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Experimental Psychology MS

Andrew Herbert, Department Chair
(585) 475-4554, amhgss@rit.edu

http://www.rit.edu/cla/psychology/engg.htm

Program overview

The master of science degree in experimental psychology builds on the strengths of faculty research and student interests in experimental psychology broadly defined. The program has two tracks: 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.

The program as a whole provides a foundation for further advanced academic study in human factors and/or experimental psychology.

Curriculum

The program includes 30 credit hours of core courses, elective courses, and a thesis.

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  
     PSYC Elective  
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

Electives

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

HCIN-610 Foundations of Human-Computer Interaction
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 Internet-enabled Devices
HCIN-722 Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices
HCIN-730 User-Centered Design Methods
HCIN-735 Collaboration, Technology, and the Human Experience
ISEE-730 Biomechanics
ISEE-731 Advanced Topics Human Factors
ISEE-732 Systems Safety Engineering

Thesis

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 publically present their findings and defend their research before a thesis committee.

Admission requirements

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

  • 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 official transcripts (in English) for all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (for undergraduate work),
  • Submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE),
  • Submit at least two letters of reference from professors or supervisors,
  • 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), and
  • Complete a graduate application.

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. It 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.

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

The master of science degree in applied experimental and engineering psychology emphasizes the role of human behavior and performance in both simple and complex human-machine systems. The departments of psychology, industrial and systems engineering, and information technology all contribute to the program's curriculum.

Engineering psychology 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. Students are trained in both research methods of experimental psychology and application of the results to contemporary problems in industry.

Engineering psychologists are interested in how and why performance might be changed through the use of technology. For instance, a new interface for controlling the radio in a vehicle may cause errors because a control is too sensitive for human-motor performance or because the driver is confused as to how to use the interface.

The program prepares students to function as effective engineering psychologists in industrial, governmental, or consulting organizations. The program also provides a foundation for further advanced academic study in human factors or experimental psychology.

Curriculum

The MS program in applied experimental and engineering psychology includes 16 quarter credit hours of core courses, 16 quarter credit hours of required engineering pscyhology courses, two elective courses, and 8 quarter credit hours of thesis work.

Semester conversion
Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. Each program and its associated courses have been sent to the New York State Department of Education for approval of the semester plan. For reference, the following charts illustrate the typical course sequence for this program in both quarters and semesters. Students should consult their graduate program adviser with questions regarding planning and course selection.

Program title change
Effective fall 2013, the program in applied experimental and engineering psychology will be renamed experimental psychology. This change will not affect currently matriculated students.

Applied experimental and engineering psychology, MS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
0514-784 Graduate Statistics 4
0514-785 Advanced Perception 4
0514-786 Research Methodology 4
0514-787 Advanced Cognition 4
0514-788 Topics in Engineering Psychology 4
4004-745 Foundations of Human-Computer Interaction 4
0303-731 Advanced Topics: Ergonomics/Human Factors 4
0303-734 Systems Safety Engineering 4
Second Year
  Electives 8
0514-889 Thesis Proposal 8
Total Quarter Credit Hours 48

Experimental psychology, MS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
PSYC-640 Graduate Statistics 3
Choose one of the following: 3
    PSYC-714 Graduate Engineering Psychology (AEEP Track)  
  PSCY 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

Electives

Students select two from the following (Students should check for course prerequisites or if permission of the instructoir is required):

4004-748 Usability Engineering
4004-749 Usability Testing
4004-755 Advanced Topics in HCI
0303-760 Product/Process Development and Design
0303-732 Biomechanics
2014-701 Introduction to Computer Graphics
2014-717 Authoring Multimedia 
2014-723 Graphical User Interface

Thesis

The thesis requires a minimum of eight quarter credit hours. Students select a thesis adviser during the first year. Selection of an adviser, thesis topic, and research proposal must be completed in the third quarter of the first year of the program. Ongoing research activity is expected in the spring and summer quarters of the first year of the program. At the completion of the thesis, students will publically present their findings and defend their research before a thesis committee.

Admission requirements

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

  • Have 20 quarter credit hours (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 another in statistics,
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) for all previously completed undergraduate and graduate work,
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (for undergraduate work),
  • Submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE),
  • Submit at least two letters of reference from professors or supervisors,
  • Submit a biographical statement describing the applicant's experience and goals regarding the program, and
  • Complete a graduate application.

Additional information

Cooperative education

The program includes an optional cooperative education component. Co-op is generally completed in the summer quarter after the first year of the program. The goal of a co-op experience is to provide experiential learning that integrates with classroom education. It 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.