About Western Carolina University

Campus Panorama


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 10,000 students.

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.

Our academic programs span more than 115 undergraduate specialties and more than 60 graduate programs, including the highly-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.

University Accolades

    • Named one of 24 Best Value Colleges in the U.S. by Kiplinger Personal Finance
    • Ranked among the Top 15 public regional universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report
    • On the President’s Honor Roll for higher education community service
    • Among the Top 5 for undergraduate research in the nation
    • Voted No. 1 Outdoor Adventure College in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic
    • Ranked in the Top 12 best online programs for the military and veterans
    • Named a top green college by Princeton Review

Office of Web Services