A Triangle Education


When choosing to attend a college or university, where they are located is as important as school itself. The Triangle area of North Carolina is rich in technology, research, culture, cuisine, natural beauty, and diversity.

The Triangle is not only home to over twenty colleges and universities, but also is clustered in a region that is known for a wide variety of job opportunities for recent graduates, top-notch cultural institutions and museums, award-winning restaurants, scenic surroundings, and a great quality of life rarely found elsewhere.

Durham County | Orange County | Wake County

A Durham County Education

Durham is many things; it’s a college town with several universities and colleges. It’s an artistic home for people who follow unconventional paths, and a revitalized tobacco town that fosters innovation. It’s also a growing city where activism meets action, and change agents find community. Durham does things a little differently, and that’s how people like it.

Duke University, North Carolina Central, Durham Technical Community College, The Art Institute, or any other Durham college, are housed in a vibrant city that will enrich your college experience as much as any class or football game.

Durham’s major universities, Duke University and North Carolina Central University, are only about two miles apart, contributing to Durham’s status as a hub of activity and innovation. In Downtown Durham you’ll find DPAC, the Durham Performing Arts Center, which hosts Broadway shows and big-name performers throughout the year, as well as the Durham Bulls Baseball Club. Keep an eye out for old brick warehouses, remnants of the city’s tobacco-industry roots, have been transformed into offices, restaurants, shops, and loft apartments. As the most diverse of any major North Carolina city, Durham is an intellectual and cultural melting pot, where students and residents value the city’s colorful character and inclusive spirit.

Duke’s East Campus is conveniently located adjacent to the Ninth Street shopping district, less than half a mile from downtown. The Bull City Connector, a fare-free bus, runs from West Campus through downtown, making it easy to go from Duke to Durham’s city center. Visitors, residents, and students enjoy visiting many of Duke’s features, including the landmark Duke Chapel; the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, a lushly landscaped 55-acre botanical garden; the Duke Lemur Center, a conservation and research center that is home to the largest collection of lemurs outside of Madagascar; and the renowned Nasher Museum of Art.

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) was the first publicly supported liberal arts college founded for African Americans in 1910. The university is recognized as a leading Historically Black College and University (HBCU) and was recognized by U.S. News and World Report as the best regional university in the South. The campus sits near the historical Hayti District of Durham, which includes both the Hayti Heritage Center and St. Joseph’s Performance Hall, and is located about one mile south of downtown. The university is home to the NCCU Art Museum, which houses a permanent collection of work from acclaimed artists, including Henry Tanner, Elizabeth Catlett and Romare Bearden. NCCU also offers a host of cultural and academic programs throughout the year, including a speaker series and the annual NCCU Jazz Festival, many of which are free and open to the public.

Just a few blocks from NCCU sits Durham Technical Community College, which offers curriculum and continuing education programs and courses, and has a popular university transfer program that partners with area universities. The Art Institute, located in the American Tobacco Campus, offers courses in design, culinary arts, and more.

In addition to its universities, Durham has one of only 10 Google for Entrepreneur Tech Hubs in North America, a growing community of startups, and major corporations like GlaxoSmithKline and IBM are located in Research Triangle Park, just four miles from NCCU and Durham Tech, and about six miles away from Duke, in Southeast Durham. Thanks to its strong economic climate, the Bull City offers a host of professional opportunities for students and alumni, many of whom choose to make Durham and the Triangle region their home after graduation.

An Orange County Education

There’s a 350-year-old tree on the campus of the University of North Carolina, known as the Davie Poplar. It’s over 100 feet tall, and if you were able to climb to the top of it (you’re not) you could see the heart of Chapel Hill, Franklin Street, and all the restaurants and stores that line it. Some of these places have been there for decades, but others are almost brand new, pizza joints, clothing shops, art galleries, museum stores. It’s here on this main block where students and our town denizens go to eat, drink, march by on Halloween in their glorious costumes, and where bonfires are built when we celebrate our national championships.

This is the juxtaposition Chapel Hill is: that just a few yards away from an ancient tree that’s older than our country is a dress store and a noddle shop.

And this is its allure. UNC-Chapel Hill is the first public university in the country, and to this day offers one of the best educations – for any price – you’ll find anywhere. Novelists and Nobel Laureates, distracted by literary and scientific thoughts, have been known to bump into other by accident, apologize, and move on, kicking through the red and orange leaves of fall like students themselves.

