The Undergraduate Catalog
The university’s undergraduate catalogs are for informational purposes only, and do not constitute a contractual agreement between a student and East Carolina University. The university reserves the right to make changes in curricula, degree requirements, course offerings, or academic regulations at any time when, in the judgment of the faculty, the Chancellor, or the Board of Trustees, such changes are in the best interest of the students and the university.
East Carolina University is committed to equality of educational opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants, students, or employees based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, creed, sexual orientation, or disability. East Carolina University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer that accommodates the needs of individuals with disabilities.
Ordinarily, a student may expect to earn a degree in accordance with the requirements of the curriculum described in the official catalog in effect when he or she first entered the university or in any subsequent catalog published while he or she is a student, but the faculty of the university reserves the right to make changes in curricula and in regulations at any time when in its judgment such changes are for the best interest of the students and of the university. No student pursuing his or her first baccalaureate degree or double major will be permitted to graduate under a catalog issued more than five years prior to the date of his or her graduation. No student pursuing a second baccalaureate degree will be permitted to graduate under a catalog issued more than three years prior to the date of his or her graduation.
Students should refer to the requirements of their respective college, school, or department for information about their programs of study and confer with their advisors whenever problems arise. The student is expected to follow the program outlined as closely as possible, particularly in the first two years when satisfying basic degree requirements and prerequisites for advance standing. Students may not be admitted to or change to a specified degree program before the degree program requirements have been published in the official catalog.
Some courses listed in the catalog indicate an anticipated semester of offering; however, because of faculty availability and other constraints, there is no guarantee that courses will be offered at the specified times. Students should consult their advisor and departments concerning availability issues.
If a student elects to meet the requirements of a catalog later than the one in effect at the time of his or her original entrance, he or she must meet all requirements of the selected catalog. A student who changes his or her degree program or major will be expected to meet all of the requirements of the new program of the catalog in force at the time of the change, except for students who do not declare a major upon entrance and who may meet the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of their entrance to East Carolina University.
During the period that the student is undecided about his or her major or has intended major status, the university rule that a student adopt the catalog that is current whenever he or she changes his or her program does not apply. Except for the requirements for admission to certain programs, the catalog that was current at the time the student entered the university will apply when he or she declares a major unless (1) the student elects a later catalog, (2) the student changes his or her program after the initial declaring of a major or a change of intended major status, or (3) accreditation requirements for the university have been changed.
Academic advisors will offer guidance to students in academic matters and refer students to those qualified to help them in other matters. The final responsibility for meeting all academic requirements for a selected program rests, however, with the student. The provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs has authority on all established curricular matters.
Attendance and Participation
A student’s participation in the work of a course is a precondition for receiving credit for the course. Students are expected to attend punctually all lecture and laboratory sessions and field experiences and to participate in course assignments and activities as described in the course syllabus. Absences are counted from the first class meeting after the student registers. Students registering late are expected to make up all missed assignments in a manner determined by the instructor.
Each instructor shall determine the class attendance policy for each of his or her courses as long as the instructor’s policy does not conflict with university policy. The instructor’s attendance policy will be provided to the class on a syllabus distributed at the first class meeting. Class attendance may be a criterion in determining a student’s final grade in the course if the instructor provides a written statement to this effect in the course syllabus.
Students should consult with their instructors about all class absences. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the instructor immediately about class absences, to provide appropriate documentation for an absence, and discuss any missed class time, tests, or assignments. Except in the case of university excused absences, it is the decision of the instructor to excuse an absence or to allow for any additional time to make up missed tests or assignments. Excused absences should not lower a student’s course grade, provided that the student, in a manner determined by the instructor, is able to make up the work that has been missed and is maintaining satisfactory progress in the course.
Student Health Services does not issue official written excuses for illness or injury, but will upon request at the time of the visit, provide a note confirming that the student has received care. In the event that the student is seriously ill or injured at the time of final examinations, Student Health Services on request by the student, may recommend a medical incomplete. A student who receives medical care from another licensed medical provider may take his or her instructor a note from that provider indicating that the student was too ill or injured to attend class, and listing the date(s) for which the student was unable to attend. The instructor may choose to accept these notes as evidence of excused absences.
The Dean of Students may authorize a university-excused absence in the following situations:
- Student participation in authorized activities as an official representative of the university (i.e. athletic events, delegate to regional or national meetings or conferences, participation in university-sponsored performances).
- Participation in other activities deemed by the Dean of Students to warrant an excused absence, such as required military training.
- An extreme personal emergency or serious medical condition.
- The death of an immediate family member (such as parent, sibling, spouse or child).
- Student participation in religious holidays.
It is the student’s responsibility to obtain verification of a university-excused absence by contacting the Dean of Students. Requests for university-excused absences should be submitted, whenever possible, to the Dean of Students at least a week prior to the scheduled absence. Requests submitted after the fact will be disapproved unless circumstances made prior approval impossible.
Instructors are expected to honor valid university excused absences and to provide reasonable and equitable means for students to make up work missed as a result of those absences. Students who anticipate missing 10% or more of class meeting time as a result of university-excused absences are required to receive approval from the instructor at the beginning of the semester. Student experiences that cannot be made up should be discussed at the onset of the course to ensure that continued enrollment is feasible while there is still the opportunity to withdraw the course within the schedule change period.
