The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Logo


250 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC

(919) 962-2211 

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Carolina’s vibrant people and programs attest to the University’s long-standing place among leaders in higher education since it was chartered in 1789 and opened its doors for students in 1795 as the nation’s first public university. Situated in the beautiful college town of Chapel Hill, N.C., UNC has earned a reputation as one of the best universities in the world. 

An Undergraduate Experience Like No Other

Carolina prides itself on a strong, diverse student body, academic opportunities not found anywhere else, and a value unmatched by any public university in the nation.

When someone says “college,” you might be picturing daunting lecture halls, unfamiliar faces, new roommates and the persistent fear of the unknown. While that may indeed be the mood at the very beginning, Carolina quickly peels back those preconceptions to reveal something decidedly different: a community.

So set that previous mental image aside and picture this instead: a beautiful, unusually friendly campus where a classmate, roommate or professor is just a 30-second walk away. A campus where no matter which way you turn, there’s yet another new and exciting thing to check out. A community that empowers you to live in the moment as you prepare for the future. Somewhere that inspires you to discover yourself, find your passions and, from the minute you set foot on campus, start establishing the person you’ll be after college. This is a place that loves difference, celebrates diversity and brings together students from all over the world. Whatever you’re expecting, believe us: It’s going to be better.

What’s it like to be a Carolina student? It’s being part of a community that takes pride in tradition and school spirit, and in offering the resources you need to develop your talents and leadership skills. It’s about creating lifelong friendships and memories with some of the most interesting, indescribable, dissimilar-yet-on-the-same-page students in the world.


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, serves North Carolina, the United States, and the world through teaching, research, and public service. We embrace an unwavering commitment to excellence as one of the world’s great research universities.

Our mission is to serve as a center for research, scholarship, and creativity and to teach a diverse community of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students to become the next generation of leaders. Through the efforts of our exceptional faculty and staff, and with generous support from North Carolina’s citizens, we invest our knowledge and resources to enhance access to learning and to foster the success and prosperity of each rising generation. We also extend knowledge-based services and other resources of the University to the citizens of North Carolina and their institutions to enhance the quality of life for all people in the State.

With lux, libertas — light and liberty — as its founding principles, the University has charted a bold course of leading change to improve society and to help solve the world’s greatest problems.


As the nation’s first public university, we have quite a few traditions here at UNC. Here are just a few official (and not-so-official) traditions that you could check off during your time as a student here, or you just might start some new ones.

Take a sip from the Old Well on the first day of class for good luck (and possibly a 4.0!).

Study in the Arboretum on a sunny day.

Paint yourself Carolina blue to cheer on the Heels.

Climb all the way to the top of the Bell Tower and sign your name as a senior.

Eat lunch at the counter at Sutton’s Drug Store, and get your picture on the wall.

Take a nap on the couches in Graham Memorial.

Get paint in more places than you thought possible at Holi Moli.

Cool off on a hot day with frozen yogurt from YoPo (The Yogurt Pump).

Stand in the risers at the Dean Dome.

People watch on the steps of Wilson library.

Celebrate Rameses’ birthday.

Oversleep and sprint to class…all the way from south campus.

Get your kvetch published in the Daily Tar Heel.

Enjoy Hunger Lunch while watching a student group perform in the pit.

Rush Franklin Street after a national championship.

Student Life: 

While living on campus, you will make new friends, immerse yourself in the UNC culture, establish valuable academic connections and identify unique leadership opportunities.

Greek Life at Carolina eliminates the stereotypical notions of sororities and fraternities. The Greek community is as diverse as the student population itself. Beyond the traditional sororities and fraternities, UNC is home to many professional, academic, and services fraternities. Whether you choose to join a professional, service, academic or social fraternity or sorority, you will be contributing to a great legacy at Carolina.

Before you learn which bone the leg bone is connected to in Anatomy or what the true meaning of life is in Philosophy class, you’ll have to learn some very important information as a Carolina student – the words to the alma mater – Hark the Sound – and the motions to the Carolina cheers. You’ll need these tools as you stand beside your classmates cheering on student-athletes as they compete in UNC’s 28 varsity athletic programs. The first time you link arms with friends and fellow Tar Heels at a sporting event to sing and celebrate another Carolina Victory will be a memory to cherish forever.

Even if you’re not a varsity student-athlete, there are still plenty of ways to represent UNC on the field/court/track. You could join one of our close to 50 sport clubs, or grab some friends to form an intramural team. Inner tube water polo, anyone? No matter your level of experience, there is a place at Carolina for you to keep up with the sports you love and try something new with friends. If organized sports aren’t your thing, you can head over to one of the fitness facilities on campus to use state-of-the-art equipment or learn some new moves in a group fitness class. If all else fails, nothing beats going for a run around campus on a sunny morning.

With 800 student organizations, you’ll find many avenues to explore your personal and intellectual interests and embrace your passion for music, the performing arts, journalism, creative writing, student government, politics or international cultures. We also offer more than 50 intramural sports for all skill levels, so you get the chance to push your physical boundaries, too.



In 1924 Vic Huggins, UNC’s head cheerleader, decided that Carolina needed a mascot like N.C. State’s Wolf and Georgia’s Bulldog. At the time, Jack Merrit, known to his fans as the “Battering Ram,” was a popular member of UNC’s football team. Making use of this nickname, Huggins hit upon the idea of a ram as the Carolina mascot. The cheerleader went to Charles T. Woollen, the University’s Business Manager, and asked him to find twenty-five dollars to buy a ram. They ordered UNC’s first mascot from Texas. The 1924 team had been in a slump and Carolina fans were looking for something to break the jinx. The Tar Heel sports staff joined the campus in hoping that the new mascot would bring the much-needed luck.

UNC Chapel Hill today:

Carolina offers 78 bachelor’s, 112 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through its 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education serves adult learners through credit and noncredit course offerings.


More than 29,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students learn from a faculty of 3,600. Carolina’s 292,500 alumni live in all 50 states and more than 150 countries.

Famous graduates:

Michael Jordan (born February 17, 1963) left UNC Chapel Hill after his junior year to join the NBA. Drafted by the Chicago Bulls, he helped the team make it to the playoffs. For his efforts there, Jordan received the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. With five regular-season MVPs and three All-Star MVPs, Jordan became the most decorated player in the NBA.

Jason Kilar (born April 26, 1971) is an American businessperson and a member of the board of directors for DreamWorks Animation. He was previously an Amazon executive and the CEO of Hulu, a joint venture of ABC, NBC Universal, and NewsCorp.

Interesting facts about UNC Chapel Hill:

UNC Chapel Hill is the first state university in the United States and the only one to award degrees during the 18th Century. Classes officially began in 1795 and had a student body of just one for the first two weeks. The school also claims the oldest collegiate athletic team in the Carolinas; in sports, the school is often referred to as “Carolina.”

The school has one of the top basketball programs in the country with five NCAA National Championships under its belt. The former men’s basketball head coach Dean Smith set the record for the most wins of any men’s college basketball coach in his 31 years at the school until the record was broken in 2007 by Bob Knight. The school has produced some of the top NBA players, the most famous? His Airness Michael Jordan.

UNC’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, which opened in 1950, served as a NASA training facility from 1960 to 1975. It was the first planetarium in the south.