And speaking of leaves falling, twenty minutes from UNC-Chapel Hill are dozens of farms that haven’t changed in hundreds of years. Near this open space is where you will find the Orange County Campus (OCC) at Durham Tech, a 20-acre campus centrally located in Orange County. The campus has been recognized for helping students of all ages pursue their education, workforce training, and lifelong learning. The 40,000-square-foot brick structure, located in the Waterstone Development outside of Hillsborough, holds 22 instructional spaces, including classrooms, computer and science labs, a library, flexible use space, instructional and student support services areas, and faculty and student lounges.

This facility also has many “green” building features, including aluminum light shelves, photovoltaic systems for solar-assisted water heating, rainwater collection and reuse, waterless urinals, and operable window vents in all classroom areas. All of these features contribute to energy efficiency and cost savings.

Welcome to Chapel Hill and Orange County. Football, and then basketball, happens, sometimes-snowy winters, blissful springs, and street fairs and music festivals, and the best books and the best beer to be found. Season to season Chapel Hill and Orange County offer the visitor, the student and its residents its own brand of magic, an American dream.

A Wake County Education

Studying in Raleigh, N.C., is an energizing and signal experience for most college students matriculating at one of the area’s 11 principal colleges and universities.

The most-storied institution is North Carolina State University (NC State), with its student body of 34,000+ and a land-grant history dating to 1887. Its campuses spread across much of West Raleigh; however, its college drag, Hillsborough Street, connects right to the heart of downtown as well as to Raleigh’s private women’s college, Meredith College, chartered in 1891. The Hillsborough St. district beckons the thousands of undergrads to “live it up,” at legendary watering holes, budget-friendly restaurants and craft breweries and through arts, culture, shopping and recreation. Lively community festivals and student-friendly events are staged along the street year-round.

NC State’s free Wolfline bus service also loops through downtown on weekend nights, ensuring there’s never a dull moment for college students seeking Raleigh’s urban nightlife. NC State and Meredith undergrads blend with other night owls from William Peace University, Shaw University and Saint Augustine’s University—whose campus settings abut the Raleigh downtown grid. The crowds are as varied as the drink selections, with a Southern-hospitality vibe that the area is known for both day and night.

The unique campus life of a private HBCU (historically black college or university) is sought by an ever more diverse set of tradition-minded students, and Raleigh’s two historically black universities, Shaw and Saint Aug’s (SAU), won’t disappoint, their African-American heritage stretching to the 1860s. Shaw’s campus has a more compact and urban feel, while SAU’s is more picturesque, tucked behind the historic Oakwood, College Park and Idlewild residential neighborhoods. Students readily engage in many cultural activities both on campus and off.

Wake Technical Community College is N.C.’s largest, serving 70,000 on five (and soon-to-be six) campuses; the student life extends far beyond its classrooms. Depending on their classroom location, Wake Tech students may encounter any portion of the nonstop buzz, energy and activity to be found around Raleigh/Wake County; the community college even fields athletic teams now in eight sports. There’s no shortage of good reasons why young people and older adults choose to study in Raleigh at Wake Tech.

For nontraditional students, Raleigh’s active nightlife may factor less into campus decision-making, but studying in Raleigh can be equally charming and enriching in terms of the quality of life here. The area’s smaller town settings are home to three seminaries preparing men and women for church-related ministries. In Cary, Wendell and Wake Forest, the area’s (mostly Baptist) seminarians enjoy spending free time along the quaint, historic streetscapes or read and reflect in the quiet nature of town parks.

Raleigh, N.C., is the capital and political power center of the state and thus a perfect place to study law. Steps beyond Campbell University’s downtown law school building, students have access to the State Capitol, Governor’s Mansion, appeals courts, state legislators’ and other offices. Downtown’s entertainment districts are easily walkable, endlessly varied in their points of interest and can be experienced the way a longtime resident would choose to spend time… all are welcome here.

Likewise, Raleigh increasingly is a dynamic dining destination within the state, as fueled by passionate local foodies and new chef-entrepreneurs, so the students of The Chef’s Academy have plenty of hands-on options for developing culinary careers before and after class. Around 98 percent of the Morrisville-based academy’s recent graduates have found career placement in Raleigh’s burgeoning food scene.