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University of North Carolina Wilmington

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Affordable, Acclaimed Public Education at UNCW

University of North Carolina Wilmington appears in our ranking of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South.

Ranked 114th nationally by Forbes, the University of North Carolina Wilmington is a state-funded coastal, coed CAA member in “Port City” that delivers 68 bachelor’s, 59 master’s, and four doctoral degrees plus the Early College’s Cooperative Innovative High School Program at an 18:1 student-teacher ratio. For example, the Oceanography B.S. builds a 124-credit, four-year curriculum headed by Dr. Doug Gamble where Seahawks can conduct Applied Climate Research Lab projects, earn GeoCorps internships, and study abroad in Barbados. Chaired by Dr. Hengameh Kermani, the Education of Young Children B.A. has a 124-credit, CAEP-accredited track toward Birth-Kindergarten teacher licensure with practicum placements like Mary Washington Howe Center and Kappa Delta Pi membership.

Online on Canvas starting Fall 2019, the Finance & Investment Management M.S. is North Carolina’s first such 30-credit, 12-month program overseen by Dr. Bill Sackley with accelerated seven-week, 500-level courses like Wealth Planning and Fixed Income Analysis for CFA certification. Directed by Dr. Matthew Gallek, the Doctor of Nursing Practice follows a 36-credit, CCNE-accredited hybrid path for advanced RNs to spend five semesters completing 1,000 immersion hours at clinical partners, such as New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Other UNC-Wilmington degrees include the Chemistry B.S., French B.A., Political Science B.A., Theatre B.A., Data Science M.S., School Administration M.S.A., Gerontology M.S., Conflict Management M.A., Mathematics M.S., and Psychology Ph.D.

About the University of North Carolina Wilmington

The University of North Carolina Wilmington originated on September 4, 1947, when the New Hanover County Board of Education opened Wilmington College for an inaugural class of 238. In 1948, the two-year institute joined the American Association of Junior Colleges. Fully accredited in 1952, Wilmington College switched to a four-year bachelor’s curriculum in 1963. Five years later, the General Assembly adopted the University of North Carolina Wilmington name. On August 22, 1977, UNCW debuted its earliest master’s program for graduate studies. In 1979, UNCW organized the Watson College of Education for teacher preparation. In 1995, UNC-Wilmington partnered with Coastal Carolina Community College to form the Onslow Extension. In 2000, the well-known Center for Marine Science opened at Myrtle Grove. In 2006, the Marine Biology Ph.D. became Wilmington’s first doctorate.

Endowed for $101.72 million, the University of North Carolina Wilmington now employs 1,092 faculty teaching 14,452 undergrad and 2,295 post-grad Seahawks from 26 countries online or on its 661-acre campus near Wrightsville Beach with 280+ clubs like Cupcakes for a Cure. In 2019, UNCW had a Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching recipient. In 2018, Wilmington received the American Institute of Architects’ Rose Award. The University of North Carolina Wilmington won a 2018 Tau Kappa Epsilon Excellence in Achievement Award too. The U.S. News & World Report named UNCW the 163rd top teaching, 129th best nursing, and 123rd best public affairs school. On Niche, UNCW boasts America’s 144th best environmental science, 152nd top criminal justice, and 153rd best kinesiology degrees. Money Magazine declared UNC-Wilmington the 486th top value. WalletHub applauded UNCW for the 186th best educational outcomes.

University of North Carolina Wilmington Accreditation Details

On December 9, 2013, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees voted favorably to reaffirm the Level VI accreditation at the University of North Carolina Wilmington through 2022-23 under Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli, PhD, a Fulbright Scholar. Located 417 miles west via Interstate 20 in Decatur, Georgia, this elite 11-state Southeast Region accreditor is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and North Carolina State Department of Education. The Institutional Research & Planning Office also lists the following specialized accreditations:

  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
  • Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
  • Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education

University of North Carolina Wilmington Application Requirements

Admission at the University of North Carolina Wilmington is classified “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s since 7,767 of the 11,677 Fall 2018 applicants were okayed for 67 percent acceptance. First-year Seahawks must display academic achievement during high school or GED completion. The Early College considers secondary juniors and seniors for its Cooperative Innovative High School Program. Freshmen need a minimum 2.8 GPA, though the average is 3.86. The middle 50th percentile have SAT scores of 560-630 for reading and 570-630 for math. Mid-range admitted ACT scores are 22-26. Transfers are test-optional over age 21 or with 24+ college credits and GPAs above 2.5. The Graduate School requires four years of regionally accredited bachelor’s preparation. For instance, the Athletic Training M.S. mandates prerequisite courses like General Physics and Medical Terminology. Competitive post-grads achieve GPAs of 3.0-3.5 or better. Average GRE scores are 155 verbal and 151 quantitative. Most Cameron School cohorts have GMAT scores of 475-570.

The University of North Carolina Wilmington enforces freshman deadlines of November 1st for Early Action or February 1st for Regular Decision. Transfers need to apply before March 1st for Summer or Fall and October 15th for Spring starts. The Graduate School has varying program-specific deadlines. Creative Writing M.F.A. cohorts must file before January 7th. The Public Administration M.P.A. considers candidates until December 1st and July 1st. The Film Studies M.A. closes on February 15th. Accordingly, complete the UNCW or Common Application online for $80. Forward official transcripts to 601 South College Road in Wilmington, NC 28403. Directly send test scores using SAT/GRE code 5907, MAT code 1372, or ACT code 3174. Attach checklist items, such as the short essay, transfer in-progress report, GED certificate, recommendations, resume, and research paper. Contact (910) 962-3243 or admissions@uncw.edu with questions.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2019-20, the University of North Carolina Wilmington is charging full-time “Tar Heel State” undergrads $4,400 annually. Non-resident bachelor’s tuition is $18,508 each year full-time. Mandatory student fees are $2,738 yearly. Optional health insurance premiums are $2,622. Living at the New Hanover County campus’ dorms like Galloway Hall adds $6,790 for rent. Standard meal plans for the Hawk’s Nest are $4,107 extra. UNCW budgets $1,126 for books, $1,810 for transport, and $1,650 for personal needs. Annual undergrad attendance equals about $25,307 in-state and $39,415 out-of-state. Online bachelor’s courses are $167 to $636 per credit. The Graduate School generally bills North Carolinians $4,720 and non-residents $18,548 every year. Online master’s students spend $481 to $1,159 per credit.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Office of Financial Aid in Warwick Center Room 139 links 49 percent of full-time UNCW Seahawks to median tuition assistance of $6,407 each for $45.21 million combined. Institutional funds include the Ann Royer Corley Scholarship, Bill Dooley Athletics Scholarship, Carol Thysell Scholarship, Charles Long Memorial Scholarship, Donald Watson Honors Scholarship, Frank Dunne Jr. Scholarship, James Joseph Megivern Scholarship, Kay Whitfield Scholarship, Osher Reentry Scholarship, Ron Johnson Diversity Scholarship, and Steve Harper Business Scholarship. The Rotary Club of Wilmington Scholarship gifts $1,800 annually to Honors College students with minimum 3.3 GPAs. The $1,000 Ada Zola King Dean Scholarship has a March 1st deadline for incoming BSN in Nursing majors. Federal resources, such as the Pell Grant or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, require FAFSA applications coded 002984. North Carolinians also pursue the UNC Need-Based Grant, Education Lottery Scholarship, Penn Family Scholarship, Neyhart Scholarship, and more.

Explore five top-notch colleges housing 130+ innovative, oceanfront programs placed 45th overall by Washington Monthly at the University of North Carolina Wilmington website.