A Vision Founded on UNCW Values
UNCW's vision is built on the university's deepest values. This vision reflects our hopes, dreams and expectations, but it is also designed to help UNCW face great challenges and opportunities in the years to come.
The university's strength lies in three enduring values:
- A commitment to the journey of learning
- A love of place and
- An unshakable conviction in the power of ideas and innovation
Commitment to the Journey
UNCW has always emphasized students' journeys to inquire and discover, and through those processes, to better themselves and their communities. Our deepest and most sustaining value is our fundamental commitment to this journey. The university further strengthens these journeys through its time-honored focus on the collaboration of students and faculty in research and scholarship.
Love of Place
Our vision for the future must include a strong sense of place. To be a national and global leader in demonstrating how universities can serve their regions, we must come to understand and embrace the importance of our coastal location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River.
As North Carolina's coastal university, UNCW must utilize its location to explore modern questions related to commerce, human health, nutrition, the environment and social and cultural dynamics. There is no complete understanding of human history, the human condition or literature and music and art in the absence of the sea.
The Power of Ideas and Innovation
Our faculty, staff and students are inventing the future by embracing a culture of innovation. Creating this culture will involve examining traditions, taking risks, making difficult choices and accepting and learning from failure.
The university's innovative culture is built on UNCW's educational philosophy, which is rooted squarely in the liberal arts and sciences. Our ideals of inquiry, comparison, critical thinking and creativity are the perfect garden of invention.
The university is organized into the following academic units:
- Cameron School of Business
- College of Arts and Sciences
- College of Health and Human Services
- Graduate School
- Watson College of Education
Degrees offered include:
- 55 bachelor's degrees offered in 49 majors
- 42 master degree programs
- Ph.D. in marine biology
- Ed.D. in educational leadership and administration
The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is dedicated to the integration of teaching and mentoring with research and service. Our commitment to student engagement, creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression, and responsible citizenship is expressed in our baccalaureate and masters’ programs, as well as doctoral programs in areas of expertise that serve state needs. Our culture reflects our values of diversity and globalization, ethics and integrity, and excellence and innovation.
The University of North Carolina Wilmington is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Ga., 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of UNC Wilmington.
Seahawk Points of Pride
- The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), located in the historic port city of Wilmington, has been part of the UNC system since 1969. Widely acknowledged for its superb faculty and staff, and continuously recognized at a national level for scholarly excellence and affordability, UNCW offers a powerful academic experience that stimulates creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression and responsible citizenship.
- UNCW, a public institution with more than 14,000 students, offers an array of high-quality programs at the baccalaureate and master's levels as well as select doctoral programs. UNCW offers a number of distance learning options, including an accelerated R.N.-to-B.S.N. program, taught exclusively online, that is specifically structured for working professionals. See academics for more information about the university's educational programs.
- The university also operates extension sites in several regional counties. UNCW, recognized nationally as a military-friendly university, works closely with Coastal Carolina Community College, Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River to offer programs designed for military personnel and their families.
- UNCW has the top transfer student graduation rate in the University of North Carolina system as well as one of the leading four-year graduation rates.
- In December 2013, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) reaffirmed the University of North Carolina Wilmington's reaccreditation, which will remain in effect until the next review in 2023. UNCW's review from SACS requires no additional reporting requirements, an accomplishment that only an average of 35 percent of universities achieve.
- UNCW's faculty has created a multi-disciplinary, applied learning model - known as ETEAL (Experiencing Transformative Education through Applied Learning) - that incorporates internships, study abroad, community-based projects, research, directed independent study options and other educational opportunities. ETEAL inspires students to focus on creative inquiry, critical thinking skills, and written and verbal communication.
- UNCW and Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) created a total of $1.2 billion in added regional income for fiscal year 2012-13, according to analysis from Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI). Assessing each campus's impact on the regional economy, EMSI analyzed payroll and operations spending, construction spending, and the spending of students, visitors, alumni and start-up companies.
- According to Moody's Investor Service, UNCW's market strength, sustained enrollment growth, healthy financial operations and track record of state support contributed to its April 2015 decision to affirm the existing A1 underlying rating on UNCW's General Revenue Bonds and the A2 rating on the university's Certificates of Participation. The credit rating agency also assigned an A2 rating to UNCW's proposed Refunding Limited Obligation Bonds.
- When evaluating sponsored research, UNCW is included in the top tier of master's institutions in the UNC system. The university's R&D expenditures per full-time equivalency (FTE) faculty ranks fourth in the system.
- The university incorporates diversity and inclusion, global perspectives and community engagement into its programs. UNCW has formed numerous partnerships with schools, governmental agencies and nonprofits that provide students with internships, volunteer opportunities and research experiences. In February 2015, the Peace Corps recognized UNCW as one of the nation's top volunteer-producing colleges and universities.
- UNCW frequently receives national recognition for quality and affordability from Kiplinger's Personal Finance, U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review and other publications. For example, UNCW was recognized by Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine as one of the "Best Public College Values in 2015." UNCW also maintained its top 10 ranking as one of the "Best Public Institutions in the South" on U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges" rankings. In addition, U.S. News recognized UNCW for having one of the "Best Online Programs for Veterans," ranking the university number 22 on that list. U.S. News also named UNCW one of the most efficient universities in the nation. Affordable Colleges Online ranked UNCW first among the best online colleges in North Carolina for 2015.
This school offers programs in: