UNC Wilmington - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
University of North Carolina – Wilmington
UNCW is unique among public comprehensive universities because it offers effective learning environments for...

University of North Carolina – Wilmington

Wilmington, North Carolina

UNCW is unique among public comprehensive universities because it offers effective learning environments for undergraduates that integrate teaching and mentoring with research and service.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
13,235 undergraduate students
88% of undergrad students are full time
39% male — 61% female
14% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
661 full-time faculty
300 part-time faculty
17 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
89% of first year students live on campus
31% of all students live on campus

School Location

Located in Wilmington, North Carolina, UNCW offers numerous outdoor and recreational activities for students to enjoy. The campus within driving distance of the beach, Wilmington is a great city to learn in.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences X
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2015

85% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

71% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 7%
Black or African American 5%
White 78%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 3%


NCAA Division I-AAA with 19 Varsity Sports including baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, softball, and volleyball.   Mascot: Sammy the Seahawk  Colors: Teal, Navy Blue, Gold

Academic Programs

Biology, Accounting, Business Administration, Finance, Management Information Systems, Marketing, Speech, Computer Science, Education (Biology, Chemistry, English, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Reading), Creative Writing, English, French, German, Spanish, Athletic Training, Nursing, Public Health, History, Liberal Arts, Mathematics, Statistics, Gerontology, International/Global Studies, Environmental Science, Kinesiology, Philosophy, Chemistry, Geology, Oceanography, Physics, Public Administration, Social Work, Anthropology, Criminology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, Art History, Drama, Fine Arts, Music

Education should very obviously be the focus of any college experience. While this might seem like a clear point, many schools fail to articulate why that idea is so important. UNCW recognizes that an educational journey is about constant academic discovery. Students need to take ownership of their educations—pushing boundaries and posing creative inquiry that drives intellectual innovation.

Student Learning Categories and Goals

The University outlines four student learning categories which include: creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression, and responsible citizenship. Deeper than this, UNCW highlights eight goals that each student is encouraged to achieve. Students will gain a wealth of knowledge that is both foundational and diverse. Second, students will learn to practice creative and inventive inquiry. Students must be able to apply information they study to various situations. Next, students learn creative thinking skills and are encouraged to practice this higher level of conceptualization in all their courses. Students will learn to effectively communicate concepts and ideas through speech and written word. Next, students will learn and practice a foreign language. They will learn to demonstrate the importance and benefits of intercultural collaboration. Finally, UNCW students will understand their duties to themselves and to the global community.

Cornerstone Learning Communities

This learning community option is only available to first-year students. Interested students have the opportunity to live and take classes with the same group of students. Participants in this program have the benefit of a close-knit learning and social community. Students involved in Cornerstone Learning Communities take courses that are linked to one another, and professors in the program collaborate with one another to enhance this unique, educational experience. As an added benefit, those students who participate enjoy smaller classroom dynamics, which leads to an increased sense of worth and individualized attention. Participation in this program means the completion of three University requirements, as well as the experience of practicing academic theories outside of the classroom.

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band  
Dance X
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band X
Literary magazine X
Marching band  
Model UN X
Music ensembles X
Musical theater  
Pep band X
Radio station X
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society X
Symphony orchestra  
Television station X

UNCW maintains a standard for its faculty and students. A college experience is about endless discovery, of both oneself and one’s academic potential. With that standard in mind, an institution needs to be well-equipped with qualified professionals who are prepared to lead those journeys. At UNCW, professors demonstrate a sincere interest in their students. At the crux of this educational experience is the relationship between faculty and students. UNCW professors uphold a commitment to innovation. An education is meant to be molded, and its participants, whether professor or student, must be willing to push boundaries in an effort to discover academic and personal potentials.


Assessment is about reflection and improvement of existing programs. This evaluation directly correlates with the UNCW experience and student development. Every program at UNCW has separate standards for assessment. Measuring the success of students is an integral part of the University experience, and it is determined through various means and tools. UNCW uses the information it gathers to improve academic and social experiences.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy  
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages X
History X
Mathematics X
Philosophy X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X


Other: P.E

Class size breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 124 442 748 262 118 144 21 1859

A UNCW experience transcends the classroom. The University acknowledges that a campus needs to provide special interest clubs and extracurricular activities to its students in order to enhance the social aspect of college.

The Department of Campus Recreation and the Campus Activities & Involvement Center

The Department of Campus Recreation is responsible for providing students with various campus recreation activities, including competitive sports. Students enjoy access to the campus’s top-notch recreation facility, which is full of opportunities for involvement. There is also the chance for students to explore their various interests and talents through one of the many clubs or organizations offered at UNCW.


Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms  
Women’s dorms X
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students X
Fraternity/sorority housing X
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing  
Wellness housing X
Other housing options  

A UNCW education spans across several departments and disciplines, giving students a well-rounded academic experience. The skills gained from a UNCW education prepare students for post-graduate success, whether that be personal or professional.

UNCW Career Center

The UNCW Career Center is a resource available to all facets of the UNCW community, from alumni to undergrads. The purpose of the center is to provide guidance to participants looking to develop their career or career goals.

The Alumni Association

UNCW students are encouraged to join the alumni association for the many benefits it affords its members. Alumni have access to career services, which can offer guidance to those wanting to expand their career goals. The association is also helpful for networking. Networking is a valuable tool for those wishing to expand their professional contacts.


Admissions Fall 2015

11,444 Total Applicants 
6,976 Total Admissions 
2,029 Total Freshman Enrollment

60.96% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling Admission? No

Application closing date (fall): Dec 1, 2016
Priority date: Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores
Application Essay

Class rank

Extracurricular activities
Character/personal qualities
First generation
Alumni/ae relation
Geographical residence
State residency
Racial/ethnic status
Volunteer work
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 560 630
SAT Math 560 630
SAT Writing 520 620
ACT Composite 23 27
ACT Math 22 26
ACT English 21 27
ACT Writing 6 8


Net Price Calculator



Expenses In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $4,188 $18,054
Fees $2,503 $2,503
Total $6,691 $20,557
Room and Board (on campus) $9,466 $9,466
Room Only $5,706 $5,706
Board Only $3,760 $3,760
Estimated Total On Campus $16,157 $30,023 


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015 final

60% on average, the percentage of need that was met
8% of financial need students that had need fully met

$6,312 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,357 Average need-based loan

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