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Advising FAQs

To register for classes, you will first need your registration PIN.

PSY majors request and receive their registration PINs through our Canvas advising course, which occurs each Fall and Spring semester. Information about how to self-enroll in the course, complete it, and request your PIN will be sent to the UNCW ( email account all PSY majors in the weeks prior to the official registration period. Note that the Psychology Canvas Advising Course is mandatory for all psychology majors and must be successfully completed in order for a student to receive their registration PIN. 

Given the large number of PSY majors, we require up to THREE BUSINESS DAYS to process PIN requests.  So please be patient and don't wait until the last minute to complete the advising course and request your PIN! Your PIN will be provided in the Feedback/Comments field of your PIN Request within the Canvas advising course. 

Once you apply to graduate, you will not receive instructions for the advising course or be issued a registration PIN. If you decide to enroll in classes for another semester, then you will need to contact and let the Registrar’s Office know that your graduation date needs to be moved. Once your graduation date has been moved back one semester, they will then be able to issue you a PIN and registration date/time.

Once you have your registration PIN, you will use SeaNet to register for classes.

You can find more detailed information about policies related to registration at the Office of the Registrar.

The best way to contact your advisor is by email. You can locate the name of your academic advisor at the top of your degree audit and his or her name is typically a link that you can click to send an email. Alternatively, you can find the contact information for all Psychology faculty on our department website.

You should expect to give your advisor a day or two to reply to your email. Please remember that faculty are teaching classes, running research labs, and advising other students, so they may need a little lead time to get back to you. You might also go by your advisor's office to see if they have any posted office hours that you can attend. However, if you have reached out to your advisor repeatedly and have not heard back, please contact the Psychology Advising team ( for assistance.

Important Note: Please keep in mind that most faculty are on a 9-month contract and are often less available during the summer (from mid-May through mid-August). So, unless you have an urgent academic matter during the summer that requires immediate attention, please plan to get your all advising needs addressed during the school year. If you do contact your advisor during the summer, expect to wait a little longer for a reply.

If your degree audit lists “Pre-Psychology” as your major, then you still have to declare your major as Psychology. To declare a Psychology Major, you must first have completed all pre-major requirements. For more information, see Admission to Major.

You declare by logging onto MySeaport, clicking on the Academics tab near the top, and then clicking on Major Declaration/Curricular Updates in the Student Services box on the right of the screen. The Registrar will post close dates for when you can no longer declare your major, so be sure to pay attention to those dates. Use the University Calendar to help you keep track of important dates.

If you are trying to register for a course that is full, you should first check if there is a waitlist option in SeaNet, and then join the waitlist.


If you are trying to enroll in PSY 225, PSY 355, or Capstone, please email individual instructors to be placed on their waitlist.

  • Instructors will send their waitlists to the main office several weeks after registration. Our administrative assistants handle waitlists for these core courses to ensure that students who need them to graduate on time receive the highest priority.
  • If you have been placed on a waitlist, you will hear directly from someone in the main office or from the registrar about how to proceed; instructors do not individually or directly handle waitlists for these courses. 

One common issue is when students fail to declare Psychology prior to enrolling in PSY 225 (Introductory Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences). To enroll in PSY 225, you MUST have completed all Psychology major admission requirements. If you have already completed these requirements, but you are not yet a Psychology major (i.e., the major listed at the top of your degree audit is “Pre-Psychology”), then you will need to request an override to register for PSY 225. 

  • Override requests for an open section of PSY 225 should be sent by email to Sonya Kelly with (1) your 850#, (2) the semester for which you need the override, and (3) the specific section of PSY 225 for which you need the override (e.g., PSY 225-003).
  • Ms. Kelly will process your request and will send you a follow-up email regarding your override status.
  • Even if granted, a major override does not guarantee you access to a course. It will simply give you permission to enroll in a section that has open spots.
  • If your desired section of PSY 225 is full, consider contacting the instructor for that section to inquire about being placed on their waiting list in addition to requesting the override.

DIS stands for Directed Individual Study (PSY 491) and it is a course that gives students the opportunity to work with a faculty member in their research lab for course credit (you can earn 1 to 3 credit hours). In order to take advantage of this opportunity, you must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher and Junior or Senior standing. If you are a First-Year or Sophomore who is interested in joining a lab, consider the Introductory Research (PSY 291) course.

There are many good reasons to complete a DIS:

  • It's a great way to learn about the process of empirical research.
  • You can meet faculty and graduate students to learn more about graduate school.
  • You can make new friends.
  • It makes your grad school application more competitive, and it’s essential if you are applying for research-based graduate programs (e.g., clinical psychology, experimental psychology).
  • It counts for your Explorations Beyond the Classroom credits. You can enroll in up to 9 credits of DIS during your undergraduate career. They also count for the necessary elective credit at the 300 - 400 level. Most labs will have you enroll in 3 credits per semester.

The best way to get involved in a DIS is to introduce (or reintroduce) yourself to a faculty member in a brief, professional email that includes your interest in their research and any relevant classes you have taken in the area. You will want to send this email well before the semester in which you hope to begin your DIS. Faculty often get several DIS requests per semester and last-minute requests don’t really convey your interest in joining that faculty member’s lab.

