Academic Affairs
Graduate Catalog 2007-08


Online Distance Education

East Carolina University has been a leader in distance education in North Carolina for sixty years. In the years since the inception of its first distance education program, the university has expanded both its offerings as well as the areas that it serves. ECU recognized the potential of online learning early, 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 sixty 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, and the level of coursework, required readings, and examinations are the same for online courses as there are for their on-campus counterparts. 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 a number of people, particularly those that are concerned about balancing the rigors of an academic workload with full-time employment or family obligations. East Carolina University offers a number of its degree and certificate programs online, making them accessible to individuals who might otherwise have difficulty with pursuing additional education.

In addition to increased skill and comfort with technology and online delivery of information, a distance education student also strengthens their self-discipline, organization, and time management skills. The format is ideal for allowing students independence in pursuit of their 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 are required from both student and instructor as are required for face-to-face courses.

Online courses are typically delivered using course management systems such as Blackboard, Moodle, or Sakai. These formats have been selected due to their ease of use for both student and instructor, and they have been used extensively for delivery of distance education coursework. In an online course, students and instructors communicate via text-based discussion forums, where students can access their coursework as well as read and respond to information presented by the instructor. Some courses include real-time electronic discussions that take place at a scheduled time, with students engaging their peers and instructor in conversation about course material.

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.

As with on-campus sections, information such as syllabus and schedule of assignments are made available to students within the first few days of the semester for online courses.

Up-to-date listings of distance education course offerings by semester, as well as instructions for how to search for a particular course, are available at the Division of Continuing Studies’ website: Tuition information for residents and non-residents are available at the division’s website, with current rates provided for undergraduate and graduate credits:

Full-time campus students that 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. Graduate rates will apply to those students that are admitted to East Carolina University as non-degree seeking graduate students or those students that are pursuing graduate degrees or certificates of advanced study.

Online Degree and Certificate Programs

Undergraduate Degree-Completion Programs *

Business Education (BSBE)
Birth through Kindergarten Teacher Education (BS)
Communication (Media Studies Concentration) (BS)
Education (BS)
Middle Grades (BS)
Special Education (BS)
Finance (BSBA)
Health Information Management (BS)
Health Services Management (BS)
Hospitality Management (BS)
Industrial Technology (BS)
Bioprocess Manufacturing
Industrial Distribution and Logistics
Industrial Supervision
Information and Computer Technology
Manufacturing Systems
Information Technologies (BSBE)
Nursing (RN to BSN)
* Allow students with college credit to complete the last half of the degree via distance education.

Graduate Degrees

Business Administration (MBA)
Healthcare Management
Hospitality Management
Management Information Systems
Supply Chain Management
Construction Management (MCM)
Criminal Justice (MS)
Education (Made)
Art Education *
Business Education *
Health Education *
Instructional Technology *
Science Education *
Special Education *
* Must hold a current North Carolina teaching license

English (Technical and Professional Communication Concentration) (MA)
Health Education (MA)
Instructional Technology (MS)
Library Science (MLS)
Music Education (MM) **
Nursing (MSN)
Adult Nurse Practitioner **
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Family Nurse Practitioner **
Nurse Midwifery **
Nurse Education
Nursing Leadership
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Nutrition (MS)
Occupational Safety (MS)
Psychology (MA) **
Technology Systems (MS)
Computer Networking Management
Digital Communications
Information Security
Industrial Distribution and Logistics
Manufacturing Systems
Performance Improvement
Quality Systems
Software Engineering (MS)
Speech, Language and Auditory Pathology (MS) **
Vocational Education (MS)

Graduate Certificate Programs

Assistive Technology
Community College Instruction
Computer Network Professional
Distance Instruction
Health Care Management
Information Assurance
Multicultural and Transnational Literature
Performance Improvement
Professional Communication
Security Studies
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

Add-on Licensure

Driver’s Education
Preschool **
Instructional Technology Specialist – Computers
** Partial on-campus attendance required.