Accredited colleges and universities have had their educational programs and faculty evaluated by an outside agency. Those agencies ensure that the school provides a high-quality education to its students, so to have your degree recognized by employers, it’s critical to attend an accredited institution. Below you’ll find information on higher education in the state and helpful resources on online colleges in North Carolina.
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- Accreditation Agencies
- Education Links
- Notable Schools
Accredited Online Colleges Database
The following agencies accredit schools in North Carolina. However, it’s important to understand that this list only includes institution-wide accreditors, rather than agencies that only award program-specific accreditation. For details on program-specific accreditation, look through our subject pages.
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
- Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
- Council on Occupational Education (COE)
- Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
- Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS)
Higher Education Links
For more information about higher education reforms and propositions in the state, visit the state’s higher education boards and council websites. In addition, contact them or individual schools for more general college and university information.
Picking a school can be a daunting task, especially when considering the sheer number of accredited colleges there are in the state. Our database below can help with narrowing down your options for your specific area. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most notable accredited online and campus-based schools in the state to help you begin your school search.
As home of “the research triangle” region, North Carolina offers a number of fine public universities to choose from. Learn more about some of these choices below.
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50 public universities and ranked by Princeton Review as a best value for students, NC State gives students the advantages of being in the capital of the state and the center of the Research Triangle region where many of the country’s leading, Fortune 500 technology, research and pharmaceutical companies are located. Raleigh, the state’s capital city, has recently been ranked the best city to live in the United States. The Wall Street Journal named NC State graduates in the top 20 most desired by recruiters; more than 100 student national scholars and fellows have come from NC State since 2008; U.S. News and World Report ranked the university a top-10 “up-and-comer” among public universities and ranks the school a “top-tier national university” consistently; and the Lombardi rankings placed NC State 27th worldwide for engineering, technology and computer sciences.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The UNC is another research powerhouse in North Carolina and is ranked highly, especially for the financial value of the education. According to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in its February 2013 issue, UNC comes in 1st among the “100 best U.S. public colleges and universities” for value; Princeton Review also put UNC in 1st place for value in 2012; also according to Kiplinger, for the 12th year running UNC-Chapel Hill ranked first for best value for in-state students and second for the best value for out-of-state students. U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 rankings place UNC 5th among public universities and show it tied for 10th place among research institutions. Finally, Chapel Hill ranks 10th among Money magazine’s top 100 “Best Places to Live in America,” based on a survey of cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000.
Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University receives a variety of honors from various ranking publications, especially those concerned with value. U.S. News and World Report lists ASU five times, including fourth in the South for commitment to undergraduate teaching; fifth in the South among southern universities considered by college presidents, provosts and admission deans as “Up-and Comers” for “promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, camps or facilities”; and 10th in the South in the “Great Schools at Great Prices” category. Other publications that list ASU as a great value include Kiplinger’s and Forbes. With 28% of Appalachian students reporting owning their own business as their primary career goal, ASU also has a special focus on entrepreneurship; more than 200 students enroll in elective entrepreneurship courses each year, and ASU’s Center for Entrepreneurship is also an excellent resource.
Almost as impressive as the state’s public offerings, North Carolina’s private colleges round out the Research Triangle region. Find out more about the most notable ones below.
The third corner of the Research Triangle, Duke University is ranked 7th overall among American universities by U.S. News and World Report. Duke prides itself on its international offerings; home to students and faculty from nearly every country and offering instruction in 25 languages, about half of each of Duke’s graduating classes spends at least a semester studying abroad, many through the DukeEngage immersive service experience. Duke’s athletic program and its thirteen men’s varsity teams and thirteen women’s varsity teams and many intramural, recreational, and club sports is routinely placed among the nation’s most competitive. Duke consistently leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in Academic Honor Roll students and is a top producer of Academic All Americans, not to mention some of the country’s most dedicated sports fans: the Cameron Crazies.
Wake Forest is ranked 23rd in the 2013 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Guide to America’s Best Colleges. WFU ranked No. 11 among national universities on its “Strong Commitment to Teaching” list. Wake Forest was the first top 30 national university to make standardized tests optional in the admissions process; classroom performance, writing ability, extracurricular activities and evidence of character and talent are the criteria for admission. WFU students are no strangers to accolades: 12 have been named Rhodes Scholars in the last 25 years, and since 2012, 11 undergraduates and recent graduates have become Fulbright Scholars while others have won Marshall, Goldwater, Mellon, Luce, Truman, and National Science Foundation honors.
U.S. News & World Report names Elon the #1 Southern university in its “Up-and-Comers” category. Undegraduates at Elon participate: 87% receive internships during their years at Elon, 85% engage in volunteer service, an amazing 72% study abroad, and 25% participate in research. Special initiatives like the Center for Engaged Learning and the Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership set Elon University apart in terms of availability of student opportunities.