Glossary of ECU and Academic Terms


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Academic Advisor: This is a faculty or staff member who will guide your student in working their way through their academic program. A student will meet with them each semester to discuss their progress and class choices for the coming semester. Students establishing a relationship with their academic advisor, and consulting with them at least once per semester, is key to their success at ECU. Visit theAcademic Advising website for more information about academic advising at ECU.

Academic Appeals: Students may appeal the application of academic policies due to unexpected, extenuating circumstances. More information about appeals, and the electronic form for filing an appeal, can be found on theRegistrar’s website. 

Academic Calendar:The annual period during which a student attends and receives formal instruction at a college or university, typically from August to May. TheECU Academic Calendarhas the most up-to-date information about when classes start, class registration, the drop/add period, and breaks. 

Academic Good Standing, Warning, Probation, and Suspension:SeeOffice of the Registrars FAQ’s.  

Academic Warning: Warning is the first semester in which a student finishes with below a 2.0 cumulative GPA. If, at the end of the semester that the student is on warning, the cumulative GPA remains below a 2.0, the student is placed on probation. 

Academic Probation: ECU defines academic probation as “a trial period during which a student, whose cumulative GPA has fallen below acceptable standards, must bring his or her average up or be dismissed from the University.” Once on probation, you have one full-time semester to raise your cumulative GPA to 2.0 (also see Academic Recovery Plan). Failure to do this will result in dismissal. You may be placed on probation twice. Placement on probation for the third time will trigger an automatic dismissal. Note that academic probation can affect your financial aid, for details see theProbation and Dismissal website. 

Academic Suspension: Suspension occurs when a student earns a 0.0 GPA in the first semester. Suspension also occurs at the end of a student’s third, consecutive semester with below a 2.0 cumulative GPA and below a 2.5 for the semester. A student suspended from the university must serve a semester-long dismissal (fall or spring). However, students may attend summer terms at ECU during this time. If a student is suspended after a spring term, he or she may enroll for summer terms without completing a readmission application. A student suspended after a fall term or summer term must complete a readmission application and be readmitted to attend a summer term. 

Academic Recovery Module (ARM): The Academic Recovery Module (ARM) is a required module designed for students whose GPA falls below a cumulative 2.0. It informs students of academic regulations, strategies for improvement, and related policies. If a student’s GPA is below the cumulative 2.0 at the end of the semester an ARM hold will be placed on his/her record. The student must complete the module and correlating quiz to have the ARM hold removed. The student will not be able to adjust his/her schedule or register for additional classes until the ARM hold is removed. You can find the ARM form on theARM website. 

Add/Drop Period (Also known as Course Adjustment Period): During the first few days of classes during an academic semester, students can make adjustments to their schedules without consequence. The add/drop period is listed in the Academic Calendar. 

Associate Degree: An undergraduate degree awarded by a college upon successful completion of a program of study, usually requiring two years (or the equivalent) of full-time study. An associate’s is typically awarded by community colleges; it may be a career or technical degree, or it may be a transfer degree, allowing students to transfer those credits to ECU through theTransfer Requirement page. 

Bachelor’s Degree: An undergraduate degree awarded by a university upon successful completion of a program of study, typically requiring at least four years (or the equivalent) of full-time study. Common degree types include Bachelor of Arts (B.A. or A.B.), which refers to the liberal arts, and Bachelor of Science (B.S.). A bachelor’s is required before starting graduate studies. You can view all ECU’s Undergraduate Admissions. 

Canvas: Canvas is the Learning Management System used at ECU to support education. It is used by instructors to post course materials, hold online discussions, tests, quizzes, and surveys. 

Career Services: This office helps ECU students and alumni with a variety of services related to pursuing a career. These include guidance on career decision making, help with writing resumes and cover letters, preparing for job interviews, and securing internships. Career Services also regularly hosts job fairs during which employers visit ECU to recruit students who are about to graduate. 

Cashiers Office: TheUniversity Cashiers Officeis responsible for billing, processing payments and issuing refunds on student accounts.
Location: East 5th Street, Greenville NC 27858, Phone: (252) 737-1133, Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. 

Center for Counseling and Student Development: The mission of the Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) is to enhance personal growth through developmental, preventive, and therapeutic programming designed to facilitate skill development, improve functioning, and increase understanding of self and others. The CCSD’s programs and services are designed to be an integral part of the university structure and contribute toward the university’s mission of education, research, and service. See more information on the Center for Counseling website.
Main Campus Office: 137 Umstead Hall, Greenville, NC 27858, Phone: (252)328-6661, Hours: Mondays – Fridays 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Health Sciences Campus Office:  Health Sciences Campus Student Center – Student Health suite, Phone: (252)328-6661, Hours: Mondays – Fridays 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement: The Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement provides opportunities for the campus community to learn, serve and lead with our community as active citizens and advocates for positive social change. 

