The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, also known as UNC, UNC Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina, or simply Carolina, is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States. It is the flagship of the 17 campuses of the University of North Carolina system. After being chartered in 1789, the university first began enrolling students in 1795, which also allows it to be one of three schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States. Out of all three to claim said title, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the only public university to hold classes and graduate students in the eighteenth century.
The first public institution of higher education in North Carolina, the school opened its doors to students on February 12, 1795. The university offers degrees in over 70 courses of study through fourteen colleges and the College of Arts and Sciences. All undergraduates receive a liberal arts education and have the option to pursue a major within the professional schools of the university or within the College of Arts and Sciences from the time they obtain junior status. Under the leadership of President Kemp Plummer Battle, in 1877 North Carolina became coeducational and began the process of desegregation in 1951 when African-American graduate students were admitted under Chancellor Robert Burton House. In 1952, North Carolina opened its own hospital, UNC Health Care, for research and treatment, and has since specialized in cancer care. The school's students, alumni, and sports teams are known as "Tar Heels".
UNC's faculty and alumni include 9 Nobel Prize laureates, 23 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 49 Rhodes Scholars. Additional notable alumni include a U.S. President, a U.S. Vice President, 38 Governors of U.S. States, 98 members of the United States Congress, 9 Cabinet members, 39 Henry Luce Scholars, 9 World Cup winners and 3 astronauts as well as founders and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
The campus covers 729 acres (3 km2) of Chapel Hill's downtown area, encompassing the Morehead Planetarium and the many stores and shops located on Franklin Street. Students can participate in over 550 officially recognized student organizations.