Academic Affairs
Graduate Catalog 2007-08

East Carolina University is an equal educational opportunity institution. In keeping with this policy, the university makes no distinction in the admission of students or in any other of its activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, or disability.


Application packets for graduate degree programs include a completed application form, official transcripts of all prior academic work, letters of recommendation, appropriate standardized test scores, statement of residence, statement of purpose, and an application fee of fifty dollars (sixty dollars beginning with spring 2008).

Prospective students may apply simultaneously for more than one graduate degree program, but each application requires the submission of a complete application packet. An application may be downloaded and printed or completed and submitted at the Graduate School web site, Further information is available by telephoning the Graduate School at 252-328-6012.

Any individual applying or enrolled in the Graduate School must promptly notify the dean of the Graduate School in writing if any of the following occurs: any criminal charge; any disposition of a criminal charge; any type of military discharge other than honorable discharge; or any school, college, or university disciplinary action against the student. Failure to report any of the above actions is grounds for denial or withdrawal of admission to ECU as well as dismissal after enrollment.

The dates below are deadlines for receipt of the application form by the Graduate School. Early application is encouraged, particularly if application for an assistantship is contemplated. Students are encouraged to inquire about individual programs as early as possible since some programs have earlier deadlines and review applications only at fixed times during the year.

Session Deadline Session Deadline
Fall June 1 First Summer March 15
Spring October 15 Second Summer May 1

Master’s degree candidates planning to enroll in the fall who wish to be considered for out-of-state tuition waivers must submit applications by February 1. If applications are received after that date, waivers will be considered only as funds are available. Some programs have earlier deadlines. You should consult for earlier deadlines.


To qualify for regular admission to a graduate degree program an applicant must have a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting organization and have either an overall GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale on all undergraduate work or a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in either the undergraduate major or work taken during the senior year. A satisfactory standardized test score is also required for all programs. Applicants to the EdD program must also have a master’s degree from an accredited institution. Individual programs may have more stringent standards, and some need additional information and credentials. It is important that applicants discuss the process with the director of the program to which they apply as early as possible. Each graduate program decides on the admissibility of its students. Some programs will recommend admission by exception for a limited number of students who do not qualify for regular admission if the students have other offsetting strengths. Students with marginal credentials are advised to consult with the program director about their admissibility.

Applicants for admission to the Graduate School are required to complete a self-managed application prior to consideration for admission. Applications to the Graduate School may be submitted by the preferred method (online) or by mail. This application requires that the student manage the application process by completing the appropriate forms, gathering the necessary transcripts and letters of recommendation, and returning the forms as one package to the Graduate School. Graduate School applications can be acquired from the Graduate School’s home page

One official transcript from every college or university previously attended is required. The applicant must request a sealed copy of an official transcript from the registrar of each school attended. The student will forward the transcripts to the Graduate School as part of the self-managed application. Three letters of recommendation from persons who can attest to the applicant’s academic competence or ability to do graduate work must be collected by the student and included in the self-managed application sent to the Graduate School. The College of Business does not require letters of recommendation or a statement of purpose from its applicants.

Scores from a standardized test are required for admission to all graduate programs. Applicants must request the testing service to forward the results to the Graduate School. Examinations must have been taken within the past five years.

The general test of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is required for programs in anthropology, biology, molecular biology, chemistry, communication sciences and disorders, computer science, economics, English, environmental health, geography, geology, history (MA), physical therapy, physics, political science, psychology, public administration, sociology, speech-language and auditory pathology (MS), and all PhD programs.

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is required for the graduate programs in accounting and business administration.

The general test of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or the Miller Analogy Test (MAT) is accepted by all other master’s programs, including all MAEd programs, and the EdD program.

Many programs do not require entrance exam scores for holders of the master’s degree or more advanced degrees. However, biology, business administration, child development and family relations, communication sciences and disorders, counselor education, economics, educational leadership, exercise and sports science, health education, history, mathematics, molecular biology, nursing, psychology, public administration rehabilitation studies, social work, and speech-language and auditory pathology programs require entrance examination scores for all applicants.

The master of music degree with a major in education and all MAEd programs except adult education require North Carolina Teaching Licensure for admission.

The admissions requirements for graduate certificate programs depend upon the program. Some certificate programs require that the applicant be enrolled in a degree program while other certificate programs are designed for any person holding a baccalaureate degree. Credit earned while enrolled in a graduate certificate program may be transferred into a degree program with the approval of the department offering the degree program.