Commencement: A graduation ceremony where students officially receive recognition for completing their degrees. At ECU, commencement is held in May and December. Learn more aboutECU commencement. 

Course Adjustment Period: See Add/Drop Period.  

Course Catalog: (Sometimes called the Undergraduate Catalog or Graduate Catalog, depending on which type of courses you are looking for). This catalog lists and describes all courses available at ECU. It also describes various academic policies, such as those about plagiarism, grades, graduation, etc. You can access the full undergraduate catalog and graduate catalog onthe catalog website. 

Curriculum: This is a general word used to describe the requirements to graduate—that is, all the courses needed to complete in order to graduate. It can also be used more specifically to refer to all the classes students need to complete in their major or minor (e.g., the Criminal Justice curriculum), or the courses required to take outside a major/minor in order to graduate—called the General Education curriculum. 

Dean: A dean is the head of a college within a university. Each university is made up of multiple colleges. Within each college, professors report to department chairs, and department chairs report to deans. Deans are responsible for ensuring the departments within their college are functioning in support of the university’s mission. Visit for a full list of ECU’s colleges and schools.  

Dean of Students Office: The Dean of Students Office serves as a liaison between students, parents, faculty, university staff and administrators to: assist with individual or group crisis; navigate campus procedures; and serve as an advocate for students, when needed. The office is the primary contact for individuals who need assistance identifying the appropriate resources available to them. For more information and resources offered by the Dean of Students Office, please visit  

Degree Works:Degree Works is a guide for a student’s academic progress and includes information about total adjusted credits toward graduation, comments from advisors and graduation analysts, and degree requirements and requirements “not satisfied.” Students can access their Degree Works onECU PiratePort to track their academic progress towards completion of their degree requirements. More information about Degree Works can be found at  

Department Chair: The chair is responsible for leadership in developing an academic department’s programs within the mission of the university. The chair is also responsible for informing the department of the perspectives and actions of the dean and other administrators. You will contact your department chair if you have a non-academic complaint, i.e., want to report instances of unprofessional behavior and other complaints that are unrelated to your academic grade (Please see theStudent Complaint Policy for more information).

Department for Disability Support Services: Disability Support Services is committed to providing accessible technology and educational resources. Computer labs, learning platforms, web pages, multimedia content and applications should be accessible to everyone including individuals with disabilities. Students requesting accommodations based on a disability must be registered with the Department for Disability Support Services located in Slay 138, (252)737-1016.

Distance Education or ECU Online: East Carolina University offers flexible, convenient distance education programs that are accessible outside the traditional classroom. Courses online allow you to complete your classes at your convenience, without sacrificing quality or valuable interaction with your instructor and peers. As long as you have an internet connection, you can attend class anytime or anywhere. Learn more about our online programs. 

Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center: The LGBTQ Center strives to foster understanding and acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community at ECU. The LGBTQ Center engages in advocacy and social justice while utilizing an intersectional framework. Several programs are held throughout the year to educate the ECU community, please visit for a complete list of programs.
Location: Main Campus Student Center (501 East 10th Street Greenville, NC 27858), Phone: (252) 737-2514. 

Doctoral Degree: The highest academic degree awarded by a university upon successful completion of an advanced program of study, typically requiring at least three years of graduate study beyond the master’s degree (which may have been earned at a different university). You can find all theECU Doctoral degreeslisted on the Find Your Program page. Some programs offer full or partial tuition funding via Campus Employment, Graduate Assistantships, and other means. 

ECU’s International Studies: ECU’s International Studies programs help prepare students for success in an increasingly globalized society. Undergraduate students may choose to complete a minor, major (through the Multidisciplinary program), or Global Understanding Certificate program; graduate students may pursue a master’s degree in International Studies, a certificate in International Management, or a certificate in International Teaching. These multidisciplinary programs provide students at all levels with the opportunity to become more familiar with the social, political, cultural, and economic issues of importance.  

ECU Proctoring Center: A proctor is a person who monitors students during an exam. The ECU Proctoring Center offers exam proctoring services to students enrolled in distance education classes at East Carolina University and other universities within the University of North Carolina System. Schedule your appointment request through the UNC Online Proctoring Network. Appointments cannot be scheduled by phone. 

Enrollment: See Admissions above. 

FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 protects the privacy of student records. The Act provides the right for a student to inspect and review educational records, the right to seek to amend those records, and to limit disclosure of information from those records. The Act applies to all institutions that are the recipients of federal funding.

FERPA permissions: The ECU Parent & Family Portal is an online portal in which the student can waive their FERPA rights. When a student grants permissions, the parent, guardian, or individual listed will be able to speak with an ECU employee/staff member about their students’ academic and/or financial information. If a student has not granted permissions or permissions have expired (permissions must be granted annually) an ECU employee/staff may not discuss the students’ academic record with anyone other than the student.

Instructions for students on how to grant FERPA permissions can be found at the FERPA resource site.

