Department of Psychology

UNCW Psychology Undergraduate Advising

>>> Go Directly to the Group Advising Page <<<

This page provides answers to the most common questions about our program in three areas: Scheduling Psychology Advising Appointments, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Psychology Major, and Tips for Graduate School and Careers for Bachelor’s in Psychology.

Other useful resources that can help you take charge of your academic progress include:

How to Schedule an Advising Appointment

During the registration advising period only, you can schedule a group advising appointment here.  You will receive an email to your UNCW account that tells you when it is time to schedule a group advising appointment.

At all other times, your primary contact for academic guidance is your assigned faculty advisor.  You can locate the name of your advisor at the top of your degree audit.  The best way to contact your advisor is by email.  The advisor name on your degree audit is typically a link that you can click to send an email, or you can find the contact information for all Psychology faculty on our department website.  If you don’t have an advisor or need to switch advisors, please contact Rosemary Schmitt in the Psychology main office at schmittr@uncw.edu or (910) 962-7467.

FAQs for Psychology Majors

Complicated academic issues may require an advising appointment.  However, in most cases, we encourage you to use the information below to seek answers to common questions yourself:

  1. What classes do I need to get a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology?
  2. How do I access my degree audit?
  3. How do I register for classes?
  4. How do I get a registration PIN?
  5. What should I do if I’m having trouble contacting my advisor?
  6. I’m a new Psychology transfer student. What should I do next?
  7. How do I declare Psychology as my Major?
  8. I’m considering changing my Major to Psychology. How can I decide?
  9. Should I do a Psychology-related Minor?
  10. How do I get into PSY 225 (Statistics)?
  11. What is a Capstone course?
  12. What do I need to know about Psychology electives?
  13. What are Psychology domain courses?
  14. What is Explorations Beyond the Classroom (EBC) and what classes count as EBC?
  15. What is a DIS?
  16. Can I get counseling experience as a Psychology student?
  17. What is “double counting” and do any Psychology courses double count?
  18. What happens if I get a D grade in one of my Psychology classes?
  19. Can I transfer credits from other institutions to UNCW?
  20. What if I want to take more than 18 credit hours in the Fall/Spring or more than 16 hours during the Summer?
  21. How does Writing Intensive work?
  22. How do I go about selecting a Foreign Language class?
  23. What is a Math Placement Test?
  24. What do I need to do to graduate?
  25. What is PSY 106?
  26. What if I have additional questions?

Life After Your Psychology Bachelor's Degree

Graduate School

If you are interested in going to graduate school in Psychology, consider visiting the webpages for our Master’s and Doctoral programs to find out more about the concentrations we offer, our admission requirements, and the opportunities we provide.

Another great resource as you plan for graduate training is the American Psychological Association. This website provides helpful information on finding and applying to graduate school, succeeding in graduate school, and more.

A final resource you might consider is the Graduate Study in Psychology book. It is the best source of information related to psychology graduate programs, and it provides information related to approximately 600 graduate programs in the U.S. and Canada.

Psychology-Relevant Careers

If you’ve decided to take your Psychology degree out into the work force, there are many people you can talk to about life after university.  One great resource is the Career Center at UNCW. You can schedule an appointment to meet with someone one-on-one or you can search their website to find the answers to your career questions. You should also plan to attend the events hosted by the Career Center to help build a LinkedIn profile, learn about networking events, attend job fairs, and receive additional assistance. The Career Center is also an alumni benefit; you can use them any time after you graduate.

Another helpful resource for getting a job with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology is the American Psychological Association.  Here is a 2018 article that provides a list of potential jobs.

Many students report that they found psychology-related jobs using Indeed.com. If you are looking for a job or an internship, you might also consider using this resource.  It lists several current job and internship opportunities around the U.S.

