Jul 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalogue 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalogue

Academic Programs and University Studies

The University of North Carolina Wilmington offers undergraduate programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Fine Arts, the Bachelor of Music, the Bachelor of Science, the Bachelor of Science in Engineering, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and the Bachelor of Social Work degrees. Graduate programs lead to the Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, Master of Fine Arts in creative writing, Master of Public Administration, Master of School Administration, Master of Science, Master of Social Work, Doctor of Education in educational leadership, Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Philosophy in marine biology and applied and experimental psychological science degrees. Professional undergraduate programs include those offered in the Cameron School of Business, the Watson College of Education, and the College of Health and Human Services (School of Health and Applied Human Services, School of Nursing, and School of Social Work). Pre-professional programs are offered in allied health, health-related careers, dentistry, law, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, podiatry and veterinary medicine. The university offers special programs in marine and environmental sciences, 2+2 and 3+2 programs in engineering, as well as a number of opportunities for students to enrich their course of study throughout their academic careers as undergraduates.

University Studies Program

The University Studies Program at UNCW encourages students to begin a life-long journey of engaged inquiry and societal contribution. As a consciously integrated component of each student’s overall educational experience, the program reflects our institution’s fundamental commitment to fostering ethical and intellectual development and to promoting the growth of well-informed, creative, literate members of society. The University Studies Program first establishes the basis of an essential liberal education through a multi-faceted exploration of our diverse intellectual heritage. As it extends through each student’s educational career, the University Studies Program builds upon this foundation through a course of study designed to cultivate the skills and capacities students require to respond to and anticipate the complexities of modern citizenship in an inclusive and creative manner.

Students who meet the requirements of the University Studies program will:

  Goal 1. Acquire foundational knowledge, theories and perspectives in a variety of disciplines (Foundational Knowledge);
  Goal 2. Engage in rigorous, open-minded and imaginative inquiry (Inquiry);
  Goal 3. Locate, evaluate, and effectively use information by applying a variety of academic and technological skills (Information Literacy);
  Goal 4. Integrate multiple methods and perspectives to critically examine complex problems (Critical Thinking);
  Goal 5. Effectively express meaningful ideas in speech and writing (Thoughtful Expression);
  Goal 6. Demonstrate basic proficiency in speaking, listening, writing and reading in a language in addition to English (Foreign Language);
  Goal 7. Describe and examine the importance and implications of human diversity (Diversity);
  Goal 8.

Describe and examine the intellectual and ethical responsibilities of active global citizenship (Global Citizenship).


University Studies Curriculum

University Studies

Categories in this section include:

University Studies Requirements
Curriculum Categories
Waiver of Requirements
Required Physical Education
Transfer Students and University Studies

University Studies Requirements:

Any courses added to University Studies during and after a student’s catalogue year are eligible to fulfill University Studies requirements. If a student takes a course before its addition to University Studies, the course may not automatically fulfill University Studies requirements. Transfer courses fulfill University Studies requirements based on the date of their catalogue year.

Curriculum Categories:

 The Core Curriculum


Other Requirements

V. Critical Reasoning   

Waiver of Requirements:


Students who have not qualified for advanced placement but who because of special circumstances may have writing competencies equal or superior to those required in ENG 101 , ENG 103 , or ENG 201  may present evidence of these writing competencies to the chairperson of the Department of English and request a waiver. At the chair’s discretion, either or both requirements may be waived. This waiver does not grant academic credit.

First-Year Seminar

Students who meet any of the following conditions will be waived from the UNI 101  requirement:

  • Transfer students.
  • Re-enrolling students who have returned and have 27 hours of academic credit (UNCW and transfer credit).
  • The Director of University College will determine if an academically ineligible re-instated student needs to meet this requirement.


Students who have not qualified for advanced placement but who may have competencies equal or superior to those required for successful completion of MAT 151  or MAT 161  may, at the discretion of the chairperson of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, take a waiver examination for either of these courses. An acceptable score on this exam waives the requirement that one of the introductory mathematics courses be taken. This waiver does not grant academic credit.

Lifetime Wellness:

Students who meet either of the following conditions will be waived from the Lifetime Wellness  requirement: 1.) Current military personnel or veterans who have served two or more years active duty; and 2.) students who are 55 year of age or greater.

Students with Existing Degrees:

For students who already possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, including UNCW, the dean of Undergraduate Studies (or her/his designee), after consultation with the chair(s) of the academic unit(s) through which the student is pursuing the second degree, will determine the extent to which the previous course work meets the spirit of UNCW’s current University Studies requirements and will determine any remaining requirements to be completed.

Students who are transferring to UNCW for a second baccalaureate after having earned a baccalaureate at any UNC institution with a general education requirement will be given a waiver for the following University Studies requirements: First Year Seminar, Composition; Lifetime Wellness; Mathematics and Statistics; Aesthetic, Interpretive, & Literary Perspectives; Historical and Philosophical Approaches; Scientific Approaches to the Natural World; and Understanding Human Institutions and Behaviors. For the foreign language requirement, all students should first consult with the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Required Physical Activity as part of the Lifetime Wellness requirement:

As part of the Lifetime Wellness requirement (currently fulfilled only by WPA 101 Wellness and Physical Activity  and WPAL 101 Wellness and Physical Activity Lab ), you will be required to participate in physical activity. It is strongly suggested that you visit a medical professional and obtain a physical prior to the beginning of WPA 101 Wellness and Physical Activity  and WPAL 101 Wellness and Physical Activity Lab . If you have not previously had a physical within 14 months of the start of class, you may be required to obtain a physical and place it on file with the Student Health Center prior to being allowed to participate in the class. This decision will be based upon information you will provide your instructor on the first day of class. If a physical is required, you will have 14 days to complete the physical in order to continue in the course. Failure to obtain a physical after being instructed to do so could result in being dropped from WPA 101 Wellness and Physical Activity  and WPAL 101 Wellness and Physical Activity Lab . Any restrictions placed on your participation following a physical, however, will not adversely affect your grade.

Transfer Students and University Studies

North Carolina Community College transfer students, who have earned an AA or AS degree meeting the requirements of the North Carolina Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) will receive a waiver of Foundations and Approaches & Perspectives requirements with the exception of PE; foreign language; and 3 credits from Living in Our Diverse Nation or Living in a Global Society. They will also receive a waiver of 3 credits each of Writing Intensive, Information Literacy and Critical Reasoning competency requirements. AS and AA degree-holding transfer students will be held to all other University Studies requirements. All other transfer students will be held to University Studies in its entirety, with the exception of First Year Seminar.

University Studies includes both lower division general education components and graduation requirements related to the major. For those articulation agreements specifying transfer of lower division general education requirements, lower division general education components of University Studies include: Foundations, Approaches & Perspectives (only 3 credits of Living in Our Global Society or Living in Our Diverse Nation may apply as lower division credit), 3 credits of Critical Reasoning, 3 credits of Writing Intensive Competency, and 3 credits of Information Literacy Competency. Note that other credit meeting University Studies requirements may transfer on a course-by-course basis and some courses may be exempted by specific agreements (e.g. lifetime wellness and foreign language requirements by the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement).