In 1795, North Carolina opened the first public university in the United States – the University of North Carolina (currently named the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). More than 200 years later, the University of North Carolina system encompasses 17 public universities including UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, East Carolina University, Western Carolina University, UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro, UNC Wilmington and Appalachian State University. The system also supports several well-known historically black colleges and universities such as North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, Winston-Salem State University, Elizabeth City State University, and Fayetteville State University. Along with its public universities, North Carolina has 58 public community colleges in its community college system.
Some of North Carolina’s most prestigious private universities and colleges include: Wake Forest University, Duke University, Elon University, Queens University of Charlotte, Belmont Abbey College, Campbell University, Shaw University, Davidson College, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Guilford College, Gardner-Webb University, High Point University, Salem College, Meredith College and Saint Augustine’s College.