Title of program

Cognitive and Human Factors Psychology (MS, PhD)  

Year human factors/ergonomics program was established

1958 (reorganized 1988)

Accredited by HFES?


Contact person for more information, including applications

Gary Brase, Psychological Sciences Department, Kansas State University, Bluemont Hall, 1100 Midcampus Dr., Manhattan, KS 66502-5302; 785/532-0609; 


Academic calendar


Human factors/ergonomics graduate degrees offered

MS and PhD

Goals, objectives, and emphasis of the program

Broad-based training in the major content areas of experimental psychology as well as emphases on conducting research in basic and applied settings. The Psychological Sciences Department at Kansas State University has a long history of successfully preparing students to take positions as basic and applied experimental psychologists, in both the public and private sectors.

Number of degrees granted during last 3 years

MS 2, PhD 9

Can students attend part-time?


Are required courses offered through distance learning?


Does the university have an HFES student chapter?




Application deadline

January 15 (fall)

Application fees

U.S. $50; international $75



Minimum requirements

GPA: 3.0 

GRE: no minimum on v, q, v + q, or a

Other: TOEFL 550/213/79. An undergraduate degree in psychology is recommended but not essential. It is recommended that applicants have a minimum of 15 hours in psychology (including a course in psychological research methods) plus 3 hours of statistics.

Importance of other criteria as admission factors

Research: high 

Work experience: medium 

Letters: medium 

Interview: medium

Tuition and fees

Resident: $350.10/credit hour
Nonresidents: $790.10/credit hour



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


Types of assistance available

Fellowships, TA, tuition exempt; RA is out of state exempt

When should students apply for financial assistance?

Automatic with application



Graduate degrees offered

MS and PhD

Number of units required

MS: 30 

PhD: MS + 60

Exams required

MS: oral examination

PhD: preliminary examination, oral examination

Language requirements


Research required

MS: yes

PhD: yes

Practical experience required

MS: none

PhD: highly recommended

Typical number of years required to obtain degree

MS: 2–3

PhD: 4–5

Is there a non-thesis option?




Required courses (units)

Quantitative Methods (4), Experimental Design (3), Multivariate Statistics (3), Fundamentals of Perception (3), Advanced Cognitive Psychology (3), Physiological Psychology (3), Seminar in Cognitive Processes (6), Seminar in Professional Problems (3)

Electives (units)

Engineering Psychology (3), Industrial/
Organizational Psychology (3), Judgmental Processes (3), Seminars in Human Factors (3), Psychology of Aging (3), Computer Science (3), Psychology of Language (3), History of Current Trends (3), Health Psychology (3), Personality Theory and Research (3), Learning (3), Pro-Seminar in Social Psychology (3)

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 Psychological Sciences Department includes several modern laboratory facilities, most of which are available for hands-on use by students. Resources include an electrically shielded 64-channel electroencephalograph (EEG) system, eye tracking equipment, several rooms for individual and group testing, several computer laboratories, and a media editing lab.

Teaching opportunities available to students in the program:
Opportunities range from assisting a faculty member in teaching a course to having sole responsibility for the preparation and teaching of their own course, depending on experience. There is also an optional Teaching Apprenticeship Program designed to give formal training and supervision in teaching at the university level.

Current research activities and projects being carried out by program faculty and/or students:
Current research activities include projects in film and scene perception, film, pictorial, and reading comprehension, human-computer interaction, judgments and decision making, working memory, cognitive aging, metacognition, problem solving, social reasoning, statistical inference, social cognition, psycholinguistics, and mass communication.



Current number of active students in program, by gender

7 men, 6 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

PhD: GRE 160 v, 155 q, 4.3 a, GPA: 3.75

(Terminal MS not encouraged.)



Heather Bailey, PhD 2009, Kent State U.; Memory, Aging and Cognition, Metacognition (thinking about one's own cognitive processes), Reading Comprehension

Gary L. Brase, PhD 1997, UC Santa Barbara; Judgments under Uncertainty, Social Decision Making, Evolutionary Psychology, Rationality 

Richard J. Harris, PhD 1974, U. Illinois; Applied Psycholinguistics, Mass Communication, Bilingualism

Lester C. Loschky, PhD 2003, U. Illinois; Film Perception and Comprehension, Scene Perception, Eye Movements and Attention, Visual Cognition, Language Comprehension, Human-Computer Interaction

Michael Young, PhD 1995, U. of Minnesota/Twin Cities; Decision Making in Dynamic Environments, Impulsive and Risky Choices in Immersive Environments, EEG During Choice

[Updated December 2013]