From pre-K to PhD, Carteret County distinguishes itself with educational excellence.

Carteret County Schools ( are consistently ranked among the best in North Carolina.  The county’s high schools received the highest grade of any North Carolina public school system in 2019, and the county’s SAT scores were the second highest in the state in 2020, trailing only Chapel Hill-Carrboro.  The Tiller School in Beaufort is one of the top-performing charter schools in the state, and the county offers a number of faith-based private school alternatives for elementary and secondary school students.

Carteret County high school students are also able to enroll in college credit classes at Carteret Community College (CCC), ranked the 4th best community college in America in 2020 by SmartAsset.  The beautiful CCC campus, located on Bogue Sound in Morehead City, offers over 90 degree, diploma and certification programs, as well as continuing education programs for residents and customized training for county employers.  Students attending CCC may transfer credit to all UNC System 4-year universities as well as many private colleges and universities through articulation agreements with Carteret Community College.  Lifelong learners also have access to a wide range of life enrichment and community education classes.  For more information visit .

The Crystal Coast is also home to one of the largest concentrations of marine scientists and researchers in the United States.  The Duke University Marine Laboratory, UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, NC State University Center for Marine Sciences and Technology, NC State Marine Aquaculture Research Center and NOAA Beaufort Laboratory are all located in Morehead City.  Many of these institutions offer both undergraduate and graduate education in multiple marine sciences disciplines.