Useful Resources

Taking the Graduate Record Exams (GRE):

Building a Curriculum Vita (CV):

Writing a Personal Statement:  

 

Answers to FAQs for Psychology Majors

1. What classes do I need to get a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology?

There are many helpful resources about our Undergraduate Program on our Psychology Department website.  In particular, there is a page dedicated to the requirements for a B.A. in Psychology, which includes detailed information about the required course sequence.  There are also two advising guides for students that outline course requirements and options, one for students under the 2018-2019 catalogue and earlier and one for students under the 2019-2020 catalogue and later. <back to FAQs>

2. How do I access my degree audit?

A degree audit is an online tool that allows you to track your progress toward your degree.  It lists important information like your current GPA, your catalogue year, the course requirements you have already fulfilled and your earned grades, and courses that will help you fulfill any remaining requirements.  You can find detailed information about your degree audit at the Office of the Registrar.

You can access your degree audit through your SeaNet account.  Log in to SeaNet (using your UNCW login information) and click on the following links: Student Services & Financial Aid > Student Records > Degree Audit (at the bottom of the list). <back to FAQs>

3. How do I register for classes?

To register for classes, you will first need your registration PIN which you’ll receive when you attend group advising.  Registration usually occurs the first week of November for the following Spring semester, and the first week of April for the Summer and Fall semesters.  Use the University Calendar to help you keep track of registration dates.  Group advising will occur in the weeks prior to each registration period.  

You will use SeaNet to register for classes.  Click on Secure Login for Faculty, Staff, and Students and then log in using your UNCW student ID (850) number and password. Your SeaNet password is initially set to your 8-digit birthday, but you may have created a new one if you’ve logged in before.  Once logged in, click on Student Services and Financial Aid and then Registration.  You can register for classes using the Look-up Classes to Add link, and you can access your time ticket using the Check your Registration Status link.

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

4. How do I get a registration PIN?

You will receive your registration PIN at group advising.  You will receive an email to your UNCW account to let you know when group advising is about to begin.  Your faculty advisor also has access to PIN information.

Note that, once you apply to graduate, you will not receive a registration PIN. If you decide to enroll in classes for another semester, then you need to contact graduation@uncw.edu and let the Registrar’s Office know that your graduation date needs to be moved.  Once you ask them to move your graduation date back one semester, they will be able to issue you a PIN and registration date/time. <back to FAQs>

5. What should I do if I’m having trouble contacting my advisor?

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 Undergraduate Coordinator, Dr. Karen Daniels, 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.  <back to FAQs>

6. I’m a new Psychology transfer student.  What should I do next?

Welcome to UNCW!  We know that you are excited to begin planning your university career, but our first suggestion here is:  Please try to be patient!  We have an orientation process for transfer students in place that will answer all your questions and get you registered for classes.  So, for now, just be sure that you have registered for your transfer orientation session (this is done through Transition Programs) and that all transcripts of your prior coursework have been sent to UNCW’s Office of the Registrar (click here for instructions on how to submit transcripts).  If you have an urgent matter that needs to be addressed prior to transfer orientation, please contact the Psychology Undergraduate Coordinator, Dr. Karen Daniels (danielsk@uncw.edu). <back to FAQs>

7. How do I declare Psychology as my Major?

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: PSY 105 with a “C” or better, BIO (with lab) 105/140/201/202 or 240, and MAT 111/112/115/ or 151 (or higher). Your combined GPA for these three courses should be at least a “C” (2.00 GPA).  For more information, see our webpage on 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. <back to FAQs>

8. I’m considering changing my Major to Psychology.  How can I decide?

There are many helpful resources about our Undergraduate Program on our Psychology Department website.  In particular, there is a page dedicated to the requirements for a B.A. in Psychology, which includes detailed information about the required course sequence.

As well, you might want to run a "What If" Degree Audit in SeaNet.  This shows whether any of your previously completed coursework would fulfill any of the requirements for a Psychology Major.