A student who believes that he or she has been treated unfairly concerning absences or has been misinformed by the instructor regarding that instructor’s absence policy shall have the right to appeal. The appeal shall be in writing to the instructor’s department chair or school director, and in the event the resolution is not satisfactory, the final decision rests with the academic dean.
Disruptive Academic Behavior
East Carolina University is committed to providing each student with a rich, distinctive educational experience. To this end, students who do not follow reasonable standards of behavior in the classroom or other academic setting may be removed from the course by the instructor following appropriate notice. Students removed from a course under this policy will receive a grade of “W” according to university policy and are eligible for tuition refund as specified in the current tuition refund policy.
Selection of Courses
Since most undergraduate degrees require 120 to 126 semester hours, a student must average approximately 15 to 16 semester hours per semester to graduate in four years. Students are encouraged to be mindful of this recommended course load when developing class schedules.
An undergraduate student is not permitted to select courses more than one classification level above the student’s own classification.
|0000 - 1000
There are occasions, however, on which exceptions to this regulation may be deemed desirable and necessary by the student’s advisor and/or dean. Under these circumstances, a student will be allowed to register for courses two or more levels above the student’s classification if the registration or schedule change form contains the initials of the advisor and/or dean written on the line with the course that is involved in the regulation.
Five-thousand-level (5000-5999) courses are graduate courses. Undergraduate students may be admitted to five-thousand level courses if they have completed the stated prerequisite(s) or with the written permission of the instructor, chair of the department, the director of the school, or the dean of the college in which the course is offered.
Only students who have been admitted to pursue graduate work on a degree or nondegree basis will be permitted to enroll in courses numbered 6000 or above. A senior within six semester hours of graduation who has been admitted to a graduate degree program may take a 6000-level course while completing undergraduate degree requirements but only for graduate credit.
Prerequisites are stated as integral parts of various programs, entrance requirements for degree programs, and sequential progression into subject matter. Students are not allowed to enroll in courses for which they have not met the prerequisites except by approval of the chair of the department or his/her designee.
Elective courses in any curriculum may be taken from any field and are decided upon in consultation with the advisor.
To improve graduation rates, the North Carolina General Assembly (Senate Bill 27, Section 89(a), 1993 Session Laws) mandated that the “Board of Governors shall require constituent institutions to set a goal of increasing to 15 the average number of credit hours per term taken by full-time undergraduates.”
The minimum number of semester hours required for a baccalaureate degree at East Carolina University is 120. Most degrees require 120 to 126 semester hours. (Any exceptions are indicated in the degree requirements listed in the undergraduate catalog.) Students who satisfactorily complete an average of 15-16 semester hours per semester should be able to obtain their degrees in four years or eight semesters. Some factors which may extend an individual student’s time for completion of a degree are averaging fewer than 15-16 semester hours per semester, repeating courses, failing to meet course prerequisites, changing majors, taking unnecessary or inappropriate courses, withdrawing from school, dropping or failing courses, adding minors or double majors, and becoming academically ineligible to continue enrollment. Participation in internships, practica, cooperative education, and study abroad programs may or may not extend the number of semesters for graduation.
Fall and Spring Semesters
A student may take 18 semester hours of credit per semester without restrictions. With the approval of the advisor, chair, director, or dean, a student who has earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all work may take 19 or 20 semester hours per semester. The approval for extra-hour load must be approved by the advisor, chair, director, or dean concerned, and sent by ECU email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A student desiring to enroll for more than 20 semester hours must secure, in addition to the above signature, approval from the Office of the Registrar via email@example.com.
In the semester or summer term of graduation, a student with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 may take extra hours with the approval of the advisor, chair, director, or dean and approval from the Office of the Registrar via firstname.lastname@example.org
A student may take 7 semester hours each summer term or a maximum of 14 semester hours over the entire summer without restrictions. With the written approval of the Office of the Registrar via email@example.com, a student who has earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all work may take extra hours.
Only under unavoidable and exceptional circumstances will substitution for or exemption from the prescribed curricula be permitted. If it becomes necessary to request deviation from the prescribed course of study, the student should consult the dean of the college, director of the school, or the chair of the department of the student’s major. The dean, director, or departmental chair will petition by submitting a degree works petition to the registrar for substitutions or exceptions sought, and will state the reasons for the change. Students transferring from other colleges who desire to substitute courses taken elsewhere, for courses prescribed at the university, should follow this procedure.
Any deviations from the applicable published degree requirements must have the approval of the appropriate departmental chair, school director, or college dean and the Office of the Registrar as appropriate.
Only under extenuating circumstances will a student be allowed to repeat a course in which he or she has earned a grade of C (2.0) and then only with the written approval of the appropriate departmental chair, school director, or college dean and the Office of the Registrar as appropriate. A student who repeats a course he or she has passed in order to raise the grade will receive the original grade, hours attempted, hours earned, and grade points. The student will also receive the raised grade, hours attempted, and grade points. The raised grade, or last grade, stands. A grade of F as the raised grade will result in the loss of the original hours and grade points; a student receiving an F as the raised grade must repeat the course if credit is required for graduation. A student who repeats a course he or she has failed will receive the failure (hours attempted and no grade points) and the raised grade with hours attempted, hours earned, and grade points.
