Human Factors/Applied Cognition Concentration

Catalog Year: 2023-2024

Banner Code: LA-PHD-PSYC-HF

The PhD in Psychology provides knowledge of the basic content areas in psychology and practical experience in applying this knowledge to solve human problems in relationships, work, and education. Core course requirements cover subject matter identified by the profession as essential to doctoral training. This includes biological, social, cognitive, and individual bases of behavior, as well as the history of psychology. The program offers the following concentrations: applied developmental psychology, clinical psychology, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, human factors/applied cognition, and industrial/organizational psychology.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 72

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

In addition to satisfying the requirements for all doctoral degrees, students must successfully complete 72 credits of required coursework. 

Concentration in Human Factors/Applied Cognition (HF)


The human factors and applied cognition concentration covers basic theoretical and empirical issues and emphasizes research that applies cognitive science to real-world problems. The program builds bridges between human factors engineering and cognitive psychology. Many applications of cognitive science are in the domain of human factors, and many doctoral students who complete our program go on to be human factors professionals.

Students pursuing this concentration must complete 72 graduate credits comprised of coursework and at least 12 credits of dissertation research. The number of credits required may be reduced for a prior master's degree (up to 30 credits).

Doctoral Coursework

Cognitive Core

PSYC 701 Cognitive Bases of Behavior 3
or PSYC 768 Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science
Total Credits 3

Biological, Social, or Developmental Core

Select two from the following: 6
Neuronal Bases of Learning and Memory  
Behavioral Chemistry  
Cognitive Neuroscience  
Biological Bases of Human Behavior  
Behavior in Small Groups and Teams  
Personality: Theoretical and Empirical Approaches  
Social Bases of Behavior  
Cognitive and Perceptual Development  
Social and Emotional Development  
Life-Span Development  
Total Credits 6

Quantitative and Research Methods

PSYC 642 General Linear Modeling I 4
PSYC 643 General Linear Modeling II 4
Total Credits 8

Advanced Statistics or Qualitative Methods

Select three courses from the following: 9
Nonparametric Statistics and Categorical Data Analysis  
Psychometric Methods  
Longitudinal Data Analysis  
Quantitative Methods IV: Multivariate Techniques in Psychology  
Advanced Topics in Statistical Analysis  
Structural Equation Modeling and Meta-Analysis  
Qualitative Research Methods  
Total Credits 9

Specialized Content

PSYC 530 Cognitive Engineering: Cognitive Science Applied to Human Factors 3
PSYC 645 Research Methods in Human Factors and Applied Cognition 3
Select three courses from the following: 1 9
Seminar in Human Factors and Applied Cognition  
Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science  
Total Credits 15

These are seminars with variable topics that may be repeated for credit when the topic is different.

Special Topics in Professional Issues

PSYC 890 Seminar in Professional Psychology 1-3
Total Credits 3

Directed Reading and Research

Students are encouraged to take a minimum of 1 credit of this course each semester until they advance to candidacy.

PSYC 897 Directed Reading and Research 1-3
Total Credits 1-3

Elective Courses

Students have several options for completing the remaining 72 credits required for the degree. They may take additional content courses with permission of their advisor. Students who do not have work experience in applied cognition or human factors are encouraged to take up to 6 credits of practicum.

Students are strongly encouraged to develop competence in programming and computer science through coursework or independent study. Students are also encouraged to identify and take relevant courses within or outside the department with permission of their advisor.

Some options for fulfilling this requirement:

PSYC 734 Seminar in Human Factors and Applied Cognition 3
PSYC 768 Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science 3
PSYC 730 Practicum in Applied Psychology 1-6
or PSYC 592 Special Topics
or PSYC 892 Special Topics in Psychology

Advancement to Candidacy

To advance to candidacy, students must complete all core courses required by the program. Students must also successfully complete and pass written comprehensive exams.

Dissertation Research

The dissertation requirement is designed to demonstrate the student's ability to apply psychological principles to research problems. Once enrolled in PSYC 999 Doctoral Dissertation, students must follow the university's continuous registration policy as specified in AP.6.10.6 Dissertation Research. Students who defend in the summer must be registered for at least 1 credit of PSYC 999 Doctoral Dissertation.

Students complete a minimum of 3 credits of PSYC 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal and 3 credits of PSYC 999 Doctoral Dissertation. They must apply a minimum of 12 dissertation credits (PSYC 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal and PSYC 999 Doctoral Dissertation combined) to the degree. Because of the continuous registration policy, students may be required to register for additional credits of these courses.

Select 12 credits from the following: 12
Doctoral Dissertation Proposal  
Doctoral Dissertation  
Total Credits 12