About Us

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the nation’s first state university to open its doors and the only public university to award degrees in the 18th century. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has existed for two centuries as the nation’s first state university. Since the 19th century, it has offered distinguished graduate and professional programs.

The University is a doctoral/research-extensive university. Fundamental to this designation is a faculty actively involved in research, scholarship and creative work, whose teaching is transformed by discovery and whose service is informed by current knowledge. The mission of the University is to serve all the people of the state, and indeed the nation, as a center for scholarship and creative endeavor. The University exists to teach students at all levels in an environment of research, free inquiry and personal responsibility; to expand the body of knowledge; to improve the condition of human life through service and publication; and to enrich the culture.

Carolina ranks among the top U.S. public universities in research support and creating jobs through new products and spin-off companies. The faculty attracted $593 million in total contract and grant funding in fiscal 2006 – up 2.4 percent from $579 million the previous year. That is more than twice the amount the university received as recently as 1997.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is Carolina’s central funding source, and the faculty ranked 15th overall in fiscal 2005 with nearly $300 million in total NIH funding. UNC is the top public university in the South for NIH funding. The School of Medicine received the vast majority of UNC’s NIH funds ($217 million) in 2005, ranking 17th nationally. All five of UNC’s health affairs schools—dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health—ranked within the NIH’s top 20 of public and private institutions.

Through its teaching, research and engagement, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill serves as an educational and economic beacon for the people of North Carolina and beyond.