Best colleges in North Carolina

Head South for Sweet Tea and Sweet Schools

Personalized classes in your educational future

Be prepared to choose your favorite shade of blue when you move down south and all the top colleges are all blue. North Carolina is a progressive state with a public university system of 16 colleges and a school for the arts. The Old North State also plays host to some pretty prestigious private liberal arts colleges with intimate learning opportunities. The average student-faculty ratio at a private school in North Carolina is 11:1. Their community college system is massive, providing plenty of options at its 58 campuses for those who are still figuring out their career path. North Carolina graduates go on to work at businesses like JD Motorsports, Red Storm Entertainment, and Rocky Mount Instruments.

Race car driving is huge in North Carolina, and you'll see plenty of racing companies all over the state. If you're interested in engineering or mechanics, a North Carolina education will serve you well. On your off hours, visit one of the multiple aquariums throughout the state, or hang out at one of the notable pubs and restaurants. Check out the Raleigh Times Bar or the North Banks Restaurant. The nightlife is sweet in this Southern state filled to the brim with sweet tea, friends, and higher learning. Wikipedia, "List of colleges and universities in North Carolina" , "North Carolina Community College System", "Companies based in North Carolina" www.visitraleigh.com

*Wikipedia, “List of colleges and universities in North Carolina”, “North Carolina Community College System”, “Companies based in North Carolina” *www.visitraleigh.com

Best Four Year Universities in North Carolina

Duke University
Durham, NC

Duke University is a private university founded in 1892 in Durham, North Carolina by Quaker and Methodist groups in the region. Duke gets its name from the tobacco and electrical magnate Washington Duke, who worked with Julian S. Carr in the late 1890s to build the school’s first campus, known locally as East Campus. The university's West Campus was later constructed in the early 1930s in a gothic and Georgian style. Duke has 12 schools and undergraduate programs including the Pratt School of Engineering, Duke Kunshan, and the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. 

Duke has a total undergraduate enrollment of around 15,000 students that take classes according to a semester-based academic calendar. Prospective students should note that tuition is well over $50,000 with an acceptance rate of just under 10%, making it one of the hardest, most costly schools in the U.S. 

Duke has a history of academic research and has annual budgets that exceed $1billion, with strong biomedical funding from groups like the NIH. The graduation rate at Duke is an impressive 94.5%, thanks in part to the student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1. The Duke Blue Devils are known globally for their success in NCAA men’s basketball, with their coach known as Coach K winning 5 national championships during his tenure at the school. Notable alumni include retired Representative Ron Paul, news anchor Judy Woodruff, and billionaire Melinda French.

Davidson College
Davidson, NC

Davidson College offers 28 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2019, 477 students graduated with students earning 477 Bachelor's degrees.

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers 257 degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a small city. In 2019, 8,215 students graduated with students earning 4,662 Bachelor's degrees, 2,372 Master's degrees, 1,179 Doctoral degrees, and 2 Certificates.

North Carolina State University, or NC State, is a public university founded in 1887, with the flagship campus located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Undergraduate enrollment at NC State is 35,000, and students take classes at the Main, Centennial, and NC Research Campuses. NC State is located in the Research Triangle in the Raleigh-Durham area along with Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Raleigh has a bustling downtown, a historic theme park, and a wide range of hiking trails just outside the city.

The university offers over 100 bachelor’s programs and over 60 doctoral degree options through competitive schools like the Polle College of Management and the Wilson College of Textiles. Prospective applicants should note that in-state tuition is roughly a quarter of out-of-state tuition, totaling just below $10,000. Students at NC State take classes on a semester-based academic calendar in a typical large undergraduate lecture format.

NC State has an annual budget that exceeds $1.5 billion, one of the largest annual budgets in the country, with funding going towards nationally-ranked research institutes, a competitive athletic program, and robust merit and need-based scholarships. Notable research institutes at NC State include the FREEDM Systems Center for smart-grid technology, the ASSIST Center for health-monitoring devices, and the Laboratory for Analytic Sciences. Notable alumni include quarterback Russell Wilson, actor Zach Galifianakis, and former Senator John Edwards.

Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC

Wake Forest University offers 104 degree programs. It's a medium sized, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2019, 2,477 students graduated with students earning 1,201 Bachelor's degrees, 935 Master's degrees, 338 Doctoral degrees, and 3 Certificates.

University of North Carolina School of the Arts offers 10 degree programs. It's a small, public, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2019, 247 students graduated with students earning 196 Bachelor's degrees, and 51 Master's degrees.

