Academic Affairs
Graduate Catalog 2008-09

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Online Distance Education

East Carolina University has been a leader in distance education in North Carolina for more than 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. Early on, ECU recognized the potential of online learning, 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 who are concerned about balancing the rigors of an academic workload with full-time employment or family obligations.

Online courses are typically delivered using course management systems such as Blackboard or Moodle. 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. 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. 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.

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.

Students opting to complete their degrees with online distance education typically increase their skills and comfort level with technology and online delivery of information, while strengthening their self-discipline, and organizational and time management skills. The format is ideal for giving students heightened independence in the pursuit of their higher 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 required for face-to-face courses.

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

Tuition rates and up-to-date listings of distance education course offerings by semester can be found at

Online Degree and Certificate Programs

Graduate Degrees

Business Administration (MBA)
Construction Management (MCM)
Criminal Justice (MS)
Education (MAEd)
(Must hold a current North Carolina teaching license.)
Art Education
Birth-Kindergarten Education
Business Education
Health Education
Instructional Technology Education
Science Education
Special Education
Educational Administration and Supervision (EdS)
English (MA)
Multicultural and Transnational Literatures Concentration
Technical and Professional Communication Concentration
Environmental Health (MSEH)
Health Education (MA)
Instructional Technology (MS)
Library Science (MLS)
Music Education (MM) **
Nursing (MSN)
Adult Nurse Practitioner Concentration**
Clinical Nurse Specialist Concentration
Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration**
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Concentration
Nurse Education Concentration
Nursing Leadership Concentration
Nutrition (MS)
Occupational Safety (MS)
Psychology, General (MA) **
Technology Systems (MS)
Computer Networking Management Concentration
Digital Communications Concentration
Industrial Distribution and Logistics Concentration
Information Security Concentration
Manufacturing Systems Concentration
Performance Improvement Concentration
Quality Systems Concentration
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 Administration
Health Care Management
Health Informatics
Information Assurance
Lean Six Sigma
Multicultural and Transnational Literatures
Performance Improvement
Professional Communication
Security Studies
Special Endorsement in Computer Education
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
Instructional Technology Specialist – Computers
**Some on-campus attendance required.