Western Carolina University

Situated in a scenic valley in the heart of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, Western Carolina University is a dynamic community of higher education that incorporates teaching, research, service and community engagement to provide unique learning opportunities for more than 10,800 students. All of Western Carolina's academic programs and outreach activities are focused on improving the lives of individuals while boosting the sustainable community and economic development of the region the university serves.A campus of the University of North Carolina system, WCU has grown from its founding in 1889 as a one-room schoolhouse with 18 students to become a powerful force across the region and state. The university offers more than 115 undergraduate majors and concentrations, including a nationally recognized teacher education program, a criminal justice program used as a model across the state, and the nation's first accredited four-year emergency medical care program, in addition to more than 60 graduate-level programs of study. The student/faculty ratio is 16 to 1. Western Carolina regularly receives high marks for its academic quality and return-on-investment from publications such as The Princeton Review, Kiplinger's Personal Finance and US News & World Report. The university's faculty includes internationally known experts in topics as diverse as coastal shoreline protection and speech therapy, and winners of national awards ranging from the Emmy to the Guggenheim Fellowship.Students who venture onto the WCU campus in Cullowhee, North Carolina, today find a considerably different environment than the one which existed several decades ago. Since the turn of the century, a building boom has transformed the campus, with a new fine and performing arts center, recreation center, dining facilities, residence halls, and health and human sciences building. Two other recent projects have continued that trend - a new multi-use facility that features a combination of residential units and commercial and dining establishments, and renovation and addition to an existing building in the university's historic hill area that will provide an additional campus dining option starting in August 2017. Yet another project is on the drawing boards, with design work taking place on a $110 million replacement for the university's Natural Sciences Building.Two of the newer residential facilities in the heart of campus, Balsam and Blue Ridge halls, house the students and offices of the Honors College, the first residential honors program established in the UNC system. More than 1,400 students take advantage of the special programs the Honors College offers for high-achieving students. The college oversees undergraduate research activity on campus and the university's participation in the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, the nation's most prestigious undergraduate research conference. WCU students are among the nation's leaders in participation in that event each year.Outside of class, Western Carolina students have the option of participating in the intramural sports program and more than 150 clubs and organizations, and the surrounding mountains provide a smorgasbord of outdoor recreation options, with Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway located just minutes away. But students don't have to drive elsewhere to find adventure, with on-campus options ranging from an indoor climbing wall to a 7-mile trail system that provides a quick getaway for mountain biking, running and hiking. A trout stream flows through campus, and paddle sports are available on the adjacent Tuckaseigee River. WCU is widely regarded as an epicenter of outdoor recreation, and for the last four years has been voted the No. 1 school for outdoor adventure in the Southeast through a major outdoor magazine's online poll.

Academic Grad Slug

School Details

school_type year_founded religious_affiliation academic_calendar year_2016_endowment address telephone
Public, Coed 1889 N/A Semester $64.5 million + 1 University Way, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828) 227-7211
overall score total score state city online paying global
59 100.0 North Carolina Cullowhee 625 645