Jul 24, 2024  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalogue 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalogue Archived Catalogue

University of North Carolina Wilmington

Mission Statement

The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is dedicated to learning through the integration of teaching and mentoring with research and service. Our powerful academic experience stimulates creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression and responsible citizenship in an array of high-quality programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels, and in our doctoral programs in marine biology and educational leadership. Substantial research activity, combined with our hallmark teaching excellence and moderate size, advances distinctive student involvement in faculty scholarship. We are committed to diversity and inclusion, affordable access, global perspectives, and enriching the quality of life through scholarly community engagement in such areas as health, the economy, the environment, marine and coastal issues, and the arts.

Strategic Vision

The faculty, staff, administration and students of UNCW are committed to achieving excellence and to placing UNCW in a position of preeminence among midsized, public universities in the South. UNCW will maintain an intimate learning environment for undergraduates, integrating teaching and mentoring with research and service. UNCW will promote and engage in high-quality scholarship and in master’s-focused graduate education, as well as in selected doctoral programs. UNCW will provide a secure and attractive campus, encourage intellectual and cultural diversity, foster regional engagement, and value individual growth and development. In these ways, UNCW will prepare its graduates for a lifetime of learning, achievement and service for the betterment of self and community.

University Goals

These seven goals form the foundation of UNCW’s strategic plan, which serves to guide the University in fulfillment of its mission.

  • Create the most powerful learning experience possible for our students.
  • Recruit, retain and develop quality faculty, administration and staff in appropriate numbers.
  • Embrace and enhance diversity throughout the University’s constituencies, culture, curriculum and outreach activities.
  • Create an educational environment that prepares our students to be global citizens.
  • Strengthen the University’s regional engagement and outreach activities.
  • Enhance the quality of UNCW’s environment and provide a campus that is attractive, functional and, above all, safe.
  • Ensure adequate resources to achieve University goals by increasing public financial support and private giving.

University of North Carolina Wilmington Board of Trustees

Michael B. Shivar, Chair
Wilma W. Daniels, Vice Chair
Gidget Kidd, Secretary

Class of 2017

Class of 2019

Dennis P. Burgard
Kenneth R. Cameron, Jr.
Michael R. Drummond
Henry L. Kitchin, Jr.
Michael B. Shivar
Maurice R. Smith

Agnes R. Beane
Wilma W. Daniels
Gidgett Kidd
Christopher J. Leonard
Ronald B. McNeill
Henry E. Miller III

Daniel McCord, Student Government Association President

History and Background

Education on the college level first came to Wilmington in 1946 when a college center was established under the direction of the North Carolina College Conference and under the administration of the Directorate of Extension of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The center offered courses on the freshman level to some 250 students during the academic year 1946-47. In 1947 a tax levy was approved by the citizens of New Hanover County, and Wilmington College was brought into existence as a county institution under the control of the New Hanover County Board of Education. In 1948 Wilmington College was officially accredited by the North Carolina College Conference and became a member of the American Association of Junior Colleges. In 1952 the institution was accredited as a junior college by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

In 1958 New Hanover County voted to place the college under the Community College Act of the state of North Carolina. By virtue of this vote, the college became a part of the state system of higher education, and control passed from the New Hanover County Board of Education to a board of 12 trustees, eight of whom were appointed locally and four of whom were appointed by the governor of the state. At the same time the requirements for admission and graduation and the general academic standards of the college came under the supervision of the North Carolina Board of Higher Education, and the college began to receive an appropriation from the state for operating expenses in addition to the local tax.

On July 1, 1963, by an act of the General Assembly of North Carolina, Wilmington College became a senior college with a four-year curriculum, authorized to offer the bachelor’s degree.

By vote of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina in late 1968, with subsequent approval by the North Carolina Board of Higher Education, and by an act of the General Assembly of North Carolina in 1969, Wilmington College became, on July 1, 1969, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. It, and the institution in Asheville previously designated as Asheville-Biltmore College, became the fifth and sixth campuses of the University of North Carolina.

On October 30, 1971 the General Assembly in special session merged, without changing their names, the remaining ten state-supported senior institutions into the University. Thus, the University of North Carolina now comprises 16 institutions.

On August 22, 1977 the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina authorized the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to offer its first graduate programs at the master’s level.

