UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business reached a significant milestone for fall 2021, reporting the largest enrollment in its history.
Preliminary enrollment data for fall show an overall combined enrollment for graduate and undergraduate programs of 5,127, a 3.8% increase over fall 2020, the first time enrollment has surpassed 5,000.
“For the second consecutive year and despite the pandemic, enrollment increased,” said Belk College Dean Jennifer Troyer. “This is more evidence of how our programs are continuing to serve the needs of business professionals in North Carolina. Business Niners are driving business and filling the tremendous workforce needs of the growing Charlotte region.”
Both undergraduate and graduate programs had their highest enrollment ever this fall.
Decade of Growth
Since 2011, enrollment at the Belk College has increased 34% as the college has grown existing programs and added several unique programs.
This includes the UNC System’s first Master of Science in Management in 2019, and the first AACSB-accredited Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) in the Carolinas in 2017.
Demand for the Charlotte Professional MBA also has increased, as working professionals look to develop their skills during the pandemic. Enrollment in the nationally ranked program has grown 57% over the past five years and 14% since fall 2020.
"Business Niners are driving business and filling the tremendous workforce needs of the growing Charlotte region.”
– Jennifer Troyer, Belk College Dean
MBA enrollment is expected to continue to increase as the college prepares to launch a fully online MBA beginning in fall 2022.
For the Belk College’s undergraduate programs, enrollment topped 4,000 for the first time this fall as the college welcomed the largest and most diverse freshman class in its history. The college’s newest undergraduate major, in business analytics, now has 115 students enrolled, up from 10 students just three years ago.
Aligning closely with its strategic plan, the Belk College also has become more diverse over the past decade.
Since 2011, enrollment for Latinx/Hispanic students has steadily increased, as the college serves the region’s increasingly diverse population. According to census data, the Hispanic population in Mecklenburg County increased by 52% from 2010 to 2020.
Likewise, the representation of Latinx/Hispanic students has nearly doubled in the last decade, now making up 13% of all undergraduate students.
Belk College graduate programs have seen an even larger percentage increase of Latinx/Hispanic students as well as increases among African American students.
“Our faculty and staff have taken an intentional and strategic approach to our recruiting at the graduate level to increase the diversity of our programs, providing a broader talent pool,” Troyer said. “The results of this work are reflected in the new enrollment numbers.” Belk College’s growth also follows recent enrollment gains at the University level. This fall, UNC Charlotte set a University enrollment record for the third consecutive year.
BELK COLLEGE AT A GLANCE
- Enrollment (fall 2021): 5,127 (highest ever)
Growth (2011-2021): 34% enrollment growth in the past decade
Graduates (2020-21): 1,626
Alumni (May 2021): 34,772 Belk College alumni, with nearly 20,000 living and working in the Charlotte region
Green and Gold Drive Business
Established in 1970, the Belk College of Business offers business education programs at the undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and executive levels. The Belk College is one of the Carolinas’ largest business schools, with more than 5,000 students, more than 100 full-time faculty, and nearly 35,000 alumni. Accredited by AACSB International, the college is committed to building strong partnerships in the greater Charlotte region and beyond as North Carolina's urban research business school. Learn more about how the Belk College is driving business at belkcollege.charlotte.edu, and on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.