North Carolina Teacher Colleges and Degrees Online Guide

This guide to teaching schools in North Carolina is designed to assist aspiring teachers looking to get certified to become a teacher in the state. There are several colleges and universities in the state that offer degree programs that prepare future teachers for a career in the classroom. For useful information on the various teaching degrees in North Carolina, take a look at our lists of top-rated teaching programs, table of accredited, state-approved teacher preparation programs, and student reviews. Whether you’re looking for a new career or hoping to move up the ladder in an already established career as an educator, this guide can help you find the best teaching program for your needs.

Quick Facts

  • There are 107 colleges and universities with teacher degree programs in North Carolina.1
  • 61 colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree in education.*1
  • 47 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in education.*1
  • 38 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in education.*1
  • 10 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019.2
  • 3 schools ranked in Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Education Majors 2020.3
  • 9 schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Graduate Education Programs 2019.4
  • 9 schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs 2019.5
  • 33 not-for-profit teacher programs are accredited by the NCATE, TEAC, or CAEP.

*For not-for-profit colleges and universities with teacher degree programs.

Top-Ranked Schools with Education Programs in North Carolina

Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019*

  • Davidson College (#2)
  • Duke University (#5)
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (#15)
  • North Carolina State University (#66)
  • Wake Forest University (#85)
  • Appalachian State University (#111)
  • Elon University (#132)
  • Western Carolina University (#185)
  • University of North Carolina-Wilmington (#233)
  • University of North Carolina-Asheville (#236)

*Institution-wide ranking.

Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Education Majors 2020

  • Catawba College
  • East Carolina University
  • Elon University

US News & World Report’s Best Graduate Education Programs 2019

  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (#27)
  • North Carolina State University-Raleigh (#45 tie)
  • University of North Carolina-Greensboro (#75 tie)
  • University of North Carolina-Charlotte (#78 tie)
  • Appalachian State University (#110 tie)
  • Western Carolina University (#151 tie)
  • East Carolina University (#163 tie)
  • University of North Carolina-Wilmington (#163 tie)
  • Gardner-Webb University (#195-258)

US News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs 2019

  • East Carolina University (#29 tie)
  • North Carolina State University-Raleigh (#29 tie)
  • University of North Carolina-Charlotte (#29 tie)
  • University of North Carolina-Greensboro (#61 tie)
  • Appalachian State University (#77 tie)
  • Queens University of Charlotte (#115 tie)
  • University of North Carolina-Wilmington (#169 tie)
  • North Carolina A&T State University (#194 tie)
  • University of North Carolina-Pembroke (#228-299)

Comparison of Teacher Preparation Programs

We have designed the following table to help you compare teacher preparation programs in North Carolina according to various factors. All of the schools included are not-for-profit institutions approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for the preparation of teachers. Completing a state-approved teacher preparation program is an important step towards earning licensure.

While accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is not a requirement for licensure, it is included in the following table as CAEP provides a highly-regarded accreditation that is accepted in many states. Read more about the CAEP, NCATE, and TEAC accrediting bodies. We have also included rankings from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a research and policy group that scores teacher preparation programs at the national level using key standards chosen to measure students’ preparation for success in teaching. For further information on the NCTQ’s program rankings, please see the notes below the table.

You will also find data on teacher preparation program enrollment, completion, and licensing exam pass rates by institution for the 2017-2018 academic year in this table. These data points are collected from annual US Department of Education records under Title II (Teacher Quality) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which provides for reporting that holds institutions and state departments of education accountable for increasing academic achievement through improvements in teacher quality.

Programs that are not ranked, or for which data is not available, in a given category are denoted as “-“.

