NCCU Climbs U.S. News College Rankings for Higher Education Excellence

Posted September 17, 2020, 6:10PM

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) continues to showcase its distinction as a top university in the United States in the 2021 rankings released by U.S. News & World Report.

NCCU moved up seven positions, to No. 47, among 133 Regional Universities in the South and held its position as No. 21 among public southern regional universities.

NCCU was listed at No. 11 among HBCUs in a repeat of last year’s performance, but moved up from No. 7 to No. 4 as a Top Performer on Social Mobility among southern regional universities based on the high percentage of Pell Grant recipients who graduate.

NCCU claimed a spot near the top – No. 28 regionally – among Best Colleges for Veterans, and the NCCU School of Business also received a mention for its high-performing programs.

The ranking process included 1,452 U.S. bachelor’s degree-granting institutions that were evaluated based on 17 measures of academic quality. According to U.S. News & World Report, regional universities offer a full range of undergraduate programs and some master's programs but few doctoral programs.

NCCU has one doctoral program, Integrated Biosciences.

“North Carolina Central University continues to excel nationally and regionally in its mission of providing educational excellence for our scholars,” said Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., chancellor of NCCU. “These rankings recognize our commitment and investment to improving the lives of our students. Moreover, this acknowledgment highlights how well the university continues to perform in the areas of scholarship, graduation rates, leadership ability and the delivery of in-demand employee credentials.”

NCCU has increased its five-year graduation rate, maintained a strong freshman-to-sophomore retention rate, launched a number of new academic programs, including a Clinical Research Sciences Program, a Teaching Artists Certificate, and degrees in Information Technology and Sports Medicine.

The rankings were based on the following criteria: retention and graduation rates, class size, faculty resources, student selectivity and alumni giving. More details regarding the America’s Best Colleges listings are available at

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