Mars Hill University is a private, four-year liberal arts institution located in the mountains of western North Carolina. Founded in 1856 by Baptist families of the region, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in western North Carolina on its original site.
Since 1926, Mars Hill University has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is affiliated with the Appalachian College Association, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, the Council of Independent Colleges, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
Mars Hills small campus of approximately 1,200 students offers a warm and engaging environment, where students get to know each other, as well as professors and university staff. Mars Hill boasts a eclectic mix of students, and one of the highest percentages of minority students in the region. The university draws students from all over the United States, and the world.
Students are challenged to excellence by a liberal arts curriculum which offers five undergraduate degrees (B.A., B.S., B.M., B.F.A., and B.S.W.) in 33 majors (with 61 concentrations) and 33 minors, and one graduate degree (M.Ed. in elementary education). Approximately 1,200 students are enrolled in the traditional campus courses, while over 200 working adults take classes in the evening through the Adult & Graduate Studies program, either on campus or at one of several satellite locations.
The university is committed to an emphasis on service and Christian ethics through the curriculum, as well as through campus ministries and programs like the Center for Community Engagement. Mars Hills location also lends itself to a celebrated role in the preservation of Southern Appalachian history. This work is particularly accomplished through the programs of the Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies, which houses the substantial holdings of the Southern Appalachian Archives.
Mars Hill competes in 19 intercollegiate sports at the NCAA Division II level. A young, but very successful, cycling team competes at the USA Cycling Collegiate Division II level. The university also has 43 clubs and organizations.