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Higher-Learning Institutions That Call Asheville and Western N.C. Home

Mars Hill UniversityAsheville and the Western North Carolina region are home to a number of institutions for higher learning. From technical colleges to four-year private universities to continuing education offerings, there are many options for students to pursue a wide range of studies. 

University of North Carolina at Asheville – Part of the 16-campus UNC system, the University of North Carolina at Asheville offers classes toward more than 30 majors. The campus, just one mile north of downtown Asheville, serves more than 3,300 undergraduate students. The only designated liberal arts institution in the UNC system, UNCA routinely receives high marks for innovation and is ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in the country.

Warren Wilson College – Just 10 miles east of Asheville in Swannanoa, Warren Wilson is a four-year, private liberal arts institution known for a curriculum that combines academics, work and service: Each of the 900 annual students must complete a requisite course of study, work a job on campus, and contribute community service.

Western Carolina University – Part of the UNC system, Western Carolina (located 52 miles west of Asheville in Cullowhee, N.C.) has more than 9,000 students. The university has an Asheville instructional site in Biltmore Park Town Square, which focuses on professional and graduate degrees for working students.

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College – This public, two-year community college near downtown Asheville boasts five academic divisions, including business & hospitality, engineering, and health & public service. It has 9,000 annual students, with an extensional enrollment of more than 17,000.

Colleges Universities in the Asheville AreaBrevard College – Nestled in Brevard, N.C., 33 miles southeast of Asheville amid the lushness of Pisgah National Forest, this private liberal arts institution has 700 students studying toward Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in an experiential setting. Brevard College is famed for its fine arts and music contributions to the community.

Mars Hill University – This private liberal arts institution, 15 miles north of Asheville in Mars Hill, N.C., offers five degrees (bachelors in arts, science, music, fine arts or social work) and more than 30 majors. Around 1,600 annual students attend Mars Hill, which has received high marks in U.S. News and World Report’s annual survey of the country’s best colleges.

Montreat College – This private, four-year liberal arts Christian college has three campuses – in Black Mountain, Asheville and Charlotte – in addition to its primary campus in Montreat (19 miles east of Asheville). Along with traditional four-year degrees offered to 450 undergrads, Montreat College offers adult studies programs and courses in team and professional development.

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