Welcome to Carolina

Experience an innovative institution of higher learning, a global research university committed to accessibility and impact, a place with a legacy as old as the United States – and a boundless future. The UNC Visitors Center looks forward to sharing all that is special about Carolina.

About the University

Along with its beauty, Carolina has a reputation as a place where science, research and the arts of all kinds thrive. Our history, a living, breathing presence on campus, connects our contemporary community to a legacy as old as the United States.

As the nation’s first public university, Carolina opened its doors to students in 1795 and was the only university to award degrees in the 18th century. The state of North Carolina chartered the University in 1789.

Today, UNC-Chapel Hill is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public education.

We want to share the many stories of our extraordinary university and introduce you to the innovation, impact and accessibility that define Carolina’s identity today. Whether you are well acquainted with Carolina or setting foot on campus for the first time, we invite you to stop by the UNC Visitors Center for guidance, recommendations and insights—let us tailor your visit and show you all that Carolina has to offer.

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.

Quick Facts

Check out some quick facts about The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and its students, faculty and staff.