Jul 14, 2024  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Requirements for Degrees

The degrees described immediately below are offered in more than one college, school, or department, and the requirements set forth are limited to those that apply in every school and department offering these degrees. Additional requirements particular to each major field precede the list of courses offered in each academic unit. The description of a degree that is offered in only one academic unit is not included here. It precedes the list of courses in that academic unit.

Students should direct questions regarding specific course requirements to the dean, director, chairperson, or graduate adviser in their academic units. The Graduate School will assist in answering other questions.

Only 5000-level courses and other graduate-level courses apply toward graduate degrees or CAS programs. At least half of the credit for the master’s degree must be earned in courses for graduates only, numbering 6000 or above.

Additional requirements applicable to all graduate students are explained in the Academic Regulations  section of this catalog.

The university does not award degrees solely because a student successfully completed the required courses. Violations of the student Code of Conduct, including both academic and nonacademic violations, may result in a degree not being awarded. For example, when the student has disciplinary charges pending, the degree may be withheld or the awarding of the degree may be delayed.

Doctoral Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy

PhD students must demonstrate their ability to undertake scholarly research by writing a dissertation reporting the results of an original investigation, by passing a series of written and oral candidacy examinations in the field of specialization and related areas of knowledge, and by successfully defending the dissertation.

Graduate students cannot take 4000-level courses or lower as part of the credit-hour requirement. A successful preliminary comprehensive assessment (written and oral components) must be passed.

NOTE: All PhD students must attain candidacy for the degree within six (6) calendar years. All degree requirements must be completed within ten (10) calendar years.

Professional Doctoral Degree

Professional doctoral students are expected to emphasize didactic and clinical studies and include a basic structure of coursework, qualifying experiences, and capstone experiences. East Carolina University currently offers four professional doctoral degrees: the doctor of audiology (AUD), doctor of physical therapy (DPT), doctor of dental medicine (DMD) and the doctor of medicine (MD). Often, professional doctoral students participate in a practicum experience as well. The practicum culminates in an extensive written report that demonstrates a command of the relevant scholarly literature and links it to the specific clinical or practical experience. The written report is subject to a final defense.

The following are the general minimum requirements for a professional doctoral degree:

  1. Baccalaureate or master’s degree from accredited institutions.
  2. A minimum number of specified semester hours beyond the master’s degree or a minimum number of semester hours beyond the baccalaureate degree.
  3. Successful completion of written and oral examinations.
  4. Research concentrations with experiences in a discipline content-area, research ethics, Research internship, and a dissertation (or capstone experience); or
  5. Clinical concentrations with various clinical placements and a clinical examination defense.

NOTE: All professional doctoral students must attain candidacy for the degree within six (6) calendar years. All degree requirements must be completed within ten (10) calendar years.

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

The doctor of education in educational leadership (EdD) degree is designed to develop skills and abilities for individuals to resolve educational issues and problems. Program studies include leadership theory, human resource development, organizational theory, policy analysis, planning studies, curriculum and instructional leadership, and political systems analysis. The degree prepares senior level administrators for leadership positions in public schools or in higher education. A minimum of 60-semester hours beyond a master’s degree is required. Requirements include a research-based dissertation completed under the direction of an appropriate faculty member, as well as a supervised internship experience.

Candidates seeking the EdD with a focus on public school administration must hold Level I licensure in administration or supervision. Upon completion of the program, individuals are eligible to upgrade previously held licenses. Individuals holding administration license (012, class M or class AP) and/or (011, class AS) are eligible for (012, class DP) and superintendent license (011, class DS). Individuals holding supervision license (113, class S) are eligible for curriculum-instructional specialist (113, class D). Candidates seeking the EdD with a concentration in higher education administration are not required to hold a previous license and are not eligible for North Carolina license in administration or supervision upon completion of the program.

In addition, it is desirable for all candidates for the EdD program to have three years of successful leadership experience.

Master’s Degrees

Master of Arts and Master of Science

A minimum of 30 s.h. is required for the master of arts and master of science degrees.

