Why Choose UNC IRC?

About the Universities in Our Consortium


East Carolina UniversityAn excellent choice for international students seeking a large university experience, as it has an enrollment of over 28,000 students. This national research university offers students a wealth of options, with 100 bachelors, 78 masters, and 16 doctoral degree programs available.

ECU combines high-quality education with affordable tuition to offer students one of the best values available. Washington Monthly ranked the university No. 1 “Best Bang for the Buck” among colleges and universities in the Southeast.

ECU’s most popular fields of study include Accounting, Business, Education, and the Health Professions. Students hoping to go on to an American medical school in the future will be interested in ECU’s Brody School of Medicine. The College of Engineering and Technology boasts impressive job placement rates; ninety-five percent of graduating engineers are offered jobs within 90 days of graduation.

ECU also offers international students the chance to become part of a vibrant campus community by joining one or more of its 400 student clubs.

ECU is located in Greenville, NC, a small city of over 80,000 situated in the eastern part of the state, midway between Raleigh (North Carolina’s capital city) and the Atlantic Ocean.


Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State UniversityFounded in 1867, Fayetteville State University is the second oldest public institution of higher education in the state. Although it began as an Historically Black University, or HBCU, Fayetteville State University now ranks among the nation’s most diverse campuses. The University offers 43 bachelors, 23 masters, and one doctoral degree program to a growing student body of over 6,300.

Fayetteville State University offers programs in Teacher Education, the Arts and Sciences, Health Professions, Business and Economics, and several unique and emerging fields. One of these fields is Geospatial Intelligence. In 2014, the university’s innovative Geospatial Intelligence Certificate Program was accredited by the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, and Fayetteville State University was named a Center of Excellence for Geospatial Sciences by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. The most popular undergraduate majors at Fayetteville State University include Nursing, Criminal Justice, Psychology, Accounting, Business Administration and Management, and Sociology.

One area where Fayetteville State University really excels is in its commitment to supporting student development, both in the classroom and beyond. A national study, Documenting Effective Educational Practices (DEEP), highlighted Fayetteville State University as “a remarkably nurturing and supportive institution that takes seriously its responsibility for total ‘personal development.’” International students will want to take advantage of the university’s many student-centered resources, including the Center for Personal Development, the Freshman Seminar Program, and the Student Academic Services Center.

Fayetteville State University is committed to ensuring a safe campus environment for all of its students, evidenced by recent improvements in lighting and emergency call boxes around campus. The University has one of the lowest crime rates of any institution within the UNC System, and it is dedicated to maintaining this record.

Fayetteville State University is located in the southeastern part of the state in the city of Fayetteville, home to over 200,000 residents. Fayetteville is best known for its close proximity to Fort Bragg, the largest military base in the U.S. The city is an easy one-hour drive from Raleigh, the state capital, and 1.5 hours from the coast.


NC A&T State University

North Carolina A&TU.S. News & World Report’s 2016 Best Colleges report recently ranked North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (North Carolina A&T) as the No. 1 public HBCU in the nation. If you are looking for a world-class education in Engineering, look no further! North Carolina A&T offers programs in Electrical & Computer Engineering, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering, Computational Science & Engineering, and Chemical, Biological & Bio Engineering. Other popular programs of study include Business, Accounting, and Psychology.

North Carolina A&T will be especially attractive to international undergraduate and graduate students who value forming relationships with top faculty. In 2016 NCAT was ranked second among the 10 best schools in the nation for the quality and accessibility of its professors, according to The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education.

The institution was established in 1891 as a historically black college (HBCU) and land-grant research institution. North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University (North Carolina A&T) is a midsized university with 10,725 students. Today its program offerings have grown to include 55 undergraduate degree programs and more than 39 graduate degree programs.

North Carolina A&T has a proud history of social activism dating back to 1960, when four of its students helped to propel the Civil Rights Movement by staging a sit-in in downtown Greensboro. That spirit of engagement remains strong at NCAT today, with no shortage of clubs and organizations for students to join.

