Best online colleges in North Carolina 2022





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Online colleges in North Carolina offer degree options for undergraduate and graduate students. The majors on offer can lead to in-demand careers. 

According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the state’s key industries include business and finance, energy, food processing and manufacturing, and information technology.  

From campuses based in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the coast, online colleges in North Carolina offer the degrees you need to succeed. Our rankings can help you find your best choice.

Top 5 online schools in North Carolina: Quick facts

College

School stats

Appalachian State University

Boone, NC

  • Acceptance rate: 80% 
  • Graduation rate: 74%
  • Guaranteed admission to students with associate degrees from partner colleges
  • Holistic admission process for adult learners

East Carolina University

Greenville, NC

  • Acceptance rate: 88% 
  • Graduation rate: 67%
  • Bachelor’s degree completion
  • Guaranteed admission to students with approved associate degrees

University of North Carolina Wilmington

Wilmington, NC

  • Acceptance rate: 68% 
  • Graduation rate: 73%
  • Eight bachelor’s completion programs
  • Accelerated MBAs

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Charlotte, NC

  • Acceptance rate: 80% 
  • Graduation rate: 59%
  • Online students can use veteran education benefits
  • Eight bachelor’s completion programs

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Greensboro, NC

  • Acceptance rate: 88% 
  • Graduation rate: 57% 
  • Six undergraduate business degree focus areas
  • Career and Professional Development Center available for online students


The 10 best online colleges in North Carolina

ZDNet’s ranking methodology assesses colleges and universities for their academic quality, affordability, reputation, and the number of available bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Our expert curation and rigorous review and editing processes ensure the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard. Note that for public colleges, the average annual net price given is for in-state students.

1. Appalachian State University
Boone, North Carolina

About the school: Appalachian State University offers online bachelor’s programs in communication, education, management, nursing, and veterinary technology. Master’s options include health administration, education administration, library science, social work, and an MBA. 

  • Acceptance rate: 80% 
  • Graduation rate: 74%
  • Avg. annual net price: $13,989
  • Student body population: 20,023
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: 10
  • Number of master’s degree programs: 13
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 540-630; math 530-610 
  • Minimum GPA: Varies by applicant status
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous; synchronous

Accreditation: Appalachian State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

2. East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina

About the school: East Carolina University online students can earn degrees in such areas as business administration, communication, education, management, and industrial technology. Undergraduate programs are degree completion tracks. 

  • Acceptance rate: 88% 
  • Graduation rate: 67% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $16,550
  • Student body population: 28,798
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 19:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: 26
  • Number of master’s degree programs: 60
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 510-590; math510-580
  • Minimum GPA: Undergraduate transfer: 2.0; graduate, program-specific
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: East Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

3. University of North Carolina Wilmington
Wilmington, North Carolina

About the school: Online bachelor’s completion programs at UNCW include clinical research, criminology, education, nursing, and interdisciplinary and international studies. Master’s students can choose such fields as business, conflict management and resolution, integrated marketing communication, and several education specialties.

  • Acceptance rate: 68% 
  • Graduation rate: 73% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $19,136
  • Student body population: 17,915
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: Eight
  • Number of master’s degree programs: 28
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 590-660; math 570-650 
  • Minimum GPA: Undergraduate transfer: 2.5; graduate, program-specific
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous; synchronous; hybrid

Accreditation: University of North Carolina Wilmington is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

4. University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina

About the school: UNC Charlotte’s distance education offers bachelor’s degree completion programs in education, engineering, health and human services, and liberal arts and sciences. Graduate students can earn online MBAs and master’s in education, engineering, management, and nursing. 

  • Acceptance rate: 80% 
  • Graduation rate: 59% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $17,634
  • Student body population: 30,146
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 20:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: Eight
  • Number of master’s degree programs: 23
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 560-640; math 550-640
  • Minimum GPA: Undergraduate transfer: 2.0; graduate, program-specific
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous; some programs require on-campus visits

Accreditation: University of North Carolina at Charlotte is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

5. University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, North Carolina

About the school: UNCG offers online bachelor’s degrees in business, education, health, and humanities/social sciences and interdisciplinary fields. Master’s degrees include applied arts and sciences, music education, peace and conflict studies, and sustainability and environment. 

  • Acceptance rate: 88% 
  • Graduation rate: 57% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $11,629
  • Student body population: 19,764
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: 13
  • Number of master’s degree programs: 26
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 490-590; math 490-570 
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0 for transfer students; first-year admittees avg. GPA: 3.59
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: University of North Carolina at Greensboro is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

6. Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, North Carolina

About the school: WCU’s distance and online programs award degrees in business, criminal justice, emergency and disaster management, education, nursing, and more. Accelerated bachelor’s degree programs are available.

  • Acceptance rate: 48% 
  • Graduation rate: 64% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $13,924
  • Student body population: 12,243
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: 11
  • Number of master’s degree programs: 12
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 510-620; math 510-600 
  • Minimum GPA: Program-specific
  • Course delivery method: Primarily asynchronous; hybrid

Accreditation: Western Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

7. Campbell University
Buies Creek, North Carolina

About the school: Baptist-affiliated Campbell University offers online bachelor’s degrees in areas including Christian studies, communications, criminal justice, cybersecurity, and liberal arts/humanities. Master’s degrees focus on business administration and teaching.

  • Acceptance rate: 81% 
  • Graduation rate: 47% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $26,169
  • Student body population: 5,964
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: 18
  • Number of master’s degree programs: Two
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 510-610; math 500-600 
  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Course delivery method: Accelerated

Accreditation: Campbell University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

8. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Greensboro, North Carolina

About the school: Online degree-seekers at N.C. A&T can complete their bachelor’s in agricultural education, environmental health and safety, or nursing, and new students can focus on economics, geomatics, IT, liberal studies, and more. Master’s degrees include education, engineering, and technology fields.  

  • Acceptance rate: 57% 
  • Graduation rate: 50% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $10,563
  • Student body population: 12,753
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 19:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: 10
  • Number of master’s degree programs: 10
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 480-570; math480-560
  • Minimum GPA: Varies by program or applicant status
  • Course delivery method: Primarily asynchronous

Accreditation: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

9. Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville, North Carolina

About the school: Fayetteville State University’s online bachelor’s degree completion and master’s degree options include business administration, criminal justice, nursing, psychology, and sociology.  

  • Acceptance rate: 79% 
  • Graduation rate: 45% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $6,969
  • Student body population: 6,726
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: 15
  • Number of master’s degree programs: Five
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 430-510; math 410-490 
  • Minimum GPA: Degree completion, 2.0; graduate, program-specific
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Fayetteville State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

10. Gardner-Webb University
Boiling Springs, North Carolina

About the school: Southern Baptist-affiliated Gardner-Webb University offers online bachelor’s completion programs in accounting, computer information systems, criminal justice, education, and healthcare. Graduate students can pursue MBAs, master’s in sport management, advanced nursing degrees, and education specialty areas. 

  • Acceptance rate: 78% 
  • Graduation rate: 53% 
  • Avg. annual net price: $20,776
  • Student body population: 3,536
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1
  • Number of bachelor degree programs: 10
  • Number of master’s degree programs: 10
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Critical reading 480-580; math 465-580 
  • Minimum GPA: Degree completion, 2.0 (RN-to-BSN: 2.5); graduate, program-specific
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Gardner-Webb University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

In conclusion

Online colleges offer numerous fields of study for first-time college students, those who want to complete their bachelor’s, and master’s degree-seekers. 

Follow the links in our rankings to explore online colleges in North Carolina and compare schools’ admissions requirements, learning platforms, and online college costs.   




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