Elon University
Elon, NC

Elon University offers 92 degree programs. It's a medium sized, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a midsize suburb. In 2019, 1,683 students graduated with students earning 1,408 Bachelor's degrees, 149 Doctoral degrees, and 126 Master's degrees.

Carolina Christian College
Winston Salem, NC

Carolina Christian College offers 4 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2019, 7 students graduated with students earning 4 Bachelor's degrees, 2 Associate's degrees, and 1 Master's degree.

Meredith College
Raleigh, NC

Meredith College offers 65 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 576 students graduated with students earning 386 Bachelor's degrees, 110 Certificates, and 80 Master's degrees.

University of North Carolina Wilmington offers 135 degree programs. It's a large, public, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2019, 4,561 students graduated with students earning 3,770 Bachelor's degrees, 735 Master's degrees, 28 Certificates, and 28 Doctoral degrees.

Best Community Colleges in North Carolina

Pamlico Community College
Grantsboro, NC

Pamlico Community College offers 35 degree programs. It's a very small, public, two-year college in a faraway rural area. In 2019, 251 students graduated with students earning 204 Certificates, and 47 Associate's degrees.

Carolinas College of Health Sciences offers 8 degree programs. It's a very small, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 165 students graduated with students earning 136 Associate's degrees, and 29 Certificates.

Louisburg College
Louisburg, NC

Louisburg College offers 4 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a outlying town. In 2019, 90 students graduated with students earning 90 Associate's degrees.

Sampson Community College offers 54 degree programs. It's a small, public, two-year college in a faraway town. In 2019, 348 students graduated with students earning 240 Associate's degrees, and 108 Certificates.

Montgomery Community College offers 69 degree programs. It's a very small, public, two-year college in a outlying rural area. In 2019, 325 students graduated with students earning 221 Certificates, and 104 Associate's degrees.

Wayne Community College
Goldsboro, NC

Wayne Community College offers 103 degree programs. It's a small, public, two-year college in a small city. In 2019, 1,414 students graduated with students earning 795 Certificates, and 619 Associate's degrees.

Randolph Community College offers 74 degree programs. It's a small, public, two-year college in a outlying town. In 2019, 659 students graduated with students earning 435 Associate's degrees, and 224 Certificates.

Platt College-Miller-Motte-Fayetteville offers 11 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a midsize city. In 2019, 396 students graduated with students earning 317 Certificates, and 79 Associate's degrees.

Southeastern Community College offers 38 degree programs. It's a small, public, two-year college in a faraway rural area. In 2019, 370 students graduated with students earning 226 Associate's degrees, and 144 Certificates.

Richmond Community College offers 73 degree programs. It's a small, public, two-year college in a faraway town. In 2019, 739 students graduated with students earning 419 Associate's degrees, and 320 Certificates.

List of all colleges in North Carolina

School Average Tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
Duke University Logo Duke University Durham, NC
5/5
12 : 1 16,686
Davidson College Logo Davidson College Davidson, NC
5/5
8 : 1 1,837
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Logo University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
3/5
18 : 1 29,877
North Carolina State University at Raleigh Logo North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC
3/5
21 : 1 36,304
Wake Forest University Logo Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC
5/5
13 : 1 8,495
University of North Carolina School of the Arts Logo University of North Carolina School of the Arts Winston Salem, NC
3/5
7 : 1 1,086
Elon University Logo Elon University Elon, NC
5/5
16 : 1 7,088
Carolina Christian College Logo Carolina Christian College Winston Salem, NC
3/5
64 : 1 64
Meredith College Logo Meredith College Raleigh, NC
5/5
14 : 1 1,810
University of North Carolina Wilmington Logo University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington, NC
2/5
25 : 1 17,499
University of North Carolina at Charlotte Logo University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC
2/5
27 : 1 29,615
North Carolina A & T State University Logo North Carolina A & T State University Greensboro, NC
2/5
27 : 1 12,556
Appalachian State University Logo Appalachian State University Boone, NC
2/5
19 : 1 19,280
Winston-Salem State University Logo Winston-Salem State University Winston-Salem, NC
2/5
19 : 1 5,121
High Point University Logo High Point University High Point, NC
5/5
16 : 1 5,330
East Carolina University Logo East Carolina University Greenville, NC
2/5
22 : 1 28,651
Bennett College Logo Bennett College Greensboro, NC
4/5
9 : 1 311
Catawba College Logo Catawba College Salisbury, NC
5/5
16 : 1 1,324
Queens University of Charlotte Logo Queens University of Charlotte Charlotte, NC
5/5
18 : 1 2,463
Johnson C Smith University Logo Johnson C Smith University Charlotte, NC
4/5
17 : 1 1,494

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