Experimental Psychology MS

Graduate Admissions Counselor

Roch Whitman
585-475-2062, rgwrpt@rit.edu

Department Contact

Tina M. Sutton, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director
585-475-6773, tmsgsh@rit.edu

Admission Deadlines & Requirements

Program Available Online? No
Application Deadline February 15 Priority Deadline
Admit Term Fall/Spring
Entrance Exam GRE
English Language Exams:
TOEFL (Internet) 79
PTE Academic 58


Priority deadline - COMPLETE applications that are received by this date are given priority consideration for admission and financial aid (if applicable). Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Rolling - There is no specific deadline for applications; applications will be accepted and reviewed throughout the year until the program reaches capacity.

Program overview

The MS program in experimental psychology builds on the strengths of faculty research and student interests in experimental psychology broadly defined. The program as a whole provides a foundation for further advanced academic study in human factors and/or experimental psychology.

Plan of study

The program includes 30 credit hours of core courses, elective courses, and a thesis. It also offers students two tracks to choose from: experimental psychology and engineering psychology.

The experimental psychology track embraces the application of the scientific method to the study of behavior. Faculty are experts in a variety of fields including addiction, attention, cognition, development, evolutionary psychology, forensic psychology, perception, psychopathology, and social psychology, among others.

The engineering psychology track examines human capabilities to sense, perceive, store, and process information and how these human factors impact interactions with technology. This knowledge is applied to the design, use, and maintenance of human-machine systems. Courses emphasize the role of human behavior and performance in both simple and complex human-machine systems. Students are trained in both research methods of experimental psychology and application of the results to contemporary problems in industry. This track prepares students to function as effective engineering psychologists in industrial, governmental, or consulting organizations.


Students in the engineering psychology track must select two electives (students should check for course prerequisites or if permission of the instructor is required). Any graduate course at RIT can be taken as an elective, assuming prerequisites are met.


Students select a thesis adviser during the first year. Selection of an adviser, thesis topic, and research proposal must be completed in the second semester of the first year of the program. Ongoing research activity is expected through the summer term of the program. At the completion of the thesis, students will publicly present their findings and defend their research before a thesis committee.


Experimental psychology, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
PSYC-640 Graduate Statistics 3
Choose one of the following: 3
   PSYC-714    Graduate Engineering Psychology (AEEP track)  
     PSYC Elective (Experimental track)  
PSYC-751 Graduate Research Seminar 0
PSYC-642 Graduate Research Methods 3
PSYC-752 Thesis Proposal 3
  PSYC Elective 3
  Free Electives 6
Second Year
PSYC-753 Thesis 3
  PSYC Elective 3
Choose one of the following: 3
     PSYC Elective  
     Free Elective  
Total Semester Credit Hours 30


HCIN-610 Foundations of HCI
HCIN-620 Information and Interaction Design
HCIN-630 Usability Testing
HCIN-700 Current Topics in HCI
HCIN-705 Topics in HCI for Biomedical Informatics
HCIN-715 Agent-based and Cognitive Modeling
HCIN-720 Designing User Experiences for Web-enabled Devices
HCIN-730 User-Centered Design Methods
HCIN-735 Collaboration, Technology, and the Human Experience
ISEE-730 Biomechanics
ISEE-731 Advanced Topics in Ergonomics and Human Factors
ISEE-732 Systems Safety Engineering
PSYC-641 Applied Psychology Methods
PSYC-711 Graduate Biopsychology
PSYC-712 Graduate Cognition
PSYC-713 Graduate Development
PSYC-715 Graduate Perception
PSYC-716 Graduate Social Psychology
PSYC-717 Advanced Graduate Statistics

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS in experimental psychology, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college. 
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent)
  • Have a minimum of 15 semester hours of course work in undergraduate psychology or a related field (e.g., engineering, computer science, information technology), including one course in experimental psychology and one course in statistics.
  • Submit scores from the GRE.
  • Submit a personal statement describing the applicant’s goals for the program, focusing on their research interests and possible thesis research (including possible thesis mentors).
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 79 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.

Additional information

Cooperative education

The program includes an optional cooperative education component. Co-op is generally completed in the summer after the first year of the program. The co-op experience provides experiential learning that integrates with classroom education and allows students to apply psychological principles to problems in a variety of work environments. Co-op may be completed in any business or industrial setting.

Career Outcomes

The RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education website provides information pertaining to student skills and capabilities, salary data, career information, job outcomes, and contact information for the Career Services Coordinator by program.

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