#7 in National Public Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News & World Report ranking graphic

One of "America's Best College Values" by Forbes, 2019

Colleges of Distinction 2020-2021

Colleges of Distinction

UNC Asheville has been recognized for its honorable commitment to engaged, experiential education by Colleges of Distinction. In addition to being named a College of Distinction, UNC Asheville is also listed among the best public colleges nationally and best colleges in North Carolina in its inaugural year as part of the 2020-21 cohort. Colleges of Distinction boasts its longstanding support for student-centered schools that traditional rankings often overlook. UNC Asheville’s inclusion results from the unique ways it commits to achieving success, which includes a robust undergraduate research program, First-Year Experience program, Living Learning Communities, Bulldog Athletics, student organizations, and connection to the greater Asheville community, which extends educational opportunities beyond the classrooms into the city, region, and Blue Ridge Mountains. – Colleges of Distinction, 2020-2021

U.S. News & World Report

UNC Asheville ranks seventh in the nation among public liberal arts colleges. U.S. News & World Report also listed UNC Asheville in the lists of Undergraduate Business Programs, Undergraduate Engineering Programs, and U.S. News’ first-ever list of Undergraduate Computer Science Programs. In addition to being named among the Top Public Liberal Arts Colleges, U.S. News has included UNC Asheville in its “web-exclusive” list of schools supporting “Social Mobility,” which is computed from two ranking factors assessing graduation rates of Pell-awarded students. – U.S. News & World Report’s “2021 Best Colleges” (September 2020)

The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review features UNC Asheville among The Best 386 Colleges and is ranked in the top 20 nationally on several lists with accolades for “The City Gets High Marks,” “LGBTQ-Friendly,” and “Most Politically Active Students.” UNC Asheville also received accolades along with the City of Asheville for the “Town-Gown Relations are Great” category. The Princeton Review selected the 386 colleges and universities based on academic strength and surveys of students. One student quoted said professors are “some of the best in their respective fields” and “have time to invest interest in your individual advancement—not only in the course, but in your life…may come to you with job, internship or volunteer opportunities.” Another student quoted said, “My peers are inquisitive, mindful, compassionate, and hungry for justice.”– The Princeton Review’s The Best 386 Colleges – 2021 Edition (August 2020)

The Princeton Review features UNC Asheville in its Guide to 416 Green Colleges – 2021 Edition. (October 2020)

UNC Asheville is ranked in the top two nationally on the “Best Schools for Making an Impact” list – No. 1 in 2016 and No. 2 in 2018 – The Princeton Review guidebook, Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best Value Colleges and What It Takes to Get In – 2016 & ’18 Editions. (February 2016 and January 2018)


UNC Asheville is included in Forbes’ “America’s Best College Values 2019” list. (August 2019)

Kiplinger’s Best College Values

UNC Asheville is among the top 174 best values in public colleges. – Kiplinger’s Best College Values (online, July 2019)

The Fiske Guide to Colleges

For 15 consecutive years, UNC Asheville’s Environmental Studies Program has been named to the list of pre-professional programs with unusual strength in preparing students for careers. – The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2019 Edition (July 2018)

UNC Asheville is once again named a “Best Buy,” along with UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University – the only North Carolina public universities to earn a place on this international ranking list reflecting academic quality and affordability. – The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018 Edition (July 2017)

Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business

UNC Asheville proudly maintains accreditation with AACSB International (Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business). We join more than 450 U.S. colleges and universities that have met this high standard of excellence. AACSB is the most recognized, rigorous, and prestigious international distinction afforded to programs in management and accountancy. AACSB praised UNC Asheville’s liberal arts mission, characterized by a unique interdisciplinary approach to undergraduate education, and commitment to lifelong learning. Less than one-third of management and accountancy programs in the U.S. earn this recognition and only 5 percent of the 16,000 business programs worldwide are accredited by AACSB.

Military Friendly® Schools

UNC Asheville was designated a 2017 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, a service-disabled, veteran-owned business. “UNC Asheville is an excellent choice for military members because it provides an exceptional Liberal Arts education at a public institution price. … It also is home to a veteran student organization, the Veterans Alliance, and proactively seeks to support Veterans in their transition into Higher Education.” – 2017 Military Friendly® Schools and Employers (November, 2016)

WNC Sierra Club

UNC Asheville was named “Green University of the Year” by the Sierra Club of Western North Carolina. In announcing the award, the Wenoca Chapter cited UNC Asheville’s significant sustainability initiatives and the work of the university’s Student Environmental Center. (December 2016)

Bee Campus USA

UNC Asheville has been a certified Bee Campus USA since 2016 and was the eighth educational institution in the nation to be recognized. The Bee Campus USA designation recognizes educational campuses that commit to a set of practices that support pollinators, including bees, butterflies, birds, and bats, among thousands of other species. (April 2016)

Arbor Day Foundation

UNC Asheville has been designated as a Tree Campus USA since 2018 by the Arbor Day Foundation. The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation. (March 2018)