Frequently Asked Questions

Will this degree allow me to work as a counselor, therapist, psychologist or sit for a licensing board exam?

No. This program emphasizes research but no clinical training.  While you can use it to strengthen your research credentials, it will not shorten the time it takes to become a licensed clinical psychologist. You have several options. You can read about our Health Psychology Ph.D. Program.  Alternatively, you can consider a Psy.D. Program (programs that emphasize practice rather than research). You can also research an MA or Ph.D. in Counseling (e.g. UNCC's Counseling Programs) or an MS in Clinical Social Work (e.g. UNCC's Social Work Program).

What Jobs Can you Do With An MA In A Psychology Program That Emphasizes Research?

  • Research associate
  • Lab technician
  • Research coordinator
  • Clinical research consultant (High level)
  • Teaching (Community College, Adjunct Professor – although research this a bit in your area; there may be a lot of competition from unemployed people with Ph.D.s)

 

You will also have the oppurtunity to learn skills in the MA program that are relevant for many career areas, even those not primarily in research. These are some of the skills you can emphasize on your resume or curriculum vita.

  • Grant Writing (this is extremely useful and highly marketable)
  • Knowledge of IRB drafting and protocol
  • Manuscript drafting and revisions (general writing skills acquired through psychology courses)
  • Data analysis
    •  SPSS
    •  R
    •  Qualtrics
    •  Excel
  • Literature Reviews
  • Systematic Reviews
  • Database building and organization
  • Privatizing and securing sensitive data (Anonymize effectively)
  • Data interpretation
  • Statistical techniques (such as ANOVA, t-tests, post-hoc, regression, simple effects, qualitative research, program evaluation, etc.)
  • Data collection
  • Participant screening
  • Scheduling lab activities
  • Specialized knowledge e.g. a graduate certificate in one of many areas (see The Graduate School's website for more options)
    • Cognitive Psychology
    • Community Psychology
    • Other areas chosen by you and your advisor
  • Professional social skills
  • Lab management
  • Professional presentation skills

Do I have to have a faculty member who agrees to work with me in order to be admitted?

Yes. Students who have already had conversations with a faculty member are more likely to be admitted. We don’t want to admit someone unless we’re sure someone will take responsibility for that person’s research and thesis.

Must I have undergraduate research experience to apply?

Not necessarily, but if you have research skills to “sell,” you are more likely to find someone interested in serving as your advisor. 

Must I have Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores to apply?  How high do they need to be? How about my GPA?

The GRE is required. The graduate school sets a minimum of the 30th percentile.  In rare cases, students with lower scores have been accepted. If this applies to you, discuss reasons (for example, taking the test in your non-native language, being a first-generation college student) for the low GRE scores with your potential advisor. The minimum undergraduate or graduate grade point average is 3.0.

Who should I contact with additional questions?

Dr. Jane Gualtney (Program Director)

The Graduate School (Admissions)

Dr. Doug Markant (Cognitive Science Concentration)

Dr. Jim Cook (Community Psychology Concentration)