Jul 17, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

UNC Asheville—Our History and Accreditation

History of UNC Asheville

The University of North Carolina Asheville is the designated liberal arts university in The University of North Carolina system. An outstanding learning community, UNC Asheville focuses its resources on academic excellence and community partnerships.

UNC Asheville opened in 1927 as Buncombe County Junior College for area residents interested in pursuing higher education. The school underwent several name changes, mergers with local governments and school systems, and moves before relocating in 1961 to its present campus in north Asheville. Asheville-Biltmore College joined The University of North Carolina system in 1969 as the University of North Carolina Asheville, with the distinct mission to offer an excellent undergraduate liberal arts education. Today, UNC Asheville is the only designated undergraduate liberal arts university in the 17-campus UNC system.

UNC Asheville enrolls approximately 3,400 students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in more than 30 majors in the natural and social sciences, humanities, pre-professional, and professional areas. With an average class size of 20, UNC Asheville emphasizes a personal approach to undergraduate education characterized by close faculty-student interactions, challenging academic programs and opportunities for learning outside the classroom. The university has received national recognition for its Humanities and Undergraduate Research programs.

UNC Asheville is consistently recognized for academic excellence, student access to faculty, quality of life both on campus and in town, and has been named an educational value and best buy by Forbes magazine, the Fiske Guide to Colleges and The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2021” ranks UNC Asheville seventh in the nation among Public Liberal Arts Colleges, and it was included in The Princeton Review’s 2018 list of the “Best Schools for Making an Impact.” UNC Asheville has been recognized for its honorable commitment to engaged, experiential education by Colleges of Distinction.

The more than 300-acre UNC Asheville campus is convenient to the museums, galleries, restaurants and shopping and points of interest in the thriving downtown area, as well as the outdoor opportunities in the surrounding Pisgah National Forest, Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The campus comprises classroom, administration, residence and recreation facilities, and is home to the Reuter Center, home of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.


The University of North Carolina Asheville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Questions about the accreditation of the University of North Carolina Asheville may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).

Please note that normal inquiries about the University of North Carolina Asheville, such as admissions requirements, financial aid, educational programs, and the like should be addressed directly to the University and not to the Commission on Colleges’ office. 

For information specific to the University of North Carolina Asheville, please contact the Chancellor of UNC Asheville, 253 Phillips Hall, CPO 1400, One University Heights, Asheville, NC 28804, 828-251-6500.