Psychology in Action

Explore fascinating subjects such as Industrial Psychology, Theories of Personality, Cognition, and Psychology of Prejudice. Conduct psychological research side-by-side with top faculty, and present your findings at a conference. Receive valuable mentoring in a real-world setting in the required psychology internship program. Participate with other high-achieving students in our active chapter of Psi Chi—the international honor society for psychology students. And study overseas in one of more than 60 countries around the world in a UNC study abroad program.

These are just a few of the opportunities you’ll find as a psychology major at UNC. What’s more, you’ll find a diverse, collaborative learning environment, led by highly accessible and supportive instructors who are noted researchers and experts in their fields.

In addition to our on-campus program, you can also complete your bachelor’s degree in psychology online.

Doug Woody

Faculty Spotlight

Doug Woody, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychological Sciences

Doug Woody, Ph.D., is an award-winning teacher and nationally-recognized researcher and author in the field of Psychology. He teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in the general area of social psychology, including Psychology and the Law, Psychology of Prejudice and Social Psychology.

Woody was recently granted Fellow status by the American Psychological Association, the world’s largest association of psychologists, recognizing his outstanding contributions and performance in the field. He also recently won the Sears Helgoth Distinguished Teaching Award, which recognizes excellence in teaching at UNC, and the A.M. and Jo Winchester Distinguished Scholar Award, which recognizes excellence in research at UNC. He is a former president of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association, and was honored with the 2013 Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Distinguished Service Award.

Woody’s research specialties include psychology and the law, the historical and philosophical foundations of the science of psychology, and the teaching of psychology. He is also a member of the Graduate Faculty with Doctoral Research Endorsement at UNC, and he works extensively with graduate and undergraduate student researchers.

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Degree Options

Accelerated (4 + 1) B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Educational Psychology

This 141-credit, fast-track program enables you to earn your bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in educational psychology in just five years. Educational Psychology includes the study of human learning and motivation, and can be applied to a variety of careers. With a master’s degree in Educational Psychology, you might also pursue doctoral work.

Online Degree Option

In addition to our on-campus program, you can also complete your bachelor's degree in Psychology online through UNC's Extended Campus.

View the Extended Campus Program Details

Minor Option

Psychology Minor

Psychology is an ideal subject to integrate with other areas of study. This 18-credit minor will deepen your understanding of human behavior, while providing you with critical thinking skills that will serve you in your life and career. Many students find that a psychology minor is a good complement to majors such as business, biology, criminal justice, human services and sociology.

Related Programs

Finding Answers to Complex Challenges

For Psychology majors at UNC, the Psychology field experience is a chance to engage with the community, gain real-world experience and make new connections. Be ready to explore anywhere your interests take you. Our students have worked with local treatment centers for addiction recovery, sexual assault victim advocacy programs, behavioral health and counseling facilities, the District Attorney’s Office and much more.

“Now that I'm finished with my internship, I'm truly grateful for my experiences and deeply value field experience as an essential part of the psychology program at UNC. The opportunity to work in a professional space with well-educated, passionate people is so valuable and has helped me to pin down my specific interests in psychology-related professional work.”

–Hannah Kvidera, UNC Psychology major

Your Future in Psychology

Whether you want to be a therapist, or apply your psychological expertise to business or law enforcement, Psychology is an in-demand field that offers a wide range of career and research opportunities.

Consider UNC’s B.A. in Psychology if you are:

  • Interested in understanding how and why people do the things they do
  • Appreciation for diversity and desire to help others
  • Enjoy research and working with people

You’ll learn:

  • Scientific inquiry and critical thinking
  • Ethical and social responsibility in a diverse world
  • Communication and a knowledge base in psychology
  • Professional development

Sample courses:

  • Psychological Statistics and Design
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Introduction to Physiological Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology of Prejudice

Beyond the Classroom

Study abroad in such places as South Africa, Spain, Korea, China, England, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland and the Czech Republic. We offer hundreds of study abroad programs in more than 60 countries around the world. Learn more about studying abroad.

Where can your degree take you?

Psychology is one of the most popular university degree programs. Not only does it give you valuable insights into how and why people do the things they do, it also prepares you to pursue a broad field of careers. Options include:

  • Counseling
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Education
  • School Psychology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Social work
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Law enforcement

Current Research

Our professors share two equal passions: excellence in both research and teaching. Two of our department’s current research undertakings are:

Linking a History of Child Maltreatment in College Students to Problems with Adaptation and Aggression

Eric Peterson, Ph.D., and Marilyn Welsh, Ph.D., School of Psychological Sciences 

We are currently conducting research involving UNC students with and without a self-reported history of child maltreatment. The objective is to examine possible differences in cognitive functioning, emotion processing, levels of aggression and overall adaptation to college. 

We are particularly interested in a set of skills called "executive functions" which involve planning, working memory, inhibition and flexibility—and whether a history of child maltreatment increases risk for atypical performance on these tasks.  We also want to find out the degree to which students with a child maltreatment history exhibit differences under "hot" testing conditions in which arousal is heightened through incentives and social stimuli (e.g., faces displaying negative emotions). 

Our goal is to follow these students across their college years to identify the factors predictive of attrition and those related to resilience and ultimate college graduation.  The research is funded by UNC and a grant from the Avielle Foundation.

Young child looking out window 

Skin and Needle Hygiene Intervention for Drug Users

Kristina Phillips, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences

Kristina Phillips, Ph.D., is currently serving as a Co-Investigator on a research team that received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The research examines whether a brief skin and needle hygiene intervention is more effective than an assessment-only condition at reducing bacterial infections (e.g., skin infections), high-risk injection practices and health service utilization among injection drug users. The study is ongoing and participants are being recruited during an acute medical hospitalization at the Boston Medical Center.

 Darkened hospital room with light on over bed

What You Need to Know Right Now