As the only designated liberal arts institution in the 16-campus University of North Carolina system, the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) serves students who are prepared for academic challenges by offering an intellectually rigorous education that builds critical thinking and workforce skills. Students with a broad range of interests can select from 30 majors at UNC Asheville, where they’ll get a private school education at a public schools price. Students develop a strong sense of social responsibility through service learning and volunteer activities. They take part in learning far beyond the traditional classroom with internships, study abroad and diverse cultural opportunities. It is one of only six public universities in the country classified as national liberal arts universities.
UNC Asheville gets high marks for educational innovation from U.S. News & World Report and is ranked among the best liberal arts colleges nationally. Located just a mile north of downtown Asheville in the Blue Ridge Mountains, UNC Asheville has more than 3,400 students, and 341 full- and part-time faculty. The university is committed to serving the people of North Carolina and to building strong partnerships with our community that will enrich the quality of life of our region.
See a campus map of the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Community Events & Programs
The North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement (NCCCR) is an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed learning community dedicated to promoting lifelong learning, leadership, community service and research. Approximately 450 members volunteer each year to do everything from teach, serve on committees, run research projects, mentor undergraduates, and provide consulting to other UNCA departments. Read more about retirement in Asheville.
Carol Belk Theatre, located on a wooded quad that is home to the Drama Department and its 200-seat theatre. Productions of Theatre UNCA and Asheville Theatre for Young Audiences take place there.
The Office of Cultural & Special Events (CASE) works to extend classroom learning by providing a wide array of diverse programs that enrich, educate and entertain our students, campus community and the community-at-large. CASE presentations feature world-class, professional performing artists and major speakers.
The University of North Carolina at Asheville was founded in 1927 as Buncombe County Junior College for area residents interested in pursuing their educations beyond high school. The school underwent several name changes, merges with local governments and school systems, and moves across Asheville, and in 1957 Asheville-Biltmore College, as it was then called, became the first two-year institution in North Carolina to qualify as a state-supported community college.
The college relocated in 1961 to its present site, 265 scenic acres. Two years later it became a state-supported senior college under a new board of trustees, and in 1966 awarded its first baccalaureate degrees in liberal arts disciplines. In 1969 Asheville-Biltmore College joined The Consolidated University of North Carolina as the University of North Carolina at Asheville, with the distinct mission to offer an undergraduate liberal arts education of superior quality. In 1972, the Consolidated University added 10 other state-supported senior institutions to form the current 16-campus University of North Carolina system.
UNC Asheville’s reputation as a high-quality public liberal arts university extends beyond the state. UNC Asheville has received national recognition for its integrative approach to the liberal arts, specifically its Undergraduate Research and Humanities programs. The noteworthy combination of innovative academic programs, interdisciplinary study and low cost draws praise from the national college guidebooks annually. The popular Fiske Guide to Colleges ranks UNCA among its top 20 Best Buys in public higher education, saying, "The University of North Carolina at Asheville offers all the perks that are generally associated with pricier private institutions: rigorous academics, small classes and a beautiful setting. And it does it for a fraction of the cost. All the ingredients for a superior college experience lie in wait at Asheville: strong academics, dedicated professors and an administration that continues to push for excellence." The Princeton Review: the Best 311 Colleges, lists UNCA in this select group, saying, “For students who seek a public education in a smaller campus environment, this is a great choice.” And U.S. News & World Report's annual college rankings places UNCA fourth in the nation among public liberal arts colleges.
The current campus comprises about 30 buildings for classrooms, administration, residence and recreation, with a new Master Plan in place for expansion over 20 years. The newest buildings on the scenic mountain campus are two residence halls, South Ridge and West Ridge; a state-of-the-art Health and Fitness Center, which adjoins Justice Athletic Center; and the Dining Hall. See a campus map of the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
For more, go to www.unca.edu.