Explore the interactions between humans and machines and the science behind our behavior as you prepare for a career in ergonomics, cognition, perception, design, and more.
The advanced certificate in engineering psychology focuses on exploring and understanding the relationship between humans and machines. It’s the science of human behavior and our interactions with the technologies that go into the design and operation of machines, equipment, and more. Students expand their knowledge of engineering psychology by exploring course work in cognition, perception, ergonomics, industrial design, and more.
The advanced certificate in engineering psychology provides students with core knowledge in the key areas of engineering psychology, as well as an opportunity to study particular topics in greater depth through electives. The advanced certificate provides students with formal recognition of their knowledge in engineering psychology and establishes a credential for seeking a career in the human factors/ergonomics field.
Plan of study
The certificate consists of five courses. Students must earn at least a B in each course. Students enrolled in the MS degree in experimental psychology can be awarded the advanced certificate by taking the required courses as part of their master's program.
This course will survey theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding the nature of the mental processes involved in attention, object recognition, learning and memory, reasoning, problem solving, decision-making, and language. The course presents a balance between historically significant findings and current state of-the-art research. Readings that have structured the nature and direction of scientific debate in these fields will be discussed. The course also includes discussions of methodology and practical applications. Students will have opportunities to develop their research skills and critical thinking by designing research studies in cognitive psychology.
Graduate Engineering Psychology
In this course the students will learn to recognize the integrated (systems) nature of Engineering Psychology, the centrality of human beings in systems design, and to use the topics covered and the available knowledge base to adapt the environment to people. This course will cover several fundamental models of human information processing in the context of human-system interactions. The models may include but are not limited to Signal Detection Theory, Information Theory, theories of attention, both normative and naturalistic decision-making models, Control Theory, and the Lens Model of Brunswick, as well as models of the human as a physical engine, that is, anthropometry, biomechanics, and work physiology. Most topics include readings in addition to the course text as well as a lab exercise with a detailed lab report.
The course is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of topics in perception. This course will be organized such that students will work in groups on various projects as well as covering topics through readings and classroom discussion. The topics may include, but are not limited to: spatial frequency perception; aftereffects, visual illusions and their relationship to cortical function and pattern perception; color perception; depth and motion perception; higher order perception such as face and object recognition; and music and speech perception. The goal is to cover current research and theories in perception, looking at current developments and their antecedents. The course will be divided into various modules. Students will be assigned readings relevant to each section of the course, and will be expected to master the major concepts. Group discussion of the readings will complement lectures where the instructor will present relevant background material. There will also be laboratory time for the students, where they will examine empirical findings in perception, and develop their research skills in the field.
PSYC Elective or Institute Elective*
Total Semester Credit Hours
* Any graduate level course except PSYC-640, PSYC-642.
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 a personal statement describing the applicant’s experience and goals regarding the certificate.
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.
Scores from the GRE are not required. However, they may be beneficial for some students.
Students may meet the prerequisite requirements by taking the designated prerequisite courses at RIT, having sufficient background from their undergraduate education, or if prerequisite requirements are explicitly waived by the course instructor.