You can find additional resources on DIS experiences on the Psychology Advising Canvas course, and should also consider attending DIS Night to learn more. DIS Night is hosted by Psi Chi once per semester and involves faculty or graduate-student representatives from labs telling you about their research and answering your questions. Once you have emailed a faculty member about a potential DIS, wait for them to reply with additional instructions.

When a faculty member has agreed to take you on as a DIS student, they will complete the Permission to Enroll in Directed Individual Study online form. Once this form has been processed, you will receive instructions for any necessary steps for enrollment in the course.

While you are not qualified as an undergrad student to do any actual counseling, the Psychology Department offers a three-credit course called Supervised Counseling Practice (PSY 451) that gives you the opportunity to practice paraprofessional counseling skills at a local social service agency. 

If you are interested in a graduate school degree or a future career in mental health services, this course is a great opportunity to get applied experience and to make you a more competitive candidate.

You’ll have to plan ahead if you are interested in taking this course! PSY 451 requires...

  • PSY 246 (Personality Psychology) or PSY 264 (Social Psychology),
  • PSY 247 (Abnormal Psychology),
  • PSY 450 (Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy), and
  • approval of the course instructor.

The psychology department offers several opportunities for students interested in behavior analysis, including an interdisciplinary minor in Applied Behavior Analysis, an ABAI Verified Course Sequence towards the BCaBA credential, and a course designed to meet the coursework requirement for the Register Behavior Technologist credential. In addition, students may work with faculty who specialize in applied, translational, and basic research in behavior analysis through DIS and Honors Theses. The coursework and research experience in behavior analysis help prepare students for careers at the bachelor’s levels, and offer excellent preparation for related Masters and PhD programs.

Read more about Behavioral Analysis opportunities

You are allowed to count one grade of D toward your Psychology major, including the required MAT and BIO classes, because these count toward the major requirements. If you were to earn more than one D in your PSY major courses, you will need to repeat at least one course, depending on how many D’s were earned. You should discuss how to navigate this with your advisor.

As long as your GPA stays above or equal to a 2.00, there is no limit to the number of “D’s” you can get in your non-major courses (those that do not count toward your Psychology major requirements). 

You are allowed to repeat a course for which you receive a C- or lower. For the first three courses you repeat, your previous grade and hours for that repeated course will not be included in your GPA. However, all grades will remain on your transcript.

If you take courses at another institution while enrolled at UNCW, you MUST complete a transient study form before you enroll in the course to ensure that your course will be accepted at UNCW and that a transcript of your completed course work is sent to the UNCW Registrar’s office.

You may transfer up to 93 hours, but no more than 64 hours can come from a 2-year institution. No transfer credit is given for grades of C- or lower, and grades earned at other institutions DO NOT impact your UNCW GPA.

If you don’t receive credit for a class that you took at another institution and feel you should, take the following steps:

  1. Email your advisor the syllabus from that class. Most institutions can help you find the syllabus you are looking for if you no longer have it. Including the syllabus is an important step to ensure the process goes more quickly and efficiently.
  2. Your advisor will need to go to MySeaport, click Academics tab, click Request for Substitution/Waiver of Degree Requirements under Faculty Services in the right menu, and then submit the request.
  3. If you took a class at another institution, and you want it to count at UNCW, then your advisor will be selecting substitution of degree requirements to allow your transferring class to substitute for a course you need at UNCW.

If your GPA is 3.50 or higher, you may be able to enroll for 19-21 hours (21 hrs is max) for the Fall or Spring semesters, but will need permission from College of Science and Engineering (CSE) Associate Dean. To request this permission, please complete the CES Over Hours Request form on the Academic Forms page. If approved, the Registrar will be notified, and you will be able to register for classes up to the approved number of hours.

If your GPA is less than 3.50, you may also be able to enroll in more than 18 hours but, in addition to completing Over Hours Request form, you will also need approval from your advisor and department chair. Transfer students who have not established a UNCW GPA need to follow the same steps as students with a GPA less than 3.50. 

If your GPA is below a 3.0, it is highly unlikely the dean will approve additional hours. You can contact your advisor to discuss this issue, but unless there are extenuating circumstances, this request is unlikely to be approved.

This same procedures need to be followed for students who wish to enroll in more than 16 hours for the Summer I and II sessions combined.

In addition to meeting all graduation requirements as described in your degree audit, you must also Apply to Graduate.

You can participate ("walk") at the graduation ceremonies if you have 8 or fewer credit hours remaining, which you plan to complete during the semester immediately following the commencement ceremonies. Students wanting to do this will need to complete both the Apply to Graduate and Early Commencement Participation applications. After completing the applications, contact Sonya Kelly in the Psychology office to ensure that your name is in the department pamphlet at the departmental reception.

Helpful Graduation Links:

If you have further questions, please email your assigned advisor (the person whose name is listed on your Degree Audit under Primary Advisor).