Apr 17, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalogue 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalogue Archived Catalogue

The Graduate School






Ron Vetter, Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School

Graduate School

Successful completion of a graduate program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington requires the student to demonstrate a depth and sophistication of knowledge, performance in certain skills, and/or professional, laboratory, or field experience substantially beyond the level required for a baccalaureate degree. The particular requirements for academic rigor and professional competencies, and the tools for measuring them, are defined by the discipline at a level consistent with national norms or standards for the certificate or degree.

Consequently, all graduate programs and the courses that support them are progressively more advanced in academic content than undergraduate programs and courses, include knowledge of the literature of the discipline, ensure ongoing student engagement in original research and/or appropriate professional practice and training experiences, and foster independent learning.

The Graduate School at the University of North Carolina Wilmington administers programs of study leading to the Doctor of Nursing Practice; the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership; the Master of Arts; the Master of Arts in Teaching; Master of Business Administration; the Master of Education; the Master of Fine Arts; the Master of Public Administration; the Master of School Administration; the Master of Science; the Master of Science in Accountancy; the Master of Science in Nursing; the Master of Social Work; the Doctor of Philosophy; Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs; and Post-Master’s Certificate Programs.

Each of these programs provides capable students with an opportunity to pursue advanced study, training, and research designed to enhance their academic and professional development. More detailed descriptions of these programs appears separately in the following pages.

Graduate Council Membership

2017 - 2018

Chair: Ronald Vetter, Associate Provost for Research and Dean, Graduate School

Division I

Meghan Sweeney, English, term ends spring 2019
Amanda Boomershine, World Languages & Cultures, term ends spring 2018

Division II

Chad Lane, Earth and Ocean Sciences, term ends spring 2020
Steve Kinsey, Biology & Marine Biology, term ends spring 2018
Carol Pilgrim, Psychology, term ends spring 2018
Wei Feng, Mathematics & Statistics, term ends spring 2020

Division III

Mark Imperial, Public & International Affairs, term ends spring 2019
Taylor Fain, History, term ends spring 2018

Division IV

Tamara Walser, Education Leadership, term ends spring 2020
Tom Janicki, Information Systems & Operations Management, term ends spring 2018
Kathleen Schlichting, Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy, & Special Education, term ends spring 2018
Mahnaz Moallem, Instructional Technology, Foundations & Secondary Education, spring 2019
RuthAnne Kuiper, School of Nursing, term ends spring 2019

Ex–Officio and Non–Voting Members

Jose V. Sartarelli, Chancellor
Marilyn Sheerer, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs
Rob Burrus, Dean of the Cameron School of Business
Aswani Volety, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
Charles Hardy, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services
Van Dempsey, Dean of the Watson College of Education
Laura Wiegand, Interim University Librarian
Stephen Meinhold, Faculty Senate President
Hanna Jo Hopkins, Graduate Student Association Representative


General Admissions Requirements

For admission to a graduate degree program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, the applicant must (1) hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in this country or its equivalent in a foreign institution. Equivalency of international baccalaureate degrees will be determined using World Education Services (WES.org) course-by-course transcript evaluations submitted to the Graduate School. (2) have a strong overall academic record with a B average or better in the basic courses prerequisite to the area of proposed graduate study; and (3) meet additional admission requirement(s) as outlined by the graduate program. Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and Miller Analogy Test (MAT) scores (if required by the program) are valid for five years from the date the test is administered. 

All applications must be submitted electronically through the online application no later than the published deadline, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

A student must register by the end of the drop/add period for the semester for which they were accepted.  If registration does not take place, the student must appeal to their program for a deferment (http://www.uncw.edu/gradschool/admissions/formsdocs/deferment.pdf).  If the deferment is not approved, the student must apply for readmission.  If a student registers for courses and does not attend, a grade of F may be assigned.

Each newly admitted graduate student must have a completed immunization form on file, as required by law. 

Graduate students are subject to the same university policies and regulations as undergraduates unless otherwise stated.

