East Carolina University is one of the three biggest colleges in North Carolina. Founded in 1907 as the East Carolina Teachers Training School, it operated like a normal school and offered programs designed to help students develop the skills necessary to succeed as teachers. Though it initially only admitted white students, it later changed its admissions policy to admit students of all races. The school changed its focus in 1920 and switched from offering certificate programs to degree programs, which led to its adopting the name East Carolina Teachers College. It also operated as East Carolina College for a number of years before becoming East Carolina University.

Now called both ECU and East Carolina, the university has a main campus as well as a campus dedicated to health science studies and a research campus. Its main campus covers more than 500 square acres in Greenville and is an urban campus because its borders are within that city. That location allows students to do internships and field placements at various companies around Greenville. East Carolina believes in giving back and operates a field station in New Holland that allows students to learn more about the environment and coastal studies. There are also plans to open dental clinics in rural parts of the state that will help locals and allow its dental students to gain practical experience. More than 28,000 students attend East Carolina University every year.

East Carolina University Accreditation Details

Regional accreditation is important because unless you attend a college or university with this type of accreditation, you will not have access to financial aid. The United States Department of Education uses regional accreditation as a way to prove that a college prepares students and deserves federal assistance. East Carolina received its regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), which requires that the university pass a renewal every decade to maintain its accreditation. To ensure that its individual degree programs met the needs of its students, the university also sought accreditation from 30 different professional organizations that include:

  • Planning Accreditation Board
  • Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration
  • National Recreation and Parks Association
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Council for Interior Design Accreditation
  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

East Carolina University Application Requirements

ECU charges a nonrefundable application fee of $70, which is why it's so important that you read through its admissions requirements and complete each step in the application process. You must select the program that you want to study and the semester in which you want to start your studies. This will take you to a page that lets you create your own unique user name as well as a password. You'll also need to provide the university with your full name and date of birth. With that user name and password, you have the option of logging in and out of the system to work on your application over time. You'll need that same information to log back in to check the status of your application.

The university has an application deadline of August 15 for all students hoping to enter in the fall and December 20 for those who want to start classes in the spring. In addition to the application, you must submit at least one reference letter. The university requires that references use the electronic system when sending those letters. Another requirement is a statement of purpose that essentially states your reasons for choosing ECU and what you want to do with your degree. You must also submit a resume that includes both your education and professional backgrounds.

Tuition and Financial Aid

No matter where you want to go to college, the odds are good that cost is on your mind. Full-time ECU graduate students take nine credits and pay around $3,610 per semester for both classes and fees. When you add in fees, the cost for nonresidents who enroll full-time is around $10,060 per semester. Part-time students pay $582 per credit hour as a North Carolina resident or $2,193 per credit hour as a nonresident. Some of its graduate programs like those in nursing and business charge other fees.

You can use the FAFSA to see if you qualify for financial aid. This form requires that you use your tax return as an independent adult or your parents' tax return(s) as a dependent. Most graduate students are dependents unless they lived away from their parents for a set period of time, enlisted in the military, are married or meet other requirements. The federal government offers unsubsidized loans to graduate students that let you borrow up to $20,500 per year. If you have a good credit score or a co-signer with a good credit score, you may qualify for alternative loans too.

Master's of Communications

When you enroll in the Master's of Communications available through ECU, you have the chance to spend the summer studying abroad in a foreign country. The university believes that this program will help students learn how to communicate with others in various ways. You can also earn a certificate in health communications at the same time that you earn your degree. This certificate program requires that you take 12 credits of work in classes like media and health communications, interpersonal communications, communication and health organizations and family communication and health. The program is also open to students who do not want to enroll in the full degree program.

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The full Master's of Communications consists of 18 core credits of courses that teach the fundamentals of communications like communication approaches to health advocacy and intercultural communications. You'll also take courses on theories of communications and research methods. This program is available in a non-thesis option, but this option will require that you take up to 12 credits of electives. If you do the thesis option, the university will ask that you take between three and six hours of electives and will award you the same number of credits for the work you complete on your thesis. East Carolina University specifically designed this program for those who want to work in health facilities and will teach you how to communicate with both patients and other workers.