Human Factors (HF) and Industrial/Organizational (IO) Psychology are fields that explore basic theories of human and group performance and the practical implications for improving the quality of socio-technical systems. The HF program places special emphasis on human perception and cognition. The IO program emphasizes individual, group, and organizational behavior in work settings. Together these programs provide a strong foundation for applying psychological theories to the design of more effective technologies and work organizations. Our program offers unique opportunities to collaborate with local industries and government laboratories such as the Human Effectiveness Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson AFB. It also provides opportunities for students to participate in interdisciplinary collaborations on problem-centered research projects associated with interface design, training, selection, decision-making, and team coordination. These problems can be explored in a wide range of application domains, including aerospace, healthcare, public and private sector businesses, military operations, and emergency operations.
Students may enter a terminal M.S. degree program, specializing in either human factors or industrial/organizational psychology.
Students admitted to the MS program should have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a major in psychology or at least 16 semester credit hours of psychology. Students should have completed courses in cognition or human learning, sensation and perception, social or organizational psychology, personality or test and measures, or abnormal, experimental design/statistics, and experimental methods. Ideally, students should also have completed a year of physical or biological science, courses in mathematics, and computer science. Students who are missing one or more prerequisite courses will be expected to complete appropriate remedial course work at the onset of the program, in addition to degree requirements.
All prospective students must submit an official transcript from each institution attended. Scores on the Graduate Record Examination (verbal, quantitative) also must be submitted. Three letters of recommendation must be received from previous university professors or relevant professionals. Applicants also must submit an essay describing their professional goals and current academic interests in human factors or industrial/organizational psychology.
All admissions are competitive. Applications will be evaluated to determine the likelihood of success in the program and potential for a career in human factors or industrial/organizational psychology. Evaluation criteria will include cumulative grade point average, verbal and quantitative Graduate Record Examination scores, performance in relevant course work, letters of recommendation, previous research experience, relevant job experience, and other information about writing and quantitative skills. Applications are due by January 1 for fall consideration
The programs in human factors and industrial/organizational psychology are a major focus of departmental activity; two-thirds of the faculty in the department specialize in one of the two program areas. Students enter a program with a critical mass of faculty and students and a wide variety of research opportunities.
The Department of Psychology maintains general laboratories to support teaching and research. There are three computer laboratories each containing 17 Apple Intel-based computers with flat-screen LCD color monitors and two printers. For flexibility of application, each computer can boot either the Mac OS or Windows. The individual computers are interconnected via a local area network. Special purpose equipment, such as a Prichard Photometer, Kay Sound Spectrum Analyzer, and Hewlett-Packard Color Scanner are available. The Department has a variety of other general-purpose facilities for individual and small group testing. These include audio-visual equipment for taping or presenting information to the group, observation rooms with one-way windows, and laptop computers for field research.
The Department of Psychology has research space, faculty, and graduate student offices, and general classroom space all located in Fawcett Hall. The Department occupies the third, fourth, and fifth floors of Fawcett Hall. The fourth and fifth floors consist of 20,000 square feet of space exclusively for psychology research. Each Psychology faculty member currently maintains a laboratory to support his or her research activities. Specialized equipment in these research laboratories supports research on the sensory process, motor control, spatial orientation, human-computer interaction, display design, flight simulation, memory, aging, expertise, teamwork, assessment, training, and stress in the workplace. Computer facilities include UNIX workstations, PC’s, and Mac’s. Descriptions of faculty laboratories are given under the appropriate faculty’s individual Web page. These laboratories are well equipped for behavioral research.
The Department of Psychology maintains a Psychology Computer Services (PCS) facility to support research and teaching. The PCS has one computer engineer and one student assistant. The PCS provides software, hardware, and network support.
Students and faculty also have access to specialized laboratories and equipment that are unique to the Dayton metropolitan area. The Department of Psychology at Wright State University and several research laboratories at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have official Memorandums of Agreement that facilitate the sharing of equipment, facilities, and personnel. Sophisticated high fidelity simulators and other test facilities, such as the Auditory Localization Facility for free field binaural research and an immersive 4-wall Cave VR system, are off-campus facilities that are available and have been used by Department of Psychology faculty and students. In addition, the Department has excellent working relationships with other laboratories and facilities. Several faculty and students have conducted research at the Crew Station Evaluation Facility at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Department of Psychology faculty also have excellent working relationships with area corporations and industries
Dayton is also an area of considerable industrial and corporate strength. Industrial/organizational research is conducted in conjunction with local firms. Faculty and students interact with many colleagues in government and the private sector.
Why Choose the Human Factors and Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program?
If you want to explore how to improve group performance and systems through psychology, pursue a Master of Science degree in Human Factors and Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Wright State.
Gain a greater understanding of human perception and cognition, individual, group, and organizational behavior, and how to design more effective organizations. You can take advantage of research opportunities with local entities like the Human Effectiveness Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Crew Station Evaluation Facility at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Our learning facilities include laboratories, audio-visual equipment, observation rooms, and 20,000 square feet in Fawcett Hall dedicated exclusively to psychology research. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Wright State also have several agreements in place for the sharing of equipment, facilities, and personnel.
December 15th is the deadline for receipt of all application material for admission for the following Fall semester. If you are interested in applying to the Human Factors and Industrial/Organizational Psychology graduate program at Wright State, here are the necessary application steps:
- Visit the Graduate School website. Visit the Apply page where you can create an online account to apply. From the Graduate School website, you can also download paper copies of the application materials and mail them directly to Wright State. (Online submission is preferred)
- Once you have created an account, you may begin the application for admission to the Graduate School. Our program is listed under the College of Science and Mathematics, with a concentration in Human Factors and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Make sure to select your interest in either the M.S. or Ph.D. degree program.
- As part of the application, you will be required to submit a packet of materials, review what you need to submit under the Materialstab.
- Upon completion of the online application, you will be required to pay a $40 application fee which can be submitted online.
- Any supplemental materials (letters of recommendation, transcripts, GRE scores) should be sent to:
Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy.
Dayton, OH 45435-0001
The admissions process is competitive. Applications will be reviewed to assess the likelihood of success in the program and potential for a career in Human Factors or Industrial/Organizational psychology. Evaluation criteria will include cumulative grade point average, verbal and quantitative Graduate Record Examination scores, performance in relevant coursework, letters of recommendation, previous research experience, relevant job experience, and other information about writing, speaking, and quantitative skills.
Here is a list of materials needed to apply to the Human Factors and Industrial/Organizational Psychology graduate program. We only accept new applicants for the fall semester and all materials must be received by December 15th of the previous year.
- A completed application to the School of Graduate Studies (submitted online).
- An essay outlining your professional goals and research interests. This should be a brief essay telling us what you hope to learn here and what type of career (academic, applied, or research) you want to pursue. This is also an appropriate place to describe which research areas you would like to explore and if there are any particular faculty you want to work with.
- Three (3) letters of recommendation; preferably from academic sources that can speak to your capacity for graduate study. A letter from a professional source that can provide information on your abilities and characteristics outside of an academic setting would also be appropriate. Each source must mail their letters directly to the School of Graduate Studies, or you may mail them directly if they are in individually signed and sealed envelopes.
- One (1) official transcript sent from each institution attended (except Wright State University) is required. If courses from one university/college appear on another university’s/college’s transcript, you are still required to submit an official transcript from the college where you originally completed the course work.
- One (1) official copy of your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores sent directly from ETS. The GRE Subject Test in Psychology is not required but is recommended. Wright State's Institution code is 1179.