Jun 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Distance Education/ECU Online

East Carolina University has been a leader in distance education in North Carolina for over seventy years. ECU recognized the potential of online learning and was one of the first universities in the nation to offer degrees entirely over the internet. ECU currently offers more than 100 degrees and certificate programs online in fields such as business, education, health care, and technology, among others.

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

Distance Education Students

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

Online courses are typically delivered using learning management systems selected for their ease of use for students and instructors. As with on-campus sections, syllabi and schedule of assignments for online courses become available to students within the first few days of the semester. Assignments and homework are submitted electronically. All necessary materials are available within the learning management system. When administered online, students take examinations during a prescribed timeframe. 

In an online course, students and instructors communicate in discussion forums. Some courses include synchronous “chat” sessions so students and instructors may interact in real time about course material. Students may have the opportunity, dependent on course curriculum, to work in groups where they benefit from the professional experiences of their peers.

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

Information about the distance education programs offered at ECU can be found on the ECU Online website. Helpful links to information regarding admission, registration, tuition, and financial aid may also be found there. Academic regulations and policies, university calendars, and student services described in this catalog are applicable to all students, except where otherwise indicated. All students are required to have access to a computer. Some departments may require specific types (see Student Computer Requirements for details).

From admission to graduation, a system of student support services is available to assist all distance/ECU Online students. The online support systems give distance education students access to resources without having to come to campus. A dedicated email 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 ECU Online student services area for assistance by emailing onlineservices@ecu.edu or calling 1-800-398-9275.

Students enrolled in online distance education classes through ECU are responsible for purchasing the required proctoring equipment and for payment of any online proctoring fees. Proctoring fees and equipment requirements can vary based on program and/or course. Students should check with program areas to learn about specific requirements. There may be additional fees associated with online and face to face courses for verification of student identity and integrity for proctored examinations. The systems used for verification of student identity and integrity for proctored examinations may require the use of webcams, audio, recording of the computer screen and the student, capturing of other personal information, such as student identification cards, and the storing of this collected data for review of security and integrity of the examinations(s). As part of the exam experience, the student may be asked to comply with reasonable proctoring methods, including a scan of computer monitors and the immediate desktop testing area with your webcam. By registering for courses, the student is consenting to the use of these systems and the collection of this personal information for the purpose of proctoring and maintaining the integrity of university examinations.

Online Degrees, Certificates, and Minors

Undergraduate Degree Completion Programs

The following programs allow students with college credit to complete the last half of their degrees online.  Applicable program concentrations are italicized. For more information, visit www.online.ecu.edu or email onlineservices@ecu.edu.

* This partnership is a degree completion model designed for students transferring from a North Carolina community college. Interested students should contact the regional coordinator for their area to learn about specific application deadlines and requirements prior to applying to ECU. For more information, visit https://education.ecu.edu/partnership/.

** This is a tailored, interdisciplinary degree program. 

Undergraduate Certificates

The following undergraduate certificates have been approved to be offered online. Check with the departments offering certificates to check on availability of delivery methods by academic year and semester.   

Undergraduate Minors

The following minors are offered online. Check with the departments offering minors to check on availability of delivery methods by academic year and semester.