Wright State University (Department of Psychology)



Title of program

Human Factors and Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Year human factors/ergonomics program was established

MS 1979, PhD 1992

Accredited by HFES?


Contact person for more information, including applications

Pam Garverick, PhD 
Psychology Department, Wright State University 
Fawcett Hall 335B, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Dayton, OH 45435-0001 

Web site

Academic calendar


Human factors/ergonomics graduate degrees offered

MS and PhD

Goals, objectives, and emphasis of the program

The program emphasizes that Human Factors and Industrial Organizational psychologists work best together to produce results that neither specialty could achieve alone. Students in our HF/IO graduate program complete a traditional specialization in either Human Factors or Industrial Organizational psychology, while the second area serves as a minor area of focus. Our program is designed to foster an understanding of the relationships between both specialties. Students prepare for this collaboration by learning the fundamentals of each specialty then interacting with one another in a wide variety of basic and applied research settings. This multidimensional education prepares students for careers in business and industry as well as research, teaching, government, and consulting.

Number of degrees granted during last 3 years

19 MS, 22 PhD

Can students attend part-time?


Are required courses offered through distance learning?


Are required courses offered at night?


Are required courses offered during summer?


Does the university have an HFES student chapter?




Application deadline

December 15

Are separate applications required for university and department?


Application fees




Minimum requirements

Grade point average last 4 years (A = 4.0): 3.0

GRE Verbal: 50th percentile
GRE Quantitative: 50th percentile

Recommended: selected courses in psychology (research methods, cognition, perception, social psychology, personality)

Importance of other criteria as admission factors

Previous research activity: medium

Relevant work experience: low

Extracurricular activities: low

Letters of recommendation: high

Personal interview: medium

Tuition and fees

Tuition per credit hour (1–10.5 hours): $622 (in-state residents); $1,060 (out-of-state residents)

Flat rate tuition per semester (11–18 hours): $6,378 (in-state residents); $11,446 (out-of-state residents)



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

8 per year



Percentage of students in program receiving financial assistance

Stipend & Tuition (Department/Grant/
Scholarship): 80% (1st year); 100% (2nd year); 100% (3rd year)

Tuition (Department): 100% (1st year to 4th year)

Amount received per year (minimum – typical – maximum)

$16,000 – $16,000 – $19,600

Types of assistance available

Teaching assistantship,research assistantship, fellowship (all tuition exempt)

When should students apply for financial assistance?

All applicants are considered for financial assistance without an additional application.



Graduate degrees offered

MS and PhD

Number of credit hours required

MS: 27

PhD: 91 (including the 37 credit hours for the MS degree)

Exams required

MS: A written proposal and thesis, and an oral defense of both

​PhD: Complete an acceptable MS thesis, including a written proposal and thesis, and an oral defense of both; qualifying exam; complete a PhD dissertation and successfully defend the dissertation in an oral exam conducted by a dissertation committee (16 credit hours of dissertation research required).

Language requirements


Research required

MS: First-year project, thesis research

​PhD: First-year project, thesis research, dissertation research

Practical experience required


Typical number of years required to obtain degree

MS: 2–3

​PhD: 5–6 from BS

Is there a non-thesis option?




Required courses (units)

Cognition (3), Perception (4), Research Design and Quantitative I, II (4), History of Psychology (3)

Electives (units)

Task Analysis/Work Analysis (3), Engineering Psychology (4), Ecological Interface Design (3), Computational Cognitive Modeling (3), Mathematical Models of Cognition (2), Problem Solving and Reasoning (3), Psycholinguist (4)

Average or typical class size in a required course




Research facilities:
Our department consists of 20,000 square feet of laboratory space and meeting rooms. Each faculty member maintains a research laboratory. Our research equipment supports studies with EEG, Virtual Environments, Interactive technology, and Simulation (VERITAS; housed in the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base WBAFB). Collaboration with WBAFB and nearby medical facilities provides access to specialized research equipment.

Instructional facilities:
The department maintains several general laboratories to support teaching and research, including four Apple computer laboratories. The department also has a variety of other general-purpose facilities for individual and small group testing. These include audio-visual equipment for taping or presenting information to groups, observation rooms with one-way windows, and portable equipment for field research.

Computational facilities:
Faculty members also maintain their specialized computational facilities for research. Department researchers are actively pursuing and obtaining grants; the laboratory computational facilities are extensive and diverse.

Library facilities:
The Wright State University Libraries' collections are among the largest in the Dayton metropolitan area. In addition, the University Libraries are a member of OhioLink. Through this membership the Libraries have access to an important array of electronic resources, as well as to 48 million books and other library materials house in academic libraries and research institute throughout the state.

Teaching opportunities available to students in the program:
TAs usually begin by conducting lab sections for introductory courses and progress to greater responsibilities in advanced courses.

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

Faculty research interests span neurophysiological mechanisms to multi-person collaborative work, including neuroergonomics, sensory and attentional processes, stress, visual-spatial functions, memory, executive control, expertise, decision making, reasoning, language, strategic interaction, affect, and teamwork. Research methods include experimentation and field studies, and employ brain imaging, mathematical modeling, computational cognitive architectures, statistics, task and work analysis. Research findings inform applications in training, assessment, human-computer interaction, intelligent interfaces, trust in autonomy, and aging. Many ongoing projects are interdisciplinary collaborations with defense, medicine, computer science and engineering.


Current number of active students in
program, by gender

19 men, 26 women

Current number of first-year students in program


Based on current graduate students in the program,
the mean score on admission tests and undergraduate
GPA by degree being sought are

Mean GRE Verbal: 158
Mean GRE Quantitative: 157
Mean GRE Analytical: 4.27
Mean GRE Combined: 158

Mean undergraduate GPA: 3.64

Number of current HF/E postdocs


Of the number of those graduating in the past year,
what percentage gained employment in

Academia: 20%

Industry: 40%

Government: 40%

Faculty-to-student ratio

1 to 3

Number of current HF/E faculty





Kevin. B. Bennett, PhD 1984, Catholic University; cognitive systems engineering, human computer interaction, display design

Herbert. A. Colle, PhD 1969, University of Washington; mental workload/attention, working memory, keyboard design

Robert H. Gilkey, PhD 1981, Indiana University; audition, spatial hearing, auditory displays

Assaf Harel, PhD 2009, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel); visual expertise, object and scene perception, neuroergonomics

Joe Houpt, PhD 2012, Indiana University; cognitive science, configural processing, mathematical psychology

Ion Juvina, PhD 2006, Utrecht University; computational cognitive modeling, cognitive neuroscience, strategic thinking and executive control of cognition and affect

Tamera R. Schneider, PhD 1997, SUNY at Stony Brook; stress and physiology, persuading healthy behaviors

Valerie L. Shalin, PhD 1987, University of Pittsburgh; workplace expertise, collaborative work

Pamela S. Tsang, PhD 1983, University of Illinois; attention, aviation psychology, cognitive aging

Scott N. J. Watamaniuk, PhD 1990, Northwestern University; 2 & 3-D visual motion process, smooth pursuit eye movements

[Updated April 2018]