Getting Started - Online Student Next Steps

Get started by setting up your ECU account and learning about our systems. We are glad to have you aboard! Tutorials are available to assist you on your new venture.

Visit the Tutorials page.
View the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Visit our Current Students page for links to the many resources available to online students. View the list of resources.

We recommend that you review the modules on the Student Readiness website.

You may also wish to view the Online Learning 101 module, presented by the UNC System,

We Want to Hear From You!

ECU Online has a student services office designed to assist you with your educational goals. If we can be of assistance at any time, please contact us at . We look forward to working with you.

Pirate ID

Upon acceptance the Admissions Portal displays your ECU Pirate ID. You will use your Pirate ID to access your ECU Email, ECU Pirate Port, Canvas or other learning management systems. Visit the ITCS web site to activate your Pirate ID.

The pirate ID will include your last name, first initial (or additional letters of your first name) and the year admitted to ECU.

Last name: Doe
First initial(s): ja for James (or additional letters of the first name)
Year entered ECU: 2025 (year first admitted)
Pirate Id: doeja25

ECU (Banner) ID

ECU has developed an ID system for all faculty, staff and students to replace Social Security numbers.
Upon admission to the university, all students are assigned a unique "ECU ID" that identifies you as an ECU student. All ECU IDs begin with the letter B followed by 8 numbers. Your ECU ID is displayed in the Admissions Portal.
Example: B01234567 - Be sure to include your ECU/Banner ID in your email messages to the University.

Checking ECU E-Mail (Outlook 365)

First, Activate your Pirate ID:
Visit the Passphrase Maintenance Portal to set up your passphrase. If you forget your passphrase/password or you get locked out of your account, return to the Passphrase Maintenance Portal to reset your password or unlock your Pirate ID.

Your ECU Outlook 365 email account is your official channel of communication when contacting the university. Use this account when emailing anyone at ECU. DE/Online Student Services will send important information to you using this e-mail address.

Example of ECU Email account: (note the S on students)

To access your Piratemail account via the Web, go to and enter your full email address ( and Passphrase. (If you have not already done so, visit the Passphrase Maintenance Portal to activate your Pirate ID.

You can verify what your email account is by visiting the directory (enter last & first name and select Students Only to access your information).

For an e-mail tutorial see the tutorials page.
Tutorials: Multi-Factor Authentication

Pay the Enrollment Deposit

Bachelor's/Undergraduate Students Only: You must submit the non-refundable $100 Enrollment Deposit to reserve a spot for yourself in the upcoming class. Instructions to pay the deposit can be found on the Admitted Student Checklist (scroll down), choose “Enrollment Deposit – Main Campus,” deadlines are listed on the checklist (former/readmitted ECU students & post-bac licensure students may skip this step).

Contact your Advisor

Your academic or faculty advisor will assist you with clarifying your academic goals and deciding on the appropriate courses for which to register. Introduce yourself and discuss registration.
Undergraduate Students: View the list of undergraduate advising centers
Graduate Students: Find your graduate program contact

Pirate Port

Pirate Port is a customizable, secure Web portal that allows you to access secure internal campus resources and services, such as paying tuition, reviewing financial aid and registering for classes.

Click a card to open or use the search box at the top. You can "favorite" your most-used cards by clicking the star. Some tools, such as Piratedrive network storage, open in a full window.

For a Pirate Port tutorial visit the Tutorials page.

Registration & Planning

Registration is completed by logging into Pirate Port.
Instructions to Access Registration & Planning in Pirate Port.
How to Register for Classes

ECU 1 Card

You can request an official ECU 1 Card, without coming to campus. This card has a $10 fee and you can upload your own picture and request the card be mailed to your home for a small fee.
Visit the 1 Card Office website for instructions on obtaining your ECU 1 card.

Purchase Books & Paying Tuition

Students can select their desired textbooks, pay online, and have the3r books delivered right to their doorstep through Dowdy Student Stores.

Visit the Online Bookstore

In order for a student to pay for textbooks with financial aid or any type of scholarship, money must be deferred to a bookstore account.
For more information, see the 1 Card Office Spending Accounts page, then scroll down to #2.
Also see Credit Balance Authorizations and Bookstore Deferrals

Tuition payments for distance education courses can be made online through ECU’s Pirate Port via a secure connection, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can access the Pirate Port and search for Tuition Statements and Payments in the box at the top. Due dates listed under Important Dates on the Cashier's Office page.

With the eRefunds process through TouchNet, students have the option for refunds to be deposited directly into a designated bank account of their choice. If direct deposit information is not provided to the University, refund checks will be mailed to the student. Please make sure your mailing address is up to date. For full details and instructions, visit the Cashier's Office site.

Beginning your Classes

Course information will appear sometime during the first week of the semester. Some faculty will contact students via the ECU email system prior to or on the first day of class with instructions on how to proceed. You should check both your ECU email account and Canvas for information from your instructor.

If you are unable to access course information, email your professor. To obtain your professor’s name and email address, go to Pirate Port and login using your PirateID and Passphrase (same as email). Click the Registration and Planning card, then view your detailed schedule to see the instructor for each class.


Canvas is a Learning Management System (LMS) that allows professors a way to provide course materials online in a user-friendly environment. Exams, assignments, discussion boards, virtual chat rooms and other forms of contact for all class participants and instructors can be found once the student logs in. Your PirateID and passphrase are used to access your courses in Canvas.

For Canvas student guides, see the tutorials page.
Log into Canvas.

Information Technology & Computing Services Student Help Desk
252.328.9866 or 1.800.340.7081 (Student Support is Option 4)

Student Services

The ECU Online student services staff is happy to assist you with your educational goals. Please contact us at