Independent Study Courses
Independent study is defined as any program of study without direct instruction in a classroom setting (excluding internships). It may include directed readings, special topics courses, or independent study of an existing course. The use of independent study should be limited to two occasions: when a student wishes to pursue a topic of study which is not available in an approved course or when a course is needed to satisfy graduation requirements but the course is not being offered in a timely manner to satisfy those requirements. Independent study and correspondence credits may not exceed 15 percent of the total hours required for the degree. Credit earned through independent study cannot be used to reduce the minimum residence requirement.
All independent study courses should be set up as a part of the departmental schedule of courses for the respective term. Independent study sections of normally offered courses should be appropriately noted by the section number.
Registration and Schedule Changes
To be admitted officially to ECU, a student must apply, be accepted, and receive a letter of acceptance. Orientation programs are provided in the summer and immediately before each semester to assist new students in enrolling in the university. All new students are strongly encouraged to attend orientation. To register, incoming freshmen students must sign up for new student orientiation and review major, course, and registration information available on Pirate Introduction to Early Registration (PIER). Transfer students may attend new student orientation or complete an online orientation module to receive advising and registration information. Web registration for continuing and re-admitted students requires a registration PIN, which is obtained from the advisor, and required for registration via Banner Self Service. To complete the process and be officially registered and entered on the class roll, a student must pay fees to the cashier’s office. No person will be admitted to any class unless officially registered either for audit or for credit. Students are expected to complete registration (including the payment of all required fees) by the dates prescribed in the university calendar. (See the above “Attendance and Participation” section for additional information.)
Students who register during the early registration period are required to pay their fees and secure their official schedules during the stipulated period prior to registration day. Students who fail to pay fees by this date will have their schedules canceled.
Early registration is a time designated each semester for currently enrolled or readmitted students to meet with their advisors to review their records and plan their courses for the upcoming semester. The student will consult with his or her academic advisor and receive a registration PIN. The student may then register via Banner Self Service when his/her appropriate registration window is open. (New freshmen and transfer students entering fall and spring semesters, and summer terms, register after the appropriate orientation session.)
Course and Term Withdrawal
Course Withdrawal Allotment
Students may withdraw from up to 16 semester hours during their undergraduate career. Students may use these withdrawals between the end of the course adjustment period and the deadline to withdraw from term-length courses without a grade, which is 60% of regularly scheduled class meetings, exclusive of final exams.
During Course Adjustment Period
The course adjustment period is limited to the first five days of classes of the fall and spring semesters. During the summer, the course adjustment period is limited to the first two days of classes each summer term. Students should refer to ECU’s Academic Calendars for specific dates. During the course adjustment period, a student may drop or add a course(s) to his/her schedule. Course drops during this period do not count against a student’s course withdrawal allotment of 16 semester hours.
After Course Adjustment Period
Students are expected to complete all the courses for which they are registered at the close of the course adjustment period. The consequences of withdrawing from a course or term may affect a student’s progress in a major, tuition surcharge, and/or financial aid. The impact of a course or term withdrawal for nonextenuating and extenuating circumstances is as follows:
Table 1: Impact of Course or Term Withdrawals for Nonextenuating and Extenuating Circumstances
|Effect of withdrawals on:
||Course(s) count in surcharge calculation
||Withdrawal (WI) noted on transcript
|Grade point average (GPA)
||None (for withdrawals within 60% of academic term)
||Course(s) count as attempted hours
||Course(s) subject to financial aid and satisfactory academic progress rules
During the first 60 percent of the regularly scheduled class meetings (exclusive of final exams), a student may withdraw from the course after consultation with his/her advisor. There are two options for requesting the withdrawal. The preferred option is that the student’s advisor email the Office of the Registrar (copying the student) at firstname.lastname@example.org. The second option is that the student email the Office of the Registrar at email@example.com. If the student initiates the request, the Office of the Registrar will contact the student’s advisor for approval prior to granting the request. For either option, the request to the Office of the Registrar should include the student’s name, Banner ID, and course prefix and number of the withdrawn course(s). Please refer to Course or Term Withdrawal Refund Rule below.
The same 60 percent withdrawal period rule also applies to block courses of other lengths. It is the student’s responsibility to consult ECU’s Academic Calendars to determine the appropriate withdrawal period for such block courses.
Students desiring to withdraw from an academic term should meet with an academic advisor to review consequences and policies. The student must then obtain an official withdrawal form located on the website of the Office of the Registrar. After the student has obtained the signatures of the various officials designated on the form, the student must submit the form to the Office of the Registrar for final approval by email. The Office of the Registrar will accept a completed form that is scanned and sent via the student’s ECU email address.
Withdrawal Requests Made Within 60% of the Academic Term: During the first 60 percent of regularly scheduled class meetings (exclusive of final exams), a student may withdraw from the university without receiving grades for courses in which he/she is enrolled. However, a W (to notate a withdrawal) will appear on the student’s transcript.