North Carolina A&T is located in Greensboro, NC a vibrant city of around 270,000. Greensboro’s central location, equidistance from North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains and its Crystal Coast, makes it an attractive place to pursue your university studies.


North Carolina Central University

NC Central UniversityNorth Carolina Central University (NCCU), founded in 1909 as a small historically black college (HBCU), is now a comprehensive university offering 37 bachelors and 38 master’s degree programs, as well as a law degree and a Ph.D. in Integrated Biosciences. Today NCCU has a total enrollment of 8,155 students.

NCCU offers a wealth of excellent academic programs for undergraduate students, including a top-ranked STEM program. The university’s Biomanufacturing Research Institute & Technology Enterprise (BRITE) program was named #1 STEM program among 111 HBCUs in 2016. The University has two state-of-the-art biotechnology research facilities that collaborate with pharmacy and biotech companies in nearby Research Triangle Park, providing students with highly desirable professional experience.

Other popular undergraduate degree programs include Criminal Justice, Family and Consumer Science, and Business Administration and Accounting. Those students already thinking ahead to graduate school will want to check out NCCU’s nationally recognized School of Law and School of Library and Information Sciences.

North Carolina Central University is located in Durham, a diverse urban setting in the world renowned Research Triangle Park. This city of over 260,000 offers all of the benefits of a large urban environment – a vibrant arts scene, contemporary and classical music venues, world-class restaurants, shopping, and myriad sporting events – with the friendly, welcoming feel of a smaller community.


UNC Asheville

UNC-AshevilleUniversity of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA), is the only public university dedicated to the liberal arts in North Carolina. UNCA offers international students a truly unique educational experience for students wanting to focus on traditional Arts & Sciences subjects such as Literature, Mathematics, and History.

UNC Asheville ranks first in the U.S. for the “Best Schools for Making an Impact” according to the Princeton Review guidebook, Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best Value Colleges and What It Takes to Get in – 2016 Edition. If an active, close-knit community is at the top of your university wish list, then you will definitely want to check out University of North Carolina Asheville.

With an enrollment of around 3,850, UNCA offers students small class sizes and considerable access to its award-winning faculty. Add to that a nationally acclaimed Undergraduate Research Program (60% of students conduct original research as part of their studies), and it is easy to understand the appeal of this gem set in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains.

The most popular among UNCA’s 30-plus majors include Environmental Studies, Psychology, Biology, and Health & Wellness Promotion. For 13 consecutive years, The Fiske Guide to Colleges has named UNC Asheville’s Environmental Studies Program to the list of pre-professional programs with notable strength in preparing students for careers. Students can also attend the University of North Carolina Ashville for two years taking pre-Engineering courses, and transfer to North Carolina State University to complete their Engineering degrees in years three and four.

UNC Asheville is located in the small mountain city of Asheville, NC, home to a population of just over 80,000. Don’t let its small size fool you; in terms of culture, this vibrant center for the arts, music, restaurants, and nightlife rivals many cities much larger. Its beautiful mountain setting also makes UNCA a hub for outdoor enthusiasts.


UNC Charlotte

As a leading public higher education institution and urban research university, UNC Charlotte is a driving force of growth, discovery and innovation for the region and the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized the institution as one of the ten most innovative colleges and universities in the country, and for producing more start-up businesses than any other college or university.

Founded in 1946, the campus sits on a 1000 wooded acre traditional US campus with approximately 85 buildings housing 77 bachelor’s, 64 master’s, and 23 doctoral programs. UNC Charlotte offers academic programs through eight colleges: College of Arts + Architecture, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Belk College of Business, College of Computing & Informatics, Cato College of Education, William States Lee College of Engineering, College of Health & Human Services, and University College. With 29,000+ students, UNC Charlotte is the largest institution of higher education in the Charlotte region and the fourth largest in the UNC System.