Finally, you might consider visiting Career Services.  They have several helpful online resources regarding what you can do with a specific major and you can even schedule an appointment to speak with someone one-on-one about your options. <back to FAQs>

9. Should I do a Psychology-related Minor?

The answer to this question will be different for different students.  You can certainly graduate successfully without a minor.  However, a minor can be a great opportunity to explore another discipline that you enjoy in some depth, to supplement your professional credentials for graduate school or your chosen career, or even just to provide some structure for selecting remaining credit hours near the end of your university career.

If you are majoring in another discipline and would like to minor in Psychology, please go to our Psychology Minor webpage for a list of the requirements.  All students, including Psychology majors, looking for a minor to complement their major studies, should consider one of our Interdisciplinary Minors in Applied Behavior Analysis & Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities, Forensic Science, Neuroscience, or Women's and Gender Studies.

You can declare a Minor 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. <back to FAQs>

10. How do I get into PSY 225 (Statistics)?

To enroll in PSY 225 (Introductory Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences), you MUST complete MAT 111 (or a higher level MAT course) or STT 215.  STT 215 can get you into PSY 225, however you will still need to take MAT 111 to graduate with your Psychology major.  If you have already completed MAT 111 or STT 215, 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 Rosemary Schmitt 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).  Rosemary 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.  <back to FAQs>

11. What is a Capstone course?

A Capstone is a course meant to help you integrate the key skills that you have attained in your time at UNCW.  It is generally taken at the end of your undergraduate career. In this class, you will learn more about the specific topic and complete a full-semester research project. The Psychology Department offers seven different capstones for you to choose from: PSY 410 (Cognitive), PSY 412 (Sensation & Perception), PSY 417 (Learning), PSY 423 (Developmental), PSY 425 (Psychometrics), PSY 456+459* (Advanced Physiological + Lab), PSY 464 (Personality & Social). For most Psychology majors, any of these seven courses will fulfill your Capstone requirement.  If you are minoring in ABA, you MUST take PSY 417 (Learning) as your Capstone course.  Capstone courses have the relevant content domain (200-level) course and PSY 355 as prerequisites.  [*to count as a capstone, Advanced Physio (PSY 456) requires co-registration in a separate lab course (PSY 459)].

Though you do not have to be senior to enroll in a Capstone, students in their final semester who are on a waitlist receive the highest priority if the class is full. If all the Capstone sections are full when you register, please email individual instructors to be placed on their waitlist. The instructor will send their waitlists to the main office several weeks after registration. Our administrative assistants handle Capstone waitlists to ensure that graduating seniors receive the highest priority. If you have been placed on a waitlist for Capstone (or PSY 355), you will hear directly from someone in the main office about how to proceed; instructors do not individually or directly handle waitlists for PSY 355 or Capstone courses.  <back to FAQs>

12. What do I need to know about Psychology electives?

As your degree audit shows, you need to complete a total of 15 credit hours of Psychology electives, and 12 of those hours MUST be at the 300-400 level.  One of your Psychology elective courses can be taken at the 200-level and may include the following: PSY 210 (Science & Pseudoscience), PSY 245 (Drugs & Behavior), PSY 265 (Human Sexual Behavior), and PSY 275 (Forensic Psychology).  Most 300-400 level Psychology classes including PSY 491 (Directed Independent Study), PSY 451 (Supervised Counseling Practice), and PSY 492 and PSY 495 (Topical Seminar) can count toward your elective hours.  PSY 355 (Experimental) and Capstone courses do NOT count as elective credits. <back to FAQs>

13. What are Psychology domain courses?

As your degree audit shows, you need to complete 18 hours of courses to complete all 6 content domains (3 hours in each domain area). You can take these courses in any order, but many of them are prerequisites for the 300-400 level courses. You should plan ahead when deciding which of these courses to take in each semester. If you think you are interested in our ABA minor, you should take PSY 217 earlier in your career because it is a prereq for this track. If you think you are interested in neuroscience, you should take PSY 256 earlier in your career. If you think you are interested in our PSY 450 (Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy) or PSY 451 (Supervised Counseling Practice) courses, you should take PSY 247 and either PSY 246 or PSY 264 earlier in your career. <back to FAQs>

14. What is Explorations Beyond the Classroom (EBC) and what classes count as EBC?

Every student must complete one approved Explorations Beyond the Classroom (EBC) experience. EBCs are high-impact educational experiences that are designed to help you integrate ideas and skills learned in the classroom with opportunities and challenges outside the classroom. Employers and graduate schools want internships and real work experiences. You will gain valuable connections to faculty, graduate students, and the community. These courses (PSY 451, 491, & 499) are vitally important if you are thinking about graduate school!

