UNCW’s Fall Enrollment Sets University Record with Nearly 17,500 Students

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The University of North Carolina Wilmington has enrolled 17,499 students for fall 2019, the largest student body in its history, the university announced today. UNCW’s current enrollment exceeds the previous record, set in fall 2018, by 4.5% and builds on a decade of steady enrollment increases. Overall, UNCW’s enrollment has grown by 35.4% since fall 2009.
“Students enroll at UNCW based on the strength of our academic programs, the quality of our cutting-edge research opportunities and the depth of our commitment to excellence, integrity, diversity and innovation,” said Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli. “They become Seahawks because they want to be a part of the UNCW experience created by our outstanding faculty and staff.”
According to fall 2019 data, UNCW’s student body comprises 14,785 undergraduate students and 2,714 graduate students. A robust freshman class of 2,342 students is the university’s largest freshman class ever. More than 2,000 new transfer students enrolled, and a record 1,042 graduate students joined UNCW’s ranks. The university offers a full range of baccalaureate and graduate-level programs, as well as doctoral programs in educational leadership, marine biology, nursing practice and psychology. UNCW’s growth stems in part from its focus on programs designed to address critical workforce needs across North Carolina, such as clinical research, online MBA and accelerated RN-to-BSN distance learning programs; new graduate degrees in data science and integrated marketing communication, among others; and new bachelor’s degrees in coastal engineering and digital arts.
Guided by the 2016-21 Strategic Plan, UNCW continues to add to and enhance its academic programs to prepare a growing and demographically diverse student body to excel in the ever-evolving global economy.
Earlier this week, UNCW was included for the first time on U.S. News & World Report’s list of Top Public National Universities, ranking 92nd in a tie with Ohio University and the University of Houston. U.S. News added UNCW to the national category after the university received the elevated designation of “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity” institution from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education in December 2018. In previous years, U.S. News included UNCW on the list of Best Regional Universities in the South.
Chancellor Sartarelli said the university’s elevated designation has the potential to stimulate future enrollment, especially among graduate and doctoral students. With $400 million invested in active campus construction and renovation projects, “the university is in a great position to support and inspire students, faculty and staff far into the future,” he added.

-- Andrea Monroe Weaver