About UNCW

seahawk sculpture

Seahawk Points of Pride

  • During the 2017-18 academic year, the University of North Carolina Wilmington will celebrate its 70th anniversary. Wilmington College, as the university was formerly known, was founded in 1947 in the historic port city of Wilmington by local leaders and citizens dedicated to providing higher educational opportunities to students in southeastern North Carolina, notably veterans returning home from World War II. Today’s Seahawks, under the leadership of Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli, are honored to build on the legacy of excellence established by generations of students, faculty, staff, leaders, alumni and friends of UNCW.
  • UNCW has been part of the UNC system since 1969. Widely acknowledged for its superb faculty and staff, and continuously recognized at a national level for scholarly excellence and affordability, UNCW offers a powerful academic experience that stimulates creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression and responsible citizenship.
  • UNCW ranked #14 on the U.S. News and World Report list of Best Regional Universities (South), up from #16 the previous year. The university ranked 6th among public universities and, for the first time in UNCW history, nearly 16,500 students are enrolled (precisely 16,487). This is nearly 2,000 more students than were enrolled in fall of 2014. UNCW was named a Best College Value for 2017 by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, ranking in the top 100 public universities. UNCW is a featured school on The Princeton Review’s list "2018 Best Colleges: Region by Region" and in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018, which highlights the nation’s “best and most interesting” colleges and universities. 
  • UNCW offers an array of high-quality programs at the baccalaureate and master's levels as well as select doctoral programs. UNCW offers a number of distance learning options, including an accelerated R.N.-to-B.S.N. program taught exclusively online that is specifically structured for working professionals and an Executive MBA program designed for aspiring executives. See academics for more information about the university's educational programs. The online bachelor’s degree in nursing program is ranked 4th among 2017’s “Best Online B.S.N. Degrees” by the website Best Degree Programs. The online Master of History program is ranked 1st nationally by the websites BestColleges.com and GradSource, and the online Master of Science in Instructional Technology is ranked 10th most affordable in the nation by the website AffordableColleges.com.
  • The university also operates extension sites in several regional counties. UNCW, recognized nationally as a military-friendly university, works closely with Coastal Carolina Community College, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River to offer programs designed for military personnel and their families. In 2017, UNCW was ranked 9th by U.S. News & World Report on a list of Best Colleges for Veterans in the South and was named one of the Best Colleges for Vets by Military Times.
  • The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commissionon Colleges reaffirmed the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s reaccreditation in 2013, which will remain in effect until the next review in 2023. UNCW’s review from SACSCOC required no additional reporting requirements, an accomplishment that only an average of 35 percent of universities achieve.
  • UNCW’s faculty has created a multi-disciplinary, applied learning model – known as ETEAL (Experiencing Transformative Education through Applied Learning) – that incorporates internships, study abroad, community-based projects, research, directed independent study options and other educational opportunities. ETEAL inspires students to focus on creative inquiry, critical thinking skills, and written and verbal communication.
  • Five members of the UNCW community received Fulbright awards in spring 2017: Tiffany Ernst '17; Nicholas Sweet ’17; Ann Potts, WCE associate dean for teacher education and outreach, Elizabeth Barber, a part-time faculty member in WCE's Department of Elementary Education and Leadership; and College of Arts and Sciences Dean Aswani Volety.
  • Faculty and students at all levels – undergraduate through post-doctorate – from academic programs across campus are actively involved in generating new knowledge from research. The public and private grants funding their efforts contribute to the university’s mission while enhancing our region’s economic vitality through the discovery of new products and services, the formation of innovative businesses and job creation.
  • UNCW is part of a $250 million national public-private initiative involving more than 150 companies, educational institutions, nonprofits and government partners working to bring safe drugs to market faster and educate a new biopharmaceutical workforce. 
  • The university incorporates diversity and inclusion, global perspectives and community engagement into its programs. UNCW has formed numerous partnerships with schools, governmental agencies and nonprofits that provide students with internships, volunteer opportunities and research experiences.
  • The UNCW men’s basketball team captured its third consecutive CAA regular season title during the 2016-17 season and the program's first back-to-back titles since 2002 and 2003. The men’s tennis and women’s softball teams also went on to post-season play, and numerous individual athletes achieved honors, including men’s golf team member Thomas Eldridge and softball player Lauren Moore, who were named the CAA Scholar-Athletes of the Year in their respective sports.