Community and Region

North Carolina’s economic success once relied on growing tobacco, crafting furniture and fabricating textiles, and in recent decades has shifted to becoming a global center for education, medicine, research, technology, advanced manufacturing and finance. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill plays a key role in our state’s transformation and maintains a steadfast commitment to our state and region.

Extending UNC’s global presence, research and teaching is a top priority for the University. Through a variety of community outreach programs, we create a global learning experience for North Carolina’s young people, attract global researchers and scholars to advance their studies on our campus and in our region and produce global-ready graduates who can help North Carolina companies build worldwide supply and knowledge chains and access expanding international markets.

Life in Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill is a multicultural university town home to the University and has a resident population of almost 50,000 people. Franklin Street acts as the cultural hub of the downtown area and is considered the center of social life for both the university and the town. Named after Benjamin Franklin, the street boasts numerous coffee shops, restaurants, museums, memorabilia and specialty item shops, boutiques and bars.

Fondly referred to as the “Southern Part of Heaven,” Chapel Hill was named for New Hope Chapel, which once stood on the land where the famous Carolina Inn is now situated. Much of the character of the town is due to its great natural beauty which includes steep, wooded hills, small streams, stone walls and quiet streets. The integration of these natural environments with the cosmopolitan and institutional setting of the University reflect the spirit of diversity and community which is Chapel Hill.

About the Region

The University is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a sophisticated college town that’s part of the larger and easily accessible Raleigh-Durham metropolitan area. With more than 1.13 million people, the community offers a range of collegiate activities, professional opportunities, resources, neighborhoods, cultural events and more.

Carolina’s campus is about a twenty-minute commute from the Research Triangle Park, which is home to more than 170 global companies, fostering a culture of scientific advancement and competitive excellence. The park is located between three major research universities: Duke University in Durham, North Carolina State University in Raleigh, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and helps to create one of the most vibrant research corridors in the United States.

The University is only hours from Washington, D.C., providing faculty and students with access to additional professional opportunities, research collaborations and experiential learning. Carolina’s faculty members often testify before Congress as experts in their fields, and students take multi-day class trips to executive, judicial and legislative offices such as the U.S. Department of State, the Department of Commerce and the Supreme Court.