First Day of Classes at ECU

East Carolina University held its first day of fall semester classes on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020.

As of Friday, Aug. 7:

  • 28,831 students are registered for fall classes (includes undergraduate, graduate and professional school students). That is 301 more than on this date last year.
  • 4,283 new freshmen are registered for fall semester, 140 fewer than on this date last year. However, 230 students have deferred their enrollment to a future term, so we expect other admitted freshmen will begin their college journey in spring 2021 or fall 2021.
  • 1,904 new transfers are registered for fall semester, 31 more than on this date last year.
  • First-year retention is up by 2.43%.
  • Top NC counties for entering freshmen: Wake, Mecklenburg, Pitt, Guilford, Johnston (tie) and Cumberland (tie)
  • Top out-of-state senders for entering freshmen: Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania.
  • Top transfer-sending institutions: Pitt Community College, Wake Tech, Wayne Community College, Craven Community College and Nash Community College

Back to School

From sanitizer stands to social distancing, ECU has prepared for the return of students amid COVID-19.

Learn More


Classes and labs

In general, classrooms have been planned based on 50% occupancy. Seats will be assigned and staggered to create spacing; seats that should not be used will have signage. Lab setups may vary by department but have been modeled on a minimum of 16 square feet per person, and most labs already have that spacing. It is expected that in labs, students will wear additional PPE (masks, gloves, face shields, gowns, etc. as needed for the work they are performing) as they work in small groups.

PPE and signage

There will be hand sanitizing stations at the major entrances to academic buildings (where space permits). Classrooms, labs, and computer labs will have disinfecting wipes for faculty and students to use on their personal space before class. Signage will be added to the entrances reminding people of the 3 W’s and staying to the right when traveling in the building. Larger buildings may have designated entrance and exit only signage to streamline foot traffic and maximize spacing.


Dining facilities will have increased availability of hand sanitizer and “no-touch” service options, and the highest levels of cleanliness will be maintained at all times. Plexiglas barriers will be used at registers. Some locations will have exclusively online ordering to ensure guests can pick up food while maintaining distance. All employees will have proper PPE to ensure guest and employee safety.

Self-screening and other steps

We are working to engage the student body and the rest of the Pirate community to participate in making it possible to remain on campus by making the effort to wear a mask, social distance where possible, wash hands often, and avoid large gatherings where social distancing is impossible. Everyone coming to campus is to complete a daily self-screening using the link provided by a text or email reminder.

NOTE TO MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA: Members of the media are reminded to practice mask wearing and social distancing when on ECU’s campus. Visitors, including media, are not allowed in residence halls or many of our buildings in an effort to keep occupancy as low as possible. Please contact News Services if you have questions.