By the numbers

Quick facts

  • 19,743undergraduate students
  • 11,796graduate and professional students
  • 1stand only public university in the United States to award degrees in the 18th century
  • 66doctoral degree programs and seven professional degree programs
  • 78bachelor's degree programs
  • 113master's degree programs
  • 356,387living alumni in 50 states and D.C. and 147 countries
  • 4,085faculty members
  • 9,023staff members

The Carolina experience

  • Four students sitting on a bench together in front of South Building.

    It's always a great day to be a Tar Heel

    “It’s a great day to be a Tar Heel” is a phrase you’ll often hear around Carolina, and for a good reason. Every day, Tar Heels create a positive impact on the world by improving their communities and inspiring change through their talents. They’re artists, scientists, humanitarians, researchers and innovators doing extraordinary things.

    Meet some of our students and alumni to find out why every day really is a great day to be a Tar Heel.

  • Photos of Shayna Hill, Sandra Foxx, Dr. Mario Ciocca and Sibby Anderson-Thompkins; (bottom row, left to right) Vanessa Mitchell, James Holman, Kathy James and Teresa Golson.

    Faculty and staff excellence

    Established in 1980 by the late C. Knox Massey ’25 of Durham, the C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award recognizes “unusual, meritorious or superior contributions” by University employees.

    Learn more about the faculty and staff who make Carolina so special.

  • The Bell Tower lit up with blue lights.

    Timeless Traditions

    The nation's first public university, UNC-Chapel Hill is home to centuries-old traditions and experiences that connect generations of Tar Heels.

    Watch the Bell Tower lighting the night before the first day of class, go for a stroll on Franklin Street and cheer on the Tar Heels in Kenan Stadium.

    Learn more about the places and experiences that make the Tar Heel experience so special.

Two Nobel Laureates

Dr. Aziz Sancar, co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and Dr. Oliver Smithies (1925-2017), co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Oliver Smithes and Aziz Sancar look at their Nobel Prize Medals.

57,198 applicants for the Class of 2026

Our newest class is comprised of nearly 5,400 students. Approximately 18% of these Tar Heels are the first in their families to attend college.

Meet our newest Tar Heels

Students on campus.


Carolina is committed to providing access to a high-quality, affordable education to students from all backgrounds. For over a decade, The Carolina Covenant has offered lower-income students who earn admission the opportunity to graduate debt-free. The University meets all the documented need of undergraduates who apply for financial aid on time.

Carolina is also one of the 30 founding members of the American Talent Initiative, which aims to attract, enroll and graduate 50,000 additional lower-income students at the 334 colleges and universities with the highest graduation rates by 2025.

Learn more about the Carolina Covenant

The Bell Tower.


At Carolina, diversity and inclusion are about building understanding across differences, creating conditions to ensure the equitable educational and social benefits of diversity and cultivating an inclusive and supportive environment for all Tar Heels. The University received the 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity.

We have also created 41 need-based scholarships named for “Noteworthy Firsts” in our community from various backgrounds and “Bridge Builders,” those whose work, advocacy and personal example helped create a more diverse Carolina.

Visit the University Office for Diversity and Inclusion

Graduates celebrating.

Outreach and Service

Students, faculty and staff dedicate thousands of hours each year to helping our communities by performing service projects and participating in outreach programs. More than 150 students graduated as Buckley Public Service Scholars in 2023, logging more than 73,870 hours of public service.

Carolina also has nearly 60 advisers of the Carolina College Advising Corps serving 74 North Carolina high schools in the 2020-2021 academic year to support North Carolinians and help students find colleges where they will thrive.

Learn more about Carolina’s service to our state


Students work on a farm.

Behind the numbers

Learn more about UNC Research
  • An experience using lasers is conducted on a table.

    Racing toward innovation

    Convergent science is characterized by cross-disciplinary research teams created to tackle big problems and speed the application of new breakthroughs to commercialization. At Carolina, the Institute for Convergent Science is at the forefront of this pioneering framework.

  • Emily Harmon collects samples under a fishing dock.

    Disassembling evolution’s engine

    When a research project centered on evolution within spadefoot toads fell through, Emily Harmon shifted her focus to microscopic swimmers called rotifers. The biology Ph.D. student is studying an animal’s ability to adapt in one generation, which could inform conservation efforts in the face of climate change.

  • Tim Sheahan working in a lab.

    A pandemic game changer

    Clinical trials led by Drs. William Fischer and Tim Sheahan at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed that a new pill treatment eliminates the COVID-19 virus in patients.


Carolina is a place where innovators and entrepreneurs make a human, social and economic impact. We make purposeful transformations in the world by putting important ideas to use for the public good.

Learn more

  • 6thmost innovative university in the world (Reuters)
  • 814total Carolina-affiliated startups launched
  • 446Carolina-affiliated startups headquartered in North Carolina
  • $17.8 billionin total funding raised by Carolina startups
  • $14.4 billionin annual revenue earned by UNC-Chapel Hill startups (2020-21)
  • 12,000+people employed by UNC-Chapel Hill startups across 29 North Carolina counties (2020-21)