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North Carolina's 36 Independent Colleges & Universities

Peace College, Raleigh, NCToday North Carolina has the following 36 independent colleges and universities accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. These institutions are affiliated with 14 different religious denominations and enroll over 80,000 students. They confer nearly one-third of the bachelor's degrees awarded in the state each year and over half of the state's degrees in law and medicine.

Colleges & universities are listed with their current locations and estimated dates of establishment.

Barton College (Wilson, 1902)

Bennett College (Greensboro, 1873)

Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, 1876)

Brevard College (Brevard, 1853)

Cabarrus College of Health Sciences (Concord, 1942)

Campbell University (Buies Creek, 1887)

Catawba College (Salisbury, 1851)

Chowan University (Murfreesboro, 1848)

Davidson College (Davidson, 1837)

Duke University (Durham, 1838)

Elon University (Elon, 1891)

Gardner-Webb University (Boiling Springs, 1905)

Greensboro College (Greensboro, 1838)

Guilford College (Greensboro, 1837)

High Point University (High Point, 1924)

Johnson C. Smith University (Charlotte, 1867)

Lees-McRae College (Banner Elk, 1900)

Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, 1891)

Livingstone College (Salisbury, 1879)

Louisburg College (Louisburg, 1787)

Mars Hill University (Mars Hill, 1856)

Meredith College (Raleigh, 1891)

Methodist University (Fayetteville, 1956)

Montreat College (Montreat, 1916)

University of Mount Olive (Mount Olive, 1951)

N.C. Wesleyan College (Rocky Mount, 1956)

Pfeiffer University (Misenheimer, c.1885)

Queens University of Charlotte (Charlotte, 1857)

St. Andrews University (Laurinburg, 1896)

Saint Augustine's University (Raleigh, 1867)

Salem College (Winston-Salem, 1772)

Shaw University (Raleigh, 1865)

Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, 1834)

Warren Wilson College (Asheville, 1894)

William Peace University (Raleigh, 1857)

Wingate University (Wingate, 1896)


Additional Resources:

North Carolina criminal justice programs: informational websites:

Image credits:

Main building at Peace College, Raleigh, NC, 2010. From the State Library of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC. This image is in the public domain.




Please include Carolina University in your list. The website is


Thanks for the suggestion. Once the school appears on the list of accredited institutions by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, we will happily add it. Checking the SACS site today, however, it is still not included. Thanks again!


Current approved university lists is also maintained by the UNC-System Board of Governors Licensure Department ( for private universities as they approve them. Few local universities that you missed include but not limited to:-
Mount Eagle College and University (Winston Salem, 2014)


it is very good post.


Can I please get info on schools that offer Occupational Therapy Asst and Criminal Justice(AAS)?


Hi Jami,

Thanks for visiting NCpedia and taking time to post your question.

Here are a few websites that might help with your question:

OT Career Path website listing of NC schools that offer Occupational Therapy assistant programs:

Education News career index of OT schools in NC: list of associate and four-year criminal justice programs in NC: list of criminal justice programs in NC:

I hope this helps!

Kelly Agan, NC Government & Heritage Library


Can you give more info please


I had no idea there were so many well known colleges in North Carolina? I think I can only name the five main ones. I wonder what it takes academically to get into each of those schools?


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