Best Online Colleges & Schools in North Carolina (NC)

North Carolina's (NC) best online degree programs and schools are captured in this list. Read on to see which colleges made the cut. has released our list of the best online colleges and schools in North Carolina. To determine each school's place in the list, important data from the Department of Education was used. Other factors that influenced the rankings include the variety in the online degree programs that these schools offered, any distinctive features these programs have as well as how these schools support their online students.'s school ranking methodology is unique in that we present schools that are affordable, accessible, and provide a high-quality education which we consider to be the most important attributes in our school rankings. If you're researching online undergraduate or graduate-level programs, any of these schools could be a good fit.

1. East Carolina University

The school in our number one spot is committed to providing its online students with the resources they need to successfully complete their programs. Found in Greenville, East Carolina University boasts over 100 online programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels that cover areas from technology, health care, and business, among others. Online students at this school can easily access their course materials online with the confidence that all online courses are specially structured with distance education in mind. Among the great online programs offered by this school is a 33-credit Master of Arts in English that has a variety of specializations including English studies, linguistics, and creative writing. Licensed teachers can also earn an endorsement in computer education online while registered nurses can pursue both post-master's and post-doctoral certificates in areas of adult-gerontology care.

2. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Located in Greensboro, this school takes pride in using innovative technologies to create strong online degree programs for its distance learning students. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has over 40 online programs that include undergraduate and graduate degrees, with course offerings in synchronous as well as asynchronous formats. Before beginning their programs, prospective students can take a helpful pre-assessment that will gauge their readiness for online learning and provide them with helpful hints about how to have success in an online program. Once students begin their coursework, they can take advantage of the excellent support the school provides to its online students, through a wide variety of services which includes an academic achievement center for tutoring and academic skills workshops. Two of the interesting online programs that can be taken at this school are a Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship and a Master of Science in Retail Studies.

3. University of North Carolina Wilmington

One of the many reasons the Wilmington-based campus of the University of North Carolina makes this list is because it ensures its online programs attain the same noteworthy accreditation as their on-campus counterparts. The school offers online programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, which cover subjects related to health care, business, and education. Among the 34 degree programs that are offered online, students can earn a Bachelor of Science or a Master of Science in Clinical Research, which offers a highly specialized education in the subject. Of the many services provided to its online students, the online learning center and online writing consultations are extremely beneficial resources geared toward setting students up for success. Online students who are members of the military are even given the support of the school through leaves of absence upon deployment and the acceptance of military service as transfer credit in some cases.

4. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Located in Raleigh, this school offers over 100 world-class online programs that cover an impressively wide range of areas like mathematics, engineering, education, agriculture, and science. By using WolfWare, their unique learning platform, students and instructors alike can focus on learning in a collaborative environment instead of struggling with the technological aspects of distance education. One of the unique online programs that North Carolina State University at Raleigh offers is a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership in the Public Sector, specifically designed for members of the military. This program's curriculum includes public leadership, environmental ethics, and U.S. foreign policy. Some other impressive programs offered by the school online is the 30-credit Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering, which can be completed in a year, and the 54-credit Doctor of Design program that requires just six semesters for completion.

5. Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University understands that its online students are seeking a great education that doesn't break the bank or require them to adhere to any specific class meeting times, so it aims to provide just that. The school offers both undergraduate degree completion and full graduate degree programs online. The degree completion programs include a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing geared specifically toward registered nurses. The graduate level programs include the 39-credit Master of Business Administration, which offers an incredible 10 concentrations that include entrepreneurship, finance, project management, and healthcare management. Students here should feel confident that they will be treated with respect throughout their program, even though there's no face-to-face interaction, as each student is asked to practice proper netiquette, or online manners, in their class discussions.

6. Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, situated in Boone, offers excellent online options that include undergraduate completion degrees as well as graduate programs. One of the degrees that can be completed online through this school is a 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Communication which includes at least 50 credits that prospective students can transfer from previous studies. At the graduate level, persons who are interested in a career in the field of education can choose between a Master of Arts in Educational Media and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Both programs have specializations in areas related to instructional technology as well as a few other aspects. The school also provides a number of innovative graduate certificates online in areas like instructional technology leadership and public health nutrition. Students in all online programs at this school can seek expert writing assistance through talking to advisors from the writing center via video chats.

7. University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Located in its namesake town, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke offers more than 10 online programs that include undergraduate degree completion programs as well as full graduate programs and cover a range of areas like business, education, and legal studies. The school provides extraordinary support to its students while enrolled in these programs in the form of self-paced tutorials from the resource learning lab and online tutoring from a professor or peer. One of the interesting degrees that can be completed here is a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies that accepts up to 45 transferable credits from associate's degrees in applied science or applied art. The school also offers a great accelerated Master of Business Administration degree that has concentrations in financial services and supply chain management that can be completed in just one year.