Withdrawal Requests Made Beyond 60% of the Academic Term: After 60 percent of regularly scheduled class meetings (exclusive of final exams), a student withdrawing from the university shall receive no credit for the courses in which he/she is passing at the time of withdrawal. A student will receive a grade of F for all courses in which he/she is failing at the time of withdrawal, and a W for those courses in which he/she is passing.
Please Note: A term withdrawal is not charged to a student’s Course Withdrawal allotment of 16 semester hours.
Extenuating circumstances can warrant consideration for withdrawal by exception. Students may petition the Dean of Students for course withdrawals by exception. Petitions for course withdrawal after the 60 percent withdrawal period deadline will typically be granted only for unforeseen and uncontrollable medical, psychological, or personal reasons directly affecting the course(s). The following are not considered a sufficient basis for exception: poor performance in course work, missed deadlines, change of major, a course grade’s adverse effect on the student’s grade point average, probationary standing, or other eligibility. The Dean of Students cannot accept requests after the last regularly scheduled class meeting prior to the final examination for the course(s) in question. Students whose request is received after the last class meeting or whose request is denied by the Dean of Students may appeal to the Student Academic Appellate Committee (SAAC). This appeals process concludes with the decision of the Student Academic Appellate Committee
Course or Term Withdrawal Refund Rule
It is to the financial advantage of students withdrawing, dropping to part-time status, or dropping to a lower block of credit hours to do so as early as possible in the term. Refunds for tuition and fees (excluding room and board charges that are determined by contractual agreement) will be considered during the twenty (20) class day refund period in fall and spring and the five (5) day refund period during summer. No refunds will be considered after the published “last day for partial refund”.”
The university operates on the semester system. The fall and spring semesters are each approximately fourteen weeks in length plus one week for exams at the close of each semester. The summer session is offered in two formats: two five-week terms and one eleven-week session. Credit hours to be earned in each course are noted for each course listed.
Courses offered in nontraditional formats, e.g., concentrated or abbreviated time periods, must be designed to ensure an opportunity for preparation, reflection, and analysis concerning the subject matter. At least one calendar week of reflection and analysis should be provided to students for each semester hour of undergraduate credit awarded. Credit will not be allowed for courses which substantially duplicate courses already completed.
Credit by Examination
Students currently or formerly enrolled in the university may obtain credit by examination for a course in which they have had no class attendance or semester standing provided the course has been determined by the offering department or school to be an appropriate class for credit without attendance. Permission to take the examination must be obtained in advance from the college dean, school director, or departmental chairperson in which the course is offered and must be approved by the Office of the Registrar. Examinations are not permitted in courses in which a student has previously been enrolled as a regular student or as an auditor. (No person is allowed to attend class or receive class instruction without being properly registered either for credit or for audit.) Distance education students may be required to come to campus to take the examination. The applicant must pay to the university cashier in advance of the examination a fee of $10 per semester hour; this fee is not refundable. The petition, receipted by the university cashier, must be shown to the instructor conducting the examination. The instructor administers and reports the results of the examination to the Office of the Registrar within one week of the date of approval. Credits earned under this regulation are recorded with the grade achieved on the examination.
Credit by Transfer
A student transferring to the university from another regionally accredited college or university will have transcripts submitted to the Office of Admissions during the admissions process. Credit will be awarded for all transferable courses for which a grade of C (2.0) or better was earned. Students are allowed to request a re-evaluation of transfer courses by consulting with their academic advisor. It is only upon the review by the academic unit of the course being considered for re-evaluation that the student will know what additional courses are necessary to meet degree requirements. All courses and grades transferred become a part of the student’s transcript. Although transfer grades are not counted in a student’s East Carolina University GPA, transfer courses, including those in which the student received a grade of D (1.0) or F, will be used in the calculation of the GPA for degrees with distinction.
Students who have satisfactorily completed basic military training may receive credit for the health promotion and health-related physical activity courses required for general education upon submitting a DD-214, DD-295 or NOBE to the Office of the Registrar. Students who have completed service schools while on active duty with the military may request an evaluation prior to admission through the Veteran’s Affairs Office. Credit will be awarded in accordance with the American Council on Education recommendations provided that the credit recommended is at the baccalaureate level; it is applicable to the general education requirements, to the student’s declared major field of study, or to the elective hours prescribed within the student’s designated program of study.
Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science (RN to BSN) Credit
Students who present a current, valid, unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse in North Carolina or a North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON) compact state to the Office of the Registrar and have been accepted into the East Carolina University RN to BSN program may receive placement credit for the health promotion and health-related physical activity courses required for general education.
Taking Courses at Another United States College or University
Students interested in completing courses at another college or university and transferring the credit back to ECU should discuss their options with an academic advisor. Specifically, students should be aware of the following:
- Coursework is accepted from regionally accredited institutions only.
- The ECU course equivalency for the transferred course is available in PiratePort, if previously transferred from that institution. If the course is not in the equivalency finder, students should work with their academic advisor regarding the process to request a course review.
- Coursework will not be accepted for which credit has been previously earned.
- Students may take courses elsewhere that were previously failed at ECU and transfer the credit to ECU.
- Courses completed elsewhere and transferred to ECU are not included for the calculation of the ECU GPA. Note: Transfer grades are included in the calculation of a degree with distinction.
