Why UNC?

Carolina figures prominently in assessments and rankings centered on national academic leadership within research funding, excellence of programs, affordability and diversity. Here are a few highlights:

A leading public research university committed to making its high-quality education accessible and affordable, UNC-Chapel Hill placed fifth among national public universities for the 17th straight year, according to U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Colleges" rankings, published Sept. 12, 2017. For the 13th consecutive year, Carolina also places first among national public universities and ninth overall in "Great Schools, Great Prices," based on academic quality and the 2016-2017 net cost of attendance for a student receiving the average level of need-based financial aid.

UNC-Chapel Hill tied for 10th overall and fourth among publics in U.S. News' best colleges for veterans, a reflection of the strong support UNC-Chapel Hill increasingly provides to military students through initiatives including the Military-Affiliated Grads program; UNC Core, a distance-learning program; Green Zone trainingStudent Veteran Resources and the Warrior Scholar Project.

UNC-Chapel Hill ranked fifth among the top publics and 94th overall in U.S. News' faculty resources rankings. UNC-Chapel Hill was 89th last year after placing as high as 47th seven years ago. This category measures undergraduate size, two academic years (2015-16 and 2016-17) of average total faculty compensation (salary and benefits) based on indexes weighted for regional differences, student-faculty ratio and percentage of faculty who are full time and earned their field's highest degree.

Multiple University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill doctoral programs spanning the sciences, arts and humanities, medicine, social sciences and public health are highly rated in a 2010 assessment conducted by the National Research Council.

More than 20 degree programs or specialty areas from several schools and the College of Arts and Sciences appear prominently in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report's “America's Best Graduate Schools” issue. Highlights included: School of Information and Library Studies, tied for 1st; School of Medicine, 2nd overall for primary care and 20th for research; School of Public Health, 2nd; School of Nursing, tied for 4th; School of Social Work, tied for 8th; School of Government (public affairs), tied for 14th; Kenan-Flagler Business School, 19th; Chemistry, tied for 13th; Clinical Psychology, tied for 6th; Computer Science, tied for 20th; English, 16th; Healthcare Management, 3rd; History, tied for 12th; Occupational Therapy, 11th; Physical Therapy, tied for 11th; Political Science, tied for 13th; Psychology, tied for 13th; Sociology, tied for 5th; Statistics, tied for 10th.

Carolina ranks among the top U.S. public universities in research support — a direct reflection of the quality of the research the faculty and the students they mentor are conducting. Carolina researchers attracted $803 million in total research grants and contracts in fiscal 2010, the largest amount in campus history. That figure is a 12.2 percent increase over the $716 million received in fiscal 2009. The contracts and grants come primarily from the federal government — especially the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Another honor includesranking 1st among the 100 best U.S. public colleges and universities that offer the best combination of top-flight academics and affordable costs as ranked by Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine in early 2011. Carolina ranked 1st every time since Kiplinger's began its periodic ranking in 1998. Kiplinger's analysis stresses academic quality, as well as cost and financial aid offerings.

Chapel Hill ranked as one of nine public universities within the top 25 in the 2010 edition of “The Top American Research Universities,” produced by The Center for Measuring University Performance at Arizona State University. This study evaluates top research universities with at least $40 million in annual federal research funding as reported in fiscal year 2008 and uses quantitative measures such as endowment assets, private giving, faculty awards, doctorates granted, postdoctoral appointees and SAT/ACT range.

Carolina came in 20th for graduate programs and 24th for undergraduate programs among the 2010 “Top Schools for Entrepreneurs,” an annual ranking by The Princeton Review. Top schools were assessed through survey data from 2,000 institutions that focused on academics and requirements, students and faculty, and opportunities beyond the classroom experience.

UNC-Chapel Hill ranks 28th in the total number of doctoral degrees awarded (440 total degrees in 2009), as reported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Additional NSF rankings for UNC-Chapel Hill include: 9th in doctorates awarded to black students, 2005-2009 (120 degrees); 18th in doctorates awarded to American Indian/Alaska Native students, 2005-2009 (seven degrees); 10th in doctorates awarded in the life sciences, 2009 (175 degrees); and 17th in doctorates awarded in the humanities, 2009 (66 degrees).

Carolina ranked 41st among 500 universities included in the 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities, an annual list produced and posted online by Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Universities are ranked by several indicators of academic or research performance, including alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, highly cited researchers, papers published in Nature and Science, papers indexed in major citation indices, and per capita academic performance.

UNC-Chapel Hill is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading “green” schools. The Sustainable Endowments Institute, in its 2011 College Sustainability Report Card, gave Carolina a grade of A-. Carolina ranked 10th in the first UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, launched in 2010 by Universitas Indonesia. Those results reflect an online survey about the current conditions and policies related to green campuses and sustainability worldwide. Morrison Residence Hall was the winner of the first-ever National Building Competition sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR program.

Carolina has a long tradition of service and was rated 3rd among large U.S. colleges and universities for the number of alumni volunteering for the Peace Corps in 2011. Ninety-four undergraduate Carolina alumni and six graduate alumni are representing the United States abroad. Since the Peace Corps' inception, 1,145 Carolina alumni have served as volunteers.

UNC-Chapel Hill came out 30th among the world's top 200 universities in 2010-2011, according to the London-based Times Higher Education magazine. 21st among U.S. universities and 7th among national public universities. This ranking uses quantitative data to measure quality instead of reputational surveys.

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