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Experimental Psychology: Human Factors Psychology

B. A. in Psychology; M.A. in Experimental Psychology with a Specialization in Human Factors

The combined bachelor's and master's degree program in human factors psychology is designed to train human factors professionals for positions in industry and government where well-trained master's level human factors psychologists are highly sought after. According to the definition adopted by the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society, human factors is a field concerned with the application of what we know about people, their abilities, characteristics, and limitations to the design of equipment they use, environments in which they function, and jobs they perform. Human factors professionals apply knowledge about the limits and capabilities of human behavior  to the design of machines, tools,  systems,  jobs, and environments for safe, comfortable, and effective human use. The combined program places a strong emphasis on research methodology and data analysis skills.

The Human Factors Psychology Program at Texas Tech University is fully accredited by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. The program allows outstanding students to accelerate their undergraduate degree programs, begin graduate work in the fourth year, and finish both the bachelor's and the master's degree in a total of about five years. Admission is competitive. Applications will be considered from students who are in their third year of study, have an overall grade point average of at least 3.20, and have completed at least 80 semester hours toward the Bachelor of Arts degree, most of the general education requirements for the B.A. degree, and at least 9 hours of Psychology. Students must also submit acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination before the beginning of the fourth year. An undergraduate minor in Industrial Engineering is strongly recommended. MA 1350 (Calculus) and CS 1462 (Fundamentals of Computer Science) or equivalent courses are also recommended. These courses also can be incorporated as part of an interdisciplinary minor.  The program may be completed with a thesis option (30 graduate hours including thesis) or a non-thesis option (36 graduate hours without thesis). Students interested in this program should contact a faculty advisor as early as possible.

Benefits for the Student:

  • It offers a degree that is marketable-- there is a strong job market in human factors psychology. Students who complete a degree will have excellent job opportunities. 
  • Because of a shortage of human factors psychologists, there is an increasing demand for MA degrees and recently even BA degrees. Combining the BA and MA degrees is an attractive option for students not interested in a doctoral degree. 
  • A five-year program will reduce the time and cost of completing the BA and MA degrees.
  • We can offer excellent training in this field, and job placement  for our MA and PHD graduates in HF  has been 100%.

 

Sample Curriculum

 

FIRST - THIRD YEARS: 98 hours of undergraduate work toward B.A. in Psychology (16.33 hours/semester)

     

FOURTH YEAR
(PSY 5370 and PSY 5372 count toward BA)

       
FALL     SPRING SUMMER  
               
Psy 5370, Human Factors [UG] 3   Psy 5372, HF Method [UG] 3   PSY 4000 3
Undergraduate requirement 3   Psy 5380, Exptl Design [G] 3   Grad. Exptl. Elective [G] 3
Undergraduate requirement 3   Undergraduate requirement 3      
Undergraduate requirement 3   Undergraduate requirement 3      
PSY 4000 1   PSY 4000 2      
Total credits:
13  
Total credits:
14  
Total Credits:
6
     
FIFTH YEAR
       
FALL     SPRING SUMMER  
               
Psy 7000, Research 3   Psy 7000, Research 3   Graduate Elective 3
Psy 5373, Cognitive Ergonomics 3   Psy 5354, Perception 3   Graduate Elective 3
IE 5301, Ergo in Design * 3   Psy 5379, HCI 3      
Psy 5347, Regression 3   IE 5303, Work Physiology 3      
      or IE 5304, Occ. Biomec        
Total credits:
12  
Total credits:
12  
Total Credits:
6

* This course can be substituted if the student has completed both IE 4361 and IE 4362.

 

For optimal training in human factors, the following courses are recommended:

  • PSY 4323 Perception: Theories and Applications *
  • PSY 4324 Cognition *
  • PSY 4326 Human Factors Psychology
  • PSY 4330 Psychology of Lifespan Development and Aging *
  • PSY 4380 Intermediate Statistics

* Can substitute if the corresponding graduate level course is completed.

 

5 Year Summary:

  • 98 undergraduate hours, years 1-3
  • 27 undergraduate hours, year 4 (includes 5370 and 5372 as undergraduate electives)
  • 125 total undergraduate hours  (B.A. completed in August of year 4)
  • 36 graduate hours for non-thesis option (36 hours of coursework; 6 taken while UG)

OR

  • 30 graduate hours for thesis option (24 hours of coursework; 6 hours of thesis; 3 taken while UG)

(M.A. completed in August of year 5)