Graduate Schools & Programs in North Carolina

The American South unfolds in a beautiful way in North Carolina. From soft-sand beaches on the Outer Banks and the lush Smoky Mountains in the west to Charlotte’s genteel vibe, Chapel Hill’s buzzing nightlife scene, and Raleigh’s history and culture, North Carolina could be an idyllic place to start a graduate program. Think museums, historic neighborhoods, hiking, biking, beaching, and easy Southern living – that’s North Carolina!

Popular Graduate Degree Programs in North Carolina

ProgramInstitutionDegree Awarded
Early Education and LeadershipSalem CollegeMS
Education – School AdministrationUniversity of North Carolina at CharlottePhD
Professional Master of Business AdministrationMethodist UniversityMBA
LawInternational Center For Legal StudiesN/A
Biomedical EngineeringVirginia Tech – Wake Forest UniversityPhD
Master of Enterprise Risk ManagementWake Forest UniversityN/A
Graduate Specialization – Healthcare AdministrationColorado State University GlobalN/A
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)California Southern University, a member of the American InterContinental University SystemN/A
Master of Public Administration with an Emphasis in Health Care ManagementGrand Canyon UniversityMS
M.A. Science Education (Secondary Chemistry)Western Governors UniversityMAT
Master of Information Systems ManagementThe University of Arizona Global CampusN/A
MSN in Complex Healthcare Systems AdministrationThe Catholic University of AmericaMSN

Going to Grad School in North Carolina

In the middle of the Eastern Seaboard, North Carolina draws many grad students with its myriad outdoor pleasures and its relaxed cities, which are some of the fastest growing in the United States. Students attending graduate school in North Carolina can study a broad range of topics from creative writing and theology to finance and teaching at an astonishing selection of both private and public schools. Raleigh is the bustling state capital – with its museums, music, microbrews, and a plethora of universities including the largest university in the state. Genteel Charlotte draws with its lush greenery, sports, and buzzing center of finance, technology, and entertainment. Greensboro, Durham, and Chapel Hill are other proper university towns with access to the state’s awesome hiking trails, state parks, lakes and rivers, beaches, and Old Dixie landmarks.
Did you know? John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and Nina Simone – legendary jazz artists – were all born in North Carolina.

Living and Learning in North Carolina

North Carolina brings together the old Dixie spirit with a well-mannered progressive New South culture. Its cities like Charlotte and Raleigh buzz with new and inspired activity, while smaller towns retain a genteel easygoing Southern vibe. Whether you settle in a small town or one of the larger cities, you’ll find plenty of cultural, outdoor, and culinary pursuits to keep you inspired and entertained. In general, North Carolina has a mild climate, with hotter temperatures in the summer in the flatter areas and by the beach and more mild temperatures in the mountains. The best way to get around North Carolina is by car; however, Amtrak trains and several bus lines also provide service in the state. Easy access into the states by air is through its four international airports and small, regional airports.

Getting Outside

Recreational opportunities in North Carolina abound, from the Appalachian Mountains in the west to the Outer Banks’ beaches in the east. The Blue Ridge Mountains draw visitors and locals each year for its stunning fall foliage while winters brings a vibrant ski scene. In summer, go rock climbing, camping, mountain biking, or ziplining. The beaches buzz in the summers with such activities as jet skiing, parasailing, swimming, and deep-sea fishing. In between, kayak or whitewater raft on one of North Carolina’s many rivers. Other popular spots include the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Cape Hatteras National Seashore.


The culture in North Carolina is both historical and contemporary. You’ll find vibrant performing arts scenes in the bigger cities like Charlotte and Raleigh – music, theater, dance – while historical attractions like The Biltmore Estate and Blandwood Mansion showcase the state’s proud Southern heritage. Music, especially, is prevalent in the university towns around the state, especially in Chapel Hill and Raleigh, both major centers of American indie music. Add competitive professional and college sports teams to the mix – think Duke University, Carolina Panthers, and Wake Forest – and sports fans will have plenty to cheer on.

