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Course content

Program overview

The master of science degree 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 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.


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 publically present their findings and defend their research before a thesis committee.


Experimental psychology, MS degree course sequence differ according to the modules selected, see website for further details on available modules and electives: https://www.rit.edu/programs/experimental-psychology-ms

Other admission requirements

-Submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
-Submit at least two letters of reference from professors or supervisors.
-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).
-Complete a graduate application.

Additional information

Cooperative education:
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.

Visit the Experimental Psychology MS page on the Rochester Institute of Technology USA website for more details!




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