- Students may not apply the grade replacement policy to courses taken elsewhere and transferred to ECU.
- Only courses in which the student earns a C (2.0) or better will be accepted in transfer.
- An official transcript from the institution where the course was completed must be requested by the student and submitted to the Office of the Registrar immediately upon completion of the course.
- ECU’s baccalaureate degree requirements state that: (a) A minimum of 25% of the credit hours required for the degree and at least 50% of the total hours required in the major must be completed at ECU, and (b) A minimum of 50% of the semester hours required in the student’s major must be earned through enrollment in a regionally accredited senior college.
- Some degree programs include transfer GPA (by course or cumulative) to determine acceptance into a major.
- Transfer semester hours are included when determining the student’s retention requirements.
Students receiving financial aid must inform the Financial Aid Office (FAO) in advance of taking courses elsewhere, and their academic advisor must verify to the FAO that the course satisfies degree requirements for their major. (For more information regarding this process, students should consult with their FAO counselor.) Specifically, students should be aware of the following:
- For financial aid purposes, students must take at least one course at ECU to retain home institution status at ECU. (This course could be DE.)
- Financial aid cannot be used to take the same course more than twice at any institution.
- The FAO must receive documentation that the course taken elsewhere will fulfill graduation requirements at ECU in order for the course to “count” for financial aid purposes.
- The FAO will complete and send to the other US College or University a “Consortia Agreement” for the other school to complete regarding hours attempted. The purpose of the consortia agreement between Financial Aid Offices at two schools is to identify which institution is funding the student.
- Students may not receive aid at two different schools for the same semester.
Students should consult with their academic advisor and must inform the Financial Aid Office prior to taking courses elsewhere in order to ensure that financial aid is administered properly.
Examinations and Quizzes
The normal expectation is that the completion of both face to face and online courses will include a final examination or an alternate method of evaluating student progress. Final examinations are required at the discretion of the faculty member and must be scheduled in the course syllabus made available to students. The university establishes a final examination schedule each semester to reduce conflicts in course final examination and to meet the UNC established course hour requirements. There will be no departure from the schedule officially published as part of ECU’s Academic Calendars except for clinical and non-traditional class schedules, including graduate level courses. Changes for individual student emergencies of a serious nature will be made only with the approval of the instructor.
Intermediate Tests and Quizzes
Students who are absent from intermediate tests and quizzes with an excuse acceptable to the instructor or an official university excuse from the Dean of Students or his/her designee will be given a makeup test or an excuse from taking the test at the discretion of the instructor.
Grade Points and Grade Point Average
A grade (quality) point system based on all hours attempted at ECU is used to calculate student scholarship. The following grade symbols are currently in use for all undergraduate courses:
Table 3: Grade Symbols
||Achievement substantially exceeds basic course expectations
||Achievement exceeds basic course expectations
||Achievement adequately meets basic course expectations
||Achievement falls below basic course expectations
||Failure - achievement does not justify credit for course
||Incomplete (granted for deficiency in quantity, not quality, of work)
||Faculty has not reported a grade
Grade points for a course are computed by multiplying the number of semester-hour credits by the numerical values assigned to the letter grade received. Numerical values for letter grades are as follows:
Table 4: Numerical Values for Letter Grades
*Although no grade points are given for a grade of F, the hours attempted are recorded for each attempt of a given course. (See below Grade Replacement Policy.) The GPA is then obtained by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of semester hour credits attempted.
Chancellor’s List, Dean’s List, and Honor Roll
Each semester, outstanding scholarship is recognized in the following manner:
- The Chancellor’s List is composed of the names of all full-time undergraduates who make four grade (quality) points per credit hour (4.0) on all work taken with no incomplete grades.
- The Dean’s List is composed of the names of all full-time undergraduates who make at least three and one-half grade (quality) points per credit hour (3.5) on all work taken with no grade below C (2.0) and no incomplete grades.
- The Honor Roll is composed of the names of full-time undergraduates who make at least three grade (quality) points per credit hour (3.0) on all work taken with no grade below C (2.0) and no incomplete grades.
Students may appeal a final grade in a course if the appeal is based on one or more of the following factors:
- An error was made in grade computation.
- Standards different from those established in written department, school or college policies, if specific policies exist, were used in assigning the grade.
- The instructor departed substantially from his or her previously articulated, written standards, without notifying students, in determining the grade.
A formal grade appeal must be initiated by the student by the end of the twenty-first calendar day of the semester (not including summer sessions) following the award of the grade. The grade assigned by the instructor is assumed to be correct and the student appealing the grade must justify the need for a change of the grade assigned.
A discussion with the instructor should be the first step to resolve differences between an instructor and student concerning a grade. If the instructor of record will not be available within one semester (not including summer sessions), the department chair or designee may act in lieu of the instructor of record for the purpose of grade appeals. If the instructor and student cannot resolve the appeal, and the student wishes to pursue the matter further, he or she must present to the chair of the department or designee in which the course is offered, a written appeal that includes the following:
- A statement addressing how the appeal meets one or more of the three criteria necessary for a formal appeal.
- A description of the outcome of the informal discussion process with the instructor.
- Any relevant documents the student would like to be reviewed as part of the appeal process.
