When the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill opened the doors to its first students in 1795, it was the first public university in the United States. Over the years it has grown into a leading research university that embraces the role of change agent, and supports its diverse student body in their quest for success and prosperity. It is ranked #47 among the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings. The 729 acre urban campus is located in the downtown area Chapel Hill, NC, and is divided into three sections; north, middle, and south campus. Most student housing and classes are on north campus, most athletic facilities, the schools of government and law, and additional student housing are on middle campus, and the basketball facility, medical school, UNC hospital, and the newest student housing are on south campus.
UNC’s 18,400 undergraduate students and 10,700 graduate students can choose from among 78 bachelor’s, 12 master’s, 68 doctorate’s, and seven professional degree programs. The University offers these majors through the College of Arts and Sciences and 14 other academic schools. Communication and Media Studies, Psychology, and Biology are the most popular majors. UNC has more Rhode’s Scholars than nearly any other public university. The most unique aspect of a UNC education is the opportunity to meld your academic major with the University’s two-year pan-campus theme, “Water in Our World.” Led by the UNC Water Institute, the University hopes to create a lasting legacy of global leadership in the area of water expertise.
UNC calls on all of its students, faculty, support, and resources to mobilize around this issue and contribute significant teaching, learning, understanding, research, and action toward the common goal. Students at UNC have the opportunity to take a number of classes related to their majors addressing an array of worldwide water issues, as well as participate in any of the University’s nine global research initiatives. If your dream is to make a significant contribution to solving the world’s water crisis, UNC is where you need to be.
UNC Chapel Hill offers dormitories, apartment-style living, foreign language and substance-free themed housing. Additionally, there is living-learning communities and social specific housing on a smoke-free campus. North campus residence halls are closest to most academic classes. Rams Head Dining Center includes a Starbucks and a small market; it’s open until midnight. There are hundreds of clubs and organizations on campus including in music and performing arts; the Campus Y is the hub of student activism. Consider getting involved with The Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper that has been nationally recognized. The student-run radio station, WXYC, earned another UNC first as the first radio station in the world to broadcast on the Internet. There is an active Greek life on campus to join that is present without being overbearing. Drinking on campus is allowed for students of legal age. The UNC student government includes the Honor System, a student-run campus judicial system. There are countless ways for students to find their niche in this large University and carve out their personal UNC experience.
The UNC Tar Heels compete in NCAA Division I sports in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 13 men’s and 15 women’s teams. Men’s teams have won 12 NCAA National Championships, half of them in Men’s Basketball; women’s teams have won 31 National Championships with 22 of them being in Women’s Soccer. UNC is the alma mater to professional basketball standout Michael Jordan and professional soccer star Mia Hamm, who both elevated the level of play in their respective sports. UNC’s primary sports rival is Duke University, particularly in basketball; both teams are regular national title contenders in basketball. North Carolina State University poses the opposition in another long-standing bitter in-state rivalry. Students from both schools often prank the other prior to football or basketball games. The UNC fans are famous for wildly pouring into Franklin Street (named after Benjamin Franklin) following big athletic victories, fondly referred to as “rushing Franklin.”
Besides rushing Franklin, UNC students also have a tradition of creating spontaneous “bonfires” following basketball wins against Duke University; they usually take place in Fraternity Court, but occasionally also on Franklin Street. Another fun-loving tradition at UNC Chapel Hill is the “Naked Library Run,” where students streak the library during preparations for finals. As a new Tar Heel, you’ll be expected to learn the University fight songs, “I’m a Tar Heel Born” and “Here Comes Carolina.” You may hear either song being sung near the campus bell tower or after big sporting wins.
If you want to make an impact on the world water crisis, you’re confident enough to find your niche in a big university, and you love UNC sports, this is definitely your school.
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By Colleen Hill