Regular Admission With Deficiencies

A student whose grades and/or test scores and admissions portfolio are at an acceptable level but who does not have the undergraduate background expected by the academic unit and the Graduate School may be assigned deficiency courses. The letter of admission lists the deficiencies that must be completed before the student advances to candidacy. It may be required that some or all deficiencies be completed before the student enrolls in specific degree courses. Deficiency courses are taken in addition to those normally required for a degree.

Provisional Admission

A student who does not meet minimum academic standards but has counterbalancing evidence to suggest the potential for success may be admitted on a provisional basis. Provisional admission provides an academic unit with more evidence on which to base its admission decision. A student must obtain a grade of B or better in all courses taken while in provisional status. Normally, the academic unit reviews the student’s status following completion of nine hours of approved graduate study. The academic unit may recommend a change in status to the Graduate School and recommend withdrawal from the program, if appropriate. A student who has completed provisional requirements should check with the academic unit to verify that the change of status has been noted by the program. A provisional student may also be assigned deficiency courses.

Non-Degree Students (Special Graduate Status)

In some cases, students who are not seeking a graduate degree maybe permitted to take graduate courses. Such permission to take graduate courses does not constitute admission to a graduate degree program. Non-degree graduate students are not candidates for degrees. Enrollment must be maintained in at least one graduate course each semester. The undergraduate grade-point averages for non-degree graduate students are expected to meet the same standards that apply to the admission of graduate students in full standing. Students that are later accepted to a degree program may, with approval, have up to 10 hours applied toward the degree. Normally, non-degree status is not available and does not apply to students interested in taking courses in the Cameron School of Business Administration. Admission requirements may vary for each academic unit, and students seeking non-degree status therefore must determine and meet these conditions prior to completing their application.


A student who leaves the University and who does not register for at least one semester (fall or spring, not applicable for summer) must apply for readmission to the Graduate School. The reenrollment application is available through the Graduate School web site www.uncw.edu/grad_info/

Admissions – International Students

International students must present evidence of their ability to speak, read, and write the English language and to meet fully the financial obligations associated with their study at the University. Students from foreign countries where English is not the primary language or that did not earn their baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited US institution, must present the results of the TOEFL examination (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System), as a part of their application for admission. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the date the test is administered. A minimum score of 550 (paper test), or a minimum score of 79 on the Internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) is required for admission to all programs, or IELTS minimum score of 6.5 or 7.0 to be eligible for a teaching assistantship, but this score does not guarantee acceptance.  A financial responsibility statement must also be submitted.

In addition to the TOEFL, international applicants who do not speak English as a primary language and who wish to become teaching assistants are required to demonstrate competence in oral communication skills if the teaching assistantship involves classroom instruction, laboratory instruction, or tutoring. A minimum score of 45 on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) or a minimum of 25 on the speaking section of the TOEFL iBT or an examination of comparable score on an equivalent test is required to be eligible for an instructional assignment. Minimum score criteria may be higher for some graduate programs.

Academic Transcripts
For international applicants, the University of North Carolina Wilmington may accept copies of transcripts directly from a limited number of third party agencies that have been approved by the university.

Credential Evaluations
Credential evaluations from an external organization are not required for government-sponsored students (i.e., Fulbright, AMIDEAST, Laspau, or USAID). In these instances, the Office of International Programs, in conjunction with the academic department, will certify the local accreditation of the conferring institution. Agencies will submit original transcripts once the student decides to attend UNCW.

Conditional Admission
The University of North Carolina Wilmington offers conditional admission to applicants who have demonstrated their academic abilities in the classroom, but may need additional English language preparation and support in order to succeed in a graduate program.

Students requesting conditional admission must meet all of the university’s international admission requirements except the English proficiency requirement. To apply for conditional admission, complete the UNCW application and then send an e-mail to the Graduate School requesting conditional admission after you have completed the application.

If you are conditionally admitted, you will attend the UNCW CEA-accredited English as a Second Language program to study English in an intensive environment. Upon completing level 4 of UNCW’s English as a Second Language program, you will be granted full admission to the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Policy Statement for Graduate Students Working on Campus

Graduate students may be employed as a teaching/research assistant or in another flat-rate assignment on campus. Normally, these assignments do not exceed 20 hours per week during the regular fall or spring term. Additional hourly work on campus may be approved by the Graduate School on a temporary, case-by-case basis; however, the total assignment should not exceed 30 hours per week.