Applicants are admitted to degree and certificate programs only upon the issuance of a formal letter of admission by the Graduate School. Admission decisions are not made until the application portfolio is complete.

Requirements for admission to the summer session terms are the same as those for regular semesters of the academic year. However, some programs of study cannot be initiated in the summer session.

Students wishing to enroll in courses offered through the Division of Continuing Studies must be admitted to the university as a degree or non-degree student. Requirements for admission are the same as those for students enrolling on the main campus.

A graduate student in good standing at another institution may apply to take a specific graduate course or courses with-out furnishing transcripts and examination scores if the dean of the student’s graduate school supports such a request in writing. Students enroll as nondegree-seeking students.

Incomplete applications will be destroyed one year after the beginning date of the term of intended enrollment. Applicants may request that copies of transcripts be returned before the year is over, or they may request that their applications be continued for another year.

Nondegree Admission

The nondegree student classification is a temporary graduate classification. It may be used by those who need course credit for a post baccalaureate certificate or teacher licensure, who have expectations of enrolling in a degree or CAS program, or by those who desire professional or personal enrichment. To be allowed to enroll in the nondegree classification, a student must present a nondegree application supported by a transcript or other document showing a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

  1. Nondegree students are not eligible to take graduate courses in all programs. Nondegree students should seek the permission of the graduate director in the department offering the course(s) prior to attempting to enroll.
  2. A maximum of 9 s.h. of course work taken as a nondegree student may apply toward the credit requirement of the degree program.
  3. Credit earned while enrolled in a graduate certificate program may be transferred into a degree program with the approval of the department offering the degree program.
  4. Requests for degree credit for courses completed as a nondegree student are considered after admission to a graduate degree program. All nondegree course work accepted for degree credit must be approved by the chair of the student’s department. All requests for degree credit must be approved by the dean of the Graduate School.
  5. Course work taken as a nondegree student carries with it no implication that the student will be admitted to a degree program in the Graduate School.
  6. If credit for course work taken as a nondegree student is to be applied to a degree program, it must be satisfactorily incorporated within the applicable time frame for completion of all degree requirements.
  7. Nondegree students are expected to familiarize themselves with Graduate School policies and to seek further advice or clarification.

Nondegree application forms can be submitted electronically or downloaded from the Graduate School website at or mailed to the Graduate School, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353. Students should submit nondegree applications no later than one week prior to registration day. A $50 processing fee will be charged ($60 beginning spring 2008).

Early Admission to Graduate Studies

There are a variety of ways that ECU undergraduate students may be admitted to take graduate courses before completing the requirements for their undergraduate degree.

Integrated Bachelor's/Master's Program

This program allows ECU undergraduates with at least a 3.5 GPA to apply as juniors to an integrated bachelor’s/master’s program. Upon admission to the master’s degree program, the student can count up to 15 s.h. of graduate credit toward completion of the bachelor’s degree. Students participating in an integrated program earn the bachelor’s degree prior to completion of the master’s degree. Students may apply for the BA Psychology/MS Occupational Therapy Program, the BS Quantitative Economics/MS Applied Economics Programs, or the BS Exercise Physiology/DPT Physical Therapy programs. Other combinations will become available. Students should discuss their goals with their advisors and the Graduate School. Updated information about participating degree programs is available on the Succeed Sooner web site:

Accelerated Master's Degree Programs

ECU currently offers two accelerated master’s degree programs. These programs result in the awarding of one degree – the master’s.

The College of Nursing offers an accelerated RN/MSN program for transfer students who have a RN license but do not have an undergraduate degree. Students completing the RN/MSN do not receive the BSN degree. Students in the RN/MSN option must complete all general education and cognate requirements prior to beginning undergraduate nursing courses. Separate application is made to the graduate program in the first or second semester of study in the RN/MSN option. Students enrolled in the RN/MSN option must maintain a 3.0 GPA in the 15 s.h. of undergraduate nursing courses to be eligible to continue in this option. Admission to the RN/MSN option does not guarantee entry into a specific graduate concentration.

The Department of Occupational Therapy offers an accelerated MS in occupational therapy program. Students interested in this program enroll as freshmen in health services management and follow the specified plan of study in the health service management curriculum to complete required core undergraduate courses and prerequisites for the MS degree. Students apply for Graduate School in their junior year and may be admitted upon completion of the undergraduate plan of study – a minimum of 108 credits. Students will be awarded the MS in occupational therapy at end of five years completing a total of 162 credit hours.

