East Carolina University

East Carolina University

Situated in Greenville, a small college town with a population of around 93,000, East Carolina University (ECU) started life as a teacher training college at the beginning of the twentieth century, and became a public research university in 1967. Its symbol, the Pirates, is visible all across the three campuses and its many highly supported sports teams, and former and current Pirates are said to call out “once a pirate, always a pirate” to each other wherever in the world their paths may cross.

A mainly urban university, East Carolina University has glorious Spanish-Mission style architecture, a famous green space called the Mall, where students lounge on sunny days, and fifteen halls of residence in the three main residential areas: Central, West End and College Hill. The student population is around 22,400, of whom 5,600 are postgraduates.

One interesting fact about East Carolina University is that it houses the J Edgar Hoover library on communism – as well as the vast J. Y. Jasper library, with large collections on music and medical and health topics. 

East Carolina University-What’s the academic structure?

Main campus is dedicated to non-health sciences, while the Health Sciences campus focusses on medicine, dentistry, physical and speech therapy etc., and contains the heart institute, cancer centre and nursing departments. Students of dentistry will spend their fourth year at one of the eight community dental medical schools in the state. The West research campus – ECU is rated R2 for its high research output – includes 370 acres of wetlands, field study sites for botany and biology and the Institute for Health and Safety in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. East Carolina University also set up a Field Station for Coastal Studies, which includes eco-tourism, environmental sustainability courses and coastal studies, and has a campus in Certaldo Alto, Italy.

There are a number of undergraduate colleges: education, fine arts and communication, health and human performance, engineering and technology, nursing, allied health, social work and theatre and dance. In addition, East Carolina University has a graduate school and four professional schools. There are 85 Master’s programmes and over 100 undergraduate courses to choose from, as well as 16 PhD options-numbers which are growing from year to year.

Applicants can choose from a wide range of courses, from accounting to physics or political science, obstetrics to STEM subjects. ECU has hit the headlines for being the first to perform robot-assisted mitral valve surgery, its research into PTSD and brain injuries, along with its ground-breaking research into in vitro fertilisation and gastric bypass surgery. Some 34 per cent of classes have fewer than 20 students and the academics are reputed to be accessible and helpful, and run an academic success centre, which offers students support and 1-1 tuition, should they need it. East Carolina University is a trailblazer in online education.

East Carolina University-What are the most popular courses?

– Education
– Geology
– Cardiology
– Maritime history
– Nursing
– Engineering

East Carolina University-What are the accommodation and catering facilities?

All first year students are guaranteed a place in a hall of residence and can opt to join a Living-Learning Community, where they will socialise and live with others who share their specific academic interests. Student rooms have internet access, a fridge and microwave, air conditioning and heating and the average cost of room and board is $10,000 a year. Transport around the campus, and into nearby Greenville, is free, and the campus itself has over 25 food outlets, including major fast food chains, as well as two dining halls: Todd and West End. The university offers two types of meal plans, purple and gold, so that you can swipe your student Icard, rather than carry cash with you. The gold card covers 120 swipes and costs $1150, while the purple card is for 40 swipes and costs $740. If you want a change from using the dining halls, the campus also has a robot delivery service which is accessed through the Grubhub app. 

East Carolina University-Are there any sports facilities?

East Carolina University not only has over 400 clubs to join, including sororities and fraternities, but it has also spent a great deal of money on its sports complexes, and ongoing expansion, which is taking place over a ten year period and has cost $92 million plus, so far. The Dowdy-Ficklen stadium can seat 50,000 individuals, while the North Carolina Recreational Complex offers all types of activities, from golf to zip lines, water sports on its lake and beach, and sand volleyball. The most popular sports at ECU are track and field, baseball, softball, football, and basketball, and crowds of students come out in support of their varsity teams whenever the Pirates are playing. There are Pirate cheerleading teams and even the Marching Pirates, who inspire supporters to sing the university song “Hail to Thy name so fair”.

East Carolina University-What’s the cost?

Tuition fees for out of state and international students are approximately $24,000 a year, and you will need to pay a $75 fee for applying for a place online.

East Carolina University-What’s the application process?

The university has its own online application system, so you do not necessarily have to submit the Common App. 

You will be asked to provide the following documents:
Passport and visa details
Two academic references
Transcripts from your secondary school
Evidence of extracurricular activities and community engagement
Details of any honours or awards you have received
Evidence of a GPA of 3+
Proof of your financial resources

The deadline for submitting the application is 15 December for the January intake – the only one international students are able to apply for, whereas domestic students can try for two intakes. All official academic records must be translated into English and sent directly to the university by the school. If you have passed the IB, A Levels or AP exams, you will be given course credits once you enrol at East Carolina University. The current acceptance rate at East Carolina University is around 88 per cent. 

East Carolina University-What do students say about East Carolina University?

East Carolina University is extremely diverse and has declared that its mission is to serve the region and its many communities, to ensure its inhabitants have a good quality of life. Students are encouraged to do outreach and to become involved. The annual Yam Jam, for example, sees 150 kilograms of sweet potatoes being delivered to food banks in the area by ECU students. Alumni all mention how friendly, welcoming and lively they found the campus, and how satisfied they are with the quality of the teaching, the support and enthusiasm of the academic staff. East Carolina University is a party school, with high academic expectations and excellent facilities. If you want to study in the USA, and are not an Ivy League candidate,
then you may be ideally suited to life on campus at East Carolina University. 

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