Best Colleges in North Carolina

North Carolina College Guide – What You Need to Know

North Carolina is home to several high-quality schools, both public and private. Names like Duke University and the University of North Carolina are probably the best-known schools in the state, but NC boasts a wide array of schools from small liberal arts colleges to NC State, the largest university in the Carolinas.

What are the most popular bachelor's degrees offered in North Carolina?

While the state’s private colleges are a significant investment for those who don’t have federal funding or scholarships, NC’s public universities promise a quality education for less than $10,000 per year.

The most popular bachelor’s degrees in North Carolina are similar to the most popular bachelor’s degrees across the country. Students top picks include majors such as biology, business administration, and psychology, as well as computer science. Here are the top five degrees:

How Much Can You Make by Having a Degree North Carolina


In general, the higher the degree, the greater the earning potential. It’s important to remember that this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Some fields, like marketing or computer programming, allow you to advance in your career without a master’s degree. Others, like psychology, require a master’s minimum, as your point of entry. Still, getting a bachelor’s degree, or even an associate can help you earn much more than you would with only a high school diploma.

According to data PayScale, bachelor’s degree holders have an average income of about $58,000 per year. Degree type makes a difference; the site reported that those with a Bachelor of Science earned $63,000 on average, compared to those with a Bachelor of Arts who earned about $53,000 on average.

Those figures are likely skewed a bit, as high-paying technical occupations like engineering and computer science majors earn BS degrees. BA graduates span a range of majors, including some sectors where it may be harder to find employment. Associate degree holders earn about $48,000 per year.

Those with a high school diploma, or GED only, are likely to earn considerably less. The BLS reports the median weekly income for those without any formal education credential can expect to make roughly $688 per week.

NO FORMAL EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA ASSOCIATE DEGREE BACHELOR’S DEGREE MASTER’S DEGREE DOCTORAL DEGREE
$30,784* $38,792* $46,124* $64,896* $77,844* $96,772*

Best Associate Degrees in North Carolina


North Carolina has some of the best associate programs in the nation. Some provide a direct path to the best bachelor's degrees in the state, including UNC-Chapel Hill. Whether students are seeking a career in healthcare, social work, education, or engineering, they will find that North Carolina's community colleges offer quality learning, often at reasonable costs.

Carolinas College of Health Sciences
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
476
Graduation Rate
100%
Net Price
$40,090
Pamlico Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
549
Graduation Rate
69%
Net Price
$2,765
Sampson Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,429
Graduation Rate
65%
Net Price
$10,057
Johnson & Wales University-Charlotte
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,523
Graduation Rate
59%
Net Price
$24,030
Montgomery Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
918
Graduation Rate
55%
Net Price
$6,615
Brunswick Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,585
Graduation Rate
53%
Net Price
$7,299
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
475
Graduation Rate
52%
Net Price
$15,200
Platt College-Miller-Motte-Jacksonville
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
365
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
NA
Southwestern Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,324
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$5,428
Mayland Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
399
Graduation Rate
49%
Net Price
$9,110
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Best Bachelor's Degrees in North Carolina


There are some great bachelor's degrees to be found in North Carolina's colleges and universities. The state has a first-rate public university system and private colleges that offer a variety of high-quality programs that would earn you entry to great jobs all across the nation. Whether students wish to pursue medicine, law, engineering, or any other career field, North Carolina has a top four-year degree program for them. Keep reading to learn about the best bachelor’s programs in North Carolina.

Carolina Christian College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
64
Graduation Rate
100%
Net Price
$6,885
Carolinas College of Health Sciences
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
476
Graduation Rate
100%
Net Price
$40,090
Duke University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
16,766
Graduation Rate
95%
Net Price
$24,386
Davidson College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,837
Graduation Rate
91%
Net Price
$27,714
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
29,877
Graduation Rate
91%
Net Price
$10,085
Wake Forest University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
8,495
Graduation Rate
88%
Net Price
$24,800
Elon University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,088
Graduation Rate
85%
Net Price
$36,564
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
36,304
Graduation Rate
82%
Net Price
$14,958
University of North Carolina School of the Arts
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,086
Graduation Rate
75%
Net Price
$12,579
Appalachian State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
19,280
Graduation Rate
73%
Net Price
$10,525
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