10 Best Doctoral Programs in North Carolina


Undergoing a doctorate program is still one of the best decisions anyone can make. Today, the benefits of having education up to the Ph.D. level are no longer limited to academics. Many industries and the government now seek such scholars due to the advanced skills they are presumed to have.

If your intention is for your doctoral degree journey to take off in the state where the first airplanes took off, here are the 10 ranking schools for postgraduate programs in North Carolina.

1. Duke University

Located in Durham, Duke University is a revered private educational institution for graduate and doctorate degree courses. The school uses a double interaction format — in-person and online modes simultaneously. This is one of the most loved graduate schools in the state.

The school’s enrollment population is 16,686, with a graduating figure of 95%. The numbers for in-state and out-of-state tuition are the same — $58,031. Furthermore, students can apply for federal grants and loans as scholars of such an honorable college. The university makes a good choice for PhD programs as students get to learn from experts in different fields.

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Having been consistently rated as one of the region’s ranking universities, this school appears second on this list. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has an enrollment population of 29,887 and a graduating figure of 91%.

“Our first duty is to enable the students to catch the spirit of the great masters of thought, the next – is to help all learners develop their skills,” claims Roger Stanson who is one of the literature professors at the university, and also works as a writer for PapersOwl company. He continues by adding: “The university offers many career opportunities. Everyone within our walls is capable of becoming the most skilled specialist.”

Due to being a public university, the school’s tuition fees vary for in-state ($8,980) and out-of-state ($36,159). Students can also apply for monetary assistance to offset their tuition. One of  the reasons for the elevated ranking of postgraduate degrees is that its courses offer academic and technical tracks to help students attain career goals. The graduate programs attract many students.

3. Wake Forest University

Another private institute with highly rated top MBA programs, Wake Forest University, located in Winston-Salem, is a classic pick among North Carolina schools, with an enrollment rate of 8,495.

The tuition is $55,440, and its students qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. One factor that makes this school a choice destination for people doing doctoral degrees is that it offers foundational courses, technical classes, and general education disciplines in multiple majors. Also, many of the university’s programs appear in national rankings.

4. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

The University at Raleigh is one of the leading public institutions in the state. With a significant enrollment rate of 36,304, it is a leading school for churning out well-baked intellectuals.

The in-state tuition is $9101, while the out-of-state fees are $29,220. The students are eligible to apply for federal aid, including the Pell Grant. It will be accurate to note that the University provides academically rigorous programs at affordable prices.

5. Carolina Christian College

Carolina Christian College is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While it has a low enrollment rate of 64%, it has the highest progress value on this list, with 100%. Being a private institution, it has the same in-state and out-of-state average tuition fee of $8,890.

The school runs an in-person format of teaching interaction solely. Students here also qualify for federal loans, scholarships, grants, and other forms of monetary assistance. It makes the list of top schools as it offers programs taught by experts in multiple disciplines to prepare graduates for successful careers.

It is also accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education, unlike the other schools on the list, which are charged by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

6. Elon University

A private university in Elon, North California, operates on in-person teaching interaction mode alone. Its current student population is 7,088. The average tuition is $36,571, and participants in the PhD programs can also qualify for federal monetary assistance or grant.

Some programs operate a test-optional policy for admission, and a waiver simplifies the process. This school is graded high due to its well-regarded doctoral programs taught by experts. The programs help students meet their career goals by offering professional courses.

7. Piedmont International University

This university is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The school’s enrollment population is 668, and the current progressing figure is 41%. This low percentage can be attributed to the highly ranked programs of the school, which have rigorous courses of study. Being a private university, the average tuition ($11,900) is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students.

This institution makes the list of ranking universities for a PhD degree program due to the hands-on experience students obtain, which makes them more competitive job candidates.

8. Appalachian State University

This public university is located in Boone, North Carolina, with tuition as low as $7,409 for in-state students while an average of $22,216 is demanded from out-of-state students. The enrollment population is 19,280, with 73% as the graduating percentage.

9. University of North Carolina Wilmington

This is another public university located in Wilmington, North Carolina. The enrollment population is 17, 499 and the graduation rate is 72%. On average, in-state tuition costs $7181, while out-of-state – $21246. The online and in-person teaching interactions allow students to meet with experts in diverse fields and equip them with better workforce skills.

10. High Point University

This private university, located in High Point, North Carolina, has an enrollment population of 5,330 and a graduating value of 65%. Teaching is in-person only, and the average fee is $36,268.

The university caters to academic programs at all levels, from fresh undergraduates who are just transiting from high school to graduate students who are pursuing more advanced and research-oriented curricula. 


This article has briefly listed the top 10 universities for doctoral programs in North Carolina you can choose from. The enrollment population, graduation rate, tuition rates, and eligibility for student loans have all been discussed. To cap it off, the article broaches the reasons for listing these universities among the leading schools for every graduate.

Different factors influence one’s choice in choosing a place to study. North Carolina is a good choice for PhD programs if you are seeking a conducive and serene state with hospitable people to get your doctoral degree.