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The catalog of East Carolina University, issued early in the summer of each year, is intended to give the description of the work of the university and such a digest of its regulations as is needed by students. Although the courses announced and the regulations given are fairly continuous from year to year, neither of them may be valid after the issuance of a new catalog.  Some courses in sections 7 and 8 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 adviser and departments concerning availability issues. While general education credit is indicated for some courses, general education credit may also be available for other courses. Contact the offering department or the Office of Undergraduate Studies for clarification. Courses in a student’s major prefix area may not count toward his or her general education requirements.

Ordinarily, a student may expect to be allowed to earn a degree in accordance with the requirements of the curriculum described in the catalog in force 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. If a student elects to meet the requirements of a catalog other than the one in force at the time of his or her original entrance, he or she must meet all requirements of the selected catalog.  A student who changes 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 force at the time of their entrance to East Carolina University.  During the period that the student is assigned to the General College, 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 General College will apply when he or she leaves the General College and declares a major unless (1) the student elects a later catalog; (2) the student changes his or her program after initial transfer from the General College; or (3) accreditation requirements for the university have been changed.  No student will be permitted to graduate under a catalog issued more than five years prior to the date of his or her graduation.

Academic advisers 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 vice chancellor for academic affairs has authority on all established curricular matters.


The number of semester hours required for a baccalaureate degree at East Carolina University is typically 126 s.h. or fewer.  (Any exceptions are indicated immediately following the name of the degree in the undergraduate catalog.)  Students who satisfactorily complete an average of 15-16 credit 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 credit 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 and second 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.


The university maintains approximately 100 official bulletin boards at key locations on campus and also maintains an official bulletin board on the ECU home page on the Internet. Through consecutively numbered official announcements,  academic departments and other divisions of the university communicate essential and timely information to students; it is the responsibility of the student to read and know the contents of those announcements which affect his or her program.


Students should refer to the requirements of their respective schools or departments for information about their programs of study and confer with their advisers 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 advanced standing.


To be admitted officially, a student must apply, be accepted, and receive a letter of acceptance .  The student then reports to the office of the school or department to which he or she has been assigned.  A faculty adviser will supply further information.  To register, a student must complete an on line registration schedule and have it approved by the adviser and entered into the computer via a terminal operator, telephonic registration, or web registration. Telephonic and web registration requires registration codes obtained from the adviser.  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) on the dates prescribed in the university calendar. 

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 advisers to review their records and plan their courses for the upcoming semester.  The student will complete an on line registration schedule and have it approved by the adviser and entered into the computer via a terminal operator, telephonic registration, or web registration. (New freshmen and transfers entering fall and spring semesters register after completion of the appropriate orientation session.)


During Schedule Change Period

During the first five days of classes (Mondays through Fridays) of the fall and spring semesters, a student may drop or add a course or courses to his or her schedule.  The student should discuss schedule changes with his or her adviser prior to making the changes via terminal operator, web, or telephonic registration.  On the day following the five-day schedule change period, a student may make final additions to his or her schedule. 

During the summer, the schedule change period is limited to the first two days of classes each term.  On the day following the two-day schedule change period, a student may make final additions to his or her schedule in accordance with the policies outlined above for the regular semesters.

After Schedule Change Period

During the first 40 percent of the regularly scheduled class meetings of a course (including the meeting for the final examination), a student may, at his or her own option, drop the course.  After consultation with his or her adviser, the student secures the signature of the adviser on the schedule change form and takes it to the Office of the Registrar for processing.  For regular semester-length courses, the drop period is limited to the first thirty days of classes of the semester.  For five-week block courses or regular summer term courses, the drop period is limited to the first ten days of classes for the semester or summer term.  The same 40 percent drop-period rule applies to block courses of other lengths as well.  It is the student’s responsibility to consult official university bulletin boards, documents, and/or the web to determine the appropriate drop period for such block courses.  Ordinarily, a student may drop up to four courses or a smaller prorated number in pursuit of a university degree.  (See Course Drop Allocations.)  Extenuating circumstances, however, can warrant consideration for drop by exception, as explained below.

Students may petition the dean of Undergraduate Studies for drops by exception (drops after the 40 percent drop period, drops beyond student’s allotted number, and drops not counted against the allotted number).  Poor performance in course work; missed deadlines; or a course grade’s adverse effect on the student’s grade point average, probationary standing, or other eligibility is not in itself a sufficient basis for exception.  Requests for exceptions will not be considered after the last regularly scheduled class meeting prior to the final examination for the course(s) in question except where earlier requests could not have been expected.  Petitions for drops by exception will typically be granted only for medical or counseling reasons related to the course(s) to be dropped and will be considered by the dean of Undergraduate Studies upon receipt of appropriate documentation.  Students whose petitions for drops by exception are denied by the dean of Undergraduate Studies may appeal the decision to the Student Academic Appellate Committee.


