The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the premier research institutions in the state of North Carolina and the country. UNC Chapel Hill is a public, four-year university and is the flagship university for the extensive UNC system. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and it was founded in 1789. For students who cannot attend on-campus courses or who must continue to work while earning their degree, UNC offers numerous online degrees through its vast network of universities and colleges throughout the state. Degrees are available across many disciplines and students can earn degrees from the certificate to post-graduate levels. The higher education industry recently took note of two new degree offerings available directly through UNC Chapel Hill: the University of North Carolina online MBA and an online MPA (Master of Public Administration). These degree plans are rigorous and admission is competitive in an effort to continue to raise the bar in online education.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is a public university accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges with more than 25,000 students. It is a four-year institution founded in 1961, which makes it one of North Carolina's younger academic institutions. UNC Charlotte offers numerous bachelor's and master's degrees online, as well as various certificates and licenses, through The University of North Carolina system. UNC Charlotte's online degree program focuses on teaching and education, as well as health and nursing. Students can earn graduate teaching certificates and master's degrees in several teaching and education specialties. Nurses can earn build on their RN licensure to earn a BSN and continue on to a Master of Science in Nursing with concentrations in administration, education, and public health.
North Caroline State University is a four-year, public university with almost 35,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Its campus is in Raleigh and it was established in 1887. NCSU is one of several universities in the Raleigh-Durham metro area. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. NCSU offers an extensive distance learning division that includes undergraduate and graduate certificates as well as undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees. Online bachelor's degrees are limited to a few disciplines, but the online master's degree offerings at NCSU are extensive. Professionals in the agriculture and engineering fields may choose from a wide range of highly-specific degree programs. Several unique, specialized graduate degree programs are also available, such as a Master of Science in Textile Chemistry and a Master of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Sport Management.
As the trend toward graduate education gains popularity, more professionals are returning to school to earn their second, or even third, degree. Online master's degrees are popular with working professionals due to time and geographic flexibility. A student can work toward an online graduate degree from the university of their choice, regardless of their location. Demand for online education is so high that even top-tier universities are launching online degree programs that keep pace with the most rigorous, on-campus programs available. As more universities evolve, professionals with dreams of graduating from one of the nation's most prestigious universities may be able to earn their degrees online.
North Carolina is known throughout the country for its high concentration of leading universities. Two of the nation's top institutions – Duke University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – are located in the same metropolitan area. In fact, academic institutions are some of the primary employers in the state, which makes education a top priority for professionals in the industry. Online degrees in education and administration are available at numerous online schools in North Carolina. Agriculture and manufacturing are still dominant, however, and online degrees are available in many specialized disciplines that are relevant to the state's textile and tobacco industries.