Things to Eat

A culinary smorgasbord await for those coming to North Carolina. In the cities, please your palate with innovative takes on traditional Southern fare like barbeque and ham combined with global cuisine such Thai, Mexican, Italian, and Chinese. However, in the rural areas and small towns is where your can find some of the finest traditional Southern fare around: grits, country ham, barbeque, greens, cornbread, hush puppies, and catfish for starters. Is your mouth watering yet?

City Living

These four North Carolina cities highlight the best of the Tar Heel state’s urban action. Think culture, outdoor recreation, nightlife, dining, and multiple options for university graduate programs:
  • Charlotte
  • Raleigh
  • Greensboro
  • Durham


The largest city in North Carolina, Charlotte is the cultural and business center of the state. The vibe is relaxed but infused with an energy that infuses the city’s creative and professional scene. The city holds many of the state’s finest museums – including The Mint Museum, Levine Museum of the New South – as well as historical attractions that focus on its place in Southern history. The city also has a thriving theater scene, plenty of green spaces for outdoor recreation, and a lively calendar of annual events. The culinary sizzles with innovative takes on Southern favorites – grits, yams, greens – and a unique take on barbecue. Many libraries and publications fuel and inform the literary scene, and its neighborhoods range from affluent to artsy – and all of them are green. And let’s not forget sports – Charlotte is home to NBA’s Hornet’s and NFL’s Panthers. Prospective graduate students will find much to study here at the city’s many learning institutions, and subsequently many post-graduate opportunities.


Sometimes called “America’s Best City,” state capital Raleigh is in many ways the states cultural capital. It possesses a unique blend of history and a cutting-edge cool vibe that draws a diverse population. It’s a very walkable city, especially downtown, where you can leisurely stroll past government buildings, cafes, restaurants, and pubs. Its museums are world class – North Carolina Museum of Art, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences are definite highlights – and its Capital Area Greenway offers more than 68 miles of hiking, walking, and biking trails amid lush greenery. With its many universities, the city exudes a college-town feel, and thus you’ll find many places to drink, especially the growing number of craft brew pubs. The culinary scene highlights diversity, blending Southern stapes with plenty of barbecue, Tex-Mex, delis, and burgers. The music scene thrives here, too, as well as in nearby Chapel Hill, and the city offers no shortage of some of the best bands in the region.


Once sleepy Greensboro now teems with a youthful energy that belies its small-town scene. Downtown is where you’ll find most of the activity – restaurants, bars, nightclubs, etcetera – especially on South Elm Street. First Friday, a monthly event held downtown, hosts homegrown music, art, and artisans. A monthly City Market does the same, but adds food to the mix. Outdoor lovers can wander through Bog Garden, Bicentennial Garden, or the Greensboro Arboretum. Live music, vintage stores, and cool theaters round out the mix.


With its historic buildings and tree-lined streets, Durham looks and feels like a university town. And indeed it is, as it’s home to prestigious Duke University. With this sort of backdrop comes myriad lectures, art, special exhibits, and sports events – all of which the city wears with pride. But it’s more than a university town, as the city breathes an air of maturity and cultural sophistication with trendy restaurants, cool museums, and boutique shopping malls set in historic brick buildings. The city also has a very active gay community as well as a thriving performing arts scene.
Did you know? The Outer Banks are called the “The Graveyard of the Atlantic” – more than one thousand shipwrecks have been discovered in the area.

Major North Carolina Industries

Students going to grad school in North Carolina can pursue a variety of post-graduate opportunities. Charlotte is a rapidly growing city and is the second largest banking and finance community in the United States, while Raleigh and Durham are strong in information technology, textiles, and research. Throughout the state are opportunities in performing arts, tourism, environment, law, education, biotechnology, business, and more.

