Jul 20, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Psychology-Human Factors & Applied Cognition (Ph.D.) ##Pending SDBOR approvals for curriculum changes

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 9 credit hours
  • Dissertation 15 credit hours minimum
  • Psychology elective courses 45 credit hours

Psychology Required Core Coursework (15 credit hours)

Human Factors & Applied Cognition Specialization Core (9 credit hours)

Dissertation (15 credit hours minimum)

Psychology Electives* (45 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.

** Special Topics may be applied to Area 1, Area 2, Area 3, or Electives depending on the topic of the course.

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

Location Matters for Non-Licensure Track Programs

This program is not designed or advertised to lead to a professional license or certification required for employment.

USD is permitted to operate under the terms of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA) policies and standards in offering online courses/degree programs to residents in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.  Online courses/programs may also be offered to residents of California (a non-SARA state) because it does not regulate out-of-state public institutions.

Additionally, this program is authorized to offer supervised field study experiences (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) in South Dakota. Please be aware that there may be some restrictions on your ability to engage in supervised field study outside of South Dakota. Please contact a program representative if you have questions regarding supervised field study.

Distance education courses or programs will not be offered outside of the United States without prior written approval from the University, which may be withheld for any reason. If you are taking distance courses while physically located outside of the United States, it is your responsibility to confirm the following: (a) if the country will recognize an online degree; (b) the availability of supervised field study opportunities in the country; and (c) if the country charges any additional taxes, withholdings or fees associated with online distance education programs.

For more information, please visit USD’s State Authorization page or contact your admissions counselor.


Department of Psychology
605-658-3700 | psychology@usd.eduusd.edu/psychology

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