Accredited Psychology Colleges and Schools in North Carolina [2024 Guide]

North Carolina is home to many top-notch online and traditional colleges that specialize in psychology. These institutions offer diverse programs, skilled faculty, and a range of opportunities for hands-on experience. These institutions range from large universities to smaller colleges, each with unique programs and opportunities for students.

Whether you are aiming for a basic understanding or considering a long-term career in the field of psychology, choosing the right college is a crucial first step. This guide will introduce you to some of the popular psychology colleges in North Carolina, helping you make an informed decision for your educational journey.

Best Accredited Psychology Colleges and Schools in North Carolina Online

Psychology Colleges in North Carolina

Listed below are some of the popular psychology colleges in North Carolina:

  • Duke University
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Appalachian State University
  • East Carolina University
  • Davidson College
  • University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • Campbell University
  • Barton College

Duke University

About University

Duke University was established in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke in honor of his father, Washington Duke. The Duke family, based in Durham, had built a global financial dynasty through the production of tobacco products and the development of electricity in the Carolinas. They had a longstanding interest in Trinity College.

The origins of Trinity can be traced back to 1838 in nearby Randolph County, where it was founded as Union Institute by local Methodist and Quaker communities. The institution, later renamed Trinity College, relocated to Durham in 1892. There, Benjamin Newton Duke played a pivotal role as a major benefactor and maintained a strong connection with the Duke family until his passing in 1929.

In December 1924, an indenture by Benjamin’s brother, James B. Duke, led to the creation of the family’s charitable foundation, The Duke Endowment. This endowment facilitated the transformation of Trinity College into what is now known as Duke University.

Duke University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, doctorate, and professional degrees

Psychology Department

Located in the heart of Duke University, the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience stands out for its research and training in areas such as clinical psychology, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, social psychology, and systems and integrative neuroscience.

The department caters to a wide range of undergraduate programs, including majors and a minor in Psychology, as well as majors and minors in Neuroscience. They also provide a Ph.D. in Psychology & Neuroscience where students specialize in one of the five graduate training areas.

Their undergraduate program in psychology offers Bachelor of Arts (AB), Bachelor of Science (BS), Interdepartmental (IDM), and minor degrees. The requirements for the AB and BS are similar, but there are notable differences. The AB degree mandates that students finish 11 courses in the major, whereas the BS degree demands 16 courses. The minor degree mandates 5 courses.

Those who graduate with a degree in psychology gain deep insights into the origins, processes, and outcomes of human and animal behavior. Studying behavior and its determinants is crucial to understanding various systems, from biological to economic and social.

Graduates in psychology apply their grasp of human behavior across diverse professional realms such as mental and physical health care, research, education, policy, law, finance, consulting, marketing, and business management. Knowledge of psychological concepts also benefits sectors like engineering and data analysis.

Their Ph.D. program combines the study of social and natural sciences, focusing on the brain, behavior, and cognition in both humans and animals. This program encompasses tracts or graduate training areas:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognition & the Brain
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Systems and Integrative Neuroscience

Applicants must apply to and be accepted into a specific training program. Only primary faculty (those with appointments to Duke’s graduate faculty) and joint graduate training faculty have the authority to admit students to the training areas they represent.

PhD Program Structure:

  • Every training program culminates in the Ph.D.; applications for a Terminal Master’s are not considered.
  • All Ph.D. candidates study full-time.
  • Enrollments are exclusively for the Fall semester.
  • Enrollees are accepted into a designated training area.
  • Only primary or joint graduate training faculty possess the authority to admit students.
  • All accepted candidates, both domestic and international, are assured 5 years of academic year support as long as they maintain good standing.
  • All accepted candidates also receive guaranteed support for their initial two summers, contingent on maintaining a good standing in the program.

The department emphasizes the apprenticeship model for graduate training, stressing the importance of close collaboration with research advisors. For the majority of their training programs, research is prioritized over coursework. Duke’s clinical program aligns with the Boulder (scientist-practitioner) model and targets students keen on research. Given this research-centric approach, prior research experience is highly advisable.

