Experimental Psychology: Human Factors Psychology
Human Factors Ph.D. Curriculum
Students must fulfill the requirements of the Psychology Department and the Experimental Psychology Division. The Graduate School requires that students complete degree requirements within 8 consecutive years from the semester of initial enrollment to ensure that student's preparation remains current and that they are able to make timely progress.
Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology: 45 hours of substantive coursework, 18 hours of research, 12 hours of dissertation, prequalifying examination, qualifying (comprehensive) examination, dissertation proposal defense, and final dissertation defense.
Please refer to the Experimental Handbook for further details. It is the official curriculum with which you must comply.
Ph.D. Course Requirements
All doctoral students in Psychology must complete the following requirements. Some courses may have prerequisites, so students should make sure they meet the necessary prerequisites before registering.
Statistics (9 hours)
The graduate core statistics requirement for the Psychology Department is completion with a grade of B or better three graduate level statistics courses taken within the Department of Psychology.
Basic graduate statistics courses:
- PSY 5380 Experimental Design
- PSY 5347 Advanced Correlational Methods and Factor Analysis
- PSY 5348, Multivariate Statistics
- PSY 5360, Structural Equation Models
- PSY 5367, Analysis of Single Subject and Time Ordered Designs
Notes: PSY 5347 and PSY 5380 must be completed within 24 months of the official enrollment in a doctoral program in Psychology at TTU. If an intermediate or leveling statistics course is taken first, this deadline may be extended to the end of the fall semester of the third year.
Experimental Core (12 hours)
Students must complete one course from each of the following four categories.
- PSY 5356, Seminar in Cognition
- PSY 5354, Seminar in Perception
Human Factors Psychology:
- PSY 5370, Human Factors Psychology
- PSY 5372, Human Factors Methodology
- PSY 5373, Cognitive Ergonomics
- PSY 5328, Seminar in Social Psychology
- PSY 5330, Attitudes and Attitude Change
- PSY 5340, Automaticity and Control in Social Behavior
- PSY 5301, Biological Bases of Psychological Functioning
- PSY 5351, Psychophysiology
- PSY 5382, Psychopharmacology of Psychoactive Drugs
- IE 5303, Work Physiology
Specialization (12 hours)
In collaboration with their advisors, students will identify any 4 courses that serve their goal of becoming an applied cognitive, human factors, or social psychologists. These courses will typically be experimental psychology courses, but can be from any area of psychology or any other field. NOTE: These can also be listed under the Experimental Electives.
Current Selection of Courses in Human Factors Psychology:
- PSY 5370, Human Factors Psychology (Required)
- PSY 5372, Human Factors Methodology (Required)
- PSY 5354, Seminar in Perception: Theories and Applications (Required)
- PSY 5373, Cognitive Ergonomics (Required)
- Human Computer Interaction
- Practicum in Human Factors Psychology (Up to 3 credits of internship or practicum can be used to fulfill the total number of required courses)
Experimental Division Electives (9 hours)
An additional 3 courses taught by Experimental Division faculty, which may include further work in the specialization.
Free elective (3 hours)
An additional course in any area of psychology or any other field
Colloquium in the Teaching of Psychology
Students must take the lecture (one-unit) portion of PSY 5101 (Colloquium in the Teaching of Psychology) prior to their second year in the program. Students can include 5101 on their degree plan if they also take the practicum (two-unit) portion of PSY 5101.
Industrial Engineering (IE) courses for human factors students
In addition to the requirements listed above, human factors PhD students must complete:
- IE 5301, Ergonomics in Design
- IE 5303, Work Physiology or IE 5304, Occupational Biomechanics
- One elective in IE
Recommended Courses (can fulfill specialization requirements)
- IE 5302, Environmental Ergonomics
- IE 5309, Human Factors in Engineering in Design
- IE 5305, Cognitive Engineering
NOTE: One of these courses can be applied to the Free Elective
Research coursework (i.e., PSY 7000 & 8000)
In addition to Continuous involvement in research is expected as evidenced by (a) a minimum of 15 hours of enrollment in PSY 7000, and (b) enrollment in PSY 7000 for 3 credit hours during each long semester and one summer term each year.
A minimum of 12 hours of enrollment in PSY 8000. Continuous enrollment of at least 3 hours of PSY 8000 with the dissertation Chair beginning at least in the semester in which the dissertation is proposed. Students are required to sign up for a minimum of 2 credits with every other committee member during the course of the dissertation, normally in the semesters of proposal and defense.
Research experience and skills (18 hours minimum)
Research experience is considered of primary importance and students are expected to be engaged in research continuously throughout the year. The Human Factors Psychology Program utilizes an apprenticeship model in which students become involved in their advisor's ongoing laboratory research. The research typically focuses on basic or theoretical issues in experimental psychology that have implications for human factors applications. Students also are expected to gain the mathematical and computer programming skills necessary to complete the research and coursework in their degree plan. They may take appropriate undergraduate or graduate courses taken before, or while enrolled, at Texas Tech University or they may develop such skills as part of their laboratory training. Evidence of proficiency in math and computer programming can be through formal coursework or other demonstration of such skills as determined by the human factors faculty. Proficiency in computer programming can be demonstrated in 3 ways: 1) Complete a graduate course in computer programming; 2) Complete an undergraduate course in computer programming; 3) Complete a proficiency project in computer programming.
Prequalifying Examination Research Requirements
Prior to taking the qualifying examination, each student will be required to complete at least one three hour enrollment in PSY 7000 Research, and to complete an empirical study that is deemed appropriate by a two person faculty committee (including the student's faculty advisor).The two person faculty committee may consist of any two members of the psychology graduate faculty. The report and appropriate signatures must be on file in the student's departmental folder for this requirement to be met. Alternatively, this written requirement may be met by a student submitting a formal master's thesis in psychology. Regardless of how the pre-qualifying examination research requirement is met, students in experimental psychology are expected to be continuously involved in research and to be enrolled in PSY 7000 for 3 credit hours during each long semester and one summer term.
Each student also is required to make a brief, ungraded, oral presentation of the research used to satisfy the above written requirement during his/her second year (sometimes called 2nd-year presentations). The student making most timely progress will have completed his/her research in time to present at this meeting.
Qualifying Examination in Human Factors Psychology
Successful completion of the qualifying examination in Human Factors Psychology documents that the student has 1) mastered the foundations of the field, and 2) become an expert in one of the field's identifiable sub-specialties. Thus, successful completion of this examination allows the student to be administered to doctoral candidacy.
The qualifying examination has three sections. The following sub-sections describe 1) each section, 2) how students might prepare for the qualifying examination, and 3) how the examination is administered.
Dissertation (12 hours minimum)
The requirements for the dissertation follow the guidelines of the Graduate School and Psychology Department and have an emphasis on theory or conceptual development. In addition to the traditional components, the dissertation in human factors includes a chapter on "Human Factors Implications for Design." The chapter will provide a discussion of implications for one application selected by the student. It will have 3 components: a) a brief discussion of the human factors literature on a selected application (e.g., studies on vision in driving); b) a discussion of implications that the dissertation research has for the selected application; c) a specific example of how the knowledge acquired from the dissertation can be used in an application. Finally, the dissertation committee normally will have one faculty member from the Industrial Engineering Department.
Students are encouraged to complete an internship or research experience relevant to their course of study. For example, students may complete a 3-credit practicum project. Previous internships have included NASA-JSC, USAF, and FAA. Formal relationships for practical experiences have been developed at TTU's Information Technology Division, TTU's Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center, TTU's Usability Laboratory (English Department), and the University Medical Center Southwest Cancer Treatment and Research Center.