Marine biology and the sciences tend to be the academic areas a lot of prospective students associate with "UNC by the Sea." However, UNCW is so much more, providing and promoting such a variety of academic areas and majors. Prospective students or parents soon realize and appreciate the vast depth and care the University possesses, which makes UNCW itself the focus rather than its proximity to the ocean. Besides strong areas in biology, marine biology, chemistry, oceanography, and environmental science, UNCW's academic strengths also lie in the majors of nursing, business, education, communication studies, and computer science. Top-notch programs are also well-established in the areas of creative writing, film studies, and culturally stimulating areas such as theater, music, and art. The reputation for great science programs still stands, but other academic interests maintain strong reputations, too.
Hands-on, interactive styles of learning are supported by professors, as well as by the amazing facilities UNCW provides for its students. Class sizes are a thing of pride at UNCW, as they support great professor-student interaction. Average class sizes are around 21 students. There are, of course, some basic studies classes that a lot of students take, such as "Business 105" or a basic biology class, which are larger and more lecture-based. Still, these classes are only around 150 or fewer students, and once a student enters a specific major, and really after freshman year, the classes are such great sizes. UNCW professors are experts in their respected fields, and most conduct individual research and write articles throughout the year to keep that respected status. Office hours are mandatory for all professors. Throughout their entire college career, students are assigned advisers that ensure student success. UNCW professors and staff are truly there for the students.