The Graduate School

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There are numerous opportunities in the Graduate School for those who really want to make a difference in the lives of graduate students and the success of the graduate programs at UNCW.

UNCW has an array of excellent programs at the master's level and is a leader in developing professional master's degrees. We also host terminal degree programs in Creative Writing (M.F.A.), Educational Leadership and Administration (Ed.D.), and Marine Biology (Ph.D.). All of these programs have exceptional faculty and reputations; we are competing with some of the top programs in the country for the best and brightest graduate students.

In order to be competitive, UNCW must offer financial incentives to students comparable to those being offered at other institutions. Such incentives include:

  • Tuition Scholarships - Graduate students generally support themselves and pay for their educations. While the University and faculty grants provide stipends for teaching and research assistantships, funds for scholarships must come from largely from private sources. Donations for scholarships help to defray the cost of attendance and reduce the debt that graduate students accrue.
  • Travel Grants - Travel to professional conferences is integral to the graduate educational experience. Graduate students have the opportunity to present their work to a national or international audience, validating their research and providing the chance for interaction with the leaders in their fields. Attendance at discipline-specific meetings is a key component of the acculturation of students to their professions.
  • Professional Development Activities - The success of graduate students is enhanced by providing them the opportunity to engage in activities that will further their current scholarship and make them more competitive in the future. Institutional and grant funds are seldom sufficient or unable to be used for these purposes. Donor generosity has established an endowment (the Brauer Fund) that assists students in attending workshops and short courses, and in traveling to remote research sites. The endowment, at present, is only large enough to provide competitive funding to seven students each year. This is a great way to contribute to the scholarly endeavors of our students.
  • Awards and Recognition - It is important to recognize the accomplishments of and contributions made by our amazing graduate students.

I would be happy to meet with you to discuss your philanthropic interests and how they might align with the needs of our programs. Please feel free to contact me by phone at 910-962-4117, by e-mail at, or by mail. Alternatively, you can access the pledge form or give online through University Advancement. Please identify the "Graduate School" as the recipient.

Thank you for your interest in graduate education at UNCW and in the welfare of our students.

Dr. Christopher Finelli

Dean of the Graduate School