- A copy of the course syllabus and assignment descriptions.
The department chair or designee may request additional materials from the student as necessary. After receiving a copy of the appeal materials from the department chair or designee, the instructor has fourteen calendar days to respond in writing to the appeal. The department chair or designee will discuss this response with the instructor and will provide the student with written notification of the outcome of this step within seven calendar days after receiving the instructor’s response.
If there is no mutually agreed upon resolution between the student and the instructor, and the student wishes to pursue the matter further, he or she has seven calendar days to submit his or her written appeal to the college dean or designee. The college dean or designee will review the appeal, provide copies of all appeal materials to the instructor, and discuss the appeal with both the instructor and the student. The instructor has seven days to review the written appeal the student has presented to the dean and, if desired, prepare an additional written response. The college dean or designee will provide the student with written notification of the result of this step within fourteen calendar days after receipt of the appeal from the student.
If this does not lead to a mutually agreeable resolution between the student and the instructor, and the student wishes to pursue the matter further, then a Grade Appeal Committee shall be formed by the college dean within ten calendar days. This committee shall include three faculty members from the college: one selected by the student, one selected by the instructor of record, and one appointed by the college dean. A majority shall prevail in the committee. The Committee shall elect its own chair. The function of the Grade Appeal Committee shall be to evaluate the appeal in terms of the stated grounds for the appeal. The Committee’s decision may be to keep the assigned grade or to raise the assigned grade. The Committee shall provide a written justification to the college dean for its decision, including minority opinions when they exist, no later than twenty-one calendar days after the Committee’s formation. The college dean shall inform the student and the instructor of the Committee’s decision and provide both parties with copies of the Committee report.
This grade appeal policy shall constitute the sole internal administrative remedy for a change in grade, except when the grade being disputed resulted from an alleged academic integrity violation or when a grade dispute involves an Office of Equal Opportunity and Equity discrimination complaint. If a grade dispute arises from an issue that is covered under the university’s Academic Integrity Policy, the process for resolution that has been established for appealing academic integrity violations must be followed. If a grade dispute arises from an issue that is covered under the university’s Equal Opportunity and Equity policies, the process for resolution that the Office of Equal Opportunity and Equity has established must be completed prior to the use of the university’s grade appeal process.
Change of Grade
A change in grade, other than I (incomplete), for any reason, must be made within one year from the date the original grade was received. Grade changes are initiated by the primary instructor of a course. If the primary instructor is unavailable to complete the change, a request may be initiated via memo to the university registrar by the departmental chairperson of the course. Approved reasons for a change of grade by someone other than the primary instructor include death or serious illness of the primary instructor, terminated employment of the primary instructor with East Carolina University (where the primary instructor no longer can access the system), and instructor lack of access to online grading or email functions. In each instance, appropriate documentation regarding the change of grade must be submitted to the university registrar, along with the request, and will remain a part of the student’s academic record. No change of grades will be made after a student has graduated from the university.
Removal of Incompletes
A grade of I must be removed during the next semester (not counting summer session) in which the student is enrolled in the university or it automatically becomes an F. The instructor will set a time for the removal of the incomplete, in no case later than three weeks prior to the end of the semester. Instructors must complete a grade change from I to the appropriate grade through Banner Self Service at least two weeks prior to the end of the semester. If the student does not return to school, the I must be removed within one year, or it automatically becomes an F. An incomplete may not be removed by repeating the course. If a student enrolls in a course in which he or she has an incomplete, the I will automatically become an F. No student will be allowed to graduate with an incomplete on his or her record.
Grade Replacement Policy
A student is permitted to use the Grade Replacement Policy a maximum of four times for courses in which he or she has earned a grade C-, D+, D, D- or F. For example, a student may replace a grade in four different courses or may replace a single course grade a maximum of four times or a combination thereof not to exceed the limits of the policy. Approval to use the policy will not be given if a student wishes to repeat a course after he or she has successfully completed an advanced course covering the same or similar material (e.g. a course for which the repeated course is a prerequisite.)
The grade replacements will be automatically processed for courses worth 3 or more semester hours. The student must request a grade replacement for 1 or 2 semester hour courses by completing a grade replacement form and submitting it to the Office of the Registrar. The grade replacement form must be submitted by the last day of classes of the semester in which the student retakes the course in order for the grade replacement(s) to be reflected in the student’s GPA and Academic Standing for the current semester. Although the original grade will not be used in determining the GPA of the student, the original grade will remain on the student’s permanent academic record and will be included in the calculation for degrees with distinction. The replacement grade, or last grade, stands. Students receiving an F on the replacement grade must repeat the course if credit is required for graduation. In the event that the original grade was a C-, D+, D, D-, no additional credit hours will be awarded. The grade replacement policy does not apply to courses taken prior to fall 1994.
Academic Eligibility Standards
Grade point calculations are made and the report is posted to the web. Grades are mailed to the student at the end of each semester and each summer term upon written request (for each semester or term) from the student. Academic difficulty is reported on a student’s transcript in Banner Self Service. Notification of academic standing is provided to the student via e-mail to his or her ECU e-mail account, and also posted on his or her Degree Works report.
