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. UNC Charlotte’s Counseling Programs) or an MS in Clinical Social Work (e.g. UNC Charlotte’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 opportunity to learn skills in the MA program that are relevant to 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 do not admit someone unless there is a faculty member who will take responsibility for that person’s research and thesis. Please research our faculty members to find one whose research interests overlap yours. Contact that faculty member to see if they are accepting students. Please mention that faculty member’s name in your statement of purpose.

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 not required. The minimum undergraduate or graduate grade point average is 3.0.

Who should I contact with additional questions?

Dr. Anita Blanchard (Program Director)

The Graduate School (Admissions)

Dr. Doug Markant (Cognitive Science Concentration)

Dr. Victoria Scott (Community Psychology Concentration)