Graduate Program

General Information

The faculty of the Department of Psychology at Wake Forest University affirm their commitment to three interrelated goals in their roles as teachers, scholars, and members of the Wake Forest community: excellence in the education of Wake Forest students, an ongoing contribution to the field of psychology, and service to the University and community.  The Department of Psychology stresses both the commitment to classroom teaching characteristics of the liberal arts college and the commitment to scholarship characteristic of the research university.  Such a dual emphasis is consistent both with the University’s identity as a small comprehensive University and with the faculty’s philosophy that education and science are intimately related ventures, each of which benefits from cross-fertilization by the other.

The Department of Psychology offers graduate work leading to a research-oriented general MA degree, not a clinical or counseling degree.  For those interested in an MA in counseling, please see general MA psychology program at Wake Forest is appropriate for students who wish to pursue their education at the Ph.D. level but may not be sure of the area of specialization, who want to strengthen their application for high-quality PhD programs, who wants more individual attention than is typically possible in large PhD programs, and/or want more background in psychology. It is typically the case that our graduate courses transfer to PhD programs, but of course we can’t guarantee this.

The general Master’s program provides a strong basis for selecting a PhD program as well as a strong academic foundation for doctoral work.  Most importantly, it provides considerable research experience – with a high degree of individual attention from graduate faculty. Your personal training would reflect a blend of your interests and the interests of the advisor who you’re paired with.  Please see the faculty web page for details on faculty research interests.  The department has an excellent record of placing graduates in doctoral programs in all major areas of psychology.

The department adopts a mentorship model of graduate education in which students work closely with a faculty advisor during their two years in our program. Typically there is a 2:1 graduate student:faculty ratio that provides the student with individualized attention and, therefore, superior training. Because our program is designed to prepare students for entry into doctoral programs, there is a strong emphasis on research. Students conduct both a first-year research project and a thesis. These projects typically result in conference presentations and/or publications.


In Fall of 1999 the department occupied over 30,000 feet of space for offices, classrooms, and labs in Greene Hall, a brand new beautiful and high tech classroom building. Space in Winston Hall was also renovated for animal research. There is generous office and lounge space for students, as well as considerable technology and other resources specific to the needs of the individual labs.