It is the responsibility of each academic unit to ensure that academic progress is a priority and work assignments do not interfere with a student’s progress toward the degree.

Non-Discrimination Policy

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington is committed to and will provide equality of educational and employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex (such as gender, marital status, and pregnancy), age, color, national origin (including ethnicity), creed, religion, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veteran status, or relationship to other university constituents - except where sex, age, or ability represent bona fide educational or occupational qualifications or where marital status is a statutorily established eligibility criterion for State funded employee benefit programs.

Any student who supplies false or misleading information or who conceals pertinent facts in order to enroll in the University of North Carolina Wilmington is subject to immediate dismissal from the University.

Application forms and other admissions information may be obtained through the Graduate School web site www.uncw.edu/grad_info/ Contact information: Graduate School, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, North Carolina 28403-5955, (910) 962-3135 or (910) 962-4117 phone, (910) 962-3787 fax.

Graduate Mentor Award

Each year the Graduate School honors an outstanding faculty mentor who places high value on and excels in mentoring graduate students. Nominees must be tenured graduate faculty who hold the rank of associate or full professor and are employed by UNCW in a full-time capacity. Below are past distinguished recipients of this award.                                       

1999 - 2000 Mr. Philip Gerard, professor creative writing
  Dr. Robert D. Roer, professor of biology
2000 - 2001 Dr. Richard M. Dillaman, professor of biology
2001 - 2002 Dr. Janet Mason Ellerby, professor of English
2002 - 2003 Dr. D. Ann Pabst, professor of biology
2003 - 2004 Dr. Joan D. Willey, professor of chemistry
2004 - 2005 Ms. Wendy Brenner, associate professor of creative writing
  Dr. Barbara F. Waxman, professor of English
2005 - 2006 Dr. Michael D. Wentworth, professor of English
2006 - 2007 Dr. William McCarthy, associate professor of history
  Dr. Nora E. Noel, professor of psychology
2007 - 2008 Dr. Carol Pilgrim, professor of psychology
  Dr. Martin Posey, professor of biology
2008 - 2009 Dr. Sally MacKain, professor of psychology
2009 - 2010 Dr. Lawrence B. Cahoon, professor of biology
2010 - 2011 Dr. Mahnaz Moallem, professor of education
2011 - 2012 Dr. Michael D. White, professor of creative writing
2012 - 2013 Dr. Thomas J. Barth, professor of public and international affairs
2013 - 2014 Dr. Richard L. Ogle, professor of psychology
2014 - 2015 Dr. Wei Feng, professor of mathematics and statistics
2015 - 2016 Dr. Steven Emslie, professor of biology and marine biology


Course Abbreviations

The following is a standard list of course abbreviations:

Accountancy MSA
Anthropology ANT
Biology BIO
Biology Lab BIOL
Business BUS
Chemistry CHM
Chemistry Lab CHML
Clinical Research CLR
Computer Science CSC
Conflict Management and Resolution CMR
Sociology and Criminology SOC/CRM
College of Health and Human Services CHHS
Creative Writing CRW
Economics ECN
Educational Leadership EDL
Education EDN
English ENG
Environmental Sciences EVS
Geography GGY
Geology GLY
Geoscience GEO
Graduate Continuation GRC
Gerontology GRN
Graduate Teaching Assistant GTA
History HST
Information Systems MIS
Instructional Technology MIT
International Exchange INT
International Business IMB
Liberal Studies GLS
Licensure LIC
Licensure Lab LICL
Marine Science MSC
Master of Business Administration MBA
Mathematics MAT
Math Education MAE
Marine Biology MBY
Coastal and Ocean Policy MCOP
Operations Management POM
Nursing NSG
Nursing Lab NSGL
Philosophy & Religion PAR
Physical Education PED
Physics and Physical Oceanography PHY
Psychology PSY
Public Administration PLS
Science SCI
Science Lab SCIL
Secondary Education SEC
Social Work SWK
Social Work Lab SWKL
Spanish SPN
Special Education SED
Statistics STT
Women’s & Gender Studies WGS