Mission Statement


UNC Asheville students, within a diverse and inclusive community, experience liberal arts education at its best.


UNC Asheville is distinctive in the UNC system as its designated liberal arts university. Our practice of the liberal arts emphasizes the centrality of learning and discovery through exemplary teaching, innovative scholarship, creative expression, co-curricular activities, undergraduate research, engaged service, and practical experience. UNC Asheville is primarily undergraduate, with all programs of study leading to the bachelor’s degree, with the exceptions of teacher licensure programs and the master’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences (MLAS). UNC Asheville offers a liberal arts education characterized by high quality faculty-student interaction. We offer this challenging educational experience to all promising students who are committed to liberal learning and personal growth.

Our liberal arts educational approach emphasizes life skills including critical thinking, clear and thoughtful expression, and honest open inquiry. Students undertake concentrated study in one area while simultaneously developing an understanding of the connections among disciplines. We encourage students to clarify, develop and live their own values while respecting the views and beliefs of others. In addition we cultivate an understanding of the dimensions of human diversity while recognizing the common humanity of all. We believe a quality liberal arts education enables our graduates to be lifelong learners and to lead successful, flourishing lives as leaders and contributors to their communities.

At UNC Asheville, we respond to the conditions and concerns of the contemporary world both as individuals and as a university. We incorporate economic, social and environmental sustainability into our institutional practices and curriculum. With a range of associated centers, partnerships, and initiatives, we fulfill our public responsibility to address the needs of our community through a continuum of learning. We develop a commitment to continuing service characterized by an informed, responsible, and creative engagement with the Asheville area, the southern Appalachian region, the state of North Carolina, and a diverse and increasingly connected world.

(Adopted by the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees June 19, 2009; amended March 27, 2014)

(Approved by the UNC Board of Governors November 13, 2009; amended February 21, 2014)