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Master of Arts in International Studies

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International Students


Where can I find information about the application process and an application form for international students?

Consult the webpage of the ECU Graduate School.

What is admission deadline for the MA in International Studies Program for the international students?

March 1 for fall semester and September 15 for spring semester.

What is min/average TOEFL score?

The Internet-based version of the TOEFL test (TOEFL iBT) is now in use. This newest version will provide better information about the test takers ability to communicate in English in an academic setting. The new test includes speaking and emphasizes integrated skills. The test will be administered through the Internet at secure test centers providing more access to students.


Because of the new exam a new scoring scale will be implemented. Five scores will be provided on each score report. The scores are: Reading, Listening, Writing, Speaking and a total score. Each section is scored on a 0-30 scale. The total score is the sum of the four sections with a 0-120 scale.


In setting a new standard score for the Graduate School at East Carolina University we have examined the score comparison established by ETS. We have decided to set a minimum score of 20 on each of the four sections with a total score of 80. This would be in comparison to the 213 computer based score and 550 paper test our current requirement. As this is the first test with a speaking section we may decide, in the future, to require a higher speaking score for TA’s.


This test will be used for all students now taking TOEFL. If a student has previously taken TOEFL we will use that test in evaluating admissibility.

What are the ECU code for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and TOEFL?

East Carolina University's GRE code is 5180.

What is the minimum GRE score acceptable for admission?

In order to be eligible for out-of-state tuition remissions, international students must have a score of at least 1000 on the GRE and a 3.0 GPA. See below for more information about financial assistance.

What are the current tuition costs and fees?

For current tuition and fees, consult the Cashier’s webpage.


Are there any other costs?


International students are required to purchase medical insurance. Contact the Office of International Affairs for more information.


All students who want to park on campus must purchase a parking permit. For more information contact the Parking Office.

What kind of financial aid is available for the international students?

Graduate Assistantships:  The MA in International Studies Program awards a limited number of graduate assistantships. Graduate assistantships are available from other university units as well, e.g., International Affairs, Honors Program, Office of Community Engagement, Joyner Library. The director of the MA in International Studies Program assists international students in securing graduate assistantships. The assistantships usually require that the student be enrolled full-time (i.e. at least 9 s.h.). International graduate students are not permitted to work more than 20hours/ week as graduate assistants.


Out-of-State Tuition Remissions: 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 are awarded by the MA in International Studies Program at the time that students are admitted. The minimum criteria for eligibility are a 3.0 overall GPA or a 3.0 senior year GPA, and an acceptable score on the standardized exam (ex. GRE (V,Q,A) 1000; MAT 50; or GMAT 500).  The prospective student is strongly advised to apply to the MA in International Studies Program as early as possible in order to be considered for these awards.


Financial Aid: Most graduate financial aid comes from the US federal government in the form of low-interest loans and work-study opportunities. These assistant programs are not available to international students.


Other Sources of Financial Support:  There are other sources of support from special US government programs such the Edmund Muskie Fellowship and private foundations. One search engine that is often used to locate these sources is the Community of Science (COS).  Another great source is Institute of International Education (IIE).


Arriving and living in Greenville

When do students have to arrive? Enrollment dates? Beginning of the classes?

International students should try to arrive in Greenville at least one week before classes start so that they will have time to find housing, meet with their advisor, meet with the international student advisor in the Office of International Affairs, the Graduate School’s international student advisor, register for classes and take care of all other paperwork. An international student orientation session is usually held during the week before classes begin. The Graduate School also has an orientation session during that week.

The important dates on the academic calendar can be found on the Faculty Senate Academic Calendar web page.

Does ECU provide on-campus housing for the international graduate students?

ECU does not provide on-campus housing for international graduate students. A number of privately owned, non-university apartment complexes are within walking distance of campus. Many others are on the university bus routes.

What is the average cost to rent an apartment in Greenville?

Rental costs vary according to the location and size of the apartment (number of bedrooms). One bedroom apartments may cost from $350 to $450 per month. Be sure to ask if utilities are included. Usually they are not, except water. Some apartment complexes include Internet connections and cable TV as part of the rent.

Is there a university bus service?

For information about university bus service see the University Transit.

Is public transportation available in Greenville?

For information consult the Greenville public transportation


Study at ECU

How many courses per semester should international student take to maintain full-time status?

Graduate students must take 9 credit hours of courses (usually three courses) to be considered full-time.

What is average length of the MA in International Studies Program?

Students usually complete the MA in International Studies Program in two academic years. International students may be able to complete the program in one academic year plus one summer, since they do not have to complete a field experience outside the US. (Their stay in the US is considered their international field experience by the MAIS program.)

Can student take classes from other graduate programs or pursue another degree?

Because the MA in International Studies Program is interdisciplinary, its concentration courses are drawn from other graduate programs across the campus. MA in International Studies students in certain concentrations (e.g., security studies, economic development, international teaching, Hispanic Studies) are encouraged to complete graduate certificates in those fields in addition to their concentrations by taking a small number of additional courses.

Graduate students may not pursue two graduate degrees simultaneously if these degrees would share credits. Graduate students wishing to pursue two degrees concurrently that do not share credits should consult with the director of the MAIS program.

What are the opportunities for internships, practical training or research?

MA in International Studies students, including international students, usually are awarded graduate assistantships to work with faculty members of projects or to assist university units in various ways. International students can only work 20 hrs/wk as graduate assistants.

During the summer between their first and second years in the MA in International Studies Program, international students can apply for internships or practical training under the Curricular Practical Training Program (CPT). After they have completed their degree, they can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). They should consult with the international student advisor in the Office of International Affairs, Mr. William Mallett.

What are the foreign language requirements for the international students?

International students in the MA in International Studies program are required to attain certain levels of proficiency in English in order to graduate. The requirements can be found on the MAIS web page and in the appendices of the MA in International Studies Handbook.

What are the field experience requirements for the international students?

International students in the MA in International Studies Program do not have to complete a field experience outside the US. Their stay in the US is considered their international field experience and will serve as the basis for their international field experience portfolio.  They should consult the international field experience portfolio section of the MA in International Studies web page and MA in International Studies Handbook for more information.

Are there advisors for the international students?

The graduate student advisor in the ECU Graduate School, Ms. Colleen Roland, is an excellent source of information and assistance for international students. Mr. William Mallett is the international student advisor in the Office of International Affairs. Ms. Rhonda Brown, also in the Office of International Affairs, handles all immigration and visa questions.

Is there an International Student Association?

There is an International Student Association. Information is available from Mr. Mallett. Students from a particular culture have also from time to time organized into an association. For example, there has been an Asian Student Association on campus in recent years.