Comparative and Marine Biology (Ph.D.), Educational Leadership (Ed.D.), Psychology (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). UNCW received the Carnegie classification of an R2 institution in 2018, which is defined as a “Doctoral University: High Research Activity.”

UNCW is recognized nationally as a military-friendly university and works closely with Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River to offer quality programs designed for military personnel, veterans and their families. More than 2,100 current students and approximately 8,000 alumni are military-affiliated. Veterans Hall – the only building so named in the country – acknowledges the university’s longstanding support of America’s military community.
Like No Other: The Campaign for UNCW publicly launched in February 2021. Thanks to the generosity of thousands of alumni, students, employees, friends and donors, the university is steadily moving towards its goal of raising at least $100 million in philanthropic support for students, faculty, programs, facilities and other university priorities.

UNCW student-athletes compete at the NCAA Division I level. Student-athletes finished the 2021-22 school year with a 3.39 cumulative grade point average. The UNCW men’s basketball team was crowned the 2022 CBI Tournament Champions (the school's first postseason title in men's basketball). The men's tennis team captured the school's eighth conference title in the last 13 years by winning the 2022 CAA Men's Tennis Championships. The UNCW softball team was named the 2022 Colonial Athletic Association Champions.