The University of North Carolina at Asheville at first established in 1927 as the Buncombe County Junior College. After merging with the College of the City of Asheville, the college underwent four subsequent name changes. It wasn’t until 1966 that UNC Asheville granted its first bachelor’s degree and became a public four-year state institution. Today, UNCA is the only dedicated liberal arts university within the 16-member University of North Carolina system. UNC Asheville is located on a 360-acre suburban campus in Asheville near the Swannanoa River within the Blue Ridge Mountains. The University of North Carolina at Asheville enrolls over 3,700 students in predominantly baccalaureate education.
According to the U.S. News, UNC Asheville is the 148th best national liberal arts college and eighth top public school for 2016. Forbes has named UNCA the 111th best university in the South. The University of North Carolina at Asheville is included within the Princeton Review’s “Best 380 Colleges” and “Colleges That Pay You Back.” Kiplinger’s Personal Finance recognized UNC Asheville for having the sixth lowest in-state tuition and 10th lowest student debt among America’s public liberal arts colleges. UNCA was crowned a “Best Buy” in the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Washington Monthly also ranked UNC Asheville the 119th best liberal arts institution nationwide for social mobility.
University of North Carolina at Asheville Accreditation Details
Reaffirmed in December 2012, the University of North Carolina at Asheville is accredited at the bachelor’s and master’s level by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). In addition, seven programs have programmatic accreditations. The accounting and management degrees are approved via the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The Department of Education meets the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Engineering degrees are reviewed by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The American Chemical Society (ACS) also granted approval for the chemistry program.
University of North Carolina at Asheville Application Requirements
With an acceptance rate of 73 percent, the University of North Carolina at Asheville has a selective admissions process. First-year applicants must be earning a diploma or the GED equivalent. Freshmen under age 21 must satisfy the minimum curriculum requirements of the UNC system. This includes four units of English, four units of math, three units of science, and two units of foreign language. On average, admitted students have a GPA of 3.98 from accredited high schools. Freshmen also achieve an average score of 1732 on the SAT and 25 on the ACT.
Undergraduate transfers must earn 24 or more credit hours from a regionally accredited college before becoming eligible. Incoming transfer students must possess a minimum collegiate GPA of 2.5 and qualify for re-enrollment at their previous school. Transfers with an associate’s degree don’t have to submit high school transcripts. Non-English speaking international students must certify language proficiency with a computer-based TOEFL of 213 or higher. For the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences, applicants must hold an accredited bachelor’s degree with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
Before the October 15th or February 15th deadlines, students interested in the University of North Carolina at Asheville should apply by sending:
• Completed online admissions form
• Payment for the $75 application fee
• Official, sealed academic transcripts
• College entrance exam scores (SAT or ACT)
• High school counselor reference form
• Personal goals essay (minimum of 250 words)
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduates from North Carolina will pay $6,605 each year at UNC Asheville. Non-resident students enrolling full-time must afford $22,219 per undergraduate year. Room and board is estimated to cost $8,332 annually. Textbooks, supplies, and personal expenses add an extra $2,500. Total annual cost of attendance for full-time undergraduates is $18,601 (in-state) and $35,315 (out-of-state). North Carolina residents living at home can pay just $13,869 each year. Graduate students are charged $7,345 (in-state) or $22,585 (out-of-state) for tuition and fees every full-time year.
73 percent of beginning, full-time UNCA students receive financial assistance. Money can be borrowed through the Federal Perkins, Federal Direct Subsidized, Federal Direct Unsubsidized, Federal Direct Parent PLUS, or Federal Direct Grad PLUS loans. Some may qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state residents should apply for the UNC Need-Based Grant and North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship. The UNC Asheville Grant is offered for up to $4,000. Federal Work-Study (FWS) is awarded for part-time employment. Full and partial athletic grant-in-aid is available. Scholarships, including the Founder’s Scholarship, Pisgah Scholars Program, and Transfer Scholarship, are numerous.
At University of North Carolina at Asheville, undergraduate students can select from 34 majors leading to a bachelor’s degree. Majors can be supplemented with 37 different minors. There’s also one graduate program, the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences (MLAS). As a member of COPLAC, the university requires all students to complete the same liberal arts core. With the student-faculty ratio of 14:1, over 50 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students. Available degrees include:
B.S. in Engineering
Issued jointly with North Carolina State University, the ABET-accredited B.S. in Engineering program is delivered via distance learning to boost understanding on the operation, maintenance, and repair of engineered machinery. The eight-semester program requires the completion of 128 credits, including a built-in Mechatronics Concentration. Coursework will delve into physics, thermodynamics, solid mechanics, electric circuitry, logic design, and fluid dynamics.
B.S. in Music Technology
Taught in UNCA’s recording studio with a 5.1 surround sound system, the B.S. in Music Technology program trains undergraduates to professionally mix and record music. The 126-credit curriculum includes courses on physics, electronics, programming, digital media, audio engineering, music history, harmony, music theory, and aural skills. Since 1982, students have benefited from top-notch internships with artists like Alison Krauss, Dierks Bentley, and R.E.M.
B.S. in Health and Wellness Promotion
Housed in the Wilma M. Sherrill Center, the B.S. in Health and Wellness Promotion program at UNC Asheville prepares students for providing health education services to at-risk populations to prevent chronic disease. Within the 128-credit curriculum, students can follow the Pre-Health Professions or K-12 Health and Physical Education Teacher Licensure track. Coursework will explore health policy, public relations, coaching, fitness, physical activity, and wellness programming.
Other unique degrees granted by the University of North Carolina at Asheville are the BFA in Jazz and Contemporary Music, B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences, B.A. in New Media, and B.S. in Environmental Studies.