State-Approved SchoolCAEP Accred.?6NCTQ Undergrad Elementary Prog. % (2016)**7NCTQ Undergrad Secondary Prog. % (2017)**7Teacher Prep Prog. Enrollment8Teacher Prep Prog. Completers8Licensing Exams Pass Rate8Net Price***1
Appalachian State UniversityYes52%97%1,87749775%$10,473
Barton CollegeYes12%1%92294%$23,533
Belmont Abbey CollegeNo342360%$23,066
Bennett CollegeYes11$22,763
Brevard CollegeNo2510$21,204
Campbell UniversityYes74%64%393434%$25,503
Catawba CollegeYes47%25%2324100%$19,172
Chowan UniversityYes2110$17,424
Duke UniversityYes3023100%$22,011
East Carolina UniversityYes96%79739158%$13,327
Elizabeth City State UniversityYes13%172928%$2,304
Elon UniversityYes95%61%846791%$33,754
Fayetteville State UniversityYes1815055%$5,626
Gardner-Webb UniversityYes41%592672%$20,753
Greensboro CollegeNo54%4912100%$31,019
Guilford CollegeNo52%74%1512$25,119
High Point UniversityYes97%96%875471%$39,101
Lees-McRae CollegeYes13%763339%$21,832
Lenoir-Rhyne UniversityYes11%5%433095%$19,380
Livingstone CollegeYes33$17,061
Mars Hill UniversityYes4%462662%$17,197
Meredith CollegeYes91%90%874291%$25,276
Methodist UniversityNo18%$30,580
Mid-Atlantic Christian UniversityNo53$17,707
Montreat CollegeNo$21,413
North Carolina A&T State UniversityYes45%11526100%$11,049
North Carolina Central UniversityYes3%28%1263840%$12,687
North Carolina State UniversityYes43%24016497%$13,442
North Carolina Wesleyan CollegeYes7%2%391529%$16,965
Pfeiffer UniversityYes46%392640%$20,799
Queens University of CharlotteYes456$24,512
Saint Andrews UniversityNo1%111563%$26,108
Saint Augustine’s UniversityNo$26,096
Salem CollegeYes6824$18,218
Shaw UniversityYes1214$18,522
University of Mount OliveNo2347758%$15,508
University of North Carolina-AshevilleYes71%414390%$12,235
University of North Carolina-Chapel HillYes66%2476100%$11,100
University of North Carolina-CharlotteYes60%16%1,22137666%$14,811
University of North Carolina-GreensboroYes34922986%$10,496
University of North Carolina-PembrokeYes8%28%696733%$11,517
University of North Carolina-WilmingtonYes76%59922575%$16,831
Wake Forest UniversityYes52%3022100%$23,986
Western Carolina UniversityYes38%52%45814078%$14,456
William Peace UniversityNo137$21,304
Wingate UniversityNo81%502972%$18,094
Winston-Salem State UniversityYes13%223624%$11,256

*The NCTQ rated undergraduate elementary teaching programs in 2016 and undergraduate secondary teaching programs in 2017 by national percentile based on their overall scores on the NCTQ’s standards for teacher education. Schools that do not provide data on all key standards or that fall below the top 50% of schools nationally are not included by the NCTQ in their ratings. Visit the NCTQ website for more information on its standards and methodologies.
**Net price is per year for undergraduate tuition as calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics based on the cost of attendance (tuition, books, room and board, and related expenses) for students who qualify for in-state tuition and fees, less the average financial aid award (including grants and scholarships).

Profiles of Well-Known Schools

University of North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is home to the country’s largest concentration of individuals with master’s degrees and is part of the research triangle that is made up of the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, and Duke University. Many of those scholars are trained and educated at the University of North Carolina School of Education. The School of Education is approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. The Graduate Programs in school psychology are accredited by the American Psychological Association and Counseling for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. The School of Education at UNC is home to thousands of undergraduates and graduate students and is one of the largest at UNC.

Duke University: Prestigious Duke University in Durham, North Carolina offers undergraduate studies in Education. The goal of the Duke Program in Education is to give its student’s dynamic learning opportunities outside the classroom that shape their thinking and skills. Duke’s education department is led by full-time faculty members all with doctoral degrees in the areas in which they instruct and research. Undergraduates are able to spend time with full tenured faculty learning and receiving mentorship both in and out of the classroom. The Duke Department of Education offers students a robust learning environment outside of the class with student-led organizations that provide enriching activities all to do with challenges and opportunities in education.

Schools with Teaching Degree Programs in North Carolina

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608
(828) 262-2000

Student Review: “I am now a sophomore at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. I am currently taking summer school here and am living in an apartment right on the edge of campus. The weather here is amazing and the students here are quite conservative and very friendly. I lived in a dorm during my freshman year here and I really disliked it. Mainly because it was an all male dorm which became quite irritating after a while due to the noisy roommates that were on my particular floor. The janitor staff did clean the dorms but only to an extent that was just not clean enough for me. The teaching staff here is quite knowledgeable and most of them will provide help if needed by any student, which is very nice. The student population here is roughly seventeen thousand, which is kind of small for a college but not too small.” -Austin F., student at Appalachian State University
Student Review: “Appalachian State University’s teacher program is quite remarkable. From the beginning of my sophomore year, I found myself in numerous classrooms. The university does an excellent job at getting you in the classroom as soon as possible. They also have instructors that while teaching you, will also come to visit you in the classroom and discuss different observations made with you. I really felt like I could learn about educational philosophies but also watch them in action with my professors guiding me. The only thing that I didn’t really like was the layout of some of the classes. Specifically, some classes we had to take because they checked boxes for the accreditation of the school, but I didn’t feel like they added value to my education.” -Student at Appalachian State University