The goal of the MA and MS degree programs is to provide the student with a well-rounded and in-depth understanding of the subject matter. Graduate core course requirements for individual degree programs are described in corresponding catalog sections. It is expected that elective course work will be planned with the student to achieve career goals. In some programs students may take courses in a minor field or in several fields related to their major interest. The detailed elective course requirements for each program is left to the discretion of the departments and schools; the decision on these matters is to be made by the student’s graduate program director or committee in consultation with the student involved.

When required by a particular program, the thesis represents extended research in some area of the major field. Three to six semester hours of credit are allowed for the thesis, which may be a part of the semester hours from the major field. The writing of the thesis and distribution of copies must conform to the general requirements of the Graduate School. For more information, view Thesis/Dissertation: Research, Examination, Preparation, and Delivery .

Master of Arts in Education

The master of arts in education degree (MAEd) is offered by the College of Education, the College of Fine Arts and Communication, and the College of Health and Human Performance. The MAEd requires a minimum of 36-39 s.h. credit, depending on the teaching area. School and departmental program descriptions provide information on specific programs. The MAEd (other than the MAEd in adult education) leads to advanced teacher licensure if the candidate qualifies.

The consolidated MAEd offered in the College of Education comprises teaching areas as follows: business education, English education, elementary education, health education, history education (social studies licensure), instructional technology education, middle grades education, physical education, science education, and special education. The college also offers MAEds in adult education and mathematics education. The MAEd in art education is offered through the College of Fine Arts and Communication and the MAEd in birth through kindergarten and the MAEd in career and technical education through the College of Health and Human Performance. The master of music in music education is offered through the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

For most programs, a thesis is optional for the master of arts in education degree. However, a school or department may require theses in certain programs. If a thesis is written, it will count as 3 or 6 s.h. of credit and must meet the thesis requirements of the Graduate School. For more information, view Thesis/Dissertation: Research, Examination, Preparation, and Delivery .

Master of Arts in Teaching

The College of Education also offers the master of arts in teaching (MAT) with teaching field options as follows: business education, elementary education, English education, family and consumer sciences education, health education, history education, middle grades education, music education, physical education, science education, and special education. The College of Fine Arts and Communication, the College of Health and Human Performance, the College of Human Ecology and departments in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences offer subject matter courses and content specific methods courses as well as supervise interns in specific teaching areas. The MAT is a 39 s.h. degree of which 9 s.h. are internship. The MAT is issued as a first license and successful completion of the MAT leads to teaching licensure at the A level.

Master of School Administration (MSA)

The master of school administration degree (MSA) is designed to prepare individuals to become school leaders. Program studies include positive impact on student learning and development, teacher empowerment and leadership, community involvement and engagement, organizational management, school culture and safety, school improvement, and leadership skill application. The program consists of 42-semester hours (including a one-year internship experience) and is designed to allow full-time or part-time study. With successful completion of the appropriate licensure exam, the MSA may lead to license in the areas of administration North Carolina principal license (012, class P) and supervision North Carolina curriculum instructional specialist level I license (113, class S).

Candidates for the MSA program should have entry-level school license and a minimum of three years teaching/public school experience. For additional information concerning admission, contact the Department of Educational Leadership or view the departmental Web Site .

Educational Specialist Certificate of Advanced Study

Intermediate degrees requiring at least 30 s.h. of work beyond the master’s degree are offered in the areas of educational administration and supervision and school psychology. Applicants must hold an appropriate master’s degree from an accredited institution.


Licensure for teachers in North Carolina is dependent upon a competency-based teacher education program. Licensure requirements may exceed degree requirements. Applicants adding a new area of certification to an existing license must take the appropriate specialty area exam of the PRAXIS. When the credits and experiences have been properly planned, coordinated, and implemented, the dean of the College of Education or his or her designee approves the issuance of the proper teaching, counselor, or administrative license. Out-of-state applicants who do not have a teaching license and instate teachers who are changing, upgrading, and adding fields or subjects to their present licenses must submit their credentials to the appropriate academic department or school and to the dean of the College of Education for evaluation in terms of the competency-based teacher education program for North Carolina.

In order to be recommended for North Carolina licensure, initial and advanced teaching candidates must successfully complete an electronic evidence portfolio demonstrating proficiency on the NC Professional Teaching Standards.