East Carolina University


Founded on March 8, 1907 by the North Carolina General Assembly, East Carolina University (ECU) is public research university situated in Greenville. What was originally established as a teacher training school is today the largest institution of higher education in eastern North Carolina. The school underwent several name changes, such as East Carolina Teachers Training School (ECTTS) in 1907; East Carolina Teachers College (ECTC); East Carolina College (ECC); and finally, in 1967, adopting its current designation.


Information Summary

Ranks 10th in North Carolina and 406th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 88.3
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $21,672
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 25 / 1190
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 18 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 81% / 82%
Enrollment Total (all students) 28,718


ECU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to confer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. It is also the third largest of the universities that constitute the University of North Carolina (UNC) system. East Carolina has served North Carolina and the nation for more than a century, and now stands as an emerging national research university boasting a large, diverse student body.

East Carolina offers more than 100 bachelor’s degree programs, educational specialist degree programs, certificates of advanced studies programs, over 70 master’s degree programs, over 15 doctoral degree programs, and professional degree programs in medicine and dentistry. The university offers degrees and certificates in diverse areas of study, including information and computer technology, mathematics, hospitality management, engineering, construction management, exercise physiology, computer science, political science, social work, and environmental health.

The university’s main campus is spread across a sprawling 530 acres in the urban area of downtown Greenville. The campus houses more than 155 buildings comprising over 4.6 million square feet of academic, research, and residential space. The university includes four main academic facilities:

  • Main Campus in Greenville
  • Health Sciences Campus (Brody School of Medicine)
  • West Research Campus
  • Pitt County Memorial Hospital

Schools and Colleges:

East Carolina is composed of nine undergraduate colleges, one graduate school, and two professional schools. The College of Education is the oldest of these. ECU imparts education in the health sciences through its School of Allied Health Sciences, School of Dentistry, the Brody School of Medicine, and the School of Nursing.

Research and graduate studies forms an important part of ECU, and the academic units that impart graduate degrees include the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences; the Schools of Allied Health Sciences, Medicine, and Nursing; and the Colleges of Business, Education, Fine Arts and Communication, Health and Human Performance, Human Ecology, and Technology and Computer Science.

ECU Online:

ECU offers online programs that can be completed from almost any part of the world. However, the administration encourages distance education students to contact the department for any campus requirements. Online degrees and certificates are offered in different areas of study, including adult nurse practitioner, business administration, health care management, information assurance, multicultural and transnational literatures, nursing education, security studies, technology systems, and website development.

Most Popular Fields of Study


East Carolina University
East Carolina University


Those seeking undergraduate admission to ECU need to create a Pirate Port account with the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) to apply online. Students can check the status of their application through this account. Students must take either the SAT or ACT test to be eligible for admission. Those wishing to get a College Board or American College Testing (ACT) fee waiver can apply online and send the application confirmation page and SAT/ACT Fee Waiver Request Form to Undergraduate Admissions.

Graduate applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. Students will need to write a “Statement of Intent”—an essay describing their interests—as part of the graduate admissions process. All applicants must take at least one of the following tests: GRE, MAT, GMAT, or another as required by the programs.

A standardized English language exam or completing of a related course at the ECU Language Academy (ECULA) is required of applicants for whom English is not their native language. International students applying for the graduate programs must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Financial Aid

There are three main sources of financial aid at ECU: the federal and state governments, and the institution. Another, smaller source of aid is the many private organizations that offer scholarships, grants, and loans. Students seeking financial aid need to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Scholarships are gifts of money given to students who display excellence in academics, talent, and leadership. Some of the scholarships offered at ECU include Dale A. Huggins Memorial Scholarship, Lyllian Pearl Eason Physical Therapy Scholarship, Phi Omega Pi Majorie Harrison Scholarship, Tony R. Banks Scholarship, and Gravely Foundation Scholarship.

Grants are funds that don’t require repayment. They are typically awarded to students who are in the greatest need of financial aid. The federal grant program consists of SEOG, Pell, TEACH, and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants.

Loans from the government or university are funds that require repayment. The federal loan program includes Direct Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, and Graduate PLUS Loans. Student may also seek a private/alternative loan to assist with costs as well. Other types of financial aid are employment- and service-related funding, which is earned by the student.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 2845th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in North Carolina.


East Carolina boasts a vibrant campus experience, which helps in the overall development of students. More than 300 registered organizations are active on and off campus, representing many different categories, including but not limited to academic, business, event programming, interest groups, recreational, and religious. Some of the popular organizations include the American Fisheries Society (ECU-AFS); East Carolina Robotics Club (R.A.R.E.); Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS); and Student Government Association (SGA).

