International Students

Thank you for your interest in East Carolina University! The Graduate School works in cooperation with the Office of Global Affairs and is devoted to cultivating a diverse and international academic environment on campus.  While the idea of studying in the United States may seem intimidating, rest assured, you will have the full support of the University to assist with the necessary resources and information you need to get the most rewarding experiences from your time overseas. The opportunities are endless, the experience is priceless.

Current ECU International student?  If so, information on how to maintain your visa eligibility and other valuable information intended to help you make the most out of your ECU experience is posted to the Office of Global Affairs website.  We encourage you to check it out!

International Students – Standard Admission

In order to be considered for admission, international graduate applicants follow the same steps as a U.S. applicant with a few exceptions as identified in Red font.  Step by step instructions are identified below:

  • Complete the ECU Online Graduate School Application: One application fee and one set of supporting documents should be submitted for each program of study applying to.
  • Pay the Application Fee: Payment will be made through the self-service portal prior to submission of the application. The payment portal accepts debit or credit card only.
  • Provide Foreign Transcript Evaluation:

An official course by course credential evaluation of all foreign transcripts indicating that, at minimum, the US equivalent of a bachelor’s degree has been awarded by an accredited college or university is required.

  • Provide Official Transcript(s) & Diploma Copy: A copy of your transcript(s) and diplomas showing a full education history issued in your native language as well as a notarized or certified copy in English must be uploaded to your application.
  • Provide Evidence of English Proficiency: If English is not your native language and you have not completed at least one year of education (minimum of 18 credit hours) at a United States school, you are required to take a standardized English language exam or complete the ECU Language Academy (ECULA).
    • Language Exam Options: The Graduate School accepts either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Duolingo English Test and scores must be forwarded to the Graduate School by the testing service. The paper- or computer-based TOEFL exam is accepted by request only.
    • Language Exam Score Needed to Meet the Requirement:
      • An iBT TOEFL score of 18 on each section for a total minimum score of 78,
      • IELTS score of 6.5,
      • A Duolingo score of 115
    • ECU Language Academy: You may choose to attend the ECU Language Academy instead of taking the TOEFL or IELTS. Also, if you do not obtain the required score on the TOEFL or IELTS, at least one session of the ECU Language Academy may be required prior to the start of your program. Successful completion of all levels of the ECU Language Academy is required for admission without TOEFL or IELTS scores. More information on the ECU Language Academy, including the ECULA application, is available on the Intensive English Program website. Individual programs may have higher minimum requirements.
  • Provide Official Standardized Admissions Test Results: If required by the program you’re applying to, please arrange for an official score report to be sent directly to the Graduate School by the testing service (GRE or GMAT). ECU’s institutional code is 5180. ECU does not have departmental codes.
  • Upload Statement of Purpose: If required by the program you’re applying to, please upload a copy of your personal statement (why you believe you would be a good candidate for the program) to your application. You may want to use resources to help you write a personal statement in English such as this webinar.
  • Provide Letters of recommendation: If required by the program you’re applying to, please arrange to have LOR’s submitted electronically with the online application. Review your program’s application requirements to determine the number of letters, if any, that they require.
  • Upload Resume: If required by the program you’re applying to, please upload a copy of your most recent resume to your online application.
  • Provide Financial information: If/when you are admitted to a graduate program at ECU you will be required to provide certified evidence of financial resources adequate to cover educational costs and living expenses. Documents only need submitted if/when an offer of admission is extended.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts are required for all earned post-secondary degrees and all post-secondary course work completed within 5 years of the date of graduate application. Additional transcripts are required for transfer credits in excess of 50% of the credits required for a post-secondary degree. Post-secondary degrees and courses work includes all educational work completed at the bachelor’s level or higher.

A course-by-course evaluation of ALL official foreign transcripts from foreign institutions attended is required of all international applicants. Course-by-course evaluations of the official transcript must be complete from a NACES accredited agency.  We accept evaluations from agencies that are members of NACES only. We have online portals for electronic receipt of the completed evaluation from the following agencies:


ECE (Education Credential Evaluations) and SpanTran are not recommended for 3 year Bologna degrees

SpanTran has a tailored application for ECU. Please request evaluations using this application link – SpanTran Pathways East Carolina University.


International Students – Conditional Admission

If you would like to be considered for conditional admission and apply to ECU without TOEFL or IELTS scores you may do so under the following conditions:

  • Successful completion of a language academy or program in the US prior to full admission at East Carolina University.

Visit the Intensive English Program website for more information on ECU’s Language Academy (ECULA).

Agreement to these terms must be received prior to review of your application by the academic unit.  ECU does not offer conditional admission without submission of GRE or GMAT scores.

You must submit your application, application fee, statement of purpose, reference letters, official GRE or GMAT scores, official transcripts (mark sheets), and diploma to ECU prior to the review of your application by the academic unit.  An entrance exam, GRE or GMAT, is required for admission to ECU, this requirement is not waived.

Once all required documents have been received, your application will be forwarded to the academic program to be reviewed for a conditional admission decision.  You will be notified of the academic program’s admission decision.

If conditionally admitted, your official admission will not be granted by the Graduate School until you have completed the English language requirement by either successfully completing the language academy or program or submitting acceptable TOEFL or IELTS scores to ECU.  Your admission letter and graduate program I-20 will be prepared when this requirement has been satisfied.  A conditional admission letter can be provided by the Graduate School upon request if needed for scholarship or funding purposes.

When you are admitted to a language academy, an I-20 is issued for the duration of that program.  Upon completion of the language academy or program, a second I-20 will be provided by the Graduate School for your academic program.

For additional information about potential conditional admission as an international student, contact Colleen Roland at

Schematic of Admission Pathways for International Students (PDF)