In pursuit of a degree at East Carolina University, a student may drop up to four courses.  The number of course drops is prorated on the student's credit hours (both ECU and transferred) at the time of implementation or the student's initial matriculation as follows:

First Undergraduate Degree

  0-29 s.h. of credit—4 course drops 60-89 s.h. of credit—2 course drops  
  30-59 s.h. of credit—3 course drops 90 or more s.h. of credit—1 course drop  

Second Undergraduate Degree

  A student who needs no more than 30 s.h. of credit—1 course drop  
  31-59 s.h. of credit—2 course drops 60 s.h. or more s.h.—3 course drops  

Students may use the drops during the designated course-drop period of each term; drops not used roll forward to the following term.


An undergraduate student is not permitted to select courses more than one classification level above the student's own classification. There are occasions, however, on which exceptions to this regulation may be deemed desirable and necessary by the student's adviser 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 adviser 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, chairperson of the department, or the dean of the school 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 6 s.h. 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.

Elective courses in any curriculum may be taken from any field and are decided upon in consultation with the adviser.


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.” Since most undergraduate degrees require 126 s.h., a student must average approximately 16 s.h. per term to graduate in four years. Students are encouraged to be mindful of this recommended course load when developing class schedules.

A student may take 18 s.h. of credit per semester without restrictions. With the approval of the adviser and the departmental chairperson or dean, a student who has earned an average of B in all work may take 19 or 20 s.h. per semester. The approval for extra-hour load must be signed on the registration form by the chairperson or dean concerned.

A student desiring to enroll for more than 20 s.h. must secure, in addition to the above signatures, approval from the dean of Undergraduate Studies.

A student may take 7 s.h. each summer term without restrictions; with the written approval of the dean of Undergraduate Studies, a student who has earned an average of B in all work may take extra hours.

A student with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 and in the semester or summer term of graduation may take extra hours with the approval of the departmental chairperson or dean and the dean of Undergraduate Studies.

It is suggested that students who work more than 20 hours per week carry no more than 9 s.h. of course work and that students who work 15-20 hours per week carry no more than 12 s.h. of course work.


Auditing  a course consists of attendance at classes and listening but taking no part in the class.  An auditor is not responsible for any assignments, nor is he or she allowed to take any tests or examinations.  However, in order to have the audited course recorded on the official transcript, a student must attend classes regularly.  An auditor may not enroll in a participation course (art classes, laboratories, etc.).  Under no circumstances will a grade be assigned, evaluations be made, or performance reports be issued on a student auditing a course.  Auditing a course or part of a course is contingent upon the approval of the instructor and the appropriate departmental chairperson or school dean. Students may not register to audit a course until the last day of the drop/add period. Persons who wish to attend university classes without earning credit must be admitted to the university before seeking approval to audit any course.  Individuals enrolled as nondegree undergraduate students will be assigned to the University College for assistance with registration.  The applicants shall then complete the prescribed procedure for registering through the Office of the Registrar and pay the audit fee to the cashier’s office before attendance in classes is permitted.

Students regularly enrolled in the university wishing to audit course(s) must initiate the approval process with their adviser.


Only under extenuating circumstances will a student be allowed to repeat a course in which he or she has earned a grade of C and then only with the written approval of his or her unit administrator and the dean of Undergraduate Studies.  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. 


A student is permitted to use the Grade Replacement Policy a maximum of three times for 1000- and 2000-level courses in which he or she has earned a grade of D or F.  For example, a student may replace a grade in three different courses or may replace a single course grade a maximum of three 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, for example, a course in the same academic discipline for which the repeated course is a prerequisite.

To replace a grade, the student must request a grade replacement on the on line registration form, the schedule change form, or the grade replacement form; register for the course during the registration period; and submit the form to the Office of the Registrar or the Office of Undergraduate Studies.  The form must be submitted no later than the last day to drop a course(s) or withdraw from school without grades of the semester in which the student wishes to implement the policy. 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 consideration for honors.  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 D, no additional credit hours will be awarded.

The Grade Replacement Policy is effective for courses originally taken fall 1994 and thereafter.


Students desiring to withdraw officially from the university should apply for withdrawal to the Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Success.  After the student has obtained the signatures of the various officials designated on the form, it must be submitted to the Office of the Assistant Vice chancellor for Student Success for final approval. Students withdrawing for medical/counseling reasons should complete the procedure within thirty days after the last class attendance. All other students withdrawing should complete this procedure immediately after the last class attendance.  After classes have ended, no withdrawal, except in the case of severe medical emergency, can be filed.

During the first thirty class days of a semester, a student may withdraw from school without receiving grades for courses in which he or she is enrolled.  After the first thirty class days, a student withdrawing from school shall receive a grade of F for all classes which he or she is failing at the time unless, in the judgment of the dean of Undergraduate Studies or the director of Continuing Studies, as appropriate, the failures were caused by circumstances beyond the student’s control.


A student who desires to change his or her program of study involving transfer from one college, school, or department of the university to another should complete the following:

  1. obtain from the current adviser the advising folder;
  2. have the academic record reviewed in the receiving department, the change of major/minor recorded in the student data base, and a new adviser assigned; and
  3. deliver the advising folder to the new adviser.

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