Psychology Programs Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Psychology Psy.D. Program

Psychology Department Contact Information

417 Chapel Dr, Durham, NC 27708, United States.
Phone: (919) 660-5640

North Carolina State University

About University

NC State University is situated in Raleigh, North Carolina, positioned approximately midway along the East Coast of the United States. Since its inception in 1887, the university has been committed to delivering top-tier teaching and research. In the present day, it holds a position among the top 1% of universities globally.

As a land-grant institution, NC State has a responsibility to ensure that education is accessible to all. It is classified as a Research 1 university, gaining international recognition for its groundbreaking ideas and their significant impact. Furthermore, as a public university, it champions the principles of community, equity, knowledge dissemination, and service to the broader public.

NC State University is also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Psychology Department

The Department of Psychology at North Carolina State University has several objectives. These include establishing and maintaining a conducive learning environment that acknowledges and rewards the diverse contributions of its staff, students, and faculty. The department strives to offer exceptional undergraduate and graduate programs, further the field of psychology, and utilize its knowledge for societal and professional benefits.

The primary educational goal is to equip both undergraduate and graduate psychology students with a robust understanding of psychological principles. This foundation allows them to push the boundaries of psychology and cater to societal demands. Additionally, the curriculum prepares students to integrate psychological principles into other fields and pursuits.

Research endeavors within the department focus on uncovering and sharing psychological insights and theories, elevating the profession, and innovating with new technologies and practical solutions. There’s a conscious effort to maintain equilibrium among these research pursuits.

Academically, the Department offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in psychology. This program lays the groundwork in fundamental psychology knowledge and includes coursework in areas like social, developmental, cognitive, and biological psychology. Additionally, students have the liberty to choose electives from an array of courses representing diverse psychology areas, encompassing applied fields such as health psychology, abnormal psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology.

Undergraduate students studying psychology at NC State University delve into understanding human cognition, learning, and behavior across various environments. They explore the influence of educational, organizational, and community contexts. By engaging in the study of psychology, students acquire a holistic grasp of psychological theories and their real-world applications, further enriched by hands-on research experiences alongside professors.

On the postgraduate front, the Psychology Department offers doctoral degrees in multiple concentrations. New doctoral candidates are enrolled exclusively for the fall semesters. All concentration areas offer training at the doctoral (PhD) level, with the School Psychology concentration also offering a terminal Master of Science degree.

Admission criteria for these graduate programs revolve around the alignment of an applicant’s aspirations with the program’s training goals, the caliber of the student’s academic foundation as evidenced by undergraduate performance, recommendation letters, and prior research involvement.

Psychoeducational Clinic

The Clinic, an integral part of the School Psychology Graduate Program at NC State University, is staffed by both faculty members and graduate students. Located within the Department of Psychology on Poe Hall’s sixth floor on the primary NC State University campus, the Clinic serves a dual purpose. It acts as a community asset by offering top-notch assessment and intervention services for students spanning all age groups. Concurrently, it functions as a training facility for the American Psychological Association accredited doctoral program and the master’s degree program that includes a certificate of advanced studies.

The Clinic’s services predominantly revolve around the evaluation of students’ social, emotional, behavioral, and learning needs, spanning pre-K to college. Apart from assessments, the Clinic provides academic coaching, study skills sessions, consultations with parents and teachers, and individual therapy sessions.

Psychology Programs Offered

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Masters in School Psychology
  • Psychology Psy.D. Program
    • Applied Social Psychology
    • Human Factors and Applied Cognition Psychology
    • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
    • Lifespan Developmental Psychology

Psychology Department Contact Information

North Campus,
Poe Hall, Raleigh, NC 27607, United States.
Phone: (919) 515-2251

University of North Carolina Wilmington

About University

The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) is a public research institution located in Wilmington, North Carolina. It forms a part of the University of North Carolina System. The university is classified as “R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity.”

The institution’s origins date back to September 4, 1947, when Wilmington College was established primarily to educate World War II veterans as a junior college. By 1963, it transitioned into a four-year liberal arts college, a change spurred by legislation from the North Carolina General Assembly. The transformation continued, and in 1969, it acquired university status and adopted the name University of North Carolina Wilmington. Currently, UNCW has three distinct campuses: the primary one in Wilmington, an extension in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and the Center for Marine Science near Myrtle Grove.

