Oct 02, 2022  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Distance Education

Online Distance Education

East Carolina University has been a leader in distance education in North Carolina for seventy years. ECU recognized the potential of online learning, and was one of the first universities in the nation to develop and offer a degree entirely over the Internet. ECU currently offers more than 90 degrees and certificate programs online, in fields such as education, business, health care, and technology, among others.

East Carolina University’s online distance education degree programs allow students to access their coursework twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Online courses are taught by the same faculty that teach on-campus courses. The level of coursework, required readings, and examinations are the same for online and on-campus courses. Programs are designed with the student in mind, and the instruction is focused on active participation and academic success.

Distance Education Students

Online learning is ideal for those who are concerned about balancing the rigors of an academic workload with full-time employment or family obligations.

Online courses are typically delivered using course management systems that have been selected due to their ease of use for both student and instructor. As with on-campus sections, syllabi and schedule of assignments for online courses are made available to students within the first few days of the semester for online courses. Assignments and homework are submitted electronically, with all necessary materials made available via folders within the learninng management system. When administered online, examinations are taken by students during a prescribed timeframe, using a proctor when necessary.

In an online course, students and instructors communicate in discussion forums and respond to information presented by the instructor. Some courses include synchronous “chat” sessions with students and instructors engaging in conversations about course material. Students also have the opportunity to work in groups and benefit from the professional experiences of their peers.

Students opting to complete their degrees with online distance education typically increase their skills and comfort level with technology and online delivery of information, while strengthening their self-discipline, and organizational and time management skills. The format is ideal for giving students heightened independence in the pursuit of their higher education, while simultaneously providing the guidance and mentorship that are traditionally associated with on-campus instruction. Though convenience and flexibility are emphasized with distance education coursework, the same amount of effort and participation is required for both online and face-to-face courses.

Information about the distance education programs offered at ECU can be found on the Options website, as well as helpful links to information regarding admission, registration, tuition, and financial aid. Academic regulations and policies, university calendars, and student services described in this catalog are applicable to all students, except where otherwise indicated.

From admission to graduation, a system of student support services is available to assist all distance education students. The online support systems give DE students access to resources without having to come to campus. A dedicated e-mail address and a toll free number staffed by student service specialists help students navigate the online resources available to them. They provide a single point of contact for distance-education students. Contact the Office of Continuing Studies for assistance by emailing ocs@ecu.edu or calling 1-800-398-9275. The offices are located in the Self-Help Center, 301 Evans Street.

The university does not impose any proctoring fees to students enrolled in distance education courses at East Carolina University, or through UNC Online, in which proctored exams are required if they use the DE Proctoring Center.  However, students enrolled in distance education courses in which proctored exams are required may incur charges if they choose to have their exams proctored at sites external to East Carolina University.

Online Degree and Certificate Programs

Add-On Licensure

  • Birth-Kindergarten Education
  • Special Endorsement in Computer Education

Undergraduate Degree-Completion Programs

The programs listed below allow students with college credit to complete the last half of their degrees online.  Applicable program concentrations are italicized.

* The State Employees Credit Union (SECU) Partnership East utilizes a part-time cohort model and is designed for students transferring from a North Carolina community college.  Interested students should contact the appropriate coordinator prior to applying to the ECU. Please see www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/partner_east/Index.cfm for more information. 


Note: East Carolina University offers a substantial number of graduate online degrees and certificate programs.  For a complete list of programs, please see the Distance Education section of the current graduate catalog.