Colleges, Universities & Online Colleges in Raleigh

Raleigh makes up part of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, home to firms such as IBM and Fidelity Investments. In proximity to diverse industries that value education — from high tech to chemical engineering, Raleigh thrives on its postsecondary institutions. Within its 144-plus square mile radius, 17 colleges, training centers and universities cluster, serving students looking to further their learning potential and prepare for gainful employment.

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Colleges in Raleigh

According to the Raleigh Economic Development Center, the population of this East Coast city thrives on higher education, as demonstrated by over 45 percent of the workforce holding four-year degrees or higher.

Raleigh residents seeking two-year degrees or industry certification can turn to one of the six community colleges. Wake Tech Community College offers students associate degrees and certificates designed to meet their educational or employment goals. With nine campuses, centers and community locations, this local institution serves over 26,000 students with more than 70 credit and 18 non-credit programs.

Going up to four-year degrees and above, Raleigh offers more than 10 institutions that give students additional education options. Of these, North Carolina State University (NCSU), the largest four-year university in North Carolina, offers undergraduate and above programs. This university aids over 34,000 students through 100-plus bachelor’s degrees, 100+ master’s programs and doctorates in 61 fields.

For further information, below is a listing of some of the other Raleigh colleges and universities:

Meredith CollegeNot-for-profit – Private
Shaw UniversityNot-for-profit – Private

Online Colleges in Raleigh

Distances sometimes create hardships for students pursuing higher education. For these, numerous Raleigh colleges, universities and schools offer remote learning options, such as online learning. NCSU, for instance, offers distance learning certificates and programs. Spanning over 90 total programs, NCSU’s distance options allow students to learn via Internet, Interactive Video Conferencing and some face-to-face interaction. These programs are diverse and range from Agricultural Business Management to Animal Science.

Along with four-year institutions, two-year colleges offer similar online learning options. For instance, Wake Tech’s online programs range from Criminal Justice Technology to Web Technologies.

Raleigh also offers online options from private schools, such as Strayer University. Strayer provides on-campus classes as well as e-learning programs, including an online MBA.

Raleigh’s Main Industries, Careers and Employers

According to the Raleigh Economic Development Center, the city thrives in certain areas, including:

  • Professional and Business Services
  • Educational and Health Services
  • Trade, Utilities and Transportation
  • Arts, Recreation and Food Services

Raleigh’s economy relies on major employers in different industries, including:

  • State of North Carolina
  • Wake County Board of Education
  • WakeMed Health & Hospitals
  • Progress Energy
  • North Carolina State University

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows top occupations for Raleigh include:

  • Professional and Business Services
  • Leisure and Hospitality
  • Government
  • Trade, Transportation and Utilities

After completing their studies, graduates can take advantage of these employment resources for Raleigh:

Colleges & Universities in Raleigh


North Carolina State University at Raleigh40,165$5,153Public
Shaw University3,037$10,440Not For Profit (Private)
Meredith College2,316$27,720Not For Profit (Private)
Saint Augustines College1,640$12,364Not For Profit (Private)
William Peace University889$25,686Not For Profit (Private)


Wake Technical Community College26,315$2,128Public

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