The University of North Carolina Charlotte was founded post-World War II in 1946 under the G.I. Bill to educate returning veterans. Initially named Charlotte College, UNCC didn't become a four-year university until 1963 when it moved to near the Cabarrus County border. Endowed for $152 million, UNC Charlotte is now a public, state-assisted research institution divided into nine colleges. The University of North Carolina Charlotte enrolls more than 22,900 undergraduates and 6,000 post-graduates yearly. Spread across 1,000 suburban acres, UNCC is headquartered in University City just outside the Southeast's second largest city. UNC Charlotte's over 160 academic programs hold an average retention rate of 79.3 percent.

According to the U.S. News, UNC Charlotte is the 194th best national university and 111th top public school for 2017. In particular, the William States Lee College of Engineering is named America's 139th top engineering school with the 19th best online master's in engineering degrees. Forbes crowned UNCC the 191st top research university nationally. The Princeton Review included the University of North Carolina Charlotte in its "Guide to 353 Green Colleges." Washington Monthly ranked UNCC the Southeast's 10th best bang for the buck. The American City Business Journals also placed UNC Charlotte 137th for the United States' top public universities.

Accreditation Details

Through 2023, the University of North Carolina Charlotte is regionally accredited at Level VI by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). This accrediting agency is approved by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Online programs at UNCC is certified by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA). The Lee College of Engineering has discipline-specific accreditation from the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). Management courses offered in partnership with Belk College align with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Application Requirements

With an acceptance rate of 64 percent, the University of North Carolina Charlotte controls a selective admissions process. For the online Bachelor's in Engineering programs, applicants must have completed a two-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree. Credits must be transferrable from a regionally accredited community college or vocational school. Curriculum prerequisites include calculus, statistics, physics, chemistry, and engineering technology. Taking the Math Self-Test is strongly recommended. Transfers must hold a minimum 2.0 cumulative college GPA and have good standing.

For the online Master's in Engineering program, UNCC applicants must have achieved a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. college or foreign equivalent. Attending an ABET-accredited college for an engineering or closely related technical major is preferred. The MSEM requires having undergraduate courses in economics, statistics, and calculus. Master's students need to possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. GRE or GMAT scores can be waived for applicants with two or more years of engineering working experience. International learners must score at least 575 on the TOEFL exam.

Before the deadlines on May 15th and November 15th, students can apply to the University of North Carolina Charlotte by submitting the following through the Future 49er portal:

  • Completed online admissions form
  • Payment for the $60 application fee
  • Official transcripts from every college
  • Standardized testing score reports
  • Proof of English proficiency (if foreign)
  • Resume of relevant experiences

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduates from North Carolina will pay $$1,780 per online semester. Non-residents are charged $7,120 each full-time semester. Online students enrolling part-time will pay $154 (in-state) or $599 (out-of-state) per credit. Graduate distance education students living in North Carolina are billed $2,165 per semester. Non-resident graduates must afford $7,979 each online semester. Graduates enrolling part-time online will pay $246 (in-state) or $892 (out-of-state) per credit taken.

The NCES reports that 74 percent of beginning, full-time UNCC students earn assistance. The average financial aid package is $8,100. Many qualify for the Federal Pell Grant or FSEOG Grant. In-state residents could obtain the North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship (ELS) or UNC Need-Based Grant. There's also the Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG). On- and off-campus jobs could be eligible for Federal Work-Study (FWS). Online students could smartly borrow Federal Direct, Federal Perkins, or Grad PLUS loans. Tuition benefits are available for active and veteran military via the Yellow Ribbon Program. Institutional awards, such as the Crowns Scholars Program, George S. Rawlins Scholarship, and Evergreen University Scholarship, are abundant.

Online Degree(s) Available

UNC Charlotte's Distance Education Division participates in the SREB Electronic Campus to deliver high-quality online learning. Currently, online students can select from five bachelor's, 18 master's, and 15 graduate certificate programs. The Lee College of Engineering grants three of its degrees primarily online with the same top-notch professors. Online courses have a student-faculty ratio of 19:1 for close virtual interaction. UNCC's over 2,000 DE students benefit from online tutoring, 24/7 tech support, and exam proctoring. Engineers could pursue the:

B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology

Consisting of 64 credits, UNCC's online B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology is a degree completion program for students already trained at the associate-level. After the DE orientation, students delve into courses like linear circuits, digital logic, microprocessors, energy control, power transmission, and embedded systems. Students must only attend on-campus labs for five Saturdays during summertime. The ABET-accredited, 2+2 program unlocks a spectrum of high-tech careers.

B.S. in Fire Safety Engineering Technology

Another of UNC Charlotte's 2+2 online transfer programs is the B.S. in Fire Safety Engineering Technology, which features 63 credits. Delivered 100 percent online via Moodle and Saba Meeting, the program equips engineering majors to develop fire protection systems or enter fire service positions. The accredited curriculum explores fire behavior, electrical circuitry, industrial hazards, building fire safety, risk management, and disaster control. New online learners are admitted every Fall and Spring.

M.S. in Engineering Management

As a technical alternative to the MBA, the M.S. in Engineering Management program allows UNCC graduate students to make top-level decisions for the strategic planning of engineering development projects. Four concentrations are available for Energy Systems, Lean Six Sigma, Systems Analytics, or Logistics and Supply Chain. The 30-credit program includes industry-driven content like process design, cost estimation, systems integration, project management, quality improvement, and risk analysis. Online MSEM students can select from thesis or non-thesis tracks.

Related Resource: 30 Most Affordable Top Online Master's Degree Programs in Engineering

Other on-campus programs at the University of North Carolina Charlotte include the B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, M.S. in Civil Engineering, B.S. in Computer Engineering, and Ph.D. in Infrastructure and Environmental Systems.