I am a recent graduate of UNCW and I have been alumni for about a year and a half now. I went to UNCW to study Business Administration with a concentrate in Entrepreneurship and Business Development. During my four years at UNCW, I absolutely loved it and I would not choose any other school in North Carolina that I would want to attend. Before I had attended UNCW, I went to UNCP, which is a good school, but I knew that I wanted more. One weekend I came down to UNCW with some friends and we stayed with some friends of some friends on campus. During my stay, I had made up my mind that UNCW was the school that I wanted to attend. I had fallen in love with everything about UNCW from the location to the aesthetic value that the campus has to offer. Though UNCW may seem like it is perfect it also has some drawbacks to it but I will get to that later.
So What are the pros of UNCW?
Near the coast
Now, this is my favorite part of going to UNCW because I enjoy outdoor activities very much. The campus is about a 15-minute ride to Wrightsville beach or a 30 minute you travel to other beaches like Carolina Beach, Kure, and Fort Fisher. Being near the coastline adds so many more activities for you to try like surfing, fishing, boating, diving and much more. You can also enjoy leisurely activities like walking on the beach, sunbathing or watching nice sunsets. Being near the coast also adds a whole new laid-back vibe to your campus that you might like. There are much more clubs at the school that are dedicated to the coasts like boating clubs, surfing clubs and surf riders club which helps clean up the beaches. The reason why UNCW is so popular for marine biology that uses it is near the coast. If you end up staying on campus then it is very easy to bike to the beach. For instructions on how to bike to the beach then please check out my blog.
The campus has a very nice aesthetic value to it from the buildings to the people. All of the buildings are beautiful from the outside and on the inside. All of the buildings are made out of brick and have a nice layout. Most of the newer buildings are very nice on the inside such as the Watson education building and the computer information systems building. Then you have chancellors walk, which is a big concrete straight away, and you have buildings of each side. Being able to walk down this road to your class will seem like a blessing every time you get to do it. The foliage is also nice, there are palm trees and pines all around and assorted ponds that are available for you to sit at and ponder on your day.
I always here people complaining about how the food is bad at UNCW. I wish they only know how good they had it compared to UNCP. The food here at UNCW is amazing compared to UNCP, which was like slop. UNCW’s Wagoner hall has won awards for how great their food is and they try their best to offer healthy alternatives for everybody’s diet. There campus dining also includes a full service Chick-Fil-A, a Dubs Café, Dunkins Donuts, Einsteins Bros Bagels, a fair trade market, Port City Java, Starbucks, subway and much more. And some off campus options that you can dine at like Papa Johns.
When I was at UNCW, I generally liked everybody that I came into contact with. UNCW is not a very big name school so people do not have big egos here. A lot of people here adopt the laid-back beach town personally and are very nice. I have been to ECU and UNC Chapel Hill to visit and just being there for a weekend I can tell that people adopt huge egos and like to play into them.
UNCW is a small school compared to the other schools in the UNC school system. We have about 15,000 people compared to UNC Chapel Hill and ECU, which have about 30,000 each. Now this could also be a con if you want a big school. I see it as a pro though because you get smaller class sizes which means that you get more one on one learning. In my concentration we had about 15 people who were awesome because we all knew a lot about each other and were able to all work together for the better.
Lots of clubs and Organizations
UNCW has all kinds of clubs and organizations that you can join from ultimate Frisbee to Anthropology clubs. There are endless things for you to join and if there is not something that you like then you have the ability to make your own club to fit your interests. UNCW also has a phenomenal study abroad program that I would not miss out on if you are interested.
Compared to other schools in the UNC system, UNCW is a very cheap school to attend. The tuition prices here are cheaper than others as well as the cost of living compared to other cities. I hear stories all the time from students who come from up north who pay twice the amount that we pay and receive less.
One of my favorite things about UNCW is the weather. It generally a lot warmer here than a lot of North Carolina. It barely ever gets below freezing here and never snows. I grew up in Mount Airy North Carolina were it is always cold and snows every winter and I can say that I like it a lot more down here than living there. It is more susceptible to hurricanes and flooding down here because everything is flat down here but that is rarely ever a problem.
Involved in community
UNCW is always involved in helping the community. Every major here has something that they do for the community, which means more experience for you and better for the community around you. For my major we had the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) which was a building dedicated to helping local business grow and prosper. Marine biology has center for Marine Science, which is a building dedicated to promote basic and applied research to fields of oceanography, coastal and wetland studies, marine biomedical and environmental physiology, and marine biotechnology and aqua culture. Film has the Cucalorus festival, which is dedicated to helping film students display their work to others. And every other major has something that they do for the community but I am just not sure what it is.
What are the cons of UNCW?
Lack of sports
One thing that people notice about UNCW is that it does not have a football team. This is a deal breaker to some people because they look at places like ECU and LSU, which have a huge football scene. I understand that it would be fun to get trashed and go to a football game and be able to have rivalries between other schools deciding which one is best. I am not a huge fan of football so I would way rather trade football for a 10-minute ride to the coast.
Lack of Greek life
UNCW does have a lot of Greek life organizations that you can join but not as many as other schools. This means that UNCW might not be the big party school that you are looking for. Other schools like Alabama and UNCC have entire neighborhoods dedicated to Greek life but UNCW is not the school that would have that if that is something you want.
Not in big city
I came from a small town in North Carolina that only had chain restaurants and one Wal-Mart so I feel like Wilmington NC is a huge city. This is not the case for most people because a lot of people think that Wilmington, NC is a small city. Wilmington still has night scenes and things to do but may not offer as much as other cities like Raleigh or Charlotte. Wilmington is also known as a ‘service’ city which means that the city generally offers jobs to support tourism and not jobs that support careers unless you go into the medical or law industry.
Programs not as big
UNCW offers good programs for Business, Film, marine biology, and nursing but seems to lack in all the other fields. UNCW also offers graduate programs but not a lot compared to other schools. Internships may be lacking too since there are not a lot of career options in Wilmington so you may be working a side job until you graduate and relocate
Not a big name school
A lot of people choose a school with a big name like UNC Chapel Hill or NC State because it helps tremendously as a resume builder to get your foot in the door. This may not be the case for UNCW unless you are looking to go into nursing or marine biology. A lot of people seem to transfer from UNCW because of this specific reason.