North Carolina Colleges Summary

North Carolina is a geographically diverse state, offering college students the ability to explore the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains or more than 300 miles of pristine coastline. The Tarheel State also offers many choices for higher education, from notable institutions such as Duke University and Wake Forest University to dozens of smaller community colleges.

  • The North Carolina Independent College and Universities system is comprised of 36 nonprofit institutions, from historically black colleges to women's colleges and liberal arts and research institutions.
  • The public University of North Carolina System consists of 16 university campuses in all parts of the state.
  • The North Carolina Community College System is comprised of 58 member colleges located throughout the state.

Online Education in North Carolina

UNC Online, the University of North Carolina System's portal for distance education, offers nearly 400 online degree and certificate programs and thousands of online classes at its universities in North Carolina. North Carolina is also a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement which fosters increased distance learning opportunities for students pursuing online degrees at colleges located in other states.

Education Initiatives in North Carolina

For veterans and their families, the North Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs offers many different educational benefits for programs and degrees at colleges in North Carolina.

The state's broadest initiative is the collaboration between the three major postsecondary educational systems and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Together they support the College Foundation of North Carolina, a resource designed to help student plan for, apply to, and pay for college.


  • Get The Facts, North Carolina Community College System,
  • Quick Facts, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities,
  • NC-SARA, North Carolina,
Education Institutes in North Carolina
Total Number of Educational Institutes
Total Enrollment in all institutes
Number of Public Educational Institutes
Number of Private For-Profit Institutes
Number of Private Non-Profit Institutes
Graduation Rate
Total Graduates With Bachelors Degree
On Campus and Online Programs in North Carolina
Number of Institutes Offering on-campus programs
Number of Institutes Offering on-line programs
Number of Institutes Offering both

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,