Your EBC may be double counted in the major or in other university studies components (see FAQ on double counting).  You can take it in PSY or another department; check your degree audit for all classes that count as EBC.  The Psychology courses that count as EBC are: PSY 291 (DIS for Freshman & Sophomores who have earned less than 60 credit hours), PSY 416 (Adult Development & Life Transitions), PSY 451 (Supervised Counseling Practice), PSY 491 (Directed Independent Study), and PSY 499 (Honors Thesis). These 400-level classes also count for your required psychology elective credits and for your EBC requirement.

There are two options outside of the Psychology Department that also count for your EBC experience. The first is Study Abroad through International Programs and the second is a Certified Internship Program through Career Services. If you participate in a study abroad experience, please check with International Programs office to make sure you have complete all the necessary EBC paperwork. They will handle ensuring you receive EBC credit after the correct paperwork has been submitted. For the Certified Internship Program, which is a non-credit bearing option, you must have a GPA of 2.50 or above. The position will be at least 50 hours over 5 or more weeks, and some options are paid internships. Please visit the website listed above and note there are deadlines and additional paperwork that you must complete if you plan to enroll in this option. <back to FAQs>

15. What is a DIS?

DIS stands for Directed Individual Study (PSY491) 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 Freshman or Sophomore who is interested in joining a lab, consider the Introductory Research (PSY291) course.

There are many excellent reasons to complete a DIS:

  • It is an excellent 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 credits 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 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.  More information about DIS along with descriptions of faculty research can be found in this Guide to DIS. <back to FAQs>

16. Can I get counseling experience as a student?

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 (PSY451) that gives you the opportunity to practice paraprofessional counseling skills at a local social service agency. You’ll have to plan ahead if you are interested in taking this course; it requires you to take PSY246 (Personality), PSY247 (Abnormal Psychology), and PSY450 (Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy) as pre-requisites, and to get the approval of the course instructor.  However, if you are interested in a graduate school degree or future career in mental health services, this course is a great opportunity to get applied experience and to make you a more competitive candidate. <back to FAQs>

17. What is “double counting” and do any Psychology courses double count?

A “double counted” course is one that simultaneously fulfills more than one requirement of University Studies or the major.  Make sure you consult your catalogue to know what can and cannot double count. Here is an example to help you: You can have one double-counted class in “Living in a Diverse Nation” OR “Living in a Global Society.” If you have a double-counted class in one of those categories, you CANNOT have a class that double counts in the other category.

Below are the different psychology classes you may take and what they double count for:

  • PSY 105 = Understanding Human Institution & Behaviors component of University Studies
  • PSY 256 = Scientific Approaches to the Natural World component of University Studies [NOTE: BIO 105 (4 credit) & PSY 256 will complete the entire component.]
  • PSY 355, Capstone, and PSY 405 (History & Systems) = Writing Intensive Competency
  • PSY 355 and Capstone = Information Literacy Competency
  • Capstone = Critical Reasoning Competency
  • PSY 291 (DIS < 60 earned credits), 416 (Adult Development), 451, 491, 499 = Exploration Beyond the Classroom. <back to FAQs>

18. What happens if I get a D grade in one of my Psychology classes?

You are allowed to count one grade of D toward your Psychology major, including MAT 111, BIO 105, and PSY 105 because these count toward the major requirements.  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. 

