Advance your Education and Career through Graduate Degrees Geared Towards Public Service

If you are ready to grow in your career as a public service leader, contact us to learn more about the outstanding opportunities in graduate education at East Carolina University.

ECU’s motto is “To Serve,” so it’s no surprise we offer numerous programs to educate and develop leaders for public service so it’s no surprise we offer numerous programs, emphasized in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts of Sciences and College of Health and Human Performance, to educate and develop leaders for public service. Many of these programs have a long history and all of them continue the tradition of excellence demonstrated by our many alumni engaged in public service across the state and nation.

Graduate Degrees

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

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  • No GRE required
  • 100% online; Complete the program at your own pace
  • U.S. News & World Report ranks ECU’s MS in Criminal Justice as the top online criminal justice master’s program in North Carolina; Ranked top 25% of the nation
  • Alumni have successful careers in law enforcement, fraud investigation, courts and institutional corrections, victim services, crime research and analysis, private investigation, and higher education
  • Approximately 65,000 openings in law enforcement annually

Master of Science in Environmental Health

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  • Current environmental health professionals can upgrade their credentials and improve career prospects
  • Applied option degree may be completed 100% online
  • Research option degree path is ideal for intensive, hands-on data collection
  • Predicted growth of more than 20% for employment opportunities in environmental health sciences
  • Work for public- and private-sector employers

Master of Arts in Health Education

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  • 100% distance education courses designed with professionals in mind
  • ECU earned No. 1 ranking in 2023 from for the best online master’s programs in health education
  • No. 1 ranking credited to overall quality, affordability and commitment to student success
  • Graduates are eligible to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist examination
  • Earn employment as health educators in academic, clinical, community or corporate settings
  • Prepare to use social and behavioral theories/models to design, implement and evaluate community health programs

Master of Science in Planning and Development

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  • No GMAT, GRE, thesis or internship required
  • 100% online – Transfer up to 50% of academic credits from another institution
  • Available as an accelerated (4+1) MS, with a BS in Community and Regional Planning
  • Three concentrations to choose from: Coastal and Environmental Planning, Urban and Community Planning, or Rural and Regional Planning
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 4% job growth through 2032, with a median pay of $79,540 nationwide

Master of Public Administration

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  • 24-month traditional (T-MPA), or 36-month executive track (E-MPA)
  • 100% online for E-MPA; In-person and online hybrid for T-MPA
  • Small class sizes (15 students average)
  • Nationally accredited
  • Alumni have successful careers in budget and finance, policy analysis or management, economic development, human resources, public affairs, non-profits, and local, state or federal governments

Master of Science in Recreation Sciences

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  • Fully accredited program
  • Courses offered in on-campus, face-to-face format
  • Opportunity to complete certificate programs in aquatic therapy and biofeedback
  • Concentrations available in Recreation and Park Administration, and Recreational Therapy Administration

Master of Science in Security Studies

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  • No GRE required
  • 100% online; 10:1 student-faculty ratio
  • Available as an accelerated MS, with the BA or BS in Multidisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Security Studies
  • Four areas of emphasis: International Security, Homeland Security Policy, Science and Technology Security, or Environmental Health and Occupational Safety
  • Ranked #4 at
  • U.S. Bureau and Labor Statistics shows security-related careers are expected to grow from 6 – 30% through 2030, with median wages from $66,000 – $102,000 depending on the job
  • Alumni have successful careers in military service, intelligence agencies, law enforcement, emergency management, foreign service, media, and cyber and Internet security

Master of Social Work

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  • Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
  • Employment of social workers expected to grow 12% from 2020 to 2030
  • Alumni regularly win National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter awards
  • Field education complements the signature pedagogy of social work education
  • Emphasizes enhanced person-in-environment framework to produce practitioner leaders

Graduate Certificates

In addition to our graduate degree programs, ECU offers several certificate programs that focus on a specific topic and can be completed in a shorter amount of time than a full degree program.

  • Economic Development – A flexible program that provides the economic development professional with right mix of analytical, theoretical and practical skills and knowledge.
  • Professional Communication -Providing communication professionals with the conceptual and technical knowledge needed to stay current and competitive.
  • Public Management and Leadership – Related to our Masters in Public Administration program, this certificate will help enhance your knowledge and skills as a public service leader.

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