Good Academic Standing: A minimum of a 2.0 GPA is required to be in good academic standing at East Carolina University. 

Internship: Gaining career-related work experience while in college is an excellent way to be more competitive for future job searches. Some ECU programs require that students complete an internship, practicum, or field experience, whereas other departments offer optional internship/field experience programs. There are several resources at ECU and online to help students make connections with opportunities! Students may also inquire about internship opportunities within their department. It is possible to receive course credit for internships and is something students should discuss with their advisor. 

Joyner Library and Laupus Health Sciences Library: There are two libraries that support ECU.

  • Joyner Library is at the intellectual heart of East Carolina University. Connects people to information and empowers their lifelong learning by developing robust collections, superior services, and people-friendly spaces.
  • Laupus Health Sciences Library connects the education, research, and clinical programs of ECU’s Division of Health Sciences, Eastern Area Health Education Center (EAHEC), and health care practitioners at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville and Vidant Health system affiliates across eastern North Carolina with quality health information. 

Ledonia Wright Cultural Center: The Ledonia Wright Cultural Center provides specialized diversity and social justice experiences so all students can become confident, culturally aware, global citizens. Additionally, LWCC provides programming and services to support student success. 

Office of Global Affairs:Global Affairsengages in the education of all students through international exchange and promotion of international understanding and cross-cultural learning. Enhancing the internationalization of the university by preparing students to be global citizens, working to recruit and retain international students, collaborating with other offices to enhance student abroad opportunities, providing services for international students, and assisting faculty and staff with international projects. Global Affairs provides support for three diverse types of study abroad programs and assist with all aspects of the application and pre-departure process.
Location: 306 East Ninth St. Greenville, NC 27858, Phone: (252) 328-5829, Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Pirate Academic Success Center (PASC):Located on the second floor (2300 suite) of the Old Cafeteria Complex, the Pirate Academic Success Center offers free tutoring, study groups, academic skills coaching, peer academic success coaching, community tutoring, and learning communities for ECU enrolled students. Students can call 252-737-3009 or email to contact PASC staff or make an appointment. 

PiratePort: PiratePort is an ECU student’s portal used to view course equivalencies, graduation and honors list, course catalog, Buckley Form permissions, purchase parking passes, and much more. The PiratePort serves as a one-stop shop for students.  

Purple Pantry: The mission of the ECU Purple Pantry is to decrease food insecurity among the students at East Carolina University and increase access to other personal care items. Members of the ECU community dedicate their time, talent and treasures to create a sustainable resource on campus to combat food insecurity. 

Registration Schedule: The date and time that students can begin registering for classes based on their credit hours. This schedule can be found on the ECU Registrars website. Students will want to schedule an appointment to meet with their academic advisor before their registration time. 

Resident Advisors (RAs): A trained peer leader responsible for supervising and assisting other students who live in the same residence hall (usually a specific floor). At ECU, RAs are student staff members of Residence Life and Housing Services. RAs are given a stipend as well as provided with occupancy of a single bedroom at no charge throughout the academic year. Learn more information about RA position qualifications, compensation, and responsibilities. 

Women and Gender Office (WGO): The Women and Gender Office strives to cultivate a supportive, safe, and affirming environment for women, all genders, and gender equity allies in the ECU community. They do this via educational programs,special eventsworkshopscampus & community resources, and building alliesabout issues that disproportionately impact women.
Location: Main Campus Student Center- Office 182 Phone: (252) 328-2350, Hours: Monday – Friday 8 am- 5 pm. 

Withdrawal (also known as “dropping a course”): There are several kinds of withdrawal: 

  • Course Withdrawalis when a student withdraws from an individual course(s) before or after the drop/add period has ended. Students may withdraw from up to 16 semester hours during their undergraduate career.
    • Withdrawal from a course during the add/drop period does not count against a student’s course withdrawal allotment of 16 semester hours and does not impact attempted hours and will not appear on a student’s official transcript.
    • If a student withdraws from a course(s) outside of the add/drop period, a “W” will appear on their official transcript, but there will be no impact to GPA. Students who plan to withdraw from a course should pay close attention to deadlines. Visit the Registrar’s Office website for more information about course withdrawal.
  • Term Withdrawalis when a student withdraws from all classes for the given term or semester. To complete a Term Withdrawal, students must submit a Term Withdrawal form.
  • University Withdrawalis when students who do not intend to continue at East Carolina University withdraw completely from the university. Students who elect to withdraw from the university will then need to apply for readmission if they wish to re-enroll in courses. Students who have not attended East Carolina University for three or more consecutive fall/spring semesters are classified as “Inactive” and withdrawn from the institution. You can find information about readmission on the Admissions Website. 

*Please note that term withdrawal and course withdrawal may affect financial aid benefits. Some scholarships, grants, and loans require that recipients earn a certain number of credits per year and per semester. Students are encouraged to consult with a Financial Aid Counselorprior to making registration changes after the drop/add period has ended.