Promoting Areas of Distinction

One of the most remarkable benefits of having a statewide public higher education system is the choice it affords students.

The UNC System comprises 17 distinct institutions. Each one is unique, with its own teaching and research profile. Some are large, comprehensive universities, while others offer a smaller, more intimate learning environment. The System also includes the nation’s first residential advanced math and science high school. Each institution has its own mission, but every one offers transformative learning opportunities.

North Carolina offers a public university to fulfill any academic aspiration and to suit any individual learning style. The UNC System boasts a world-class arts conservatory; a leading liberal arts college; two internationally ranked research universities; and several robust regional institutions, which expand opportunity in every part in the state. North Carolina is home to five public Historically Black Colleges and Universities—more than any other state—and one Native American-serving institution.

Every UNC System institution opened and evolved to address the real needs North Carolinians faced—for teacher preparation, for industrial skills, for agricultural expertise. Each institution has its own unique and humble origin story. Every one has grown and evolved, but these origins continue to shape each institution’s distinct character and mission.

The UNC System is committed to enhancing and celebrating the diversity of its institutions and the faculty, staff, and students who call these institutions “home.”