UNCW Among Top 100 Public National Universities in Latest U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Monday, September 09, 2019

The University of North Carolina Wilmington ranks 92nd among Top Public National Universities, according to U.S. News & World Report, tying with Ohio University and the University of Houston. The U.S. News’ Best Colleges 2020 guidebook represents the first time UNCW has been included in the national category since receiving the elevated designation of “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity” institution from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. In previous years, U.S. News included UNCW on the list of Best Regional Universities in the South.

“Being recognized as one of the top 100 public universities in the nation during UNCW’s first year in the national category speaks volumes about the quality of our faculty, staff and students and their commitment to excellence at every level,” Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli said. “In less than a year, Hurricanes Florence and Dorian affected our institution, and yet our campus community continues to rise above challenging circumstances, building a dynamic university dedicated to student success, advanced research, and community engagement.”

Overall, UNCW ranked among the top 200 National Universities (public and private) on U.S. News’ 2020 list, tying for 185th with Biola University (CA), Chatham University (PA), Ohio University (OH), Pacific University (OR), Union University (TN) and the University of Houston (TX). Among UNC System institutions, only UNC-Chapel Hill (29th) and N.C. State (84th) placed higher than UNCW on the national universities list.

Although fall 2019 enrollment numbers have not been finalized across the UNC System, the university anticipates its highest enrollment ever with more than 17,000 students attending UNCW. Strong enrollment growth – approximately 35% since 2009 – reflects the university’s commitment to providing students with high-quality academic experiences enriched by faculty-mentored research, internships and other applied learning activities; leadership opportunities; and diverse cultural and community engagement efforts, as outlined in UNCW’s Strategic Plan.

The university’s ongoing efforts to advance research and scholarly activities contributed to its elevated Carnegie Classification designation as a doctoral university with high research activity in December 2018. UNCW offers doctoral programs in education, nursing, marine biology and psychology. The university’s faculty conducts stellar research programs, collaborating with students to explore various fields, including drug development; aquaculture; coastal and marine environments; the arts and humanities; educational leadership; health and wellness; and data sciences. According to U.S. News, about 13 percent of ranked schools moved into different categories for the 2020 rankings as a result of changes to their designation.

UNCW placed 138th among national universities on the U.S. News list of “Best Colleges for Veterans” and 183rd on the “Best Values” list. UNCW also is one of the institutions recognized as one of the “A+ Schools for B Students.” The Cameron School of Business earned a place on U.S. News’ list of “Best Undergraduate Business Programs.”

U.S. News & World Report considers a variety of factors in developing its college rankings, from retention and graduation rates to financial resources and alumni giving. UNCW has consistently been recognized for academic excellence by U.S. News, ranking 8th in the nation on their Best Online Bachelor’s Programs list earlier this year, tied with Colorado State University-Global Campus, the University of Buffalo-SUNY and the University of Oklahoma.

UNCW is ranked 32nd nationally on Kiplinger’s Best Public College Values 2019 list, a 30-place jump since the 2018 ranking. In addition, UNCW was named a Best Southeastern School by The Princeton Review and was one of only four UNC System schools featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2020, which highlights the nation’s “best and most interesting” colleges and universities.

-- Andrea Monroe Weaver