UNCW One of Three UNC System Schools Ranked Among the Top 100 Public National Universities by U.S. News & World Report

Monday, September 14, 2020

UNCW is ranked 95th and is one of only three UNC System schools among the Top 100 Public National Universities for 2021, according to a new list of “Best Colleges 2021” from U.S. News & World Report. This is the second year that UNCW has made the publication’s Top 100 list of national public universities, following the university’s elevation in 2018 to the category of “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity” in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
“This ranking, which is based on the 2019-20 academic year, is a testament to UNCW’s commitment to excellence as well its resilience, even when faced with an upheaval like the coronavirus pandemic,” said Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli. “UNCW students, faculty and staff consistently rise to the challenge and embrace the can-do Seahawk spirit to accomplish great things.”
UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University are the other two UNC Systems schools on the Top 100 list.
UNCW has consistently been recognized for affordability and academic quality, both foundations of its Strategic Plan. Earlier in September, UNCW set a new enrollment record, welcoming 17,915 students for the fall semester, including a record 3,265 total graduate students. UNCW’s graduate student population continues to grow at double-digit rates, a sign of the high demand for the university’s quality programs.
The university tied for 95th on the Top 100 Public National Universities list with Florida International University, Oklahoma State University, Rowan University (NJ) and the University of New Mexico. UNCW is represented on several other U.S. News lists for 2021, including “A+ Schools for B Students”; “Best Colleges for Veterans” (tied for 136th); “Best Value Schools” (179th); “Best Overall” (tied for 187th); and “Best Business Programs Overall” (tied for 235th). In calculating the ranking for each school, U.S. News reviewed 1,452 U.S. bachelor's degree-granting institutions on 17 measures of academic quality, including graduation and retention rates; faculty resources; undergraduate academic reputation; selectivity; and social mobility.
U.S. News lists also rank UNCW 8th nationally (tie) on U.S. News’ list of “2020 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and 6th nationally (tie) among “Best Online Programs for Veterans.” Four programs – part-time MBA, education, public administration and social work – are represented on the publication’s list of “2020 Best Graduate Schools.”
Additionally, UNCW was named a “Best Southeastern School among 142 colleges that made the list of “2021 Best Colleges: Region by Region” by The Princeton Review and is on the publication’s list of Green Colleges. The Princeton Review’s list does not rank colleges and universities, but UNCW is among just 142 colleges featured on the “Best Southeastern” list.
The university also ranked 32nd nationally for in-state students and 36th for out-of-state students on Kiplinger’s “Best Public College Values 2019.”
UNCW’s efforts to advance research and innovation have created a campus culture rooted in inquiry, curiosity and imagination. UNCW faculty conduct 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. With a recent $400 million investment in capital improvements, UNCW’s community of scholars continues to expand its programs and services to address issues of local, regional and global significance.
-- Tricia Vance