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, although all grades will remain on your transcript.  [NOTE that if you started at UNCW before Fall 2012, you are eligible for up to 5 grade replacements].

Two very helpful links for learning more about academic progress are Academic Eligibility (Academic Standing, Probation, & Dismissal) and University Regulations (Retention, Dismissal, & Readmission).

<back to FAQs>

19. Can I transfer credits from other institutions to UNCW?

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. 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. <back to FAQs>

20. What if I want to take more than 18 hours in the Fall/Spring or more than 16 hours in the Summer?

If you have a GPA of 3.50 or higher, you need Associate Dean Boersma’s permission to enroll in 19-21 hours (21 hrs is max) for the Fall or Spring semesters and 9 for the Summer semesters. You should email Dr. Boersma with the following to obtain approval: Your name, 850#, major, overall GPA, and the # of hours you are requesting for a specific semester. If approved, Dr. Boersma will forward approval to the Office of the Registrar, and you will be able to register for classes online up to the approved number of hours.

If your GPA is less than 3.50, you need your advisor’s or department chair’s written approval to enroll in more than 18 hours. The advisor or department chair can seek approval by sending an email to Dr. Boersma.  In addition to the above information, your advisor will need to include a sentence stating that he or she “supports the student’s decision” or “approves the student taking ____ hours for ____ semester 20__”.   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 that 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 procedure needs to be followed for students who wish to enroll in more than 16 hours for the Summer I and II sessions combined. <back to FAQs>

21. How does Writing Intensive work?

If your catalogue year (as listed on your degree audit) falls between 2014/15 and 2017/18, you will need to complete 9 total Writing Intensive credit hours.  The new catalogue (2018/19) only requires 6 Writing Intensive credits.  PSY 355 (Experimental) and your Capstone will fulfill 8 of those credits. If you are not the 2018/19 catalogue, you will need to take at least one additional Writing Intensive credit hour. Consider taking PSY 405 or something in another department. <back to FAQs>

22. How do I go about selecting a Foreign Language class?

Selecting and being placed into a Foreign Language course may seem a bit confusing at first. To determine the best foreign language courses for you, read the information on UNCW's Language Requirement and use the Language Placement Tool. Note that these websites also provide you with contact information for the World Languages & Cultures Department should you require additional guidance. <back to FAQs>

23. What is a Math Placement Test?

MAT 111 or a higher-level math course is a pre-requisite for the PSY 225 (Statistics) course that you need to be a Psychology major.  Your performance on the Math Placement Test will determine whether you are eligible to enroll in MAT 111 or whether you need to first enroll in MAT 105. <back to FAQs>

24. What do I need to do to graduate?

To graduate, you MUST have at least 124 credits if you plan to graduate under the 2018-2019 catalogue and earlier, and 120 credits if you plan to graduate under the 2019-2020 catalogue and later.  These hour totals must include completion of basic studies requirements, electives of your choice, and a minimum of 52 credits from psychology. Note that you can see how many credits you have completed by looking at the very top of your degree audit. The university requires that all the sections in your degree audit must turn green in order to graduate. 

You also must register for graduation. To register, go to SeaNet > Student Records > Apply to Graduate. You can walk at the graduation ceremonies if you have one class (up to 4 credits) left to take. If you want to be a walker, you need to fill both the graduation form and the walker form. After filling out both forms, be sure to email Sonya Kelly (kellys@uncw.edu) in the Psychology main office to ensure your name is in the department pamphlet at the departmental reception.

Useful Graduation Links:

<back to FAQs>

25. What is PSY 106?

PSY 106, or Psychology as a Science and Career, is a new course introduced in Fall 2019.  It is 2 credit-hours and is required of all Psychology majors beginning with the 2019-20 catalogue year.  It must be taken with or after PSY 105.  Please see the current catalogue for a course description. <back to FAQs>

26. What if I have additional questions?

If you have further questions, please contact the Department of Psychology PsychologyAdvising@uncw.edu. <back to FAQs>