As the westernmost institution in the University of North Carolina System, WCU attracts students from around the globe for its nationally ranked programs, affordability through NC Promise and exceptional student support. Recognized as a top adventure college and surrounded by the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, students can explore the region's vast natural diversity through unrivaled experiential learning and recreational activities. Offering residential, hybrid and online programs for undergraduate and graduate degrees at our main campus in Cullowhee, WCU in Asheville located at Biltmore Park, and wherever students are through distance learning.
Our 600-acre mountain campus is surrounded by one of the most biodiverse regions in the state that provides students unparalleled learning and adventure opportunities.
Offering part-time undergraduate programs in nursing and engineering for working professionals as well as graduate programs in business administration, accounting, school administration and more.
Discover degrees for in-demand fields with top-ranked online programs. Our learning communities bring accomplished students together with professors dedicated to their success.
Western Carolina University is a public regional institution of higher education whose mission is to create learning opportunities that incorporate teaching, research, service, and engagement through on-campus, off-campus, on-line and international experiences. The university focuses its undergraduate, master’s and three doctoral programs, educational outreach, research, creative, and cultural activities to sustain and improve individual lives and enhance economic and community development in Western Carolina and beyond.
The story of WCU is one deeply connected to the people of our region; we are rooted in our service to the people of Southern Appalachia and beyond. WCU belongs not just to our students and our faculty and staff, but to the whole community, for we are integrally connected to this region as its educational, economic, and cultural center. Our vision is to be a national model for student learning and engagement that embraces its responsibilities as a regionally engaged university.
Western Carolina is committed to excellence in teaching and learning, collaboration with a respect for our communities, free and open interchange of ideas, responsible stewardship, organizational and environmental sustainability and cultural diversity and equal opportunity. These are the values that guide our approach to education and service daily.
Western Carolina University has deep roots in the western North Carolina region and rich history of education, spanning over 100 years. From small rural teaching, college into a global university with over 12,000 students, discover the history of WCU.Explore WCU's History
The newest jewel to adorn the campus of Western Carolina University is the cutting-edge, futuristic, uniquely organic Apodaca Science Building. Housing programs ranging from biology and chemistry to physics and forensic science, the building replaces the aging Natural Science Building which was built in the 1970s.
It’s sometimes hard to express oneself, especially during the past year. The pandemic turned many worlds upside down and students of Western North Carolina public schools were not immune to the pressure.