There are more than 300 clubs and organizations for students to join and numerous opportunities for leadership development. All students are encouraged to cheer on the university’s 18 NCAA Division I varsity sports teams, including U.S. football and soccer.

UNC Charlotte is eight miles from the city of Charlotte and accessible by a 20 minute light rail train ride. Charlotte continues to build on its reputation as a world-class city through arts, science and historical attractions, and has been called the “International Gateway to the South.” The city has been ranked #14 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Places to Live; ranked by Forbes as one of the Best Cities for Jobs, with multiple business sectors showing employment growth; and ranked the #1 Best Big-City Bargain by Money Magazine, offering residents excellent housing and cost-of-living value.


UNC Greensboro

Students who earn their degree from UNC Greensboro can expect a high return on investment. UNCG is ranked among the 10 best universities in the nation for the value its education offers graduates, according to the nonprofit Educate to Career. From its beginnings as a small women’s college, University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) has grown to become a thriving research university of over 19,000 male and female students. It’s extensive degree offerings include 79 bachelors, 65 masters, and 30 doctoral programs. UNCG also holds the proud distinction of being the most diverse campus in the UNC System.

Many undergraduate students choose to study in UNCG’s highly regarded Bryan School of Business and Economics or the School of Education. Other popular majors include Nursing, Psychology, Computer Science, and Applied Economics (Advanced Quantitative Analysis).

Research is at the forefront of the UNCG experience for students in its graduate programs. The Carnegie Foundation has classified UNCG as a High-Research Activity University. Some of the University’s most notable research initiatives include the Gateway University Research Park and the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nano-engineering with North Carolina A&T.

UNCG is located in the city of Greensboro, home to a diverse population of around 270,000. By choosing to study at UNCG, students are able to enjoy the cultural benefits of an urban setting, including a variety of visual and performing arts, museums (including UNCG’s own internationally known Weatherspoon Art Museum), and a major sports/entertainment coliseum. Greensboro is situated in the central part of the state, midway between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.


UNC Pembroke

UNC-PembrokeThe University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP) was founded in 1887 as a school for the education of American Indians. While still very proud of its history, UNCP has evolved to become one of the nation’s most diverse institutions according to U.S. News and World Report. Today this master’s level degree-granting university has a total enrollment of around 6,500 students, and offers 41 bachelors and 17 master’s degree programs.

Currently among the most affordable institutions in the state, UNCP’s value is going to increase dramatically with the introduction of the NC Promise program. Beginning in Fall 2018, international students will be able to earn an undergraduate degree at UNCP for $2,500 in tuition per semester through NC Promise.

The most popular majors at UNCP include Accounting, Business Administration and Management, Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Education. Regardless of major, an impressive 90 percent of UNCP students are employed or attending graduate school within 12 months of graduation.

If you are the kind of student who values personal attention and a highly responsive faculty and staff, then Pembroke is the place for you. The University of North Carolina at Pembroke prides itself on offering an affordable, student-centered education. With a student-faculty ratio of 16:1 and an average class size of around 20 students, Pembroke’s faculty members are able to take a personal interest in each student’s success.

Students looking for a safe, close-knit community need look no further than UNCP. Located in a small town, Pembroke is considered the safest campus in the UNC System. UNC Pembroke also earned the prestigious Community Engagement Classification by Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2014 for its strength in incorporating civic engagement and community outreach into the classroom.


UNC School of the Arts

School of the ArtsFor international students desiring careers in Dance, Theater, Film and other arts fields, the UNC School of the Arts (UNCSA) offers an outstanding opportunity. Founded in 1963 as America’s first public arts conservatory, UNCSA houses five professional-caliber arts academies: The School of Dance, The School of Design and Production, The School of Drama, The School of Filmmaking, and The School of Music. With an enrollment of just over 1,200, UNCSA offers a small, focused learning environment where developing artists can flourish.

