From its establishment as Wilmington College in 1947 with 238 students to its record-setting enrollment of nearly 13,000 in 2009, the University of North Carolina Wilmington has transformed the lives of more than 53,000 men and women over the past 62 years and has had a major impact on the community it serves.
The university’s unique blend of teaching, research experiences and service learning opportunities attracts high-quality students and gives graduates a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Recognized this past year by several publications as a top public undergraduate institution, UNCW continues its pursuit to soar to even greater heights.
“The UNCW of today is a fantastic university,” said Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo. “The momentum that propels us to soar higher derives from our students’ achievements, faculty and staff accomplishments and strong support from alumni, friends, trustees, volunteer board members and other donors.”
For the 12th straight year, U.S.News & World Report has ranked UNCW as one of the top 10 public master's universities in the South. And, for the second straight year, UNCW is on the publication’s list of 16 "up-and-coming" master's universities in the South. The university was included, for the first time, in the prestigious Fiske Guide to Colleges and was named as a 2010 Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine. The Princeton Review also included UNCW in its “Best in the Southeast” listing for the sixth consecutive year.
The university is made up of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Cameron School of Business, the School of Nursing, the Watson School of Education and the Graduate School. With an enrollment of nearly 13,000 students, UNCW offers bachelor’s degrees in 52 majors, 35 master’s degrees, a Ph.D. in marine biology and an Ed.D. in educational leadership and administration.
Degree programs in the School of Nursing, Watson School of Education and Cameron School of Business are designed specifically to serve professional workforce needs in the region. The College of Arts and Sciences stresses applied learning experiences across the liberal arts disciplines to prepare its students to bridge the gap between the classroom and the complex problems of 21st century communities.
UNCW’s strength in the natural sciences, especially biological sciences, chemistry, geological sciences and other disciplines that form the core of its internationally respected niche in marine science, is the result of decades of intentional focus and investment.
Faculty, staff and students at UNCW’s Center for Marine Science and its state-of-the-art facility on the Intracoastal Waterway at Myrtle Grove are engaged in a wide variety of basic and applied research, service and education. These activities have implications for economic development, including marine biotechnology and “pharmaceuticals from the sea,” which have led to active agreements with pharmaceutical companies.
UNCW’s mariculture program was established to address technical constraints that need to be overcome to make the cultivation of marine species a viable industry. The objectives are to develop and transfer to commercial users cost-effective, environmentally sound technologies for marine food production and to mitigate depletion of marine populations through commercial cultivation or stock enhancement.
In the arts and literature, UNCW’s high profile programs are film studies and creative writing. The Department of Film Studies takes advantage of the location of UNCW in Wilmington, N.C., the home of Screen Gems Studios, the largest full-service motion picture facility in the United States east of California. The Master of Fine Arts in creative writing is one of the most respected on the East Coast, cited as one of “Five Top Innovative/Unique Programs in Creative Writing” in 2007 by Atlantic Monthly.
UNC Wilmington has taken a leadership role in the long-term economic, environmental, educational, social and cultural health of Southeastern North Carolina. Overall, the university has an annual $500 million economic impact on the eight-county region. This represents 5.5 percent of total economic activity and supports more than 7,700 jobs.
The H. David and Diane Swain Center for Business and Economic Services, the business research and extension division of the Cameron School of Business, collects and analyzes local, state and national economic data that impact the region and its growth. Using faculty and available resources, the Swain CBES also provides professional and executive educational opportunities for organizations and professionals in the community with major emphasis on business training, entrepreneurship and real estate.
In 2008, the Small Business and Technology Development Center at UNCW stimulated the creation or retention of more than 150 jobs, increased client sales by more than $3.3 million and helped small businesses obtain more than $4 million in financing. Over the last 10 years, counseling provided statewide to SBTDC clients generated $4.37 in incremental tax revenues for every $1 spent on the SBTDC program.
The Division for Public Service and Continuing Studies carries out the university's strong commitment to adult learners by offering short, non-credit university courses, seminars, lectures, travel excursions and other educational opportunities through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, while the Office of Professional Education provides high quality, customized learning experiences to meet the needs of area businesses and industries and their employees.
The Adult Scholars Leadership Program engages seniors with community leaders, experts and policy makers to proactively explore, learn and participate in solutions to regional challenges.
The UNCW Executive Development Center at the New Hanover County Northeast Regional Library offers corporate and community groups a state-of-the-art facility for professional meetings, retreats and small conferences.
For general university information, call (910) 962-3000. For information on undergraduate admissions call (910) 962-3243; for graduate studies call (910) 962-3135. For information on lifelong learning programs call (910) 962-3195. Contact Randall Library at (910) 962-3760. www.uncw.edu