Texas Tech University

Terminal Masters

The requirements for the terminal MA degree are an abbreviated form of the doctoral program. Generally, master's students take 10 courses, 6 hours of research, and complete the prequalifying examination (second-year project). Remaining components from the doctoral program are not required for the terminal MA.

The non-thesis option requires 32 hours of coursework, and 6 hours of research culminating in a written and oral report of the work. The thesis option requires 32 hours of coursework, 6 hours of research, a thesis proposal and thesis defense.

If you have any questions, please contact the Experimental program director, Dr. Jessica Alquist at jessica.alquist@ttu.edu or (806) 834-7553. We do not offer any online graduate degree programs.

Minimum coursework requirements are below:

Statistics (8 hours)

  • PSY 5480: Experimental Design (required)
  • PSY 5447: Advanced Correlational Methods and Factor Analysis (required)

Department Core (6 hours)


  • PSY 5370: Human Factors Psychology (required)

One course from either the Cognitive or Social options listed below


  • PSY 5356: Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • PSY 5353: Cognitive Neuroscience


  • PSY 5328: Seminar in Social Psychology
  • PSY 5300: Attitudes and Attitude Change
  • PSY 5335: Group Processes and Intergroup Relations

Experimental/Statistics Electives (12 hours)

  • PSY 5354: Perception and its Applications (required)
  • PSY 5372: Human Factors Methodology (required)
  • PSY 5373: Cognitive Ergonomics (required)
  • One more 3-credit course that is a) taught by Experimental faculty and b) the student and advisor think serve the student's goal of becoming a human factors psychologist. Common HF/E options are listed below. Alternatively, students can take an additional statistics course (which does not have to be taught by Experimental faculty). [3 credits]
    • PSY 5001: Neuro-Ergonomics
    • PSY 5003: Internship
    • PSY 5379: Human-Computer Interaction


Industrial Engineering (6 hours)

  • IE 5301: Advanced Industrial Ergonomics (required)
  • Plus one course from the following three options:
    • One more graduate IE course
    • ENGL 5388: User Experience Research
    • ENGL 5394: User-Centered Design

Research (6 hours)

  • 6+ credits of PSY 6000 (if pursuing the formal thesis option) or 7000 (if pursuing the non-thesis option)

Research experience is considered of primary importance and students are expected to engage in research continuously throughout the year. To develop sufficient research acumen, students should aim to conduct as much research as possible during their graduate studies.

The human factors program utilizes an apprenticeship model in which students become involved in their advisor's ongoing research. The research typically focuses on theoretical issues in Experimental Psychology that have implications for human factors applications.

Other MA Requirements:

The following describes other skills that PhD students in the human factors program are required to develop. As noted below, opportunities to develop these skills can stem from topical courses, research experiences, or other program-related activities. Students are also free to seek out other opportunities to develop these skills.

Quantitative and Computer Skills

  • Students must acquire quantitative skills that are appropriate to their course of study. This may be achieved in various ways such as coursework, research experiences, and independent study. Examples include statistics, linear algebra, trigonometry, calculus, or computational modeling.
    • Mastery of mathematics through calculus is strongly recommended.
  • Students also must acquire computer skills that are appropriate to their course of study. This may be achieved in various ways such as coursework, research experiences, and independent study. Examples include statistical software packages (SPSS, SAS), prototyping and simulation tools, MATLAB, JAVA, Visual Basic, and C++.
    • Mastery of a higher-level programming language is strongly recommended.

Communication Skills

  • Students must develop their oral and written communication skills. This is achieved by the oral and written requirements for the MA thesis or Second-Year Project requirement for all MA and PhD students and by the oral and written requirements for the dissertation for PhD students. In addition, in the weekly Human Factors Chat, all students are responsible for one time-period per year.

Teamwork Experience

  • Students are exposed to multidisciplinary team experiences in various ways such as coursework (Human Factors, Human Factors Methodology, Human-Computer Interaction), the HFES TTU Student Chapter, and practical experiences such as internships. Examples include collaborative class assignments and projects, feedback from fellow students on class presentations, and students working together on practical problems.