8. Winston-Salem State University

Winston-Salem State University, based out of Winston-Salem, offers eight exceptional online programs that are comprised of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Through the benefit of an academic advisor as well as limited class sizes, students in online programs here can be confident that they will receive the focused attention of their professors. The programs at this school are presented in a synchronous class format, and focus on education and healthcare, with programs like the Bachelor of Science program in Birth to Kindergarten Education, the Master of Science in Nursing, or a transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

9. Queens University of Charlotte

This school is dedicated to serve its online students in the same way as those who study at its Charlotte campus. All of the programs at Queens University of Charlotte are at the graduate level and can be accessed through the school's innovative MyCourses learning platform. The school boasts a very supportive structure for its online students through web conferencing and the focused attention of academic advisors. One of the many quality online programs offered by this school is the 33-credit Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, in which students get personalized guidance from their instructors and are given the opportunity to complete a school executive internship. The school also offers an impressive Master of Science in Nursing Advanced Nursing Educator program, accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), that offers excellent specializations as a clinical nurse leader, nurse administrator and nurse educator.

10. North Carolina Central University

Located in Durham, North Carolina Central University caters specifically to African-American students and challenges them to transform the world. The school supports its online students in this venture by providing 18 bachelor's and master's degree programs that handle a comprehensive list of subjects related to counseling, education, technology, hospitality, and health care. One of the superb programs offered at the undergraduate level online is a 128-credit Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism that's accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA). For those with a knack for numbers, the school also offers a Master of Science in Mathematics in Data Science. To best prepare its students for their impressive future endeavors, North Carolina Central University provides its distance learning students with access to an interactive learning experience as well as career opportunities through their career services programs.

11. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte values diversity in its students and the online programs it offers. Its wealth of online programs include graduate certificates and master's degrees in areas like engineering, health services, education, arts as well as the sciences. Their extensive list of online graduate certificates include interesting subjects like anti-racism in urban education and instructional systems technology as well as programs for teachers who want licensure in areas like special, middle, and secondary education. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has 17 master's degree options like the Master of Science in Engineering Management that teaches engineers how to manage everything from small projects to an entire organization. This school seeks to ensure its online students are well organized and not overwhelmed by the prospect of distance learning and all it entails. As proof of its dedication to student success, it provides a unique online backpack for its distance learning students that guides them on accessing writing center and academic excellence resources, as well as counseling and career services.

12. Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University, found in Cullowhee, shows its commitment to academic excellence by matching its online students with dedicated instructors. This school has an incredible support system for its distance learning students which includes a well-rounded orientation program and online tutoring. The school offers 26 online programs that cover subjects related to education, engineering, health services and legal issues among others. One of the specialized programs West Carolina University offers is a bachelor's degree in emergency medical care that's designed for paramedics with an associate's degree or military personnel who have completed certain training exercises. While the program has a mandatory two-day laboratory practical in the summer, members of the military who qualify are exempt.

13. University of Mount Olive

Located in Mount Olive, the University of Mount Olive offers undergraduate and graduate programs online that focus on areas of business, education, law, religion, and health services among others. Students who enroll in this school's Bachelor of Arts in Computer Information Systems program will not only get the skills needed to meet any business's technological needs, but also an expedited route to the school's MBA program. That Master of Business of Administration degree is multidisciplinary in nature and covers essential topics like managerial accounting, business ethics, as well as corporate strategy. In addition to providing superb online programs, the University of Mount Olive also has a great academic resource center that provides online tutoring and a Learning Accountability Program (LAP) for students who desire a bit more structure in their studies.

14. North Carolina A&T State University

North Carolina A&T State University is situated in Greensboro and proudly offers intellectually stimulating programs for its on-campus or online students. This school provides online degrees in a stunning array of subject areas such as business, education, technology, and science. Persons who are interested in accounting careers can have an advantage in the industry by taking this school's online programs that are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), like the Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration in Accounting. There is also a unique Agricultural and Environmental Sciences program at both the undergraduate and graduate levels that gives students in-depth knowledge of the issues facing agribusiness companies. Online students at this school don't need to worry about how to find textbooks or access tutoring, as both are available online. Textbooks can be ordered through the online bookstore, and students can regularly access tutoring using the Upswing platform.

15. Campbell University

Campbell University, located in Buies Creek, makes this list for many reasons, including that all its online programs are in an accelerated 8-week per class format. Offered at the undergraduate level, these programs cover a wide range of topics that include religion, education, technology, as well as business. Of special note is the school's 124-credit Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Juris Doctor program. Students who complete this program will be categorized as graduate students when they're accepted into law school. Campbell University also has Bachelor of Applied Science programs that introduce students to the fundamental skills for careers in accounting, criminal justice, business administration, homeland security and information technology security. The school is devoted to preparing its students for their future, through their offerings of online tutoring and online career management services that will help students develop their career hunting skills.

