A new kind of university for North Carolina: An online university designed to prepare North Carolinians for 21st century careers

WGU North Carolina is an online, competency-based university designed to expand access to higher education for North Carolina residents. Established by the state of North Carolina in partnership with Western Governors University, WGU North Carolina is designed to serve the needs of North Carolina citizens. WGU North Carolina offers more than 50 accredited bachelor’s and master’s degrees in high-demand career fields.

The principal goal of WGU North Carolina is to open doors to higher education for adult learners through:

  • Access to quality education. An online, North Carolina-based university, WGU North Carolina grants access to nationally recognized degree programs to all North Carolinians who can complete a challenging online program.
  • Career-focused bachelor's and master's degrees. WGU North Carolina offers rigorous degree programs in Business, Information Technology, K-12 Teacher Education, and Health Professions (including Nursing) that are relevant to the needs of North Carolina employers.
  • Affordable tuition. A nonprofit university, WGU North Carolina’s tuition is among the lowest in the state, comparing very favorably to North Carolina’s public colleges and universities.
  • Flexible online degree program. At WGU North Carolina, you will leverage the power of online learning to make your program as flexible as possible. You'll be able to balance work and family obligations while you complete your studies.

Accreditation and Recognition

WGU is regionally, NCATE, and CCNE* accredited. WGU is also a USDLA 21st Century Distance Learning Award recipient for its leadership in distance education.

*The bachelor's and master's degree programs at WGU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-9791).

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A Proven Academic Model from a Nationally Recognized University, Customized for North Carolinans

WGU North Carolina is North Carolina's only competency-based university, leveraging a unique approach to education pioneered by our parent institution, Western Governors University (WGU), which was founded by 19 U.S. governors in 1997, including the Governor of North Carolina.

As part of a partnership with the state of North Carolina, WGU provides the curriculum, learning resources, mentoring, and student services for WGU North Carolina.

What this means for WGU North Carolina students:

  • Competency-based education model that measures learning, not seat time. WGU North Carolina employs a unique competency-based approach to education. You'll advance in your degree program based on your demonstration of essential skills and knowledge in your chosen field.
  • Superior learning resources. You'll have access to all of WGU's courses of study, online learning modules, electronic textbooks, web-based tutorials, and simulations as you work to complete your program.
  • Affordable flat-rate tuition. At WGU North Carolina, you pay a flat-rate tuition. Unlike traditional colleges and universities, WGU North Carolina operates on six-month terms that can begin on the first day of any month, rather than semesters. Your own commitment and effort determine how much you can complete during each six-month term, which allows you to shorten your time to completion. Thus, the faster you progress, the lower your total and the more you save.
  • Full accreditation. WGU North Carolina degrees are granted under the current accreditation of Western Governors University, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Teachers college programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and Nursing bachelor’s and master’s programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202-887-6791).
  • Personal support from a dedicated mentor. Online doesn't mean alone at WGU North Carolina. You'll have the support of a mentor who will be your personal point of contact and your guide throughout your degree. You'll find that you'll actually receive greater support from your mentor than you ever did in a traditional classroom setting.
  • An online community for North Carolina students and access to WGU's national student community. You'll also be able to take advantage of WGU's student community and interact with students both within North Carolina and from all over the country and abroad.

A North Carolina University on a Mission

WGU North Carolina was established in 2017 as a part of Western Governors University with a unique mission to help North Carolinans obtain a quality education. When WGU was established in 1997, the founding governors — which included the governor of North Carolina — realized that technology, the internet, and a new model of competency-based education could transform higher education by creating new opportunities for working adults.

The mission of WGU North Carolina is to expand access to affordable higher education for North Carolina residents through online, competency-based programs that address key workforce needs.

WGU's Core Themes

"Trying to cherry-pick college courses at brick-and-mortars didn’t really work so well. Then I found WGU online and it wound up being too perfect, especially since it was competency-based. I would not have my degree and would still be in school today if I had not chosen WGU." Jennifer Knight,
B.A. Special Education Graduate
NBC Reports on how WGU works.
Watch the video

About WGU North Carolina’s Faculty

Student learning is the primary focus of the faculty at WGU North Carolina and the parent institution Western Governors University. Because of our unique student-centric, competency-based approach, faculty serve in different roles compared to traditional schools and other online schools. Read more.

Learn more about employment opportunities at WGU North Carolina

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Questions and Answers

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Why would I choose WGU?

Because your professional success is our goal. If you’re seriously considering an online degree program, you want high-quality academic content that’s relevant to your career, tuition that’s affordable, flexibility that fits your lifestyle, and a strong support system to help you stay on track. These are the critical attributes of WGU as a nonprofit university founded by the governors of 19 U.S. states to expand educational access for the working adult.

Why is "competency-based" important?

The "competency-based" approach benefits you in two ways. First, you know you’re being trained to be competent in your field. You want high-quality academic content that’s relevant to your career. We make sure you know your stuff. Second, the approach lets you advance as quickly as you can demonstrate your competence through our rigorous assessments. It really is a "Show me what you know" approach that lets you take advantage of knowledge you already possess. You can use this knowledge, work hard in your program, and accelerate your time to completion. You could save both time and money. An Enrollment Counselor can explain this approach further.

What is WGU’s Mission Statement?

"The principal mission of Western Governors University is to improve quality and expand access to post-secondary educational opportunities by providing a means for individuals to learn independent of time or place and to earn competency-based degrees and other credentials that are credible to both academic institutions and employers."

What is WGU’s Promise Statement?

"We help our students achieve their dreams for a degree and career success by providing a personal, flexible, and affordable education based on real-world competencies."

Is WGU North Carolina a fit for you?

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