Jul 13, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalogue 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalogue

The Graduate School



Graduate School

Christopher M. Finelli is the dean of the 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, creative scholarship 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 Philosophy, the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership; the Doctor of Nursing Practice; the Master of Arts; the Master of Arts in Teaching; the Master of Business Administration; the Master of Education; the Master of Healthcare Administration; 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; 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 appear separately in the following pages.

Graduate Council Membership

2023 - 2024

Chair: Christopher M. Finelli, Dean, Graduate School

Division I

Robin Post, Theatre, term ends Spring 2024
Sergi Rivero-Navarro, World Languages and Cultures, term ends Spring 2026
Sarah Hallenbeck, English, terms ends Spring 2025

Division II

M. Graciela Espinosa-Hernandez, Psychology, term ends Spring 2025
Kara Yopak, Biology and Marine Biology, term ends Spring 2026
Clayton Ferner, Computer Science, term ends Spring 2024

Division III

Angela Zombek, History, term ends Spring 2026
Julie-Ann Scott-Pollock, Communication Studies, term ends Spring 2024

Cameron School of Business

Jeffrey Cummings, Congdon School of Supply Chain, Business Analytics, and Information Systems, term ends Spring 2026
Lorraine Lee, Accountancy and Business Law, term ends Spring 2024

Watson College of Education

Kerry Robinson, Educational Leadership, term ends Spring 2026
Daisyane Barreto, Instructional Technology, term ends Spring 2024

College of Health and Human Services

Kristin Mapson, School of Social Work, term ends Spring 2024

Ex–Officio and Non–Voting Members

Aswani K. Volety, Chancellor
James Winebrake, Provost and Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs
Rob Burrus, Dean, Cameron School of Business
Ronald Vetter, Dean, College of Science and Engineering
Stephanie Caulder, Dean, College of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts
Jack Watson, Dean, College of Health and Human Services
Carol McNulty, Interim Dean, Watson College of Education
Colleen Reilly, President, Faculty Senate
Kim Carr, President, Graduate Student Association
Lucy Holman, Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning & Library Services, and Dean of the Library

Policy for Graduate Faculty Inclusion in Graduate Catalog

Any full-time faculty member, regardless of rank, whose application for Graduate Faculty Status has been approved for an initial or extension appointment shall be listed in the Graduate Catalog’s Faculty page for that catalog year so long as their appointment is not expired. A catalog year is defined as the fall, spring, and summer semesters that comprise one academic year. If a faculty member’s Graduate Faculty Status is set to expire during a catalog year (e.g., spring 2023), so long as that faculty member has submitted a pending application for renewal, they shall remain listed for that same catalog year. Special appointments (such as, but not limited to: researchers, temporary hires needed to teach graduate courses, etc.) and administrative staff (such as, but not limited to: department chairs, deans, etc.) will also be listed in the Graduate Catalog’s Faculty page in their appropriate departmental areas.

Leaves of absence such as sabbaticals, medical or other university-approved leave will not constitute removal from the Graduate Catalog Faculty page, unless one’s Graduate Faculty Status expires and there is no pending application for renewal.

The Graduate School must receive all applications for renewal before the last Graduate Council meeting of the term in which one’s Graduate Faculty Status is set to expire. Otherwise, an application cannot be considered as “pending” for the purposes of inclusion in the Graduate Catalog’s Faculty page.


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 from a course-by-course transcript evaluation submitted to the Graduate School from a NACES (naces.org) approved agency; and (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 may appeal to their program for a deferment. Refer to this page for the required deferment form: https://uncw.edu/admissions/graduate/admitted/deferring. 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 Students 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 will indicate provisional admission, and the program will communicate the deficiencies and completion timeframe. 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 Students

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

In some cases, students who are not seeking a graduate degree may be 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. 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.

Re-Enrolling Students

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 https://uncw.edu/admissions/graduate/apply/

Admissions – International Students    

International students must present evidence of their ability to speak, read, and write the English language. Students from countries where English is not the primary language, or that did not earn a baccalaureate degree or graduate degree from a regionally accredited US institution, must present the results of the TOEFL examination (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or Duolingo English Test as a part of their application for admission. TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo scores are valid for two years from the date the test is administered. A minimum score of 79 (TOEFL iBT) / 550 (TOEFL paper test), 6.5 on the IELTS, or 115 on the Duolingo English Test is required for admission. Please note that satisfactory performance on one of these tests is a requirement for admission but does not guarantee acceptance to the university. Alternatively, students may fulfill the English proficiency requirement when they successfully complete Level 4 in UNCW’s ESL program.

Academic Transcripts
For international applicants, the University of North Carolina Wilmington will accept course-by-course transcript evaluations directly from agencies belonging to NACES (naces.org).

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 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 29 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, gender, age, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veteran status, or relationship to other university constituents - except where gender, 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 https://uncw.edu/admissions/graduate 
Contact information: Graduate School, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, North Carolina 28403-5955, phone (910) 962-7303

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 of creative writing
  Dr. Robert D. Roer, professor of biology (2 awardees)
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 (2 awardees)
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 (2 awardees)
2007 - 2008 Dr. Carol Pilgrim, professor of psychology
  Dr. Martin Posey, professor of biology (2 awardees)
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
2016 - 2017 Dr. Joseph Pawlik, professor of biology and marine biology
2017 - 2018 Dr. William Sterrett, associate professor of educational leadership and interim associate dean of Teacher Education and Outreach
2018 - 2019 Dr. Stephen T. Kinsey, professor of biology
2019 - 2020 Dr. Michele A. Parker, professor of education
2020 - 2021 Dr. Meghan M. Sweeney, associate professor of English
2021 - 2022 Dr. Narcisa Pricope, professor of geography and geospatial science
2022 - 2023 Dr. Joanne Halls, professor of earth and ocean sciences

Course Abbreviations

The following is a standard list of course abbreviations:

Art Education AED
Anthropology ANT
Athletic Training ATR
Business Analytics BAN
Biology BIO
Biology Lab BIOL
Business BUS
College of Health and Human Services CHHS
Chemistry CHM
Chemistry Lab CHML
Clinical Research CLR
Conflict Management and Resolution CMR
Communication Studies COM
Criminology CRM
Creative Writing CRW
Computer Science CSC
Data Science DSC
Economics ECN
Educational Leadership EDL
Education EDN
English ENG
Environmental Studies EVS
Finance FIN
Forensic Sciences FSC
Film Studies FST
Geoscience GEO
Geography GGY
Graduate Liberal Studies GLS
Geology GLY
Graduate Continuation GRC
Gerontology GRN
Graduate Teaching Assistant GTA
Healthcare Administration HCA
History HST
International Business IMB
International Studies INT
Licensure LIC
Licensure Lab LICL
Math Education MAE
Mathematics MAT
Business Administration MBA
Marine Biology MBY
Marine Biology Lab MBYL
Coastal and Ocean Policy MCOP
Information Systems MIS
Instructional Technology MIT
Accountancy MSA
Marine Science MSC
Nursing NSG
Nursing Lab NSGL
Philosophy & Religion PAR
Physical Education PED
Physics PHY
Public Administration MPA
Production & Operations Management POM
Psychology PSY
Recreation Therapy RTH
Science SCI
Science Lab SCIL
Supply Chain Management SCM
Secondary Education SEC
Special Education SED
Sociology SOC
Spanish SPN
Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math STEM
Statistics STT
Social Work SWK
Social Work Lab SWKL
Teaching English as a Second Language TSL
Women’s and Gender Studies WGS