Department of Psychology

Overview of Doctoral Program

The Department of Psychology offers a doctoral program in three concentrations: General Clinical, Applied Behavior Analysis, and Psychological Science.  For a list of graduate faculty who are considering graduate students next year, please see Faculty Considering Graduate Students.

The General Clinical concentration provides education and training in psychological science and practice that will prepare individuals for licensure as doctoral-level psychologists in health-service fields.  The program focuses on the biological, psychological, behavioral, social and cultural influences on the development, assessment, and treatment of mental health, substance use, and behavioral disorders. See program accreditation information here.

The Applied Behavior Analysis concentration embraces a scientist-practitioner model of training in health services psychology. Consistent with doctoral training in psychology, students receive experiences in a variety of domains including biological, affective, social, cognitive, and developmental aspects of behavior. Students will be trained with an emphasis on empirically supported and individualized assessment and intervention when working with clinical populations, consistent with outcomes-driven and problem-solving models. Students are also trained in the experimental and applied analyses of behavior underlying effective interventions for vulnerable populations.

The Psychological Science concentration provides students with an education in the core scientific domains of psychology and training in psychological research and professional development. Coursework is designed to provide disciplinary knowledge in the core domains of psychology and a solid foundation of quantitative and methodological skills. Students will engage in faculty-mentored research in one or more of the following areas: behavior analysis, behavioral pharmacology, cognitive, developmental, neuroscience, personality, and social. Training also includes experiential learning through career-path exploration. Students earning their Ph.D. in the Psychological Science concentration will be able to pursue research-oriented careers in academic, industry, or government settings.

For more information, including Admission, Degree, & Course Requirements for a Ph.D. in Psychology, please see the current UNCW Graduate Catalogue.

PhD Student Learning Outcomes 

  • Students demonstrate doctoral-level knowledge in the theoretical and empirical frameworks of the science and application of Psychology.
  • Students demonstrate doctoral-level comprehensive knowledge in research design and quantitative methods.
  • Students demonstrate effective communication of empirical findings in writing (in the style of the American Psychological Association) and in oral presentations
  • Students demonstrate doctoral-level ability to critically evaluate research and to independently develop a research plan based on current empirical findings.
  • Students demonstrate doctoral-level knowledge, technical skills, and ethical decisions that are appropriate for the student’s particular concentration.