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University of North Carolina - Wilmington

United States
Overview

Overview

The University of North Carolina Wilmington is an established institute of education, dedicated to the integration of teaching, research and service. Known as the state's coastal university, UNCW is located in Wilmington, a beachside town on the east coast of the U.S. with a rich and varied history, as well as outstanding natural beauty.

The university campus is situated between the historic Cape Fear riverfront and the extraordinary ocean beaches of Wrightsville, Kure and Carolina, which offers students much to explore and many opportunities for outdoor recreation. The town itself has a distinct architectural character and is a growing center for tourism, offering many unique attractions as well as a flourishing technological sector and a thriving cosmopolitan arts scene. Founded in 1947, UNCW has developed into a respected public institution with almost 18,000 students enrolled.

The university offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs, and offers doctoral degrees in marine biology, educational leadership, psychology and nursing. There are options for distance learning, and programs for working professionals including an International MBA program, providing connections with the wider world of business and commerce.

At UNCW, faculty and students in all departments are actively involved in furthering knowledge from research, and the university is firmly integrated with the region's economic and technological landscape through its development of new products and services. These efforts are supported by public and private grants which support the university's research and innovation programs and provide world-class facilities.

The university offers the nations' only bachelor's degree program focused on coastal engineering. Students at UNCW benefit from an academic experience which encourages critical thinking and creative enquiry, among a diverse and inclusive community, in one of the most accessible natural environments in the United States.

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What's new

What's new

UNCW is continually investing in new and enhanced programs and services. Recently, the university's Language Center has been awarded a U.S. Department of State grant, valued at USD 233,000, for the development of a Cultural Immersion Program.

Kateryna Forynna, director of the UNCW English Language Center will be using the funds to implement an intensive English Language program called the UNCW Summer Access Camp. This program will combine formal English language tuition with a timetable of cultural immersion activities to give a well-rounded experience designed to accelerate English ability, and build confidence in a social and supportive environment.

In July 2022, the UNCW English Language Center will host a secondary school group from Uzbekistan comprising 26 students and two teachers. Participants will experience campus life, and study a weekly program of 18 hours of intensive English classes, as well as an exciting timetable of cultural activities and excursions.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

UNCW makes clear its deep and sustained commitment to the journey of discovery and learning. The university structures its teaching around four categories of student learning, namely critical thinking, creative inquiry, thoughtful expression and responsible citizenship. These are supported by eight UNCW learning goals which are designed to ensure that students have an organizational support structure around which to base their studies.

At the beginning of each academic year, students are introduced to a set of learning outcomes, which establishes what they will have learned, and which skills they will have developed at the end of each year. These learning outcomes are supported by a program of continuous assessment, which ensures that students stay on track for success.

The academic team at UNCW are highly qualified and experienced within their fields, though it is their commitment to encouraging a method of study based around effective communication along lines of critical inquiry which is often held as being of key importance. The staff to student ratio is 17:1 which improves on the national average, and at least 31.9 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students. The first-year retention rate is 85 percent, which improves on the national average of around 75 percent and indicates that UNCW's learning methods are successful at keeping students engaged and on track.

The university's applied learning model, ETEAL (Experiencing Transformative Education through Applied Learning) is a multi-disciplinary approach which incorporates faculty and staff facilitated learning opportunities, including internships, study abroad programs and community-based projects, encouraging UNCW students to expand their education beyond the classroom.

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Department structure

Department structure

The UNCW academic department structure is comprised of five colleges, each specializing in a different area of education. These are the Cameron School of Business, the College of Arts and Sciences the College of Health and Human Services the Watson College of Education and UNCW's Graduate School. The colleges collectively offer over seventy different courses, over a wide range of subject areas. Key courses include those in business, nursing, psychology and biology, and the university has an active research component in many of its degree program curriculums.

The university places a large emphasis on applied learning, and offers many opportunities to its students to extend their education beyond the boundaries of their degree program, and gain hands-on experience in their field by engaging in research and creative discovery.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

UNCW welcomes applications from overseas and has a growing international community of over 650 international students on campus from over 60 countries.

There is a requirement for English language proficiency, since almost all classes at UNCW are taught in English. Admission requires a minimum TOEFL score of 71, or a minimum IELTS score of 6.0. Other acceptable entry tests include a score of 95 on the Duolingo English test (DET) or a score of 54 on the Pearsons test (PTE). There are waiver exceptions, and details for these may be found on the university admissions webpage. Entry requirements vary per graduate department, for graduate entry requirements students are encouraged to visit the university website.

Despite a moderately selective admission system, UNCW has a strong ethos of inclusion and diversity. There are numerous partnerships with schools, government agencies and non-profits, which create opportunities for students to participate in internships and research experiences. This opens up pathways to guaranteed admission, and collaborations with universities worldwide.

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Facilities

Facilities

The UNCW core campus follows a Georgian style architectural design and is set within a beautifully landscaped site, with wide tree-lined pathways and open grass lawns throughout. The site includes Hoggard Hall, the very first building constructed for the university campus, and a statue of a soaring Seahawk. The Seahawk is the UNCW mascot, created by local Wilmington artist Dumay Gorham.

The Student Recreation Center is a state-of-the-art facility, recently expanded in 2013, which provides space and equipment to meet the needs of the UNCW student community. Funded by student fees, and featuring a new competitive indoor swimming facility, current students are able to access the SRC using their university ID card. The center provides opportunities for students to improve fitness, experience new sporting and recreation opportunities and form an active and social lifestyle while pursuing their course of study.

There are twelve halls of residence on the main campus grounds, and a wide range of services within ready walking distance to ensure that students are able to live and study with comfort and ease. On-site amenities include numerous dining establishments, bookstores, computer centers, printing services, a pharmacy, health and wellness services, a counselling center, the Office of International Students & Scholars, and many more resources to support the student population. As the state's coastal university, UNCW also maintains a 108-acre coastal forest research and teaching station in Brunswick County, which is available for tours.

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Scholarships & funding

Scholarships & funding

UNCW has many different scholarship options for new and current students, with several independent awarding entities including the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, Academic Departments, and the Alumni Association.

The number of available scholarships varies from year to year, though there is always a selection of options with both merit and need-based eligibility requirements. In addition to application-based scholarships, UNCW's Office of Admissions awards a limited number of merit-based scholarships to new students, independent of the scholarship application process. These are awarded depending on the content of the student's university admission application and are confirmed to recipients by January.

Since the out-of-state tuition for international students at UNCW is comparatively low, there are only limited scholarship options available through the university itself. The Office of International Students and Scholars provides a list of international scholarship options which students attending UNCW from countries outside the USA are eligible for. The university staff are able to assist international student with applications and references to these financial support options.

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Total average cost: $1767

  • $816
    Housing
  • $677
    Food
  • $98
    Daily life
  • $176
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