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Information for Students

CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA
Washington, D.C.
Department of Psychology

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BACKGROUND:
Title: Applied-Experimental Psychology (MA, PhD)
Est: 1970
Semester
Granted last 3 years: MA 2, PhD 7
Part-time: yes
Distance learning available: no
HFES student chapter: no
Program: Advanced training in applied experimental psychology and applied cognitive science prepares individuals for career opportunities in industrial and government labs as well as in universities. Students take general and specialty courses in basic and applied psychology and in related disciplines outside the department. Within the first year students identify a specialty related to the research-interests of a member of the faculty and receive research-intensive experience in that area. The program maintains close ties to other labs within and outside the university, thus providing students with a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary research experience.
Contact: Deborah Clawson, Department of Psychology, Catholic University, Washington, DC 20064; 202/319-5750; clawson@cua.edu.
Catalog: (free) Office of Graduate Admissions, Catholic University, Washington, DC 20064

APPLICATION:
Deadlines: 3/15 for admission, 1/15 for financial aid
Fee: $55

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:
GPA: 3.0
GRE: 500 v, 500 q
Other: BA degree required; courses in physics, calculus, computer programming recommended.
Research: high
Work experience: medium
Letters: medium
Interview: medium

ADMISSIONS:
Students applying last year: 12
Accepted: 3
Entered program: 2
Openings/year: 5

TUITION AND FEES:
Resident: $36320/year
Nonresident: $36320/year

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE:
% receiving: 85
Amount: averages $10,000 plus tuition
Available: Fellowship, TA, RA, Research Fellows Program
Apply: with application by 1/15

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS:
MA: 30 units, oral and written exam, no language, no practical experience required, thesis, 2 years
Nonthesis option: no
PhD: 53 units, written and oral exams, dissertation, no languages or practical experience required, 5 years

CURRICULUM:
Required courses (units): Research Methods (3), Statistics 1 and 2 (8), Foundations of Psychology 1 and 2 (6)
Electives: Human-Computer Interaction (3), Cognitive Aging (3), Visualization and Virtual Reality (3)
Required courses outside department: 0
Recommended courses outside department: 1
Offered: summer
Class size: 8

RESEARCH/TEACHING OPPORTUNITIES:
Research facilities: The program has excellent laboratory facilities for research in human perception and cognition, human-computer interaction, emotion, psychophysiology, and human performance. The nine-room Cognitive Aging Lab (director: J. H. Howard, Jr.) includes sound-attenuated testing booths as well as a network of PC and Apple Macintosh computers. The Cognition and Virtual Reality Lab (director: M. Sebrechts) includes several graphics workstations, head-mounted displays with motion sensors, two Cyber seats and a large rear-projection screen. Special facilities are also available for the use of Virtual Reality and Eye-Tracking techniques in research on autism. Other laboratories contain microcomputers and video equipment. The university's high-performance workstations are also available for students and faculty members.
Teaching: Teaching assistantships are available.
Current research: D. Clawson: using virtual reality to study planning and prospective memory. J. H. Howard, Jr.: NIH-sponsored research on implicit learning of serial patterns in healthy elderly and other populations, neural network models of pattern learning. M. Safer: Research on applied memory and emotion. M. Sebrechts: DOD-sponsored research on virtual reality, spatial mental models, and rehabilitation; information visualization, human-computer interaction, and problem solving.

STUDENT STATISTICS:
Active: 5 men, 7 women
First-year students: 2
Mean scores: PhD: GRE 1250 v + q, GPA 3.1

FACULTY:
Deborah Clawson, PhD 1994, U Colorado; virtual reality, planning, prospective memory
James H. Howard, Jr., PhD 1973, Brown U; human cognition and perception, cognitive aging, cognitive neuroscience of aging
Martin Safer, PhD 1978, U Wisconsin; emotion and memory, health psychology
Marc M. Sebrechts, PhD 1980, Yale U; human-computer interaction, instructional technology, virtual reality

[Updated May 2012]