Ohio State University Department of Psychology



Title of program

Cognitive and/or Quantitative and/or Decision Psychology with emphasis on Human Factors (PhD)

Year human factors/ergonomics program was established


Accredited by HFES?


Contact person for more information, including applications

Richard Jagacinski, Ohio State University, Department of Psychology, 225 Psychology Building, Columbus, OH 43210; 614/292-1870; or (click on People, Faculty) 


Academic calendar


Human factors/ergonomics graduate degrees offered

MA and PhD

Goals, objectives, and emphasis of the program

Training provided in fundamental research skills and in the areas of attention, memory, perception, motor skills, problem solving, decision theory, psychometrics, computerized adaptive testing, and mathematical modeling. Applied courses and field experiences help relate these basic areas to human factors engineering in aviation, computer science, industrial engineering, health, and other applied problems. Experience in college teaching is an option, as are applied internships. Course structure is flexible with ample opportunity for interdisciplinary studies (industrial engineering, computer science, cognitive science, aviation, and others).  

Number of degrees granted during last 3 years

MA 1, PhD 0

Can students attend part-time?


Are required courses offered through distance learning?


Does the university have an HFES student chapter?




Application deadline

December 1 

Application fees

$60 domestic, $70 foreign applicants



Minimum requirements

GPA: 3.25

GRE: 75th percentile (v + q)/2; 4 analytical writing

Other: Bachelor's degree in psychology, engineering, mathematics, computer science, statistics, or other science (rec) 

Importance of other criteria as admission factors

Research: medium

Work experience: medium

Letters: medium

Interview: medium

Tuition and fees

Resident: $6,200/semester (usually paid by the Psych Department) 

Nonresident: $15,500/semester (usually paid by the Psych Department)



Number of students applying to the human factors/ergonomics program last year


Number of students accepted into the program last year


Number of students entering the program last year


Anticipated number of openings per year for the next two years




Percentage of students in program receiving financial assistance


Amount received per year (minimum – typical – maximum)

$14,400 – $16,200 – $18,000

Types of assistance available

Fellowships, TA, RA, all tuition exempt 

When should students apply for financial assistance?

With application by December 1



Graduate degrees offered

MA and PhD

Number of units required

MA: 30

PhD: 80

Exams required

MA: oral thesis

PhD: general exams and oral dissertation

Language requirements


Research required

MA: thesis

PhD: dissertation and one additional research project

Practical experience required


Typical number of years required to obtain degree

MA: 2

PhD: 6

Is there a non-thesis option?




Required courses (units)

Statistics (8), Research Seminars (2 per semester). If enrolled in the Cognitive Program: Perception (3), Cognitive Neuroscience (3), Language and Memory (3). If enrolled in the Decision Program: Judgment and Decision Making (3), Social Psychology (3), Cognitive Psychology (3)

Electives (units)

Cognitive Science (3), Computational Cognitive Neuroscience (3), Bayesian Cognitive Modeling (3), Action and Decision Making (3), Cognitive and Affective Influences in Decision Making (3), Technology, Efficiency, and Happiness (3), High-Level Vision (3), Computer Vision for Human-Computer Interaction (3), Speech and Language Processing (3), Models of Language (3), Models of Memory (3), Item Response Theory (3), Structural Equation Modeling (3), Factor Analysis (3), Psychometrics (2), Bayesian Analysis (3), Cognitive Systems Engineering (3), Behind Human Error (3), Occupational Biomechanics (3), Ergonomics in the Product Design Process (3), Survey of Artificial Intelligence (3) 

Number of courses outside department that are required


Number of courses outside department that are recommended


Average or typical class size in a required course



Research and support facilities available to students in the program: 

The Psychology Department provides computerized research facilities for studies of evoked potentials, EEG, cardiovascular psychophysiology, fMRI, decision making, visual information processing, attention, memory, manual control systems, access to the Ohio Supercomputer Center, local computational cluster support, introductory psychology subject pool. 

Teaching opportunities available to students in the program:
Students may apply to teach introductory psychology or assist in other courses, such as statistics.   

Current research activities and projects being carried out by program faculty and/or students:

Research projects include mathematical models of decision making under uncertainty, risk; Bayesian modeling of cognition; cognitive architectures; neural network models; multi-dimensional measurement models; computerized adaptive testing; models of attention and memory; cardiovascular psychophysiology; event-related potentials, EEG, fMRI as measures of cognition; perceptual learning; multi-limb coordination; distracted driving.



Current number of active students in program, by gender

2 men, 0 women

Current number of first-year students in program




Michael Edwards, PhD 2005, U. North Carolina at Chapel Hill; multidimensional item response theory, computerized adaptive testing, factor analysis 

Richard Jagacinski, PhD 1973, U. Michigan; perceptual-motor skills, aging, decision making, control theory  

Jay Myung, PhD 1990, Purdue U.; computational cognitive science, Bayesian modeling, adaptive learning methods

Ellen Peters, PhD 1998, U. Oregon; judgment and decision making, risk perceptions  

Alex Petrov, PhD 1998, New Bulgarian U.; perceptual learning, cognitive architectures

Roger Ratcliff, PhD 1974, U. Auckland; mathematical modeling of cognitive processes, simple decisions and reaction time, memory models, aging, neural modeling 

Trisha Van Zandt, PhD 1992, Purdue U.; mathematical modeling of cognitive processes, development of statistical methods for analysis of behavioral data

[Updated August 2014]