WCU was founded in 1889 to bring higher education and career opportunities to the western region of North Carolina. A member of the University of North Carolina system, WCU now provides an education to more than 9,600 students from across the nation and around the world.
The university’s mission is focused on quality education and preparation for responsible citizenship in a changing world. Since its founding, WCU has grown in size to become a major cultural, scientific, and educational force in the region and the state—and we’re still growing.
Our academic programs span more than 120 specialties—including the nation’s highest-ranked entrepreneurship and project management programs, a national award-winning teacher education program, a criminal justice program used as a model for North Carolina’s accreditation program, and the nation’s first accredited four-year emergency medical care program.
Our distinguished faculty includes national award-winning authors, nationally and internationally recognized experts, and winners of Emmy, O. Henry, and National Endowment for the Arts awards—to name a few.
Western Carolina University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor's, master's, education specialist, and doctor's degrees. Also, the university holds 21 special program accreditations and is a member of more than 30 state and national associations and organizations to which its professional programs are related.