The 10 Best and Most Prestigious Universities in North Carolina

The best universities in North Carolina are scattered throughout this southeastern state. Our picks for the top 10 universities in North Carolina deliver quality programs and excellent value for their students. Attending one of these institutions in North Carolina is a great step toward launching your career.

We’ve ranked the most prestigious universities in North Carolina based on a wide variety of factors. So what are the best universities in North Carolina? This article has the answers for you.

How We Defined the North Carolina University Ranking

Our rankings are based on many factors, including career-to-student ratio, student demographics, campus life, graduation rates, and tuition and financial aid policies. Our top picks have low student-faculty ratios, high graduation rates, a diverse campus community, and a wide selection of both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Universities of North Carolina Ranked #10 of Universities in North Carolina

  1. Duke University
  2. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
  3. Wake Forest University
  4. North Carolina State University
  5. Elon University
  6. University of East Carolina
  7. Campbell University
  8. Gardner-Webb University
  9. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  10. Davidson College

The Best Colleges and Universities in North Carolina Explained

Whether you want to attend a private college or public institution, you need to consider student population, class size, student organizations, and current student satisfaction.

We’ll explore North Carolina’s top universities in more detail below. This information is compiled from US News & World Report rankings, as well as from each university’s website. For more information on a specific university, visit its official website.

1. Duke University

  • US news national rankings: #9
  • Campus location(s): Durham
  • Bachelor enrollment: 6.542
  • Graduation rate: 90%

Duke University is the most prestigious university in North Carolina and is known worldwide. This private university offers undergraduate, graduate and part-time programs. Duke University is also known for its competitive admissions, admitting less than 10 percent of applicants each year. These high selection standards translate into an impressive 90 percent success rate.

2. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

  • US news national rankings: #28 (affiliated with Wake Forest University)
  • Campus location(s): Chapel Hill
  • Bachelor enrollment: 19.743
  • Graduation rate: 86%

The University of North Carolina (UNC) – Chapel Hill, a member of the North Carolina public university system, is one of the oldest public universities in the US. UNC-Chapel Hill is one of the most diverse student organizations among American universities. The most popular majors are social sciences, biological and biomedical sciences, and communications and journalism.

3. Wake Forest University

  • US news national rankings: #28 (attached to the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)
  • Campus location(s): Winston-Salem
  • Bachelor enrollment: 5.441
  • Graduation rate: 86%

Wake Forest University is a private coeducational university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1, Wake Forest University is ranked 24th in the best schools by US News & World Report. This school will receive 100 percent of the demonstrated financial aid for its students.

4. North Carolina State University

  • US news national rankings: #79
  • Campus location(s): Raleigh
  • Bachelor enrollment: 26,150
  • Graduation rate: 68%

North Carolina State University (NCSU) is a public research university and the largest four-year university in North Carolina. It offers both undergraduate and graduate programs, with over 100 academic programs for students to choose from. Money Magazine’s poll of universities in North Carolina ranked NCSU as the best public university for money in the state.

5. Elon University

  • US news national rankings: #83
  • Campus location(s): Elon
  • Bachelor enrollment: 6.302
  • Graduation rate: 78%

Elon University offers both graduate and undergraduate programs and is one of the most affordable private universities in the country. This university focuses on student success with a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1. Students take advantage of ample opportunities as 87 percent of students participate in internships, 88 percent volunteer, and 80 percent study abroad.

6. University of East Carolina

  • US news national rankings: #213
  • Campus location(s): Greenville
  • Bachelor enrollment: 23,056
  • Graduation rate: 42%

East Carolina University (ECU) is a public university that offers a variety of undergraduate majors, graduate and professional programs, online learning, and certificate programs. The most popular undergraduate degree is Nursing. ECU is accessible and affordable with an 88 percent acceptance rate and 80 percent of full-time freshmen receiving some form of financial aid.

7. Campbell University

  • US news national rankings: #277
  • Campus location(s): Buies Creek, Raleigh, Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg
  • Bachelor enrollment: 3.720
  • Graduation rate: 41%

Campbell University is a private university with a Baptist affiliation. This institution offers more than 150 undergraduate majors and minors in four campus locations with additional adult and online learning opportunities. On its base campuses at Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg, Campbell University offers educational opportunities to active military, veterans and civilians.

8. Gardner-Webb University

  • US news national rankings: #277
  • Campus location(s): Boiling Springs
  • Bachelor enrollment: 2.071
  • Graduation rate: 45%

Gardner-Webb University began in 1942 as Gardner-Webb College and in 1993 became the private Baptist college it is today. Gardner-Webb offers 80 undergraduate and graduate majors among its 14 academic departments. Located in rural North Carolina, this college offers students a small college town environment.

9. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

  • US news national rankings: #277
  • Campus location(s): greensboro
  • Bachelor enrollment: 10,401
  • Graduation rate: 35%

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) is one of the top research campuses in North Carolina, with 41 patents based on the research conducted there. NC A&T has a rich cultural heritage and is the largest historically black university (HBCU) in the country. NC A&T is known for preparing its students for STEM careers.

10. Davidson College

  • US news rankings: #13 in National Liberal Arts Colleges
  • Campus location(s): Davidson
  • Bachelor enrollment: 1973
  • Graduation rate: 89%

Davidson College is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. It offers 37 undergraduate majors or you can create your own, and students are encouraged to participate in research. The college provides need-based financial aid, offering grants and employment backed by the Davidson Trust.

Is a University in North Carolina Right for You?

A university in North Carolina may be right for you. As a prospective student, you have a wide selection of academic programs, athletic programs, diverse student organizations, low student-to-faculty ratios that allow you to maximize your learning, and affordable tuition and financial aid available to you. If you’re not ready for a four-year college program, you might want to consider an affordable, university-supported boot camp.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Universities in North Carolina

What is the difference between a college and a university?

Colleges are smaller institutions that focus on undergraduate programs, associate degrees, and pre-professional programs. Universities are generally much larger than colleges and offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Universities generally conduct more investigative research, with many university professors conducting their own research in addition to teaching.

Which University of North Carolina campus is the best?

UNC – Chapel Hill ranks second in the US News & World Report college rankings.

Are There Ivy League Universities in North Carolina?

Yes, Duke University is an Ivy League school in North Carolina, but you should also consider North Carolina’s other public and private universities.

What if I can’t go to university right now?

The reality is that not everyone has the time or money to complete a four-year degree. You should check if a school you are interested in has a part-time program, or talk to the financial aid bureau to see if you missed some scholarships. There are also alternatives that are faster and cheaper, such as boot camps and certificate programs.

Rate this article

The post The 10 Best and Most Prestigious Universities in North Carolina appeared first on ailCFH.

Leave a Comment

A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.