North Carolina computer science schools
A guide to North Carolina's top computer schools in 2024.

In addition to a beautiful natural environment with ample outdoor activities, a low cost of living, and a mild winter, North Carolina is a fantastic place to pursue a college education in computing and information sciences. The best computer science schools in North Carolina include Duke University in Durham, the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University in the state capital of Raleigh.

This page will highlight the best computer science colleges in North Carolina and the top online programs in-state. We'll also look at potential career outcomes for CS grads, including the top-paying cities and computer science jobs for North Carolinians.

What makes our rankings valuable?

Most college rankings online rely heavily on the National Center for Education Statistics, measuring institutional rates for graduation, retention, acceptance, etc. The NCES has good data, and we use it too; however, we go beyond the stats to analyze the current and future relevance of the skills and credentials gained. We also delve deep into value and flexibility to consider accelerated, online, dual-degree, and certificate options.

Compare the Best Computer Science Schools in North Carolina
Rank School Location
1 Duke University Durham, NC 27708
2 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27599
3 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC 27695

Top 3 CS Schools in North Carolina

We selected the best computer science schools in North Carolina using numerous criteria, including the scope of degrees offered, the workforce relevance of the curriculum, school reputation, program features, value, and flexibility.

Here are the top computer science schools in North Carolina for 2024:

1. Duke University

Duke is the top-ranked computer school in North Carolina, and its CS department is globally recognized as a leader in research and innovation. Duke's computer science program is focused on six future-ready domains: artificial intelligence, data science, systems, education, CS theory, and computation + X (its interdisciplinary approach where computer science is combined with fast-growing fields like biology, economics, and policy).

  • Computer Science & Engineering Programs in:
    • Electrical and Hardware Engineering
    • Computer Systems and Engineering
    • Machine Learning (ML) & Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    • Computational Mechanics & Scientific Computing
    • Systems Engineering for Autonomy
    • Computational Biology
    • View all programs at Duke
  • Campus Locations:
    • Duke University Dept. of Computer Science | LSRC Building D101 | 308 Research Drive | Duke Box 90129 | Durham, NC 27708
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Believing that information is the commodity that makes us better able to cope with modern life, UNC takes a unique approach to computer science by including it in its School of Information & Library Sciences (SILS). Comp-Sci students in SILS, a.k.a. the iSchool at Carolina, can pursue various degree programs in cutting-edge tech-centric fields.

  • Top Computer Science Programs:
    • Certificate in Applied Data Science (CADS)
    • Bachelor of Science in Information Science (BSIS)
    • Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS)
    • Carolina Health Informatics Program (CHIP)
    • View all programs at UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Campus Locations:
    • School of Information and Library Science | UNC at Chapel Hill | 216 Lenoir Drive, CB #3360 | 100 Manning Hall | Chapel Hill, NC 27599
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

3. North Carolina State University

The Computer Science (CSC) program at NC State offers numerous advantages. It's located on the Centennial Campus, which provides students with unique internship opportunities and access to leading technology companies and research facilities. The CS program boasts distinguished faculty, including NSF Career Award winners and IEEE Fellows, ensuring high-quality mentorship. NC State was also ranked 7th in the nation for return on investment (ROI) by The Princeton Review, making its computer science program a top value.

  • Undergraduate and Graduate CS Majors:
    • Game Development
    • Cybersecurity
    • Computer Programming
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Software Engineering
    • Data Science
    • Computer Networking
    • View all programs at NC State
  • Campus Locations:
    • NC State Dept. of Computer Science | Campus Box 8206 | 890 Oval Drive | Raleigh, NC 27695
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Top Paying Computer Jobs in North Carolina

Here's what you can earn in North Carolina's top-paying computer science roles:

IT Career Path Average Salary in NC
Information Technology Manager $152,040
Engineering Manager $144,150
Computer Hardware Engineer $118,960
IT Security Specialist $117,400
Software Engineer $117,240
Data Scientist $113,980

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Regional Technology Salaries in NC

These cities and metropolitan areas in North Carolina pay the highest wages to CS and IT professionals:

Location in NC Average Salary
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC $107,090
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC $103,100
Raleigh, NC $102,640
Winston-Salem, NC $90,060
Greensboro-High Point, NC $89,360

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Frequently Asked Questions

Technology and education insiders answer FAQs from prospective CS students in North Carolina.

Is Duke University good for computer science?

Yes, according to our analysis, Duke is the #1 college for computer science in North Carolina for 2024. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report ranked Duke University as NC's best computer science school.

What's the best online computer science school in North Carolina?

With career-focused undergraduate certificates and graduate degrees in hot domains like computer programming, cybersecurity, and data science, a low tuition cost of under $300 per credit for NC residents, and flexible online, hybrid, and remote-location learning options, NC State Online is the best online school for computer science in North Carolina.

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About the Author

IT Subject Matter ExpertDaniel Greenspan is the founder and Editor-in-chief of ITCareerFinder. Working closely with IT professionals, world-class trainers, and hiring managers since 2005 has given him unique insight into the information technology job market and the skills and credentials IT pros need to succeed.