Obtaining your textbooks

Textbook policy for U.S. universities

At any U.S. university, students are required to purchase their own textbooks for each of their specific courses. Class textbooks are not already included in each course offered so you will need to figure out which textbooks are required for each class as well as the best way to obtain them for the semester.

Step One: How to find your required class textbooks

There are several different ways to determine which textbooks are required for your specific class. Sometimes the easiest way is to contact your class professor and ask them which textbooks are necessary or find them listed in the syllabus for your class.

If they are unable to respond or you are unable to find the class syllabus the next fastest way to get class textbook information would be to go to your SEANET account at https://seanet.uncw.edu/.

  • Log on using your USER ID (your 850#) and PIN (automatically generated as your birthday, month/day/year)
  • Select the term that you have registered for classes and your booklist will pop up.

A less quick/more specific way to find your books is to go to the on campus UNCW bookstore either in person or online here : http://uncw.bncollege.com. From here please follow the step by step instructions below.

  • At the top of the page click on "TEXTBOOKS"
  • Under the Box Titled "Step One: Find Your Course" Insert the correct information regarding your course. "See photo below for an example"
  • The following example is for if you plan on taking Introduction to Environmental Science 195 Section 001 in the Fall, however any other classes will be found using the same steps.
  • Under the "#4 Section" you would include the section number of the course you are taking, which can be found on your class schedule on Seanet "001".


  • After you input all of your information, click the button at the bottom of the box "Add Course" and you will see the course you are taking pop up in the "Step Two: Review Your Courses" box right next to the initial box.


  • You will want to add all of your courses through this process to get all of the courses listed on the "Step Two: Review Your Courses" Box. Once this is complete you can click the button "View Textbook List" to view a list of your textbooks.

Step Two: Purchase your class textbooks


Once you have figured out which textbooks are required for your classes, you then need to figure out how you're going to get them. In the U.S. your textbooks are not provided for you, so you will need to purchase them on your own. Many students find that it is easiest to purchase them through the school directly at the same website that you can use to figure out which textbooks are required for your classes: http://uncw.bncollege.com. This is done through the same process as above, inserting all of your class information, viewing the textbook list, and then at the bottom of the list you can click "Add Selected Items to Shopping Cart" to purchase the textbooks.

There are other ways to purchase textbooks as well; sometimes at a lower cost. UNCW does have an off campus bookstore that you can purchase textbooks called "Sea Hawk Book and Supply". This store is located at 415 S. College Road in the University Landing Shopping Center.They also provide the service of ordering online and picking up in the store to save you time from searching through their many shelves for your specific books.


Additional Online Textbook Retailers are Textbooks.com, Half.com, Amazon.com, and many others that will at most times offer the textbooks you need at more affordable prices if you're willing to search around for the best price. For these retailers, often times all that you need to know to locate your textbook is the Name of the textbook, Author, Year, and Edition. It also helps to know the ISBN number of the particular book you need although that isn't always necessary to be able to find your correct book.


A third way to obtain your textbooks for class is by renting them. This is a great option if you don't want to pay full price for a book that you feel will never be used again after the specific course that it is needed for has ended. This option is also useful for those students that plan to stay at UNCW for multiple semesters, so that their dormitory won't be cluttered with unnecessary books, or for those of you that are here for just one semester, so that you won't have to take those heavy unwanted books back home with you. Not all books are able to be rented however, so you may have to do some searching around to find a retailer that can rent out your book to you. UNCW's on campus and off campus bookstores offer this service for most books, and you can also find rentable books from Textbooks.com, Chegg.com, and other online textbook rental retailers.


Another way to gain access to the textbooks that you need for your classes are to ask a friend. More often than not, there is someone that has taken your specific course a semester or two semesters before you that does not want to keep their copy of the textbook required for that class. In these cases the student will usually sell you their book at a very discounted price. This is a great option if you don't want to pay a lot for your textbooks, but it can be more difficult to locate as available textbooks are not always advertised. Moreover, if you have a friend in the same class and are willing to share the book, you both could split the initial cost and share the textbook throughtout the semester.