The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is dedicated to the integration of teaching, mentoring, research, and service. Widely acknowledged for its world-class 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 and critical thinking, grounded in a community that values diversity, inclusion and global perspectives.

The university’s efforts to advance research and scholarly activities earned UNCW the elevated designation of “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education in 2018. In 2020, UNCW launched the Chancellor’s Renewal and Change Accountability Committee to work with the university’s administration to develop strategies and propose solutions to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion identified by leaders in Black student organizations, the African American Graduate Association and the Black Faculty and Staff Association.


Best Online Bachelor’s Program Nationally U.S. News & World Report


Best Online Bachelor’s Program for Veterans Nationally U.S. News & World Report


on Top 100 Best Public National Universities list U.S. News & World Report

The five-year Strategic Plan calls on the UNC System to achieve ambitious goals. Progress toward these goals and metrics will be achieved through the hard work and commitment of institutional leaders, faculty, and staff.

UNC Wilmington aspires to make the following contributions to the UNC System Strategic Plan: continue increasing low-income and rural enrollments; reducing achievement gaps in undergraduate efficiency; and enhancing research productivity and critical workforce credentials.


Take a 360-degree tour of each of our 16 universities, either on your desktop, laptop, phone, VR headset, or through the GEAR UP NC VR app. The GEAR UP NC VR app is the first of its kind, and the largest VR project for social good to date. This marks the first time a university system has used the technology across all of its institutions.

Download the GEAR UP VR app from the iTunes store or from the Google Play store.



A public institution with nearly 18,000 students, UNCW offers a full range of baccalaureate- and graduate-level programs: doctoral degrees in educational leadership, marine biology, nursing practice and psychology; and many distance learning options, including clinical research, an accelerated RN-to-BSN program and an Executive MBA. The university continues to bolster programs to meet professional workforce needs in the region and state, including a Master of Science in Data Science and bachelor’s degrees in coastal engineering and digital arts.<br />
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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.
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Community Engagement

Service to the community is a core part of UNCW’s mission. UNCW’s Office of Community Engagement and Applied Learning creates opportunities for students and faculty to engage in community-based learning and scholarship; and to support, leverage and build applied learning activities across campus aimed at achieving student success. OCEAL, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement and many campus programs provide access to inclusive and diverse leadership and learning experiences, cultural programming and community-building opportunities that advance the university’s mission of teaching, research and service.
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