*National Overview – Mauritania, 2004

This article is adapted from “Mauritania National Tour” prepared by D. Alpha, 2004, which appeared in Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44 (Suppl. 1)


The history of psychology in Mauritania, which only became independent in 1960, must be evaluated through two directions. Since the creation of the Nouakchott University (ordinance No. 81 208 of 16 September 1981), the philosophy department provides within its syllabus the teaching of psychologists in first, second, and third year classes. These courses are not provided by faculty trained in psychology, but by faculty trained either in philosophy or sociology. Those courses are assured by Diallo Alpha, Sow Abdoullaye and Sall Amadou, who are all teachers in the department of philosophy.

In the fourth year, a master’s degree year, the student, if he wishes, can do a dissertation for his master’s degree on psychology. Since 1987, some dissertations in psychology have been defended in the department of philosophy.


Master’s theses form the research base in psychology at the university level in Mauritania. Clinical applications are emphasized at the level of the neuro-psychiatric center.


Training in Mauritania takes place in neuro-psychiatric centers, which train nurses in psychiatric methods, or at the national school for public health, where nurse trainees take courses in psychology. These courses are assured by Diallo Alpha.

The entry-level academic qualification for the title and practice of psychology is the Doctorat de Psychologie. There is no regulation of the Mauritanian government concerning the training of psychologists.

Mauritania has no formal code of ethics for psychologists, but lives under the moral rules of Islam, which constitute the source of inspiration of the people’s moral behavior.


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