UNC School of the Arts consistently receives top rankings for value and quality by leading publications in the industry, including The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Kiplinger’s, and Money magazine. The Hollywood Reporter ranked UNCSA’s School of Filmmaking No. 14 in the country in its 2016 annual list of “The Top 25 American Film Schools.” The program has graduated many high-achieving alumni, including two Emmy Award nominees.

One of UNCSA’s key strengths is the deep well of experienced professional artists that make up its faculty. The university’s faculty and alumni perform in or behind the scenes of the Winston-Salem Symphony, Piedmont Opera, Triad Stage, Carolina Ballet, and Theatre in the Park. UNCSA faculty and alumni have also made numerous films in the state.

In addition to the aforementioned local arts organizations, the city of Winston-Salem offers students an energetic Downtown Arts District, as well as Reynolda House Museum of American Art and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. This dynamic city of 230,000 combines with Greensboro and High Point to form North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad region, home to a population of over 1.5 million.


UNC Wilmington

uncwThe University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW), known as the state’s coastal university, is a regular winner on The Princeton Review’s list of “Best Southeastern Colleges.” This medium-sized university represents the best of both worlds by combining a small college commitment to hands-on teaching and learning with a research university’s opportunities for student participation in faculty research. UNCW offers its 14,000+ students 55 bachelors, 42 masters, and 4 doctoral degree programs from which to choose.

The university’s most unique program offered is in Marine Biology. Marine Biology students at UNCW can SCUBA dive to measure the impact of global climate change on coastal habitats or participate in a marine mammal dissection right on the beach. The University of North Carolina Wilmington’s students can choose to study Business, Marketing, Health Professions, Biology, English or Social Sciences among the usual assortment of majors at a university. The English Department houses its own publishing activity for students wishing to learn how to publish a magazine or a book.

UNC Wilmington prides itself on providing its students with an engaged, practical education. A great example of this is the faculty-designed ETEAL (Experiencing Transformative Education through Applied Learning) model, which combines internships, study abroad, community-based projects, research, directed independent study options and other educational opportunities. Such activities are vital for building your resume or c.v.

Students looking to engage outside of the classroom can choose from more than 285 student organizations, 19 NCAA Division I sports, nearly 30 sport clubs and an active intramural program.

UNCW is located in the scenic port city of Wilmington, NC, home to over 100,000 residents. Students and locals alike are drawn to Wilmington by its temperate climate, beautiful surrounding beaches, relaxed lifestyle and historic charm.


Western Carolina University

Western Carolina UniversityWestern Carolina University (WCU) was founded in 1889 as a teachers’ college and has grown to serve more than 10,000 students today. WCU’s students are able to choose from over 120 undergraduate majors and more than 60 graduate-level programs of study.

U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” guidebook ranks Western Carolina No. 13 among the “top public regional universities” in the South. In addition to a high-quality education, WCU offers its students an incredible value through the NC Promise program for reduced tuition. Through NC Promise, international students will be able to earn an undergraduate degree at WCU for $2,500 in tuition per semester beginning in Fall 2018.

WCU’s nationally recognized programs of study include Project Management, Entrepreneurship, and the nation’s first accredited four-year Emergency Medical Care Program. The university also boasts a highly-regarded forensic anthropology program taught by one of only 55 board-certified forensic anthropologists in the United States. Western Carolina’s Criminal Justice Program is used as a model across the State of North Carolina.

Western Carolina University offers no shortage of opportunities for top students seeking to challenge themselves. The university is home to the oldest and largest Honors College in the UNC System. It is also consistently among the top five institutions in the country for undergraduate research projects accepted to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research – the nation’s most prestigious undergraduate research forum.

Beyond the classroom, WCU students can choose from more than 150 clubs and organizations, as well as an active intermural sports program. The surrounding mountains also provide limitless outdoor recreation options. For the last three years, Western Carolina has been voted the No. 1 school for outdoor adventure in the Southeast by Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine.

Western Carolina University enjoys a peaceful, rural setting in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. Located in the town of Cullowhee, home to just over 6,000 residents, WCU is a short drive from the famed Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway.