From preschool to postgraduate, excellence in education is a priority for the Queen City. Charlotte boasts a wealth of K-12 educational choices. The city includes Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS, one of the nation’s best urban school districts), as well as a wide variety of private schools and charter facilities.

To find the very best option, new residents should spend adequate time researching all options. Educators and administrators at all schools, both public and private, are happy to speak with newcomers and answer questions about a variety of unique programs.

Public Schools

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

CMS serves more than 141,000 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. As the 18th largest school district in the country, CMS has 159 schools and more than 18,000 employees. Some facts about CMS include:

  • Won the Broad Prize for Urban Education in 2011, which is presented annually to four school districts in the country for elevating achievement levels.
  • Ranks in the top five school districts nationally for the number of National Board Certified (NBC) teachers. This certification is equivalent to the CPA exam for accountants or the bar exam for lawyers and documents a teacher’s skills.
  • Offers nine magnet-school programs in 37 magnet schools. Magnet schools offer students an opportunity to focus on a particular theme or curriculum while receiving the N.C. Standard Course of Study. Any student can apply to any magnet program within CMS, but they must meet the program’s eligibility requirements prior to applying and must agree to fulfill program requirements to remain enrolled.
  • Other standout programs within CMS include Advanced Placement classes, arts education, character education, English as a Second Language, exceptional children, afterschool enrichment programs, and a strong emphasis on literacy and science.

North Carolina Charter Schools

If you're not familiar with the charter schools concept, visit here.

Non-Public Schools

N.C. Association of Independent Schools  | Search North Carolina Schools

N.C. Division of Non-Public Education  |  Home School Requirements  |  Links to schools in Mecklenburg

Private (non-public) schools and charter schools make up a significant part of Mecklenburg County’s educational landscape. In fact, more than 26,000 students are enrolled in 80 private schools and charter schools in the county. This growing system includes elementary, middle and high schools with various religious affiliations as well as independent institutions. Information on private schools and how to select an independent school is available from the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools or the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education. A comprehensive list of private and charter schools within Mecklenburg County is available here. For additional information on tuition and enrollment openings, contact individual schools directly.

Higher Education

Whether you’re seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree, training for career advancement or looking for enrichment courses through continuing education, you will find schools to meet your needs. Besides traditional weekday programs, many institutions offer evening or weekend programs for adult students with full-time jobs. A list of institutions of higher learning in North Carolina is available by calling 704.378.1300.

Institutions in the Charlotte area (Charlotte Chamber members linked in blue):

Art Institute of Charlotte
Barber-Scotia College
Belmont Abbey College
Brookstone College of Business
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences
Carolina School of Broadcasting
Carolinas College of Health Sciences
Central Piedmont Community College
Charlotte School of Law
Clinton Junior College
Davidson College
DeVry University/Keller Graduate School of Management
ECPI College of Technology
Gardner-Web University, Charlotte Campus
Gaston College
ITT Technical Institute
Johnson & Wales University
Johnson C. Smith University
Kaplan College
King's College
Lee University
Mercy School of Nursing
Montreat College, School of Professional and Adult Studies
New Life Theological Seminary
Northeastern University – Charlotte
Pfeiffer University at Charlotte
Queens University of Charlotte
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
South Piedmont Community College
Southeastern Institute
Strayer University
TechSkills Charlotte
UNC Charlotte
Union Presbyterian Seminary, Charlotte
University of Phoenix, Charlotte Campus
University of South Carolina, Charlotte MBA Program
Wake Forest University, Charlotte MBA Program
Wingate University
Winthrop University
York Technical College