College of Arts & Sciences

Applied Learning

About the College of Arts & Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences is UNCW’s largest academic unit, employing 450 full-time and 150 part-time faculty members and awarding approximately two-thirds of the university’s academic credits. Ours is a comprehensive arts & sciences college comprising the arts, the humanities, the mathematical and natural sciences, and the social and behavioral sciences.

The College’s twenty-five units offer a variety of undergraduate majors leading to the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Fine Arts, the Bachelor of Music, and the Bachelor of Science. The College also offers a full complement of minors, including interdisciplinary minors such as Africana studies, Asian studies, Forensic studies, Latin America studies, Middle East & Islamic studies, Native-American studies, and Women’s and Gender studies, among others. 

Applied learning is a hallmark of the student experience in the College of Arts and Sciences. Each of the College’s departments requires an applied learning experience as a part of the curriculum for its undergraduate majors. Examples include faculty-directed research, internships, service learning, and capstone courses and projects, all of which challenge students to integrate various strands of knowledge and to apply that knowledge to broader, real-world or real disciplinary situations. Through applied learning, students in the College gain direct hands-on experience with the skills of their major fields as an essential part of their preparation for life and career.

In addition to its undergraduate major and minor programs, the College is chiefly responsible for the curriculum that comprises the UNCW’s University Studies Program, through which all UNCW undergraduates gain a foundation in the liberal arts and develop the transferable skills essential for life in the twenty-first century. The College strives in its undergraduate programs and in its University Study offerings to nurture creative thinking, intellectual curiosity, diversity and inclusion, and academic integrity in students while providing them with a solid foundation of knowledge in their chosen fields. Upon completion of their undergraduate studies, College of Arts and Sciences students will have the necessary preparation for rewarding careers, advanced study, effective citizenship, and meaningful lives.

Graduate degrees awarded in the College of Arts and Sciences include the Master of Arts, the Master of Fine Arts, the Master of Public Administration, the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy (Marine Biology and Psychology). In addition, the nationally awarded Graduate Liberal Studies program offers a personalized curriculum of interdisciplinary study leading to the Master of Arts. Post-baccalaureate certificates in Applied Statistics, Environmental Studies, Forensic Science, Conflict Management and Resolution, Gender Studies and Hispanic Studies are available.  Graduate programs in the College are designed to develop intellectual competence and to prepare the student for careers in business, industry, government, teaching or for further study at the doctoral level.