As the westernmost institution in the University of North Carolina system, WCU attracts students from around the globe to explore the region’s vast natural diversity. Founded in 1889 as a teaching college, Western Carolina provides comprehensive educational opportunities to more than 11,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs.
WCU's rural location fuels a connected, supportive, safe campus community that is centered on the academic and personal growth of students. 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.
WCU's Instructional Site in Asheville offers part-time undergraduate programs in nursing and engineering for working professionals as well as graduate programs in business administration, accounting, school administration and more. Our professional development programs provide training and certifications in highly sought after skills.
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
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.
WCU will offer a new online option for students seeking a bachelor’s degree in finance with a concentration in financial planning, beginning in the fall semester 2021, for both traditional and nontraditional students.
Western Carolina University's School of Nursing garden brings students together with the source of nutrition. To help her School of Nursing students understand the link between health and nutrition, Western Carolina University assistant professor Beth Nease takes them to the source – the nursing school’s organic garden plot where rich, black matter is the star.