Six-hour Rule

ECU seniors who are within 6 s.h. or less of completion of all undergraduate degree requirements may apply for admission to graduate degree programs. If admitted prior to the semester or summer term during which 6 s.h. or less and any remaining requirements must be completed, they may enroll in 5000- or 6000-level courses applicable to graduate degree requirements. Graduate courses taken under the “six hour rule” do not double count toward completion of the undergraduate degree.

Successful applicants must complete all remaining undergraduate degree requirements during the semester or summer term to which they are admitted. Failure to fulfill this requirement will result in cancellation of admission to graduate degree study and enrollment in any 6000-level courses will be invalidated.

Undergraduate/Nondegree Graduate Dual Enrollment

Senior undergraduate students at East Carolina University who posses at least a 3.5 GPA in their last 30 semester hours of completed ECU course work are eligible to enroll in the Graduate School as a non-degree student and complete up to 9 semester hours of graduate-level course work. Graduate courses taken under the dual enrollment arrangement do not count toward completion of the undergraduate degree. These courses are eligible to count toward the graduate degree upon approval of the department offering the degree program. This form of dual enrollment is intended to give a student contemplating future admission to a graduate program the opportunity to take graduate courses while still an undergraduate. Permission must be obtained from the student’s undergraduate advisor, the chairman of the department offering the courses, and the Graduate School prior to admission into the Graduate School.

Official Withdrawal

When a graduate student drops all courses in a semester in which he or she is enrolled the student must officially withdraw. Students registered on campus must apply for official withdrawal to the Office of Registrar. Students registered through Continuing Studies must apply for withdrawal to the Office of Student Services in the Division of Continuing Studies. 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. A graduate student withdrawing by the last day for graduate students to drop courses without grades as given in the Graduate School calendar will not receive grades for the semester. A graduate student withdrawing from school after the last day for graduate students to drop courses without grades shall receive a grade of F for all classes which he or she is failing at the time unless, in the judgement of the dean of the Graduate School, the failures were caused by circumstances beyond the student’s control.


Any student who interrupts his or her graduate program by not registering for courses on or off campus during any one semester of the regular academic year must apply for readmission before being allowed to resume graduate work. Applications for readmission are to be made on forms furnished by the Graduate School. There is no fee for readmission. These applications should be presented to the Graduate School at least one week prior to the opening of registration for the semester or summer term in which the student wishes to resume graduate work. Degree or CAS students who do not enroll on or off campus during the semester or summer term to which they were admitted must file an updated application. Forms can be obtained from the Graduate School office. There is no fee for filing an updated application.

When a graduate program is interrupted for one calendar year, the student will not be readmitted unless he or she meets admission requirements current at the time of the request for readmission. The Graduate School Administrative Board will consider requests to waive this rule in specific cases when a student’s major school or department recommends waiver.

A student who has had a graduate program terminated by the Graduate School for any reason may apply for readmission to the terminated program or to another program. In either case, the student will complete an application for readmission, which will be forwarded to the academic program for its review. If the graduate faculty of the academic program does not approve readmission, they will convey that decision in writing to the Graduate School office and the dean of the Graduate School will communicate that decision to the student in writing (copy to the director of graduate studies). If the graduate faculty of the academic program wishes to admit the student, they will forward that decision in writing to the Graduate School Administrative Board for review. The academic program must state the specific conditions the students must meet to be admitted and complete the program. If approved by the Administrative Board, the dean of the Graduate School will communicate the decision of the graduate faculty and the Administrative Board to the student in writing (copy to the director of graduate studies).

Medical History/Immunizations

All new students (degree and non-degree) will receive a report of medical history form with the letter of acceptance. This medical history form, which includes a record of required immunizations, must be completed and returned to the Student Health Service prior to the beginning of classes. Students will not be allowed to attend classes if an up to date record of immunizations is not on file with Student Health Service. The medical history form is available at

Online/off campus/satellite students/ or students taking four credit hours or less are exempt from the immunization requirement. The exemption is automatic at the time of registration.


The chairperson of the department or director of graduate programs in which the candidate wishes to enroll will consult with the student concerning any deficiencies in his or her undergraduate program. Required make-ups may be removed at East Carolina University or at any other institution accredited by a regional accrediting organization.

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.

Program Modifications for Individual Students

It is important to note that published descriptions of college, school, or departmental graduate programs establish only minimum requirements. Every school or department possesses and reserves the right to require individual students to enroll in additional courses or perform additional tasks in order to meet school or departmental requirements for breadth and quality in the completion of graduate programs.

While such modifications are ordinarily made a matter of record at the beginning of a student’s program, schools and departments have the prerogative to make changes in a student’s program at any time prior to graduation.