Graduate Programs

Assistantships and Remissions

Assistantships may only be awarded to graduate students enrolled full-time (9 s.h.) in campus-based courses within the Department of English at East Carolina University. Assistantship eligibility does not extend to students who have been admitted by exception, non-degree seeking students, or distance education students.

A full-time graduate assistantship (20 hours per week, Fall and Spring semesters) will be worth a minimum of $9,000. Graduate assistants should not work more than twenty hours per week during the academic year. Graduate assistants are limited to twenty-five hours per week in the fall and spring semesters in any combination of appointments: GA/GRA/GTA, self-help, College Work-Study, or EPA/SPA. Foreign students are limited to twenty hours per week, no exceptions (this is a federal requirement).

Annual (Fall and Spring) assistantship amounts for the 2013-2014 academic year within the Department of English provided $10,500 for first-year MA students (20 hours of work per week) and $13,500 for students awarded teaching assistantships during their second year. Assistantship funds are allocated based upon the English Department's established rate. MA students are responsible for fees and tuition (approximately $6,000 for the 2013-2014 academic year). Students are invited to apply for these competitive assistantships once they are admitted to the program. Some out-of-state students will be eligible to receive in-state tuition.

Employees at other state agencies may not hold a graduate assistantship.  (Employees of the North Carolina Community College System are exempt from this restriction.)

Full-time campus-based students benefit from assistantships that include working in the writing studio/center as consultants, teaching writing foundations courses, and serving as editorial/writing assistants on scholarly projects and department journals or community engagement projects.

Students are ineligible for assistantships if they are not registered by census day.  Census day is defined as the day that enrollment is captured and, concurrently, how ECU's funding is awarded. Anyone on an assistantship should be registered on or before the last day to add classes each semester.

In order for graduate assistants to be exempt from FICA tax, they must have a minimum registration of 4 hours for the fall and spring semesters and 3 hours in the summer. If the GA is registered for less than the stated hours, FICA will be withheld.

Students should not receive assistantship support for more than five semesters (excluding summer sessions). Students in doctoral programs should not receive assistantship support for more than ten semesters (excluding summer sessions).

Teaching assistants assigned primary responsibility for the administration, instruction, and evaluation of students enrolled in courses must have satisfactorily completed a minimum of 18 semester hours of English graduate course work and successfully completed ENGL 6625. These students will also receive in-service training, will be under the direct supervision of the Director of Composition, and will be evaluated each semester.

There are a limited number of out-of-state tuition remissions, which cover the out-of-state portion of the student's tuition. The remissions are highly competitive, and each student is awarded the remission via their respective graduate program. The minimum criteria for eligibility are:

  • full-time enrollment (9 credit hours in Fall and Spring semesters);
  • campus-based enrollment (at least one campus course in Fall and Spring semesters);
  • hold a full-time assistantship at ECU (20 hrs/wk); and
  • a 3.0 overall GPA or a 3.0 senior year GPA.

The prospective student is strongly advised to apply to their graduate program as early as possible in order to be considered for these awards. For more information, please contact Dr. Andrea Kitta, Director of Graduate Studies in English (, or her assistant (

Scholarships and Awards

This award is named for Debbie O'Neal, an instructor in the English Department, who died in a plane accident in 2013. She was passionate about linguistics and TESOL, working on many projects involving language variation and educating people on language. The memorial award is funded by Carolina TESOL in recognition of her contributions to the TESOL community. The amount of the award is generally $500. Students are nominated by instructors in the Department of English. Any graduate and undergraduate student with an interest in linguistics/TESOL is eligible, but preference will be given to those students with a declared interest in linguistics/TESOL (such as an undergraduate student with a linguistics minor or a MA student with concentration in Linguistics or TESOL).

The $2,000 Friends of English Scholarship will be awarded in two installments ($1,000 in the Fall, $1,000 in the Spring).

To be considered for the scholarship, students must be (1) enrolled full-time, (2) pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in English, and (3) maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA. Applications will only be accepted through Academic Works, and each applicant must submit a personal statement.

The deadline for this scholarship is in January. See the Scholarships page for details.

Academic Works

English Scholarships are available!  There are some excellent funding opportunities for undergraduates and graduate students.

To get started, visit ECUAWard at  Sign in with your PirateID and Passphrase.  You first must complete a general application.

You can find instructions here:

There is also a quick video on the application process located here:

The general application will ask you questions about your involvement in campus and community service activities, your future educational plans, career goals, etc.  Your permanent mailing address, major, GPA, hours completed, etc. will be imported from Banner, so you will not be required to enter that information.

Once you have completed the general scholarship application, including your electronic signature, you may be prompted to “Start Applying” and shown a list of recommended opportunities that require further review to determine your eligibility.  Please take your time and look through this list and, if interested, “apply”.

All applicants who submit a completed application will be notified of their application status via their ECU email account in the Spring semester.

Please direct any questions about the scholarship process to Dr. Erin Frost, Chair of the English Department’s Student Scholarships and Awards Committee.

Graduate Scholar awards are available to highly qualified students applying to master's programs for fall semester enrollment.  Students selected for this award receive $4,000 toward tuition/fees per year for a maximum of two years in addition to a full-time graduate assistantship.  In order to be eligible to apply, a student must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.3 and a minimum average GRE verbal + quantitative score of 52 percentile or GMAT or MAT of comparable percentile rank.  Doctoral students and students currently enrolled are not eligible.

To be considered for an award, please contact Dr. Andrea Kitta, Director of Graduate Studies in English (, or her assistant (  Graduate program directors apply on behalf of prospective students and notify prospective students at the time an offer of admission is made.  Students must notify the program director of their decision to accept or reject the offer of admission and the Graduate Scholar Award in writing (email will suffice) by April 15.

The Department of English Student Scholarships and Awards Committee will be accepting applications for the Ebbs Graduate Fellowship in English from May 1 until May 25, 2018. The award amount is $1,500 (half in Fall 2018 and half in Spring 2019). Applicants must demonstrate academic merit (3.5 GPA in undergraduate and graduate courses), show a commitment to the study of English, and be enrolled full-time in a graduate degree program in English at ECU in the award semesters. The fellowship may be renewed one time if good academic standing is maintained and if funds are available. Apply online through the ECUAWard portal (see instructions). The application deadline is May 25, 2018. Questions can be directed to the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Andrea Kitta (