Sep 26, 2023  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Psychology-Human Factors Specialization (M.A.)

Program Overview

USD offers the state’s most comprehensive psychology program with graduate training leading to a Ph.D. degree with specializations in clinical psychology or human factors. Human factors professionals explore the interaction of humans and technology, testing the designs of systems, tasks, machines, tools and environments. Learn more at

DELIVERY: On campus

Master of Arts, Plan A only (thesis) *

*Note: The M.A. in Psychology, Plan A is not offered as a terminal degree. It is earned in the process of completing the Ph.D. degree requirements.

M.A. Degree Requirements - 30 Credit Hours

Human Factors & Psychology Core (12 credit hours)

Thesis (6 credit hours minimum)

Human Factors Electives Requirement (9 credit hours + 3 credit hours from area 1,2, or 3)

Master of Arts, Plan B only (non-thesis) *

*Note: The M.A. in Psychology, Plan B is offered as a terminal degree.

M.A. Degree Requirements - 36 Credit Hours

General Application Requirements

  1. Completed application
  2. $35 application fee
  3. Official transcripts*
  4. Letters of recommendation*
  5. Statement of purpose
  6. Resume/CV*

*Requirements for admission vary by program and may require different documentation and have different deadlines. This list is not all-inclusive, to view specific program requirements and submission deadlines, follow the  “Admissions Information” hyperlink at the top of this page OR visit the specific program/dept. page found here:

Accelerated Master’s Program: B.A. or B.S./M.A.

Up to 12 credits applied toward the B.A or B.S. program may be used to satisfy graduate credit. 

The following restrictions apply:

  1. Dual-listed courses taken at the 500-level can be applied to both the B.S. and M.A. degrees. Dual-listed courses must be taken at the 500-level.
  2. The student must apply to, and be admitted to, the accelerated program prior to taking courses to be credited toward the accelerated program.
  3. No courses taken prior to admission to the accelerated program may be counted toward an accelerated graduate degree. No exceptions to this policy will be approved.
  4. Courses that are “double counted” must be approved by the program coordinator for inclusion in the program of study prior to registration for the course or the credits will not be applied toward the accelerated graduate degree. No exceptions to this policy will be approved.
  5. Only courses taken at the student’s home institution are eligible for accelerated program credit. No transferred courses from other institutions will be allowed to count toward the accelerated master’s degree.
  6. Students admitted to the accelerated M.A. Program may be allowed to register for all courses included on his/her program of study and these credit hours may apply to both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.

M.A. Oral Examination

The master’s thesis must be defended in a final oral examination administered by the student’s advisory committee.

Concurrent Master’s Program with Juris Doctor

Students who are already enrolled in the School of Law at the University of South Dakota and who have sufficient background in psychology may qualify for this Board of Regents authorized concurrent-degree program leading to the M.A. in Psychology.  Individuals with an interest in this program should consult with the department chairperson.

State Authorization - It Matters Where You Live

If your learning placement course (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) or your online course will be taken outside South Dakota, please reference USD’s State Authorization webpage.

State Authorization


Department of Psychology
605-658-3700 |

Graduate Admissions
605-658-6140 |  |