Barton College
200 ACC Drive NE
Wilson, NC 27893-7000
(252) 399-6300

Beaufort County Community College*
5337 Highway 264 E
Washington, NC 27889
(252) 946-6194

Bennett College
900 E Washington St
Greensboro, NC 27401-3239
(336) 517-2100

Blue Ridge Community College-Flat Rock*
180 West Campus Dr
Flat Rock, NC 28731-4728
(828) 694-1700

Brevard College
One Brevard College Dr
Brevard, NC 28712
(828) 883-8292

Brunswick Community College*
50 College Rd
Supply, NC 28462
(910) 755-7300

Campbell University
450 Leslie Campbell Ave
Buies Creek, NC 27506
(910) 893-1200

Catawba College
2300 W Innes St
Salisbury, NC 28144
(704) 637-4111

Central Piedmont Community College*
1201 Elizabeth Ave
Charlotte, NC 28204
(704) 330-2722

Chowan University
One University Pl
Murfreesboro, NC 27855
(252) 398-6500

Cleveland Community College*
137 S Post Rd
Shelby, NC 28152-6224
(704) 484-4000

East Carolina University
East 5th St
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
(252) 328-6131

Elizabeth City State University
1704 Weeksville Rd
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
(252) 335-3400

Elon University
100 Campus Dr
Elon, NC 27244-2010
(336) 278-2000

Student Review: “When I knew that I wanted to major in elementary education, I specifically chose Elon University because of its reputation. The class sizes were small (never more than 15 students per education course) and followed a cohort style which allowed me to get to know my classmates and professors on a much more personal level. The majority of the faculty that I worked with had personal experience in a classroom environment, which made me feel as though they really knew what they were talking about. The program offered me multiple opportunities to participate in a classroom environment in a variety of school settings (different grades, varying socioeconomic status of the school population, and even a special remedial school).” -Student at Elon Universitystars-5

Fayetteville State University
1200 Murchison Rd
Fayetteville, NC 28301-4298
(910) 672-1111

Gardner-Webb University
Main St
Boiling Springs, NC 28017-0997
(704) 406-2361

Haywood Community College*
185 Freedlander Dr
Clyde, NC 28721-9901
(828) 627-2821

High Point University
833 Montlieu Ave
High Point, NC 27262-3598
(336) 841-9000

Student Review: “In attending High Point University, I was a Special Education Teaching Major at the undergraduate level. I liked the fact that my professors knew who I was when I had questions. For example, one of the classes I took was ‘Education Technology for Teachers’ where I learned different ways of applying technology in the classroom. My professor at the time, Dr. Bowser, became a lifelong friend. I recently completed my first year teaching, and I reached out to her from time to time for advice. Not once did I feel as though I was a bother to her bugging her after graduating. All of my professors are the same way. Any of them would be happy to answer any education question related question I might have for them.” -Student at High Point Universitystars-4

Lees-McRae College
275 College Dr
Banner Elk, NC 28604-0128
(828) 898-5241

Lenoir-Rhyne University
625 7th Ave NE
Hickory, NC 28601
(828) 328-1741

Livingstone College
701 W Monroe St
Salisbury, NC 28144
(704) 216-6000

Mars Hill College
100 Athletic St
Mars Hill, NC 28754
(828) 689-1307

Meredith College
3800 Hillsborough St
Raleigh, NC 27607-5298
(919) 760-8600

Methodist University
5400 Ramsey St
Fayetteville, NC 28311-1420
(910) 630-7000

Mitchell Community College*
500 W Broad St
Statesville, NC 28677-5293
(704) 878-3200

North Carolina A & T State University
1601 E Market St
Greensboro, NC 27411
(336) 334-7500

North Carolina Central University
1801 Fayetteville St
Durham, NC 27707
(919) 530-6100

North Carolina State University at Raleigh
2101 Hillsborough St
Raleigh, NC 27695-7001
(919) 515-2011

Pfeiffer University
48380 Hwy 52 N
Misenheimer, NC 28109-0960
(704) 463-1360

Salem College
601 S Church St
Winston Salem, NC 27101
(336) 721-2600

Shaw University
118 East South St
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 546-8200

South Piedmont Community College*
680 Highway 74 West
Polkton, NC 28135
(704) 272-5300