ECU has an amazing Greek scene, with more than 30 fraternities and sororities that stand out on the campus. They are governed by the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and National Pan-Hellenic Council. The campus has historically black sororities and fraternities as well. Greek life offers excellent opportunities to participate in a rich tradition, become involved in the community, and build one’s leadership skills. Some of these societies are:

  • Alpha Epsilon Delta
  • Alpha Kappa Delta
  • Alpha Phi Sigma
  • Order of Omega
  • Phi Alpha Theta
  • Phi Eta Sigma
  • Sigma Gamma Epsilon

Media and Publications:

Important research publications of East Carolina include Edge Magazine, the university’s research and creative activity magazine; Exploration and Discovery, ECU’s research division’s newsletter; Inside Agromedicine, the North Carolina Agromedicine Institute’s newsletter; and Division Listserv, for research-related announcements.

The East Carolinian is the student newspaper, keeping the campus updated with relevant news, events, and activities. National and international news is also included.

Expressions Magazine is the university’s minority publication. Expressions lends a voice to the special concerns and problems of students belonging to minority groups.

Rebel Magazine is published for and by the students of the university, while the Buccaneer is ECU’s official yearbook, cataloging the year-round happenings on campus, both past and present.

WZMB 91.3 FM is ECU’S radio station, offering students with the chance to enjoy non-commercial radio broadcasting, both as listeners and producers. Campus 31 TV is the television channel for the students of ECU, and it provides round-the-clock information regarding campus activity.

Campus Facilities:

East Carolina has 15 residence halls spread across three unique neighborhoods on the campus. They offer an assortment of dining options in the dining halls, convenience stores, food courts, and coffee and juice bars.

The campus includes two sports complexes: Blount Recreational Sports Complex and North Recreational Complex. Located on 129 acres north of the main campus, North Recreational Complex (NRC) is one of the largest recreational complexes in the nation.

Joyner Library is the largest on-campus library, housing resources and services that support the teaching, research, and service goals of the University, with its main focus on the different schools and colleges run by ECU. Other libraries include William E. Laupus Health Sciences Library, Music Library, and the online ECU library resources.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


East Carolina has both men’s and women’s teams taking part in numerous varsity sports. The intercollegiate sports teams are nicknamed the Pirates, and the official colors and old gold and royal purple. They compete in the NCAA Division I as a member of Conference USA. The sports facilities include Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Williams Arena in Minges Coliseum, Clark-LeClair Stadium and Ward Sports Medicine Building.

Men’s sports include baseball, cross-country, football, golf, basketball, swimming and diving, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track and field.

Women’s sports include basketball, soccer, fast-pitch softball, tennis, cross-country, golf, swimming and diving, and indoor and outdoor track and field, volleyball.

Intramural Sports:

East Carolina’s intramural sports program offers great recreational opportunities for the University students, faculty, and staff. The intramural sports club organizes leagues, tournaments and events in a wide variety of recreation sports, such as dodgeball, bowling, soccer, basketball, flag football, golf, volleyball, softball, wiffleball, tennis, disc golf, and racquetball.


East Carolina holds several events and celebrations that carry its traditions forward year after year. Barefoot on the Mall is an event held every spring, when musicians from all genres come together to enjoy a concert, games, rides, and food vendors. Freeboot Fridays is held every Friday evening just before football games in Greenville. It offers free concerts, free food, children’s activities, and beer and wine for adults. The Billy Taylor Jazz Festival is a two-day event when musicians from all parts of the world gather to participate in the celebration.

The Purple & Gold Pigskin Pigout Party is held each spring to celebrate the spirit of football at East Carolina. The event offers a carnival, a parade, a car show, cooking contests, a celebrity golf tournament, free live entertainment, and the annual spring football game.


The ECU Pirates have earned great reputation in the fields of business, teaching, and the arts. Some of the notable alumni of East Carolina are Rick Atkinson and Dan Neil, Pulitzer Prize winners; Velton Ray Bunch, Emmy Award-winning composer; Ron Clark, founder of the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta; Emily Procter, an actress of repute; Kevin Williamson, creator of Scream and Dawson’s Creek; James Maynard, founder of the Golden Corral Restaurant; Chris Knott, Founder of Peter Millar clothing line; Ruth Shaw, President and CEO of Duke Energy; William Yarborough, President and CEO of US Postal Service Federal Credit Union.

Additional School Information

The main campus is less than a two hour drive to both the state capital, Raleigh, to the west and the spectacular Atlantic Coast beaches to the east. Some easily accessible points of interests include Greensprings Park, Riverpark North, Colonial Mall, University Commons, and Greenville Museum of Art.

According to U.S. News & World Report, East Carolina ranks as the 12th-largest distance education program in the United States. In terms of enrollment, ECU leads the University of North Carolina system. The university was awarded the Patriot Award in 2009.

With its new Access Scholarships program, the university offers financial aid to historically underserved but greatly deserving groups of students who have demonstrated excellent academic potential.

East Carolina’s Student Employment Office (SEO) helps students through their placement and hiring process. It maintains an online job portal to help current students find part-time job opportunities (both on and off campus) in their area of interest.

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