Welcome to the Triangle Campus Guide!

Every year tens of thousands of prospective students and their families travel to the destinations in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Region to tour the more than 20 institutions of higher learning within the region.

The Triangle region is home to three notable doctoral universities: Duke University in Durham, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and North Carolina State University in Raleigh, separated by no more than 25 miles. In addition to the ‘Big 3’, the Triangle is home to more than fifteen other amazing universities and institutions of higher learning including HBCSUs, schools of theology, technical colleges and vocational schools, earning this area the reputation as North Carolina’s Education Mecca.

Wherever you’re going, we encourage you to explore all three cities to truly get a sense of the area – to get a sense of each distinct place.

Why? Because even though you’re here to help your child find the right university, there is a lot more going on. Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill comprise a vibrant and diverse region – including but certainly not limited to food, music, art and sports scenes – that is unmatched anywhere. So you’ll want to make it a real visit.

Consider this:


UNC has been one of the leaders in higher education since it opened its doors for students in 1795 as the nation’s first public university. One of America’s great novelists, Thomas Wolfe, graduated from UNC when he was just 17 in 1920, and Dean Smith, one of the greatest coaches in the history of basketball, coached the sport here for 36 years. Chapel Hill is the college town all other college towns have been modeled on, and there is no campus more beautiful. Carolina prides itself on a strong, diverse student body, academic opportunities not found anywhere else, and a value unmatched by any public university in the nation.

Duke and Durham

Known for its strong academic programs, stunning gothic campus, and five NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship titles, Duke offers an exceptional education in the innovative city of Durham. Be sure to tour Sarah P. Duke Gardens, a 55-acre public garden with manicured gardens and ponds, as well as the awe-inspiring Duke Chapel, the epicenter of Duke. Freshmen reside on Duke’s East Campus, walking distance to the Ninth Street entertainment district as well as Downtown Durham. West Campus, home to upper classmen and graduate programs, features a brand-new student union that merges modernist design with the campus’ historic roots. While students will surely be kept busy at one of the best universities in the world, there’s also much to explore in Durham. The Bull City, a former tobacco town turned entrepreneurial hub, offers a vibrant dining and arts scene. See a Broadway performance at the Durham Performing Arts Center and enjoy a dinner at one of many top-rated restaurants.

NC State University and Raleigh

NC State is the largest university in the Carolinas, but it doesn’t feel like that. There’s an energetic, contagious warmth the students bring to these sprawling three campuses in Raleigh. Founded as a land-grant college in 1887 (now known for its STEM research), NC State has some of the best architecture/design, veterinary and engineering colleges in the nation. The new James B. Hunt Jr. Library, on the university’s Centennial Campus, has to be seen to be believed. Surrounding the university, Raleigh is also known for its bright minds, who are responsible for the capital city’s emerging success and for quickening its cultural heartbeat with enriching experiences.

We could go on. To help make sure that parents, coaches, future students and all visitors get a full sense of what it’s like to study in this region, we’ve put together this website to make it as easy for you as possible.

If you find that you still have more questions, three leading Visitor Information Centers are standing by to answer your questions. Just call or email.