FAQs for Graduate Students
In general, the amount of time required to dedicate to your graduate classes is 10-15 hours of work a week for first year classes (numbered under 6300) and 15-20 hours per week for second year classes (over 6300). This estimate is true for both the face-to-face classes and online classes.
All required MBA foundation courses and common body of knowledge courses are offered online in both fall and spring semesters and during summer sessions. Most common body of knowledge courses are offered on-campus in fall and spring semesters. Business electives are offered online in the fall, spring, and summer sessions on a rotating basis. Spring and fall on-campus classes are scheduled to meet in two sessions per week, either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. There are no Friday or weekend classes. In addition, all business foundations and common body of knowledge classes are available online so that the entire program may be completed without visiting campus if a student chooses.
MSA classes are offered on campus and online. There are no evening MSA classes.
All MS-STH classes are offered online. There are no on-campus courses for the MS-STH program.
Most professors require at least a midterm and final exam for MBA students. Exams may be paper-based or computer-based at the discretion of the professor. Professors may require that you use a proctoring software during quizzes and/or exams. At ECU, Respondus LockDown Browser is the most commonly used software. Once an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit it for grading.
When using Respondus LockDown Browser, students are unable to print, copy, go to another website or access other applications until the assessment is submitted. The use of this software helps decrease test-taking issues and promotes academic integrity for online quizzes and exams. Course syllabi should have information on the requirement to use a lockdown browser for the class. Information on the use of a lockdown browser and instructions on how to get support if needed are provided by ECU IT Support.
First Day of Semester
By 9:00 a.m. on the first day of the semester, your class(es) should appear in Canvas. Please note that some faculty will open their classes earlier than this time. Also, some faculty will begin emailing students a week or two before classes begin, so it’s important that students check their ECU student email daily.
Online vs On Campus
ECU has one MBA program. Regardless of the delivery method, you will receive the same degree and your program will be the same whether you complete the program online or face-to-face. This includes admission criteria, application deadlines, and class requirements. For tuition purposes, students will be classified as distance education students depending on the degree program in which they are enrolled rather than by the method of instruction for a given course or semester. If you have concerns about your degree program and its impact on your tuition & fees, contact your academic advisor. Please note that preference is given to on-campus students for tuition remissions and graduate assistantship positions.
There is very little difference between the online classes and the face-to-face classes aside from the obvious fact that you’re not physically in class. With few exceptions, the same professor that teaches the face-to-face class also teaches the online class. The course content, the volume of work, the textbook, homework, assignments, etc. are the same. You still interact with your professor and classmates, only in the online class the interaction is via email, chat rooms, and threaded discussions. Your professor may also require group projects and team activities, you just move information electronically rather than meeting in person.
In online classes, you do things in “bands” of time. For example, you may have from Monday morning 8am to Wednesday afternoon 5pm to take a quiz. If you work second shift at a manufacturing facility and 3am after work is when you study then you can log in and take the quiz at a time that is convenient for you. Typically, major project and paper deadlines have specific dues dates.
The most important issue concerning online classes is time-management. Students need to be honest with themselves and ask “How disciplined a person am I?” The volume of work is greater than what most people were used to at the undergraduate level. It doesn’t take very long at all to fall behind in a graduate class. On the other hand, if you work well without the “classroom deadline” or if you work at a pace that’s faster than the class average, you may find online classes very attractive. The advantage here is that you can work when you want to, completing your coursework at the time of day or night that works best with your schedule. All online classes are asynchronous, meaning you do not have to login at a certain day or time for class.