Explore Graduate Schools in North Carolina

Prospective graduate student can find a variety of schools in North Carolina. You may find one that suits not only your area of study but also one that has an environment that fits your lifestyle. The following are a few highlights:

Popular Programs and Graduate Schools in North Carolina

North Carolina offers an array of graduate school opportunities not only in its major metro areas of Charlotte and Raleigh but also in the myriad smaller communities throughout the state. Here are some of the top options to study at the graduate level.


North Carolina’s ever-growing business population has provided many urban areas with opportunities in Finance, Accounting, International Business, and more. Wake Forest University’s Master of Science in Accountancy program gives students pursuing a graduate degree in Accounting the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to navigate modern business challenges through intensive coursework, seminars, and case-based research. At Gardner-Webb University in Winston-Salem, The International Master of Business Administration Program seeks to provide students a strong academic foundation in international business through a comparative approach to global business. A graduate degree in Economics at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill prepares students for teaching and research careers in a variety of fields such as Econometrics, Economic History, Financial Econometrics, International Trade and Development, and Open Economy Macroeconomics. At East Carolina University in Greenville, students pursuing a degree in Business Administration can choose such courses of study Health Care Management, Hospitality Management and Development, and Environmental Planning.


At Queens University of Charlotte, the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership seeks to prepare students analyze problems including the generation and application of data-driven solutions for improvement and collaborate to inspire others in the creation of positive change for students and teachers. Graduate students pursuing a masters degree in Teaching at Duke University can learn how to each high school students in English, Biology, General Science, Mathematics, Physics and Social Studies. At Montreat College in Charlotte, the Master of Science in Environmental Education program gives students the freedom to explore, the freedom to question, and the freedom to believe, while expanding their scientific knowledge as well as their experience-based teaching skills. A graduate degree in Counselor Education at North Carolina State University in Raleigh prepares master’s level counselors in Community/Agency Counseling, College Counseling, and School Counseling.


A Master of Science in Information Technology and Management (MSITM) at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro helps students develop the necessary background and skills needed to work in a global, technology-driven environment. At Appalachian State University, the Technology graduate program provides advanced education, research opportunities, and opportunities for field-based work in such selected technical areas as Appropriate Technology, Graphic Arts & Imaging Technology, and Renewable Energy Engineering. For its Master in Interdisciplinary Data Science, Duke University graduate students will complete a set of eight core courses that cover critical topics in statistics, machine learning, database management, data wrangling, data communication, analytical thinking, team management, and ethics. The Computer Science graduate program at Wake University helps students seeking either a terminal master’s degree or preparation for PhD work at another institution.

Performing Arts

Those pursuing a graduate degree in the performing arts will find a variety of programs in North Carolina. The University of North Carolina School of the Arts offers a graduate program at the School of Filmmaking, where student composers have the opportunity to score numerous student productions while developing their own composing skills. The Drama program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro seeks to develop individual artistry and provide advanced, specialized training in acting, design, directing, and theatre through a varied curriculum. At Appalachian State University, the Masters in Music Performance strives to help the student performer develop high-levels of musicianship, artistic interpretations, and a strong commitment to the art of performance in a variety of different instruments. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a Professional Actor Training Program, which helps prepare students for professional work, including interacting with the Playmakers Repertory Theatre on campus.

Finding Graduate Schools in North Carolina

North Carolina teems with settings and schools for you to pursue a graduate degree. So check it out! Set your filters with the menu bar – degree level and subject. Choose graduate programs in North Carolina based on your preferences. Then apply with the on-page form. You’re ready to go!
  • Wake Forest University

  • Colorado State University Global

  • California Southern University, a member of the American InterContinental University System

  • Grand Canyon University

  • Western Governors University

  • The University of Arizona Global Campus

  • The Catholic University of America

  • Salem College

  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte

  • Methodist University

  • International Center For Legal Studies

  • Virginia Tech - Wake Forest University

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