Surry Community College*
630 S Main St
Dobson, NC 27017
(336) 386-8121

Student Review: “Surry Community College’s elementary education program gave me a great start in my preparation to be a teacher. I was able to complete my entire course load online, and conducted my student-teaching at a nearby elementary school. The professors did a great job encouraging relevant discussions about various aspects of education. We had many practical projects that put us in real-world situations so that we would be better prepared for what was to come. It would have been better if some of the students had put more effort and participated more vocally, but other than that, it was an enjoyable experience that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone else who is considering a teacher preparation program.” -Student at Surry Community College

Tri-County Community College*
4600 E US 64
Murphy, NC 28906
(828) 837-6810

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
103 South Bldg Cb 9100
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
(919) 962-2211

University of North Carolina at Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
(704) 687-2000

University of North Carolina at Greensboro
1000 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
(336) 334-5000

Student Review: “The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has an amazing music program that offers several opportunities to increase your ability as a musician. Unlike some schools, the music education program offers many chances to work and/or volunteer in a music classroom allowing the student to pursue a career path that they are sure about. Since UNCG is a school or research, the professors and very knowledgeable and up-to-date on all the current research, and personally know almost all of the pioneers in music education. Their music education program is set up so that the student can pursue a master’s degree and then successfully pursue their National Board Certification. The professors freely give out their personal contact information that students are free to use in case a problem should arise.” -Daniel D., student at University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Student Review: “This program really helped me learn about Deaf culture and how to best teach Deaf students. With an entire different culture and a world that hearing people do not understand, it is important to have proper training prior to working with these students. They are not given a fair chance due to many different issues that they face, and it is important to understand why. I learned about the culture, the language, the history, and the importance of Deaf culture. The program really allowed me to understand all that I am doing and why its so important. Teaching students in all different areas is so important, and UNCG really works hard to ensure that you know what you are doing before you graduate.” -Student at University of North Carolina at Greensboro

University of North Carolina at Pembroke
One University Dr
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
(910) 521-6000

University of North Carolina-Wilmington
601 South College Rd
Wilmington, NC 28403-5963
(910) 962-3000

Student Review: “Studying at the Watson School of Education was one of the best decisions I ever made in regard to furthering my career in teaching. My degree was concentrated in Primary Education, and I was supported and challenged throughout my three years in the department, all the way to graduation and then beyond. My professors were all highly knowledgeable individuals with decades, yes, decades of experience in the field of teaching, and the resources available to students were extraordinary. The teaching lab with classroom environment simulations, especially, was a valuable resource, as well as my two-year continuous internship with the local New Hanover County school district, in which I learned everything there is to know about K-5 education techniques and strategies. The connections and experiences I made during my time at the Watson School of Education have also helped me gain admission to grad school, where I am pursuing a Masters in education.” -George D., student at University of North Carolina-Wilmington

Vance-Granville Community College*
I85 and Poplar Creek Rd
Henderson, NC 27536
(252) 492-2061

Wake Forest University
1834 Wake Forest Rd
Winston Salem, NC 27106
(336) 758-5000

Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC 28723-9646
(828) 227-7211

Student Review: “The art education program at WCU is absolutely amazing. I enrolled there in the fall of 2006 and graduated in the fall of 2009. My biggest complaint at that time is that the advising was not very well aligned. The art ed program is a split of about 60% content courses to 40% education courses. Knowing this my advisor did not inform me about certain classes only being offered at certain times, and as a result, I spent an extra year in the program. However, beyond that one hiccup, I believe the program to be top notch. The facilities are excellent and well maintained, and the professors are amazing.” -Isaiah B., student at Western Carolina University

Western Piedmont Community College*
1001 Burkemont Ave
Morganton, NC 28655-4511
(828) 438-6141

Wingate University
220 North Camden Rd
Wingate, NC 28174-0157
(704) 233-8000

Winston-Salem State University
601 Martin Luther King Jr Dr
Winston-Salem, NC 27110-0001
(336) 750-2000

An asterisk (*) denotes a two-year or certificate program in education. While a two-year degree will not qualify graduates for teacher certification, it can be a good starting point for a teaching career. To learn more about what you can do with this degree, see our guide to associate’s degrees in education.

1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Kiplinger’s Best College Values: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-best-college-values-college-finder/index.php#Tile
3. The Princeton Review. The Best 385 Colleges, 2020 Edition. The Princeton Review, 2019.
4. US News & World Report Best Graduate Education Schools 2019: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/edu-rankings
5. US News & World Report Best Online Graduate Education Schools 2019: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/education/rankings
6. Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP): http://caepnet.org/provider-search
7. National Council on Teacher Quality Teacher Preparation Program Review: https://www.nctq.org/review/home
8. US Department of Education 2018 Title II Reports: https://title2.ed.gov/Public/Home.aspx