In the spring of 1985 the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina elevated the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to a Comprehensive Level I University.

The programs offered by the University include four-year programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science degrees within the College of Arts and Sciences, the Cameron School of Business, the Watson College of Education, and the College of Health and Human Services; graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts, the Master of Arts in Teaching, the Master of Business Administration, the International Master of Business Administration, the Master of Education, the Master of Fine Arts in creative writing, the Master of Public Administration, the Master of School Administration, the Master of Science, the Master of Science in Accountancy, the Master of Science in Nursing degrees, and Master of Social Work; a Ph.D. in Marine Biology, an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership; several post-baccalaureate and post-master’s certificate programs, a variety of pre-professional programs, and special programs in a variety of areas, including marine science research, and continuing education.

Academic Standing                 

The University of North Carolina Wilmington is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of UNC Wilmington. The Watson College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The Cameron School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. The University also holds membership in the North Carolina Association of Colleges and Universities, the American Placement Council, the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the Council of Graduate Schools, and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. It is on the list of schools approved by the American Chemical Society and is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. The parks and recreation management curriculum is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Recreation, Park Resources, and Leisure Services. The athletic training education program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. The master’s degree in psychology concentration in applied behavior analysis is designated as an approved course sequence by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc., and the concentration in substance abuse treatment is designated an approved course sequence by the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board.  The Master of Public Administration program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. The bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in social work are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Those wishing to review accreditation and certification documents should contact the provost’s office.

The Faculty

The University seeks to attract and maintain a faculty of outstanding individuals who are capable of contributing to the enrichment of its diverse and comprehensive instructional and research programs. Its faculty members come from all geographic sections of the United States and several foreign countries, bringing to this campus a rich variety of educational experiences, training and scholarship. Of the more than 960 instructional and research faculty, more than 86 percent of full-time faculty hold doctoral or other terminal degrees.

Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching

As part of its ongoing efforts to underscore the importance of teaching and to encourage, identify, recognize, reward, and support good teaching within the University, the Board of Governors in 1993 created the annual system wide teaching awards which are designated Board of Governors Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Sixteen awards are given annually, with one recipient selected from each of the constituent institutions. The first awards were given in the 1994-95 academic year.

Board of Trustees Teaching Excellence Award

The Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, in recognition of this institution’s commitment to teaching excellence, has established the Board of Trustees Teaching Excellence Award. Recipients of the award manifest excellence as a way of life and stand out among the faculty as persons who have made and continue to make a significant contribution to higher education through their dedication and service to students. The award carries with it both an honor and a responsibility: it identifies a member of the faculty as a person of excellence, and it calls upon the person so honored to share that excellence with colleagues and students.

Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award

The Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award recognizes all aspects of excellence in teaching and in teaching-related activities that foster students’ desire for lifetime learning and success. Up to six awards are given annually, three for the College of Arts and Sciences, one for the Cameron School of Business, one for the Watson College of Education and one for the College of Health and Human Services.

J. Marshall Crews Distinguished Faculty Award

The UNCW Alumni Association began annually awarding the J. Marshall Crews Award to an outstanding faculty member in the academic year 2002. The award is in honor of Dr. J. Marshall Crews for his leadership at Wilmington College and UNCW. The recipient receives a $500 stipend and a bronze medallion from the association in recognition of stellar academic accomplishments.

Distinguished Teaching Professorship Award

The Distinguished Teaching Professorship Awards exemplify UNCW’s commitment to excellence in teaching and in teaching-related activities by recognizing faculty members who have made a profound contribution to higher education through their dedication and service to students. Three awards are given each year, and each recipient holds the award for three years.

Graduate Mentor Award

The Graduate Mentor Award recognizes members of UNCW’s graduate faculty who have excelled at teaching at the graduate level and who have an established record of mentoring graduate students. The latter includes not only guiding the research activity of students during their tenure at UNCW but also helping students become established as independent scholars and professionals.

The UNCW Award for Faculty Scholarship

The UNCW Award for Faculty Scholarship is designed to underscore this institution’s continuing commitment to scholarship and creative work. Recipients of the award stand out among the faculty as persons who have made, and continue to make, a significant contribution to the University and the academic community through their commitment to scholarship, research and creativity. Up to three awards are given annually.

