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UNCW Makes “Best Public National Universities” List

The University of North Carolina Wilmington ranks as one of the best public national universities in the state and nation, according to the “2022-2023 Best Colleges” rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

UNCW ranked 103 on the list of national public universities, tied with Florida A&M; Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis; and University of Wyoming. Among UNC System universities, only UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University placed higher on the list than UNCW.

“It is an exciting time to be at UNCW as we celebrate the institution’s 75th anniversary,” said Chancellor Aswani K. Volety, appointed July 1. “To be recognized once again as one of the nation’s best public universities further validates UNCW’s past, present and future as an anchor institution in Southeastern North Carolina. We remain dedicated to equipping students with valuable educational opportunities and serving the nation’s workforce in a tangible, meaningful way.”

UNCW has consistently been recognized by U.S. News & World Report for its affordability and academic quality, both foundations of its service to students, and continues to shine in areas of student/faculty ratio, ACT scores and Pell Grant-eligible student graduation rates.

UNCW is represented on several other U.S. News lists for 2022-23, including “Best Undergraduate Business Programs” (190); “Best Undergraduate Nursing Programs” (153); “Best Value Schools” (221); “Top Performers on Social Mobility” (250); and “Best Colleges for Veterans” (136). The university also ranked “Best Overall” among all national universities (202) with nine universities including University of Wyoming and Florida A&M University.

Additionally, North Carolina’s coastal university is ranked 26th nationally on U.S. News & World Report’s list of “2022 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs” for its RN to BSN program. UNCW is tied with University of Missouri and Concordia University Chicago. UNCW’s online bachelor’s program for veterans was also ranked (34).

Several UNCW graduate programs were recognized among the best online programs: #46 in “Best Online Master’s in Nursing” (tie); #12 in “Best Online Master's in Nursing Programs for Veterans” (tie); #9 in “Best Online Master's in Nursing Education Programs” (tie); #192 in “Best Online Master's in Education Programs” (tie); and #201 in “Best Online MBA Programs” (tie).

This year, UNCW was also included in the 2023 Fiske Guide to Colleges and the Forbes’ Top Colleges of 2022. Academic excellence, proximity to the ocean, extensive undergraduate research opportunities and other high-impact learning experiences are among the attributes highlighted. Military Times ranked UNCW as the 15th best university for military service members and veterans. Their criteria include a heavy weight on student success, as well as military-specific resources, financial assistance, and policies that are military-friendly.  

Other Noteworthy UNCW Highlights include:

  • a multi-year campaign, Like No Other: The Campaign for UNCW, expected to exceed its goal to raise at least $100 million in support for scholarships, professorships, programs and other university priorities.
  • $450 million in campus construction completed, including multiple academic and residential buildings. A145,000 square foot library expansion and renovation project is now in process.
  • Addition of several innovative academic programs and new undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees, including doctoral degrees in Applied Coastal and Ocean Sciences and Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

To continue UNCW’s trajectory of success, a new 10-year strategic plan is at the forefront of Chancellor Volety’s priorities and is expected to be completed next spring.

“The strategic plan will be critical in identifying top goals for academics, student life, athletics, the arts, community engagement, research, and more,” said Dr. Volety. “We plan to connect with as many students, faculty and staff as possible to listen to them and to their ideas for the future of our university.”