Frequently Asked Questions

*Note: The GRE general test requirement will be waived for admissions this upcoming cycle

Application Process

When is my application due?

November 15.

What happens after I submit my application?

Your application will be entered into the admissions electronic system (APY) by the Graduate School. The program director will be notified that your application is ready for review by program faculty.

What is the next step?

Program faculty will review applications for each area of emphasis and will submit recommendations to the Program Director. The Director will invite the top applicants for an interview in mid-to-late-February. Top applicants will receive an admissions offer in late February or early March.

What should I include in my personal statement?

Please refer to this document for more details: Personal Statement Guidelines

How is the personal statement used to select students for the program?

We use this information to evaluate the extent to which applicants’ expertise and interests are congruent or “match” with the program’s philosophy and training opportunities.

What do you look for in an applicant?

We consider both the quality of the applicant’s qualifications (see below) and the match with research interests of our faculty. We follow a mentor model, meaning that each student works closely with at least one faculty member who supervises the student’s research.

Who should I ask to write letters of recommendation?

Faculty members or supervisors who are familiar with your skills in research, writing and academic performance.

When will I hear if I was accepted?

The Program Director will contact top applicants by email in late February or early March.

Can I begin the program in the Spring semester?

No, the program admits students once a year during the Fall semester.

Can I go part time in the evenings?

No, the majority of required courses are offered during the day.

Can I work full time while in the program?

No, we provide intensive doctoral training that requires a full-time commitment from students.

How can I get more information about your program?

Most information can be found on our program website and/or on the Graduate school website. If you’ve reviewed those sites carefully and still have a question, please feel free to describe your specific question in an email to the Program Director, Dr. Peterman (

Where can I get an application? Can you send one to me?

We employ an electronic application process; please visit the UNC Charlotte Graduate School website to begin an application.


Do you require the Psychology GRE subject test?


Do you require applicant to submit any GRE scores?

For the Fall ’23 application deadline, our program does not require or accept scores from the General GRE test.

How are admissions decisions made?

Program faculty will review applications for each concentration and will submit recommendations to the Program Director. Faculty members take into account the applicants’ academic record (GPA, courses taken), research and professional experience, and the extent to which the applicant’s research and professional interests are congruent with the training our program offers.

What is the average undergraduate GPA for admitted students?

The undergraduate GPA of admitted students typically ranges from a 3.6 to 4.0.

What financial support is available?

Students admitted into the program typically receive a 9-month graduate assistantship (20 hour service commitment), tuition remission and health insurance via the Graduate Assistant Support Plan (GASP; Students enrolled in the program are eligible for these awards for up to five years, although the program can only guarantee such funding for four years. Students are also encouraged to apply for additional sources of funding which may be available.

Will my graduate courses transfer?

We make decisions about course transfers on an individual basis. The UNC Charlotte Graduate School allows for a maximum of 30 hours of prior graduate credit to transfer. All transfer courses must be approved by the Program Director and the student’s academic advising committee, made up of three or more faculty members, including the student’s advisor. Applicants who have completed clinically-related courses in a Masters program should know that it is highly unlikely that these courses will transfer. That is, almost all students in the clinical concentration will be required to take the clinical courses that our program offers.

Do I need a Master’s degree to get accepted?

No, we accept students with baccalaureate degrees in psychology or other related disciplines.

Will taking courses at UNC Charlotte help me to get accepted?

Not necessarily. We take multiple factors into account when we make admissions decisions.

If I am accepted into the Behavioral Science concentration or the Community concentration, can I change to the Clinical Psychology concentration?

No, students interested in changing their concentration will need to re-apply for admission to that concentration.

If I meet the minimum standards will I get accepted?

No, we admit the best qualified students that are the best match for our program. The application process is competitive and we typically only admit 6-8 students each year.

Do you require an interview in person?

No, our formal Interview Day is held virtually in order to increase accessibility for our applicants. However, once an applicant is accepted into the program, they are welcome to visit the campus in person. At that time, we’ll arrange in-person meetings with faculty and students so the accepted applicant can get a good sense of our program, the university, and the Charlotte area.

Do you offer a terminal Master’s degree?

No. The Department of Psychological Science offers an M.A. in Psychology. More information can be found here: M.A. in Psychology at UNC Charlotte.

How can I find out more about faculty research? How can I determine which faculty member would be a good match for me?

