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 2 Year Associate Degree Colleges 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
Randolph Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,903
Graduation Rate
47%
Net Price
$7,120
Grace College of Divinity
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
187
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$8,163
Wayne Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,948
Graduation Rate
45%
Net Price
$4,542
Stanly Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,687
Graduation Rate
44%
Net Price
$8,447
Edgecombe Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,904
Graduation Rate
43%
Net Price
$4,723
Platt College-Miller-Motte-Raleigh
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
474
Graduation Rate
43%
Net Price
$22,021
Western Piedmont Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,820
Graduation Rate
43%
Net Price
$4,914
Haywood Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,632
Graduation Rate
41%
Net Price
$6,160
Platt College-Miller-Motte-Fayetteville
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
434
Graduation Rate
41%
Net Price
$22,572
Southeastern Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,524
Graduation Rate
41%
Net Price
$4,953
Central Carolina Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
5,714
Graduation Rate
39%
Net Price
$6,429
Cleveland Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,536
Graduation Rate
39%
Net Price
$4,461
Richmond Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,586
Graduation Rate
39%
Net Price
$3,499
Carteret Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
871
Graduation Rate
38%
Net Price
$13,824
Catawba Valley Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
4,693
Graduation Rate
37%
Net Price
$8,006
Davidson County Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,734
Graduation Rate
37%
Net Price
$6,360
Wilkes Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,692
Graduation Rate
37%
Net Price
$3,348
Vance-Granville Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,158
Graduation Rate
36%
Net Price
$4,129
Blue Ridge Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,332
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$7,725
College of the Albemarle
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,587
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$5,021
Isothermal Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,086
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$5,230
Beaufort County Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,539
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$7,644
Coastal Carolina Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,797
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$8,116
Piedmont Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,414
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$6,287
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
7,003
Graduation Rate
32%
Net Price
$7,729
Gaston College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
5,655
Graduation Rate
31%
Net Price
$8,396
Halifax Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,087
Graduation Rate
31%
Net Price
$4,002
Johnston Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
4,054
Graduation Rate
31%
Net Price
$6,370
Sandhills Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
4,039
Graduation Rate
31%
Net Price
$8,717
Surry Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,382
Graduation Rate
31%
Net Price
$10,999
Lenoir Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,526
Graduation Rate
30%
Net Price
$5,787
Alamance Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
4,328
Graduation Rate
29%
Net Price
$16,225
Craven Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,961
Graduation Rate
29%
Net Price
$12,684
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,744
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$2,667
McDowell Technical Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,136
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$4,957
Pitt Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
8,237
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$5,304
Rockingham Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,013
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$3,688
Martin Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
875
Graduation Rate
26%
Net Price
$6,555
Mitchell Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,226
Graduation Rate
26%
Net Price
$7,807
South Piedmont Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,136
Graduation Rate
26%
Net Price
$6,505
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
6,379
Graduation Rate
25%
Net Price
$3,963
Wake Technical Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
22,003
Graduation Rate
25%
Net Price
$5,758
Cape Fear Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
8,629
Graduation Rate
24%
Net Price
$7,738
Louisburg College
College Type
2-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
556
Graduation Rate
23%
Net Price
$23,861
Tri-County Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,083
Graduation Rate
23%
Net Price
$7,860
Durham Technical Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
5,665
Graduation Rate
22%
Net Price
$8,245
Guilford Technical Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
11,070
Graduation Rate
22%
Net Price
$9,674
James Sprunt Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,266
Graduation Rate
22%
Net Price
$3,306
Forsyth Technical Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
7,695
Graduation Rate
21%
Net Price
$3,326
Robeson Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,898
Graduation Rate
21%
Net Price
$7,817
Wilson Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,854
Graduation Rate
21%
Net Price
$14,032
Central Piedmont Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
18,646
Graduation Rate
20%
Net Price
$6,453
Nash Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,666
Graduation Rate
18%
Net Price
$5,395
Carolina College of Biblical Studies
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
180
Graduation Rate
17%
Net Price
$20,124
Fayetteville Technical Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
12,021
Graduation Rate
17%
Net Price
$4,490
Roanoke-Chowan Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
649
Graduation Rate
16%
Net Price
$3,305
Platt College-Miller-Motte-Wilmington
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,408
Graduation Rate
14%
Net Price
$23,852
Bladen Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,226
Graduation Rate
13%
Net Price
$7,502
Full Ranking Report

