As the dedicated liberal arts institution in the UNC system, UNC Asheville kindles learning by offering an intellectually rigorous education that builds critical thinking and workforce skills to last a lifetime. Award-winning faculty lead small classes, engage students in a nationally acclaimed undergraduate research program and foster a community of interdisciplinary learning that extends beyond campus into the vibrant City of Asheville and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. Students, faculty, staff and friends of the university benefit from this unique environment as well as UNC Asheville’s focus on service learning and sustainability. Founded in 1927 as a tuition-free junior college, the university has remained primarily undergraduate, with more than 3,600 students, 730 faculty and staff, and an annual economic impact of $268 million in the Western North Carolina region.
Consistently recognized for academic excellence, student access to faculty, quality of life both on campus and in the city, UNC Asheville has been named an educational value and best buy by Forbes magazine, the Fiske Guide to Colleges and The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges 2013” ranks UNC Asheville seventh in the nation among Public Liberal Arts Colleges, and it is the only North Carolina institution listed among National Liberal Arts Colleges whose students graduate with the least amount of debt. Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine calls UNC Asheville one of the nation's best values in public colleges, with the fifth lowest total cost of attending for in-state students and the sixth lowest average debt among graduates.
In addition to being amazingly affordable, UNC Asheville elevates the concept of creativity beyond its traditional association with the arts, encouraging students, faculty and staff to make creative expression an inherent part of the academic experience. Economic, social and environmental sustainability extend beyond classroom discussions – they are integrated into the strategic plan and into the construction and operation of new and renovated buildings. The addition of innovative features such as geothermal heating and cooling, as well as student-sponsored projects, have earned the university repeated recognition as a model of sustainability among UNC institutions and across the state. The university is committed to economic sustainability so that it can fulfill its commitments to provide a top-quality education to generations of students and citizens of the state. Employees will appreciate and benefit from the university’s goal of increasing its social sustainability standard by building a respectful, vibrant, responsible and inclusive campus community.
Creative and critical thinking intersect all facets of the university, prompting collaboration and smart solutions to some of the region’s and the world’s most pressing problems. This focus on practical learning extends through a range of associated centers, partnerships and initiatives that address the needs of the community and establish the institution as Asheville’s University. UNC Asheville’s 364-acre campus is conveniently located less than two miles from downtown Asheville and within driving distance of more than 250 independent restaurants and 500,000 acres of National Forest.