University of North Carolina Wilmington


The University of North Carolina – Wilmington (UNCW) is located in coastal Wilmington, North Carolina. It was founded as Wilmington College in 1947 and has since grown to serve approximately 13,000 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students across 52 majors, 35 master’s degrees, a Ph.D. program, and an Ed.D. program.

UNCW seeks to provide a powerful, relevant education through classroom teaching, research, and community engagement. Its many new and high-tech facilities, including the Center for Marine Science, offer students a modern approach to science and education.


Information Summary

Ranks 8th in North Carolina and 326th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 89.7
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $24,982
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 27 / 1320
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 19 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 83% / 50%
Enrollment Total (all students) 16,747


UNCW is split into four academic colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the Cameron School of Business, and the Watson School of Education. There is also the Graduate School, which offers master’s and doctorate degree in a wide variety of studies.

The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest program within UNCW. It is home to 21 departments, through which students can earn Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Sciences degrees. There are a number of special undergraduate tracks – including engineering programs, professional writing programs, and pre-professional programs – offered jointly by the College and other institutions.

The College of Health and Human Services was added to the University’s academic offerings in June 2010, with the mission of training future health service providers and becoming an authority in professional health education. Health students can choose from among the three Schools: Health and Applied Human Sciences, Nursing, and Social Work.

For students with other specific interests, there is an assortment of additional programs and centers, including the Center for Marine Science, the Center for Teaching Excellence, and the Honors Scholars Program.

Most Popular Fields of Study


University of North Carolina at Wilmington :: University of North Carolina Wilmington Building :: University of North Carolina Wilmington
University of North Carolina Wilmington


UNCW welcomes well-rounded students who are passionate about studying and who are ready to become an active part of the UNCW community.

The University maintains relatively high academic standards: the average high school GPA for the incoming 2011 class was 3.80, and middle 50 percent SAT scores were between 1130 and 1250. UNCW offers class credit for AP, IB, CLEP, and DSST tests.

If you are interested in learning more, the admissions office encourages you to come for a Visit Day, information session, or daily tour. The schedule is posted on the UNCW website. While you’re exploring the school, keep an open mind! UNCW students have until their sophomore year to declare their majors.

Financial Aid

The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) is dedicated to helping students find a feasible, affordable way to pursue a degree at UNCW. The first step in applying for aid is to fill out the FAFSA, which is available for free at This form determines eligibility for federal aid programs, including federal work-study programs, grants for tuition, and loans.

Students may also apply for scholarships through the OSFA and departmental website. Most departments offer awards that typically range between $500 and $1500. Criteria for the scholarships may include academic excellence, financial need, a minimum GPA, or general merit.

OSFA also provides a number of resources and guidelines for those seeking outside aid. Students can earn scholarship money from the state of North Carolina, from sponsored scholarship competitions that appear on UNCW’s Advertised Scholarship page, or from any number of additional sources. Once a student has won an award, they must inform the University promptly so that payment can be processed.

North Carolina residents who have a combined family income of less than 200% of the poverty level may be eligible for the SOAR program. SOAR students demonstrate high academic achievement, a willingness to learn and be mentored, and a desire to participate in community service. In exchange, they receive a package of grants and loans that shoulder the financial burden of attending UNCW.

A list of all of the available university scholarships with descriptions can be found online in the university catalogue.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 3319th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in North Carolina.


Your life as a UNCW student begins with a two-day freshman orientation (one day for transfers), during which you’ll meet many of your fellow classmates and learn everything you need to know about getting started on campus.

The Campus Activities & Involvement Center (CAIC) makes it easy to find a campus group that’s right for you. You can join one of UNCW’s 230+ student organizations, get involved in student government, or find out about special events using the tools or resources available there.

Another way to get involved is just by meeting people in your classes and residence halls. There are 45 residence halls that service the UNCW campus, including traditional dorms, suites, and apartments. Nearly 40 percent of students live on campus, and students who opt to move off campus can access most of the community’s services through the Seahawk Perch, UNCW’s network for off-campus residents.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


UNCW is a NCAA Division-I college and member of the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association). Seahawks compete with 19 varsity sports teams for both men and women and are nationally ranked in many sports. Head Coach Dave Allen has been named CAA Coach-of-the-Year 12 times, having led his swimming teams to 12 CAA championships and two Eastern titles. In 2011, UNCW hosted the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship.

The college also has a Club Sports program, which offers more than 25 different types of sports for high-level intercollegiate competition. Club Sports are managed by Campus Recreation, keep regular practice schedules, and often travel to games and tournaments.

Finally, for students who are looking for a more casual way to participate in sports, there are a number of fun and low-pressure intramural teams for activities like basketball, disk golf, volleyball, and horseshoes. Intramural games are played amongst teams of students, faculty, and staff, and almost always take place on campus.

Additional School Information

Though less than a century old, UNCW is already a school steeped in tradition. Start off the year with UNCWelcome, a series of events and activities that kick off the fall semester. Past programs have included concerts, beach parties, workshops, and even a hypnotist.

If you want to find ways to get involved, head over to the Involvement Carnival, a showcase for the more than 230 student organizations at UNCW, and the perfect place to sign up for a new club or activity.

Finally, celebrate the beginning of the school year with the annual Beach Blast, a campus-wide celebration at Wrightsville Beach. There is free music, food, surfing lessons, and more, but the best part is meeting and getting to know your future classmates.


  • UNCW Department of Athletics 2009-2010 Annual Report. UNC Wilmington. Print.
  • UNC Wilmington. UNCW Marketing and Communications, 2010. Print.
  • University of North Carolina Wilmington. Web. 19 July 2011.
  • University of North Carolina Wilmington. Web. 19 July 2011.

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