Department of Psychology

Academic Requirements for the B.A. in Psychology 

 [Note that the information below is also provided in two advising guides, one for students under the 2018-2019 catalogue and earlier and one for students under the 2019-2020 catalogue and later]

Required Courses for Admission to the Major: PSY 105; MAT 111 or 112, or 115, or 151 or higher numbered math course; BIO 105, or 140 (with lab), or 201, or 202, or 240.  It is advisable for students to enter the major as soon as possible, but they may take the content domain courses and many 300-400 courses without being majors. Additional information can be found in Admission Requirements for a Major in Psychology

Required Sequence of Core Courses: PSY 105 then PSY 225 (statistics) then PSY 355 (experimental). Students under the 2019-20 catalogue or later, will also need to complete PSY 106 at the same time or after taking PSY 105. It is important to take PSY 105 early in students’ careers or at the point that they are even thinking of the possibility of becoming a major.  PSY 225 should be taken soon after declaring to be a full psychology major.  It is very important to note that students must be a full psychology major with the math requirement met to take PSY 225 and that there is a sequence with PSY 225 then PSY 355 and then the capstone courses.

The above course sequence is summarized in the following graphic:


200 Level Required Content Domain Courses:  These courses should be taken immediately after completing PSY 105. One course is required from each content domain listed below.  

  • Domain 1 - Developmental Psychology: PSY 220 (Child), 221 (Adolescent), or 223 (Lifespan)
  • Domain 2 - Social and Personality Psychology: PSY 246 (Personality) or PSY 264 (Social)
  • Domain 3 - Abnormal Psychology: PSY 247 (Abnormal)
  • Domain 4 - Biological Psychology: PSY 256 (Brain and Behavior)
  • Domain 5 - Cognitive Psychology: PSY 211 (Perception and Cognition)
  • Domain 6 - Learning and Behavior Analysis: PSY 217 (Learning and Behavior Change)

12 or 15 Elective Hours of 300-400 Level Psychology Courses:  Students who enrolled at UNCW before the 2014/2015 calendar year are required to earn 12 elective hours, while those who enrolled in or after the 2014/2015 calendar year are required to earn 15 elective hours. Required core courses (PSY 355 and the Capstone courses) cannot be used to fulfill elective hours. Note that, for all calendar years, three hours from the following courses may be counted towards the 12 or 15 hours of required psychology electives: PSY 210, PSY 245, PSY 257, PSY 265, PSY 275.

Capstone Course Requirement: Psychology majors are required to complete one advanced laboratory course chosen from PSY 410 (Cognitive), PSY 412 (Sensation and Perception), PSY 417 (Learning), PSY 423 (Developmental), PSY 425 (Psychometrics), PSY 456+459* (Advanced Physiological + Lab), or PSY 464 (Personality & Social).  All capstone courses have the relevant content domain (200-level) course and PSY 355 as prerequisites and, in most cases, should be taken at the end of the student’s undergraduate career. For most Psychology majors, any of these seven courses will fulfill your Capstone requirement.  However, if you are minoring in ABA, you MUST take PSY 417 (Learning) as your Capstone.  [*to count as a capstone, Advanced Physio (PSY 456) requires co-registration in a separate lab course (PSY 459)].

Psychology Courses Related to University Studies Content Areas: PSY 105 fulfills “Understanding Human Institutions and Behaviors”, PSY 256 fulfills “Scientific Approaches to the Natural World”, PSY 270 fulfills “Living in a Global Society”, and PSY 271 fulfills “Living in Our Diverse Nation”.   PSY 355, 405, and all capstones fulfill the “Writing Intensive” requirement.  PSY 106, 355, and all capstones fulfill the “Information Literacy requirement.  PSY 416 fulfills the “Explorations Beyond the Classroom” requirement.

Additional requirements and information for majors 

  • A grade of C or better is required in PSY 105.
  • There must be an average grade of C (2.0) or better in the three courses required for admission to the major (i.e., PSY 105 and the required Biology & Math courses); see Admission Requirements for a Major in Psychology
  • PSY 225, PSY 355, & the PSY Capstone Course must be taken in sequence; thus, students are advised to begin this sequence as early as possible. 
  • No more than one course with a grade of D can count toward the requirements for a major in Psychology. 
  • There must be an average grade of C (2.0) or better on all courses that are counted towards the major.