Best 4 Year Bachelor's Degree Colleges 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
University of North Carolina Wilmington
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
17,499
Graduation Rate
72%
Net Price
$17,981
East Carolina University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
28,651
Graduation Rate
66%
Net Price
$13,635
Meredith College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,810
Graduation Rate
66%
Net Price
$26,958
High Point University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
5,330
Graduation Rate
65%
Net Price
$38,745
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
29,615
Graduation Rate
64%
Net Price
$15,200
Bennett College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
311
Graduation Rate
63%
Net Price
$10,267
Southeastern Free Will Baptist Bible College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
59
Graduation Rate
62%
Net Price
$14,694
Western Carolina University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
12,167
Graduation Rate
62%
Net Price
$12,965
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,164
Graduation Rate
60%
Net Price
$13,077
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
Living Arts College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
234
Graduation Rate
59%
Net Price
$24,974
Queens University of Charlotte
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,463
Graduation Rate
59%
Net Price
$24,286
Salem College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
709
Graduation Rate
59%
Net Price
$18,428
University of North Carolina at Asheville
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,600
Graduation Rate
59%
Net Price
$13,388
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
20,196
Graduation Rate
59%
Net Price
$11,108
Gardner-Webb University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,518
Graduation Rate
56%
Net Price
$21,217
Guilford College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,536
Graduation Rate
56%
Net Price
$23,738
Barton College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,161
Graduation Rate
55%
Net Price
$24,419
Campbell University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
6,185
Graduation Rate
55%
Net Price
$24,015
University of Mount Olive
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,805
Graduation Rate
55%
Net Price
$16,670
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
Lenoir-Rhyne University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,742
Graduation Rate
52%
Net Price
$19,034
Catawba College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,324
Graduation Rate
51%
Net Price
$18,205
North Carolina A & T State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
12,556
Graduation Rate
51%
Net Price
$9,097
Winston-Salem State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
5,121
Graduation Rate
51%
Net Price
$11,783
Strayer University-North Carolina
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
6,318
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$22,816
Wingate University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,681
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$19,155
Johnson C Smith University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,494
Graduation Rate
49%
Net Price
$18,655
North Carolina Central University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
8,011
Graduation Rate
49%
Net Price
$13,755
Grace College of Divinity
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
187
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$8,163
Lees-McRae College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
848
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$22,357
Belmont Abbey College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,507
Graduation Rate
45%
Net Price
$21,817
Methodist University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,968
Graduation Rate
45%
Net Price
$32,578
Pfeiffer University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,277
Graduation Rate
44%
Net Price
$22,340
Warren Wilson College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
791
Graduation Rate
43%
Net Price
$24,959
William Peace University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
889
Graduation Rate
42%
Net Price
$24,984
North Carolina Wesleyan College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,886
Graduation Rate
41%
Net Price
$15,437
Piedmont International University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
668
Graduation Rate
41%
Net Price
$13,375
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,698
Graduation Rate
41%
Net Price
$9,888
Brevard College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
751
Graduation Rate
40%
Net Price
$24,433
Elizabeth City State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,769
Graduation Rate
39%
Net Price
$2,465
St. Andrews University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
758
Graduation Rate
39%
Net Price
$22,699
Fayetteville State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
6,551
Graduation Rate
34%
Net Price
$5,587
Montreat College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
930
Graduation Rate
34%
Net Price
$23,142
Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
79
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
NA
Greensboro College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,021
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$19,483
Mid-Atlantic Christian University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
198
Graduation Rate
32%
Net Price
$20,557
Mars Hill University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,066
Graduation Rate
30%
Net Price
$14,967
Chowan University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,259
Graduation Rate
27%
Net Price
$17,599
Livingstone College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,122
Graduation Rate
24%
Net Price
$17,711
Carolina College of Biblical Studies
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
180
Graduation Rate
17%
Net Price
$20,124
Heritage Bible College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
66
Graduation Rate
17%
Net Price
NA
Shaw University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,291
Graduation Rate
17%
Net Price
$18,846
Saint Augustine's University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
899
Graduation Rate
16%
Net Price
$17,898
University of Phoenix-North Carolina
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
29
Graduation Rate
15%
Net Price
NA
DeVry University-North Carolina
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
72
Graduation Rate
14%
Net Price
NA
Platt College-Miller-Motte-Wilmington