Students at East Carolina University are expected to be in Good Academic Standing. For students to be considered in Good Academic Standing, a cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required. If a student fails to meet Good Academic Standing, he or she will be placed on academic warning, probation, or suspension as detailed below.
Exception to the minimum GPA policy: An undergraduate degree-seeking student enrolled in 12+ attempted hours during his or her first semester (fall or spring) will be academically suspended if he or she receives a GPA of 0.0 (including “I” incomplete grades) for that semester.
(See Table 5.)
- A student whose cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 is placed on warning.
- If, at the end of the semester that the student is on warning, the cumulative GPA remains below a 2.0, the student is placed on probation.
- If, at the end of the semester that the student is on probation, the cumulative GPA remains below a 2.0, the student is suspended from the university unless the student’s GPA for that semester is at least a 2.5, in which case the student remains on probation instead.
- A student whose cumulative ratio of completed to attempted hours falls below 80% will receive a warning and an academic progress alert.
Table 5: Academic Standing
||Good standing as measured by
||Consequences if standard not met
|End of semester I
||End of semester 2
||End of semester 3
||GPA = 2.0+
Cumulative GPA <2.0 Warning
Cumulative GPA<2.0 Probation
Cumulative GPA<2.0 Suspension (1 semester)
A student suspended from the university must serve a semester-long dismissal. Students may attend summer terms at East Carolina University during this time. Please note: If a student is suspended after a spring term, he or she may enroll in summer terms without completing a readmission application. A student suspended after a fall term or summer term must complete a readmission application and be readmitted to attend a summer term.
Students attending one or more of the summer terms will be held to the same academic standards as during a fall and spring term. Academic standing for summer is calculated at the conclusion all summer terms. (For this purpose, Summer I, Summer II, and the 11-week summer term will be considered one term). For example, if a student is on academic probation prior to attending one or more summer terms, and he or she does not earn at least a cumulative GPA of 2.0 (or GPA of 2.5 over all summer terms), the student will be suspended for the fall term.
Students readmitted to East Carolina University after suspension are placed on “Probation after Suspension” and expected to achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. If during the semester a student is on probation and he or she does not achieve a cumulative 2.0 GPA, the student will be suspended unless he or she earns at least a 2.5 GPA in that semester, in which case he or she remains on probation.
Students may attend a regionally accredited institution and transfer credits back to ECU. Students must have a 2.5 GPA on all transferable credit to be eligible to apply for re-admission to ECU. Credit will be awarded for all transferable courses for which a grade of C (2.0) or better was earned. Although credit may be allowed for courses the equivalent of which the student was previously enrolled in at ECU, duplicate credit will not be granted under any circumstances. For additional regulations applying to transfer credit, please see Admission and Readmission .
Appeals of Suspension
A student who wishes to appeal his or her suspension must appeal in writing to the Student Academic Appellate Committee. The completed appeal packet must be received in the Office of the Registrar by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the deadline established at the beginning of each academic year.
The Student Academic Appellate Committee normally will not approve an appeal unless it is based on personal, medical or psychological problems of an extreme nature that were unforeseeable and uncontrollable and the student provides evidence that the situation has been remedied. The written appeal requires a completed Petition to the Student Academic Appellate Committee form and a typed letter that contains the rationale for the appeal; documentation of personal, family, or medical problems; and evidence that the problems have been resolved.
In considering appeals for readmission for the fall semester, the committee normally expects students to attend summer school to demonstrate academic improvement. This appeals process concludes with the decision of the Student Academic Appellate Committee.
A successful appeal of academic suspension does not also grant an appeal to Student Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. Please contact Student Financial Aid for more information.
Students leaving in good standing with ECU are eligible to apply for readmission. If a student has taken courses at another regionally accredited institution while away from the university, a GPA of 2.50 or higher must be attained in order to be eligible for readmission. Only those courses with a grade of C (2.0) or better will be transferable to the ECU.
Students must apply for readmission to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Eligibility to apply for readmission after suspension does not guarantee acceptance as the university must adhere to enrollment restrictions.
Students readmitted to East Carolina University after suspension are placed on “Probation after Suspension” and expected to achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. If during the semester a student is on probation and he or she does not achieve a cumulative 2.0 GPA, the student will be suspended unless he or she earns at least a 2.5 GPA in tha semester, in which case he or she remains on probation.
A student may remove academic deficiencies only by attending ECU. Quality points do not transfer.
Readmission Under Forgiveness Policy
Former East Carolina University students who have not been enrolled at ECU for a minimum of two consecutive academic years (four semesters, summer sessions excluded) may request readmission under the Forgiveness Policy. Such requests must be submitted on the application for readmission according to application deadline dates, or after meeting with their academic advisor upon readmission to the university. Students who have been enrolled at another regionally accredited college or university since their last enrollment at East Carolina University must submit to the Office of Admissions official transcripts indicating that a minimum cumulative 2.5 average has been earned in all transferable courses attempted.
Subsequent East Carolina University-based GPAs of students readmitted under this policy will be computed without inclusion of previous course work in which a failing grade (F) was received.
Students returning under the Forgiveness Policy will return under one of the following classifications:
- Students whose cumulative GPAs are 2.0 or above once the failing grades are removed will be placed on good standing during the first semester of attendance.