16. Pfeiffer University

Pfeiffer University boasts an online learning experience that impressively guarantees its students around-the-clock support through the use of forums, emails, or instant messaging. This Misenheimer-based school offers certificate, undergraduate degree completion, and graduate degree programs that cover subjects like education, business, and law. What's great about their degree completion programs is that the school recognizes that not all knowledge is gained through college courses. Here, academic knowledge, professional development, and military service can be assessed for up to 30 credit hours towards programs like a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.

17. Gardner-Webb University

This Christian school has its main campus in Boiling Springs and offers an impressively extensive list of online programs. Its 14 undergraduate degree completion programs accept transfer credit from associate's degrees through colleges that participate in the North Carolina Community College Articulation Agreement. Some of the bachelor's degrees that can be earned through this program focus on accounting, Christian ministry, and organizational leadership. One of the exemplary programs that's offered by this school is a 30-credit Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction that has seven different concentrations including teacher leadership, elementary education, and rural education. At Gardner-Webb University, online students can talk to consultants over the phone and get advice from staff at the writing center through video conferencing, helping ensure they get as much help as they need to develop their skills while in their programs.

18. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Chapel Hill campus of UNC offers 19 online programs that include eight certificates, nine master's degrees and two doctoral degrees. These impressive programs cover areas of business, technology, health services, and communication among others. One of the unique online programs that's offered by this school is a multidisciplinary 28-credit certificate that's specifically designed for veterans and active members of the military who need to complete some core courses before moving on to a degree. Another interesting option is the school's Master of Arts in Digital Communication for persons who want to pursue a leadership position in media. In this program, students get the benefit of a small class as well as one-on-one guidance from an instructor on their final project. All online students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill also get coaching support from the writing center and research assistance from the library.

19. Lenoir-Rhyne University

Located in Hickory, Lenoir-Rhyne University prides itself on providing high-quality academic programs with small class sizes online students can get individualized attention just like their traditional counterparts. Prospective online students can choose from areas like business, nursing, leadership, as well as education, all offered at the graduate level. For students who are interested in a fitness-related career, the school offers a 33-credit Master of Science in Exercise Science. Another interesting program this school offers is a Doctor of Nursing Practice that has one track for nurses with a bachelor's degree and another for those with a master's degree. In the first, the nurse will be able to gain certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

20. Johnson C. Smith University

Johnson C. Smith University, found in Charlotte, boasts an extensive network of more than 3,000 tutors that its online students can access in as many as ten sessions per week. This school's online programs can take a synchronous or asynchronous format, but online students will have the benefit of the same level of lectures, projects and assignments as a traditional student. One of the great things about this school is that it offers accelerated degrees that involve quick seven-week immersions in each subject. Of the seven subject areas that are covered in these online programs, the one that focuses on interdisciplinary studies is of special note. In this 122-credit program, students can combine up to three areas of study to create their own unique program which include topics in general education and the liberal arts.

21. Barton College

Based in Wilson, Barton College offers both degree and licensure programs in areas related to business, law, education, and nursing. The school wants its online students to get a good start by providing an orientation and initial assessment. Persons who are interested in a career in law enforcement can enroll in this school's 42 credit-hour Master of Arts in Justice Administration, which includes topics such as criminal law, juvenile delinquency, and criminal investigations. Teachers with a bachelor's degree can earn academically gifted licensure in a program that gives them all the skills required by The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Barton College gives superior support to its all of its online students with one-on-one attention like online tutoring.

22. Greensboro College

Greensboro College boasts five undergraduate degree completion programs online that are aimed at individuals who have completed an associate's degree or equivalent. One of the fantastic online degree options provided by this school is a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Psychology that persons with an associate's degree can complete in as little as two years. Those who don't already have a degree have the unique opportunity to create a personalized program that includes exams, elective courses, and experiential learning. Through this school's outstanding and innovative global communication center, its online students can consult with professionals in areas related to their writing and digital media assignments.

23. Elizabeth City State University

Located in Elizabeth City, Elizabeth City State University offers its students with undergraduate and graduate-level online programs. These programs cover subject areas from business, education, and social sciences. Their undergraduate degree completion programs are open to persons who have earned at least 60 credits or an associate's degree that can be transferred to online degrees like a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice or a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Interestingly, the BSBA offers concentrations in management and entrepreneurship, marketing and data analysis as well as economics and finance. At this school, distance learning students access their programs through the easy-to-use Blackboard learning platform that provides 24/7 support as well as a helpful orientation program.

To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit's ranking methodology page.

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