May 22, 2024  
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Distance Education

Online Distance Education

East Carolina University has been a leader in distance education in North Carolina for more than sixty 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. Since then, ECU has worked to offer more than 75 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 via e-mail or the class Web site, usually on a weekly basis, with all necessary materials made available via folders within the course management system. When administered electronically, 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 real-time “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 Web site ( You will also find helpful links to information regarding admissions, 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. Web-based 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 or calling 1-800-398-9275. The offices are located in the Self-Help Center, 301 Evans Street.

Full-time campus students who elect to add distance education course(s) to their schedule will incur additional tuition and fees for such coursework, in addition to their regular on-campus tuition. At this time the university does not impose any additional charges specifically related to verification of student identity. Students enrolled in distance education classes in which proctored exams are required may incur charges levied by the proctoring site they choose. Students may obtain a list of proctors located within their geographic area along with any associated fees on the UNC Online Academic Services website at this location

Online Degree and Certificate Programs

Add-On Licensure

Graduate Degrees

  • Adult Education (MAEd)
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Communication Sciences and Disorders (MS)**
  • Construction Management (MCM)
  • Criminal Justice (MS)
  • Educational Administration and Supervision (EdS)
  • English (MA)
  • Multicultural and Transnational Literatures Concentration
  • Technical and Professional Communication Concentration
  • Environmental Health (MSEH)
  • Health Education (MA)
  • Health Informatics and Information Management (MS)
  • Instructional Technology (MS)
  • Library Science (MLS)
  • Master of Arts in Education (MAEd)
  • (Must hold a current North Carolina teaching license)
  • Art Education
  • Birth-Kindergarten Education
  • Business Education
  • Family and Consumer Sciences Education
  • Health Education
  • Instructional Technology Education
  • Physical Education
  • Physical Education Pedagogy Concentration
  • Reading Education
  • Science Education\
  • Special Education
  • Music Education (MM)**
  • Nursing (MSN)
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Concentration**
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Health Concentration
  • Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration**
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Concentration
  • Nurse Midwifery Concentration**
  • Nursing Education Concentration
  • Nursing Leadership Concentration
  • Nutrition (MS)
  • Occupational Safety (MS)
  • Software Engineering (MS)
  • Technology Systems (MS)
  • Computer Networking Management Concentration
  • Digital Communications Concentration
  • Industrial Distribution and Logistics Concentration
  • Information Security Concentration
  • Manufacturing Systems Concentration
  • Performance Improvement Concentration
  • Quality Systems Concentration
  • Vocational Education (MS)

**Some on-campus attendance is required.

Graduate Certificate Programs

  • Assistive Technology
  • Community College Instruction
  • Community Health Center Administration
  • Computer Based Instruction
  • Computer Network Professional
  • Distance Learning and Administration
  • Health Care Administration
  • Health Care Management/MBA
  • Health Informatics
  • Information Assurance
  • Lean Six-Sigma Black-Belt
  • Multicultural and Transnational Literatures
  • Performance Improvement
  • Physical Education Clinical Supervision
  • Professional Communication
  • Security Studies
  • Special Endorsement in Computer Education
  • Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Virtual Reality in Education and Training
  • Web Site Developer

Post-Master’s Certificates

  • Adult Nurse Practitioner**
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Family Nurse Practitioner**
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Midwifery**
  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Leadership

**Some on-campus attendance is required.