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.


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 17,500 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 program, structured for working professionals. UNCW’s academic programs offer a multi-disciplinary applied learning approach that incorporates internships, study abroad, community-based projects, research, directed independent study, and other educational opportunities.
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UNCW’s efforts to advance research and push the boundaries of innovation have created a thriving campus culture rooted in inquiry, curiosity, and imagination. UNCW faculty and staff conduct stellar research, 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 help from a $400 million investment in capital improvements, UNCW’s community of scholars continues to expand research endeavors and address issues of local, regional, and wide-reaching significance.
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Community Engagement

Service to the community is a core part of UNCW’s mission. Academic programs across campus encourage students to interact with the community through applied learning experiences. The Office of Student Leadership and Engagement creates dynamic opportunities for students to become actively involved with the community as volunteers and leaders. UNCW’s Office of Community Engagement serves as a conduit for collaboration between the university and our local, regional, state, national and international partners. These engaged partnerships and projects further the university’s mission of teaching, research, and service.
Learn About UNCW Community