Get Matched With Online Colleges

Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is a public, Historically Black institution located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Founded in 1963, it is part of the University of North Carolina System and a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall University Fund. The school is nationally ranked and recognized for its commitment to delivering a quality learning experience. Accolades include being designated the number one Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the nation for helping students from lower-income households achieve economic success by Third Way in 2022. US News and World Report also ranked the school as #4 among the Top Public Schools in the Regional College South in 2021.

Overview of Elizabeth City State University (ECSU)

The university strives to be a premier public institution and leading partner for economic, social, and environmental progress that develops leaders who will make a positive difference on the world, now and in the future. Guided by a commitment to excellence, the school’s core values include accountability, commitment, excellence, collaboration, and inclusion. Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is also a leader in facilitating sustainable economic growth, while also safeguarding the unique culture and natural resources of the region.

As of fall 2022, there were approximately 2,150 students enrolled at Elizabeth City State University. Of these, 2,000+ were seeking undergraduate degrees and 100+ seeking graduate degrees. Over 80% of students were attending the institution full time. The institution employs 84 full-time and 32 part-time faculty members, the majority of whom provide instructional support. There is one professor on campus who also dedicated time to research and public service. Additionally, the school maintains one graduate research assistant. Overall, the institution’s student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1, which is quite competitive among colleges and universities in the nation.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Town: Distant
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 16:1
Graduation Rate 39%
Year Founded 1891

Student Enrollment

Total Students1,769


Undergraduate Student

Male 694
Female 998

Graduate Student

Male 32
Female 45

Explore Map

ECSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 953
Female 1,596


Male 553
Female 1,117

Acceptance Rate66%

Male 58%
Female 70%

Enrollment 387

Male 162
Female 225
Application Fee $30
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline August 1
Common Application Accepted No

ECSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Elizabeth City State University is an NC Promise campus participating in a Fixed Tuition Program. This means the institution is committed to making education more affordable for undergraduate students in the state. North Carolina residents taking advantage of the program pay tuition rates of only $500 per semester when taking 12 to 18 credit hours. Out-of-state student rates are also capped at $2,500 per semester. This saves those enrolled between $7,400 and $44,000 over the traditional four-year period. Notably, tuition for part-time students is prorated.

It’s important to realize, however, that the Fixed Tuition Program does not impact required fees and other costs of attendance. Elizabeth City State University charges many undergraduate fees to help cover the cost of access to technology, athletics, health services, student activities, student government, campus safety, transportation, book rental, and transportation. Students taking six or more credits are also expected to pay for health insurance. These expenses total approximately $2,920 per semester. Fees for undergraduate students enrolled in distance learning programs are much lower, totaling at $553 per semester.

Residential students will also need to pay on-campus housing and meal costs. Room rates and dining costs vary according to the residence hall and meal plan selected. All students who want to secure on-campus housing must pay a $150 application fee. The cost for a room ranges from $2,518 to $4,074 per semester. Meal plans cost between $1,284 and $1,713 per semester, with cheaper options available for non-boarding students.

Graduate students pay different tuition and fee rates than undergraduate students. North Carolina residents are charged $187.5 per credit hour. This equal $1,697 for a typical nine-credit course load each semester. Out-of-state students, on the other hand, pay $913 per credit hour. This equals $8,218 for a typical nine-credit course load each semester. Fees for both groups are the same, totaling $2,560.

It is worth noting that Student Loan Hero ranks Elizabeth City State University the number one most affordable four-year HBCU in the United States. The institution also helps students identify financial aid opportunities to minimize debt such as scholarships, grants, and work-study. As of the 2020-2021 academic year, 97% of beginning undergraduate students enrolled at the university received some form of financial aid. While the majority of assistance came in the form of scholarships and grants, 62% of students still required student loans to attend.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $2,465
Average Total Aid $9,191
Students Receiving Financial Aid 97%
Room & Board $8,036

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $3,260
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $7,260
  • Books and Supplies - $850
  • Room & Board - $8,036
  • Other - $1,350


Through teaching, research, and community engagement, Elizabeth City State University provides a student-centered environment designed to enhance learning and prepare graduates for leadership roles. The institution upholds its commitment to the highest quality education by maintaining a rigorous focus on academic excellence through liberal arts programs and by using innovative, flexible, and technology-based instruction models.

Students can choose from 27 bachelor’s degree programs and four master’s degree programs in the following academic departments:

  • English and Digital Media
  • Music and Visual Arts
  • Social Sciences
  • Business, Accounting, and Sport Management
  • Health and Human Studies
  • Natural Sciences
  • Education
  • Mathematics, Computer Science, and Engineering Technology
  • Aviation and Emergency Management
  • Military Science

Notably, Elizabeth City State University offers the only baccalaureate aviation degree program in North Carolina.

The institution also offers opportunities for students to pursue degrees 100% online. Undergraduate and graduate programs offered in this format possess the same quality and accreditation as those delivered in person, but with more flexibility and convenience. With 24/7 access, those enrolled are able to adjust their education to meet even the busiest schedule.

Online degree options include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security
  • Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Master of Education in Elementary Education

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the retention rate for first-time students pursuing bachelor’s degrees full-time at Elizabeth City State University is 73%. The retention rate for part-time students is 75%. This is higher than the national average and indicates that the mass majority of those enrolled at the university were pleased with their experiences and opted to return for a second year of study.

Graduation rates are lower, however. This data is significant, as it indicates the number of students who successfully earned their degrees or certificates within 150% of the standard completion time, which is six years. The overall graduation rate for full-time, first-time degree or certificate-seeking students who began their studies at Elizabeth City State University in fall 2015 was 40%. However, the transfer-out rate was 34%, which could indicate that as many a 70% of students graduated, they simply didn’t all graduate from this institution. While most students strive to graduate within four years of enrollment, only 20% of those who began their studies in fall 2015 achieved this at this school.

Elizabeth City State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. It is permitted to award degrees at the baccalaureate and master’s levels. The institution also maintains programmatic accreditation through several professional organizations, including the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET).

Student Population Total

Student Population 1,769

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 33 Total Graduates / 15%
Business Administration and Management, General 26 Graduates
Accounting 7 Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 23 Total Graduates / 10%
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 23
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 19 Total Graduates / 9%
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, General 19 Graduates
Public Administration and Social Service Professions 19 Total Graduates / 9%
Social Work 19 Graduates
All Visual and Performing Arts Majors 17 Total Graduates / 8%
Graphic Design 9 Graduates
Music, General 8 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 50%

Outcome & Salary

Elizabeth City State University conducted an alumni survey in 2018. Of those who responded, 58% said the institution prepared them well for future professional and education pursuits. Additionally, 75% said attending the university was worth the cost. This feedback is better than average for all University of North Carolina System alumni. Specific employment information is not available, however.

Data also indicates that education majors at Elizabeth City State University do well when applying for licensure. As of the 2018-2019 academic year, graduates experienced a 100% pass rate, which is well above the state average. According to PayScale, the average base salary for Elizabeth City State University graduates is $59,000 per year.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $44,100
College Grads Average Salary $54,307
College Grads Mid Career Salary $70,100
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $543,070
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,244,070
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $9,860
10 Year Projected ROI $533,210
20 Year Projected ROI $1,234,210
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

Search All Programs