UNCW is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Psychology Department

Within the College of Science and Engineering at the University of North Carolina Wilmington lies the Department of Psychology. This department employs 36 full-time faculty members and four administrative staff.

The Department of Psychology at UNCW is dedicated to enhancing students’ lives through a contemporary curriculum that focuses on various theories, practices, and methodologies in psychology. The department fosters critical thinking, empathy, and an intrinsic passion for the subject. Furthermore, they are committed to empowering both faculty and students to produce and share profound, influential insights in psychology.

Academically, the department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, a minor, and two interdisciplinary minors: Neuroscience and Applied Behavior Analysis and Developmental Disabilities.

At the graduate level, a Master of Arts degree is available with three concentration choices: Psychological Science aimed at preparing students for doctoral pursuits, Substance Abuse Treatment designed for students aspiring to become Licensed Psychological Associates and Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialists, and Applied Behavioral Analysis preparing students for roles as Licensed Psychological Associates and Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs).

Additionally, there’s a doctoral program in clinical psychology. This program offers training in psychological science and practice, prepping individuals for licensure as doctoral-level psychologists in health-service domains. The curriculum emphasizes on mental health, substance use, and behavioral disorders’ development, assessment, and treatment.

Studying psychology at UNCW extends beyond traditional classrooms, allowing students to apply their acquired knowledge practically. Faculty members are passionate educators, reputable scientists, and epitomize the intellectually engaged individual, fostering profound intellectual exploration.

Both undergraduate and graduate students collaborate closely with faculty to explore a broad spectrum of subjects, from basic brain mechanisms and drug impacts to understanding prejudice’s social cognitive elements and methods to curtail school violence.

Students can also engage in practical experiences or community research projects, enabling them to utilize technology, enhance communication skills, and critically assess concepts.


The Department of Psychology at UNCW places great emphasis on the role of scientific research in the field o psychology. Faculty members consistently advocate for students to actively participate in research.

While a large portion of psychological research at UNCW involves its student body, the faculty within the Psychology Department also undertake studies with diverse non-student groups. This includes children, adults spanning various age brackets, and individuals with specific conditions such as ADHD, PTSD, dementia, and traumatic brain injuries.

Additionally, the department prioritizes service learning. Faculty and students from the department are actively integrated into various community settings, ranging from preschools to correctional institutions. For hands-on experience, undergraduate students are given opportunities to work in practical settings in Wilmington through the Supervised Counseling Practicum.

Psychology Programs Offered

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Master of Science in Psychology
    • Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Psychological Science
    • Neuroscience and Behavior
  • Psychology Doctoral Program
    • General Clinical Psychology
    • Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Psychological Science

Psychology Department Contact Information

601 South College Road, Teaching Laboratory Building,
Wilmington, NC 28403-5612.
Phone: (910) 962-3370

Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University is a part of the seventeen-campus University of North Carolina system. Located in the scenic western mountains of North Carolina, Boone enjoys pleasant summers and offers winter skiing, making it appealing to those fond of outdoor activities.

The University boasts a student population exceeding 19,000 and has consistently been ranked among the top 15 universities in the South by US News and World Report since 1986.

Appalachian State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Psychology Department

The Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology employs 36 full-time doctoral-level faculty members and accommodates approximately 1150 undergraduate majors, 500 undergraduate minors, and 80 full-time graduate students. These students are enrolled in the clinical psychology (Psy.D.) doctoral program and three master’s degree programs: Experimental, Industrial Organizational/Human Resource Management, and School Psychology.

The department also offers a specialist degree alongside the MA. This department is equipped with a clinic that serves the dual purpose of training and community service. The faculty are deeply invested in mentoring students and providing experiential learning opportunities.

