Apr 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Psychology-Human Factors & Applied Cognition Specialization (Ph.D.)

Admissions Information  

Student Learning Outcomes  

Each student’s specific program of study will be determined in consultation with the academic advisory committee and the faculty of the Human Factors & Applied Cognition Program.

Each doctoral student is required to take a comprehensive written examination preliminary to admission to final candidacy for the doctoral degree. This examination covers theory, method and research findings in psychology as well as the field of specialization.

Completion and oral defense of an original dissertation represent the capstone requirements for the degree. Successful completion of the final oral examination is required of all students recommended for the Ph.D. degree in Psychology.

For specific requirements regarding the doctoral programs’ written and oral exams, please contact the Psychology Department .

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 & applied cognition. Human factors professionals explore the interaction of humans and technology, testing the designs of systems, tasks, machines, tools and environments. Learn more at usd.edu/psychology

DELIVERY: On campus

Ph.D. Requirements for Specialization in Human Factors & Applied Cognition Psychology (84 credit hours)

  • Psychology Required Core Coursework 15 credit hours
  • Human Factors & Applied Cognition Specialization core 21 credit hours
  • Dissertation 15 credit hours minimum
  • Psychology elective courses 33 credit hours

Psychology Required Core Coursework (15 credit hours)

Human Factors & Applied Cognition Specialization Core (21 credit hours)

Dissertation (15 credit hours minimum)

Psychology Electives* (33 credit hours)

*Transfer students with an approved completed master’s thesis but less than 6 cr of thesis work may count additional electives toward 84 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: link.usd.edu/grad-catalog

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 | psychology@usd.eduusd.edu/psychology

Graduate Admissions
605-658-6140 | gradadmissions@usd.edu  | usd.edu/grad