The Community of Scholars at UNCW

The Community of Scholars at UNCW is a network of collaborative resources aimed at enhancing the pursuit of the life of the mind. Its mission is to:

  • support academic innovation and educational initiatives within the university community,
  • provide resources for faculty development in teaching, research, and service,
  • support the participation of the wider university community in the intellectual endeavor,
  • represent in action and form the basic values of the life of the mind, and
  • facilitate communication among all university departments, offices, and divisions.

All resource units promoting this mission are welcome to participate in the Community of Scholars at UNCW. Collaboration of these resources is enhanced by the Community of Scholars Council which brings together on a regular basis the directors of the resource units with representatives from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Randall Library, Information Technology Services, Faculty Senate, University College, Honors Scholars College and Student Government. Its charge is to review the activities of the resource units and to consider strategies for enhancing the intellectual growth of our community.

Current Community of Scholars Resource Units:

The Center for the Support of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships


The Center for the Support of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CSURF) is a resource to coordinate opportunities and information related to UNCW undergraduate research and scholarship. In addition, CSURF coordinates the application and nomination process for national competitive scholarships and fellowships for undergraduates. The center is housed in the Honors Scholars College Office.

The Center for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Leadership


The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) provides workshops on a variety of teaching issues, encourages innovations in teaching through awarding stipends for course development, and supports continued education in the scholarship of teaching by subsidizing travel to teaching conferences. Its mission is to foster a campus-wide climate where teaching is highly valued, as well as provide leadership in the application of scholarship to teaching. CTE encourages efforts to achieve excellence in teaching by running programs for course development and improvement, implementing new instructional technologies, and providing support services. CTE will also conduct orientations for new faculty and work to integrate them into the university community.


The Center for Faculty Leadership (CFL) is dedicated to developing and sustaining the high quality of academic leadership central to supporting the mission of the university and achieving the goals outlined in its strategic plan. The center serves as a resource for individuals with aspirations for academic leadership; as a training center for newly appointed department chairs, division coordinators, and program directors; and as a retooling center for current, mid-level academic leaders interested in improving the quality of their academic programs and/or advancing their professional careers in university administration. Information and assistance emphasize exploration, experimentation, and networking with programs presented in a variety of formats: informal discussions, formal workshops, guest lectures, conferences, networking and alliance building, mentoring and shadowing. The center’s mission encourages collaborative initiatives by the faculty. Thus, the center also serves as a resource for faculty-generated initiatives that require institutional support beyond the departmental or program level.

Centro Hispano


The mission of Centro Hispano is to nurture students into becoming strong leaders, representative of all the core values of UNCW, through the promotion of academic excellence, cultural representation, and leadership development. Centro Hispano serves as a link between students and all available resources needed for their academic growth, as well as for their development as future professionals. We focus on embracing and nurturing diversity, on developing student leadership, and on promoting best practices and best use of resources needed for academic success. Our emphasis on diversity is exemplified by our goal of increasing the representation of the diversity within the Hispanic culture through students, faculty, staff, campus events, curriculum, and community engagement. Our focus on student leadership development provides students with enrichment opportunities including leadership conference, leadership seminars and certificates, as well as leadership roles within our campus and community.

The Office of e-Learning


The Office of e-Learning, a unit of the division of Academic Affairs, provides support for faculty through assistance in a variety of formats including individualized instruction, multi-modal delivery of training, and self-paced online materials. Instructional designers in this office use a curriculum development approach to support fully online, web-based and web-enhanced instruction. Other support services include online program development, Inter-Institutional registration and UNC Online site management, and collaboration with UNCW Extension Sites.

Upperman African American Cultural Center


The Upperman African American Cultural Center (Upperman Center) provides UNCW students, faculty and staff, and the greater Wilmington community a central location from which they can experience the rich heritage of African Americans through print and visual media, workshops, presentations, exhibits, and cultural performances. The Center provides a welcoming atmosphere for all UNCW students. The Upperman Center also provides support and advocacy for African American students at UNCW.

Women’s Studies and Resource Center


The Women’s Studies and Resource Center engages in an interdisciplinary community of scholars, students and advocates working in gender, sexuality, and Women’s Studies. The Center promotes gender equality, both locally and globally, through research support, programming, an academic minor, and community engagement. Finally, the Center provides physical space for gathering, resources, and referrals for the UNCW and Wilmington communities.