Department of Psychology

General Requirements for the Masters of Arts at UNCW

  • The Psychological Science Concentration requires 33 semester hours of graduate study, the Substance Abuse Treatment Psychology (SATP) Concentration requires 55 hours, and the Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Concentration requires 53 hours. A minimum of 26 semester hours of graduate study must be completed in residence at UNC-Wilmington.
  • Six semester hours of credit, if approved by the Graduate Steering Committee, may be transferred from another accredited institution. Grades earned on the transfer work must be the equivalent of "B" or better.
  • All deficiencies must be remedied before graduation. Undergraduate courses taken to make up deficiencies will not count toward the hours required for the graduate degree.
  • Students must complete a written comprehensive examination, acceptable to the department committee, based on your prior course work. The comprehensive examination normally is taken during the student's final semester.
  • Students must present a successful oral defense of their thesis, and a written presentation of their thesis, both deemed acceptable by a faculty committee, before graduation.
  • Students must complete an approved course of study within five years of the date of their first registration for graduate study.

Specific Requirements for the Masters of Arts at UNCW

The following core courses are required of all students seeking a M.A. in Psychology:

1. Research Methods (9 hours required of all students).

  • PSY 555 Psychological Research Methods I (4)
  • PSY 579 & 580 Advanced Research Practicum I & 2 (1 & 1)
  • PSY 589 Psychological Research Methods II (3)
  • or
  • PSY 515 Small-n Research Design (required of ABA students) (3)

2. Required Courses (4 of the following):

  • PSY 510 Cognitive Psychology (3)
  • PSY 517 Learning and Behavior Analysis (required of ABA students) (3)
  • PSY 520 Developmental Psychology (required of ABA students) (3)
  • PSY 556 Advanced Physiological Psychology (required of ABA & SATP students) (3)
  • PSY 565 Personality and Social Psychology (3)

3. PSY 599 Thesis research (6; to be taken over at least two semesters).

4. PSY 591 may be repeated only once for credit toward the graduation requirement.

Additional Requirements for the Specific Concentrations

Psychological Science (33 credit hours)

Students choose 4 of the 5 Core Courses listed above, with the advice of their mentor/advisor. In addition, general concentration students take 6 additional hours: one 595 Seminar and one graduate-level elective, approved by the Department Chair & Graduate Coordinator.

SATP Concentration (55 credit hours)

Students must take Physiological Psychology (PSY 556) and select 3 from the remaining four Core Courses (above) under the advice of their thesis advisor. In addition, students in the SATP Concentration must complete the following course work:

  • PSY 525 Psychological Assessment I (3)
  • PSY 526 Psychological Assessment II (3)
  • PSY 545 Chemical Dependency (3)
  • PSY 547 Advanced Psychopathology (3)
  • PSY 549 Basic Interviewing Skills (2)
  • PSY 550 Advanced Psychotherapy (3)
  • PSY 551 Intervention Strategies in Drug & Alcohol Problems (3)
  • PSY 552 Ethical and Legal Issues in Mental Health (3)
  • PSY 594 Clinical Psychology Practicum (2)
  • PSY 598 Internship (3)

ABA Concentration (53 credit hours)

Students take PSY 517 Learning & Behavior Analysis, PSY 520 Developmental Psychology, and PSY 556 Physiological Psychology. They may choose either PSY 510 Cognitive Psychology or PSY 565 Social & Personality Psychology as the fourth Core course, under the advice of their thesis advisor.

  • PSY 515 Small-n Research Design (3)
  • PSY 518 Applied Behavior Analysis (3)
  • PSY 519 Conceptual Issues in Behavior Analysis (3)
  • PSY 522 Advanced Topics in Behavior Analysis (to be taken 3 times) (1)
  • PSY 525 Psychological Assessment I (3)
  • PSY 547 Advanced Psychopathology (3)
  • PSY 550 Advanced Psychotherapy (3)
  • PSY 552 Ethical and Legal Issues in Mental Health (3)
  • PSY 596 Clinical Psychology Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis (2)
  • PSY 597 Internship in Psychology and Applied Behavior Analysis (3)

For additional information, please call or write to us at:

Dr. Christine Hughes
Graduate Coordinator
Department of Psychology
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Wilmington, North Carolina 28403-3297
Phone 910-962-7795 Email