The faculty and staff within the Psychology Department stand firmly against injustice and inequality. They are devoted to fostering an inclusive community that embraces, respects, and supports everyone, especially individuals from underrepresented and marginalized backgrounds. Their commitment to inclusion and equity enhances the objectives of the Department of Psychology and the University. They strive to:

  • Foster an inclusive departmental atmosphere that appreciates diverse viewpoints and nurtures individuals of different identities and experiences.
  • Recruit and retain faculty, staff, and students from varied backgrounds, especially those from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.
  • Champion teaching, research, and practices that underscore the importance of diversity in understanding human behavior.
  • Collaborate within the university and the wider community to address issues related to diversity, inclusion, and equity using psychological research.
  • Formulate and implement departmental strategies and practices to ensure representation, inclusion, and equity.

Within the department, there are four primary graduate programs: Clinical, Experimental, Industrial-Organizational/Human Resources Management, and School Psychology. Typically, around 80 graduate students enroll in these programs, with 25-30 students graduating annually.

The Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology is a practical degree in health service psychology. The objective of this training program is to produce well-rounded psychologists who excel in evidence-based professional practice and are competent in scientific inquiry and evaluation. The program’s curriculum in Clinical Psychology aims to fulfill the requirements for American Psychological Association (APA) accreditation.

Since 1991, the School Psychology program has received approval from the National Association of School Psychologists. Grounded in the scientist-practitioner model, the program equips students to become proficient school psychologists. Consisting of 67 semester hours, the program demands three years of full-time study, inclusive of a year-long, full-time internship and successful completion of the PRAXIS-II exam in School Psychology.

Upon meeting all program requirements, graduates receive Master of Arts and Specialist in School Psychology degrees. They then qualify for licensure by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction as Level II School Psychologists in NC, the Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential, and can also apply for N.C. licensure as Licensed Psychological Associates.

Psychology Programs Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
    • Business Concentration
    • Education Studies Concentration
    • Health Studies Concentration
    • Human Services Concentration
    • Social Science Concentration
    • Sustainability Concentration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Psychology
    • Industrial-Organizational Psychology
    • Clinical Psychology
    • Psychological Science
    • School Psychology
  • Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology

Psychology Department Contact Information

P.O. Box 32109, 222 Joyce Lawrence Ln. Boone, NC 28608.
Phone: (828) 262-2272

Is Majoring in Psychology Worth It?

Whether or not majoring in psychology is worth it depends on your goals, interests, and career aspirations. Here are some considerations to help you determine if a psychology major is the right fit for you:

  1. Interest in the Subject: A genuine interest in understanding human behavior, thought processes, emotions, and interactions is crucial. Studying psychology involves diving deep into these areas, and passion for the subject can make the process more engaging and fulfilling.
  2. Diverse Career Opportunities: With a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you can pursue careers in various fields, including human resources, marketing, sales, social work, and more. However, some positions, especially those directly related to psychology like clinical psychologist or neuropsychologist, require advanced degrees.
  3. Advanced Studies: To practice as a licensed psychologist in North Carolina, you will need a Ph.D. or Psy.D.
  4. Research and Analytical Skills: A psychology major can provide you strong research and analytical skills, which are beneficial in many professions, even those outside of psychology.
  5. Soft Skills: Studying psychology can enhance your soft skills like communication, empathy, and understanding, which are valuable in virtually any profession.
  6. Job Market and Salary: While a bachelor’s degree in psychology might not lead to high-paying jobs directly related to the field, the skills acquired can be applied to various professions. However, those with advanced degrees in psychology tend to have access to higher-paying specialized roles.
  7. Personal Growth: Understanding human behavior can lead to your own personal growth, improved interpersonal relationships, and better self-awareness.
  8. Cost of Education: You should consider the cost of obtaining the degree and the potential return on investment in terms of future earnings. If you are considering advanced degrees, factor in those costs as well.
  9. Alternative Majors: If you are interested in helping people but unsure about psychology, consider related fields like sociology, counseling, social work, or human resources.

In short, a psychology major can be worth it if you are passionate about the field and aware of the career paths it can lead to. It’s essential to research, seek guidance from academic advisors, and perhaps even speak with professionals in the field to make an informed decision.

Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved. Program outcomes can vary according to each institution's curriculum and job opportunities are not guaranteed. This site is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional help.