UNCW Named 5th Most Innovative Public University in the South, Sets All-Time Enrollment Records

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

The University of North Carolina Wilmington was named the 5th most innovative public university in the South by U.S. News & World Report in September, tying with Georgia College & State University. UNCW also earned other laudable recognitions in U.S. News’ “Best Colleges 2019” guidebook, ranking 6th among public universities and tying for 15th overall with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on the list of Best Regional Universities in the South.
As part of a total enrollment of 16,747, the university achieved a substantial 16% increase in graduate student enrollment. UNCW set enrollment records in a variety of other areas including international students, clinical research, computer science, business analytics and nursing (bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs). In fact, UNCW is one of the largest nursing schools in the state.
“The past several weeks have been incredibly trying for our students and employees. We were pleased to receive this ranking just before Hurricane Florence began to have an impact on our area; we are heartened to finally be able to share such great news during this time of rebuilding,” Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli said. “UNCW is proud of our commitment to providing students with an engaging, accessible and dynamic learning experience. Our continued recognition in national rankings like these reflects the ongoing excellence of our faculty, staff and students; our involvement and impact within the regional community; our global focus with more than 95 international partnerships; and our wealth of research projects and academic advancements.”
Advancing academic programming and research is central to UNCW’s Strategic Plan, and innovative university initiatives like Applied Learning apply research-based instructional strategies that provide students and faculty with one-of-a-kind applied learning experiences. 
UNCW also placed 9th among regional universities in the South on a list of “Best Colleges for Veterans,” 11th overall for “Best Undergraduate Teaching,” and is one of 25 southern regional “A+ Schools for B Students.” The Cameron School of Business also earned a place on U.S. News’ list of “Best Undergraduate Business Programs.”
U.S. News considers a variety of factors in developing its college rankings, from retention and graduation rates to financial resources and alumni giving. The “Most Innovative Schools” rankings are based on nominations from college presidents, provosts and admissions deans for universities that are making the most innovative, cutting-edge improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities. 
UNCW has consistently been recognized for academic excellence by U.S. News & World Report. Ranked at 7th in the nation on their Best Online Bachelor’s Programs list earlier this year, UNCW tied with Penn State and shared the top 10 with other powerhouses like Arizona State and Ohio State. The university was also recently named a Best  Southeastern School on The Princeton Review’s list of "2019 Best Colleges: Region by Region." Additionally, UNCW was one of only four UNC System institutions included in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2019, which highlights the nation’s “best and most interesting” colleges and universities. 
-- Christina Schechtman