In the experimental psychology masters degree, students are trained to apply scientific methods to basic psychological processes in perception, brain and behavior relationships, thinking, memory, learning, social interactions, human development, and related areas. It is a broad and flexible program that provides a solid stepping-stone into careers or further study in psychology. A choice of tracks – in experimental psychology or engineering psychology – allows students to specialize their degree toward their career goals and aspirations.
The MS program in experimental psychology builds on the strengths of faculty research and student interests in experimental psychology broadly defined. The program as a whole provides a foundation for further advanced academic study in human factors and/or experimental psychology.
Plan of study
The program includes 30 credit hours of core courses, elective courses, and a thesis. It also offers students two tracks to choose from experimental psychology and engineering psychology.
The experimental psychology track embraces the application of the scientific method to the study of behavior. Faculty are experts in a variety of fields including addiction, attention, cognition, development, evolutionary psychology, forensic psychology, perception, psychopathology, and social psychology, among others.
The engineering psychology track examines human capabilities to sense, perceive, store, and process information and how these human factors impact interactions with technology. This knowledge is applied to the design, use, and maintenance of human-machine systems. Courses emphasize the role of human behavior and performance in both simple and complex human-machine systems. Students are trained in both research methods of experimental psychology and application of the results to contemporary problems in the industry. This track prepares students to function as effective engineering psychologists in industrial, governmental, or consulting organizations.
Students in the engineering psychology track must select two electives (students should check for course prerequisites or if permission of the instructor is required). Any graduate course at RIT can be taken as an elective, assuming prerequisites are met.
The program includes an optional cooperative education component. Co-op is generally completed in the summer after the first year of the program. The co-op experience provides experiential learning that integrates with classroom education and allows students to apply psychological principles to problems in a variety of work environments. Co-op may be completed in any business or industrial setting.
Students select a thesis adviser during the first year. Selection of an adviser, thesis topic, and research proposal must be completed in the second semester of the first year of the program. Ongoing research activity is expected through the summer term of the program. At the completion of the thesis, students will publicly present their findings and defend their research before a thesis committee.
- K-12 Education
- Higher Education
- Government (Local, State, Federal)
- Interior Design
Typical Job Titles
- Experimental Psychologist
- Lab Director
Experimental Psychology, MS degree, typical course sequence
- PSYC-640 Graduate Statistics
- PSYC-642 Graduate Research Methods
- PSYC-751 Graduate Research Seminar
- PSYC-752 Thesis Proposal
- Choose one of the following:
- PSYC-714 Graduate Engineering Psychology (Engineering Psychology track)
- PSYC Elective (Experimental track)
- PSYC Elective
- Institute Electives
- PSYC-753 Thesis
- PSYC Elective
Choose one of the following:
- PSYC Elective
- Institute Elective
To be considered for admission to the MS in experimental psychology, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:
- Complete a graduate application.
- 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 scores from the GRE.
- Submit a personal statement describing the applicant’s goals for the program, focusing on their research interests and possible thesis research (including possible thesis mentors).
- Submit two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources.
- 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.