- Students whose cumulative GPAs are less than 2.0 once the failing grades are removed will be placed on probation during the first semester of attendance.
Students will be held accountable for the academic standing and academic progress requirements as identified in the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.
A student may be readmitted under the Forgiveness Policy only one time.
For degrees with distinction, all ECU grades, including those earned prior to readmission under the Forgiveness Policy, will be included in calculations.
Students should be aware that the Readmission under Forgiveness Policy is an ECU policy that is not recognized in the US Department of Education’s calculation of financial aid eligibility. Students who plan to apply to or receive financial aid should contact the financial aid office. Cashier accounts must be cleared of any outstanding balance, if any, prior to registration for the term of readmission.
Students should also be aware that a substantial tuition surcharge may be applied in accordance with the rules established by the UNC Board of Governors or other appropriate legislative body.
Student Educational Records
Policy on Posting Grades
As soon as they are determined at the end of each semester or summer term, grades are posted electronically. Students may secure their grades via Banner Self Service (https://pirateport.ecu.edu/portal/, then click on the Banner Self Service link) using their Pirate ID and password. In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, faculty are not allowed to post grades by Social Security Number or any other personally identifiable characteristic. Upon receipt of a written request each semester or term to the Office of the Registrar, a report of grades is sent to the student at his or her permanent home address. Questions about final examination grades should be directed to the instructor who determined the grade.
Transcripts of Records
Requests for transcripts of a student’s record should be submitted electronically via https://pirateport.ecu.edu/portal/, addressed in writing or in person with a photo ID to the Office of the Registrar. For each copy, there is a fee of $7. A transcript will not be issued for a student who is financially indebted to the university.
Privacy of Student Educational Records Policy
The university policy for the administration of student educational records is in accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA. This policy provides that the student has a right of access to student educational records maintained by the university or any department or unit within the university. The policy also protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information in student records. Except to the extent allowed by applicable law, personally identifiable information contained in a student educational record will not be disclosed. A copy of the university policy dealing with the privacy of student educational records is maintained by the University Registrar. Each member of the faculty should be thoroughly familiar with this policy and comply with its provisions.
Access to Student Educational Records
In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, it is the policy of the university that students have the following rights in regard to official educational records maintained by the university.
- Each student has the right to inspect and review official educational records, files, and data maintained by the university and directly related to the student and not related to other students. Some exceptions to this include: sole possession notes, law enforcement or campus security records, employment records (unless employment is contingent upon student status), records relating to treatment by physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, etc.
- The university will comply with the request from a student to review his or her records within a reasonable time, but in any event not more than forty-five days after the request is made. Any inquiry pertaining to student records should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.
- Students may request a hearing to challenge the content of his or her education record on the grounds that the information contained in the education records is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the privacy rights of the student. Any complaint pertaining to student records should be made directly to the Office of the University Registrar, telephone 252-328-6747.
- Legitimate educational interest is a demonstrated “need to know” by those officials of an institution who act in the student’s educational interest. They include: faculty, administration, clerical and professional employees, student workers, and other persons who need student record information for the effective functioning of their office or position. The following criteria shall be taken into account in determining the legitimacy of a University official’s access to student’s records:
- The official must seek the information within the context of the responsibilities that he or she has been assigned, and
- The information sought must be used within the context of official University business and not for purposes extraneous to the official’s area of responsibility to the University.
- The university will not release any information from student records to anyone (except those agencies noted in item below) as permitted by the Act - 34 CFR § 99.31) without the prior written consent of the student. The consent must specify the records or information to be released, the reasons for the release, and the identity of the recipient of the records.
- Information from the student’s records may be released without the written consent of the student in the following situations:
- in compliance with a court order or lawfully issued subpoena;
- requests from school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the information (a school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position, as determined by the Office of the University Registrar, including student workers);
- requests from other departments or educational agencies who have legitimate educational interest in the information, including persons or companies with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, Higher One or The National Student Clearinghouse);
- requests from officials of other colleges or universities at which the student intends to enroll or has enrolled, provided the student is furnished with a copy, if he or she so requests, so that he or she may have an opportunity to challenge the contents of the record;
- requests in connection with a student’s financial aid;
- requests from parents of a dependent student as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or
- requests from appropriate persons in connection with an emergency if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
Additional circumstances may exist to permit the release without student consent within the applicable regulations.
A student has the right to file a complaint at any time with the US Department of Education. However, it is expected that the student normally would exhaust the available administrative remedies for relief according to the university grievance procedures before filing such a complaint.
Change of Name and Address
It is the obligation of every student to notify the Office of the Registrar of any change in name or address in writing. Students may change their address via Banner Self Service (https://pirateport.ecu.edu/portal/, then click on the Banner Self Service link) using their Pirate ID and passphrase. Failure to do so can cause serious delay in communication with the student.
Release of Directory Information
The university routinely makes available in an annually updated printed directory and in an online directory certain information about its students. This policy is for the convenience of students, parents, other members of the university community, and the general public. In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the university will continue this policy of releasing directory information, including the following: the student’s name, address (including e-mail address), telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institute attended by the student. If any student does not wish this directory information released without prior consent, the student must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing within seven days after registration day of the current term of enrollment.