Faculty member’s research interests are listed on our program website. You can also search for their recent publications online. Our program newsletter (click here for the most recent edition) lists recent publications for faculty and students.

What can I do with a degree in Health Psychology?

Health psychologists work in a variety of areas depending on their specific training. Please visit the website for APA Division 38 for additional information regarding careers in Health Psychology.

Is the Clinical Psychology program APA-accredited?

The Clinical Psychology program at UNC Charlotte has been APA-accredited since 2012. For any questions about the program’s accreditation status or about APA accreditation in general, please contact:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation / American Psychological Association

750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242

Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail: / Web:

Where will I complete a practicum experience?

Students in all concentration areas are required to complete at least one practicum. Clinical students are able to work in a wide variety of settings, including a hospital inpatient cancer treatment program, a neuropsychology outpatient clinic, an outpatient rehabilitation facility, family medicine primary care offices, and the Counseling Center on campus. Clinical students complete at least two years of practicum experience, providing a variety of experiences. Students in the Community concentration and the Behavioral Science concentration complete a research practicum experience in another program on or off campus. Students have completed their practicum requirements in a variety of organizations including non-profit organizations, community clinics, and off campus research labs.

How is the program “interdisciplinary”?

Students are required to take courses from fields other than psychology (e.g., Public Policy, Health Services Research, Nursing, etc.). We also have core and auxiliary faculty members from many departments on campus, providing diverse perspectives on health and wellness. Our core health psychology courses all offer an interdisciplinary focus on how health psychologists can work with professionals from other fields. We are continuing to explore multiple avenues to increase our program’s involvement in interdisciplinary work.

Can I assist faculty with research?

Yes, students are expected to get involved in research activities from the beginning of their training. Typically, students begin working in the lab of their primary advisor. These experiences can infom the three independent research studies that students must complete as part of their programmatic milestones–2nd year project, qualifying exam, and doctoral dissertation.

Do I need prior research experience?

Prior research experience is one of the many aspects of an application we consider for our program–without it, applicants are at a distinct disadvantage and, if admitted, would likely struggle with the heavy research demands and expectations.

How long will it take me to finish?

Our Community Health Psychology and Behavioral Science Health Psychology programs are designed to be completed in five years; the Clinical Psychology program is typically completed in 6 years, including a one year pre-doctoral internship completed off-site. Students who have previously completed a Masters degree in a related field may be able to complete our PhD program more quickly.

I have been working for a number of years. Will I be the only older student in my classes?

No, we have students who just graduated with their bachelor’s degree, and students who have worked in other fields for 20 years before applying to our program. There is a wide range of ages and prior training and experience among our students.

Is there housing available on campus for grad students?

At this time, UNC Charlotte does not offer graduate housing.

Can I do the program online?


What funding is available for accepted students?

The typically admissions package for students admitted into our program includes: a 9-month graduate assistantship for the amount of $18,500 with a 20-hour service commitment, tuition remission, and health insurance. This package is renewable for up to 4 years. In addition, opportunities are available for competitive research funding for up to $600 per year, competitive summer fellowships, and travel funding to conferences for up to $500 per year.

If I get a graduate assistantship, what type of work would I be doing?

Our program assistantships include teaching, research, and administrative work. Other campus assistantships include clinical work at the Counseling and Psychological Services Center, tutoring, and administrative work.

When do classes meet?

Most classes in the program meeting during the day Monday through Thursday. Some classes are taught in the late afternoon or evenings. Although students in our program typically do not take classes during summer due to funding reasons, summer classes are also offered.

How much time can I expect to spend on studying?

Students are expected to spend at least 3 hours studying for every one hour spent in class. Additionally, there are meetings to attend. Most students spend approximately 40 hours per week on coursework, in addition to classes, meetings, research activities, practicum, and assistantship work.

Will I be expected to conduct research?

Yes, all students complete a 2nd year research project (unless a psychology thesis was completed in a previous program), a qualifying project (3rd year of training), and a dissertation. Our program is research intensive. If you do not have a strong interest in research, this is not the program for you.

Will I work with just one faculty member?

Students select a primary advisor who will supervise their research, but many students work on research with more than one faculty member. Additionally, students form an academic advising committee with their advisor and two or more other program faculty members. Students can also belong to more than one research lab.