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Information for Students

UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON-CLEAR LAKE
Houston, Texas
Psychology Program

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BACKGROUND:
Title: Applied Cognitive Psychology sub-plan within the Psychology Program (MA)
Est: 2008
Semester
Granted last 3 years: First graduates: Spring 2008
Part-time available: yes
Distance learning available: Courses offered online: Human Factors Engineering; Ergonomic Methods and Analysis Techniques
HFES student chapter: yes
Program: Through an integrated sequence of coursework, practicum, research, and hands on activities, UHCL'S Applied Cognitive Psychology Sub-plan is designed to focus on Human Factors and provides students with a well-rounded foundation in: psychology, the user centered design process, and methods used to evaluate human-machine interfaces. Students will obtain basic competency in perception, cognition, and information processing systems as well as how to apply this knowledge to the design of the Human-Machine interface. Practicum and research experiences will be provided in laboratory and industrials settings. All students will complete a major research project prior to graduation. The sub-plan includes a course sequence that can prepare the student to take the exam to become a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE) or Certified Human Factors Professional (CHFP). Furthermore, graduates will be prepared to pursue doctoral degrees in psychology with a focus on the human machine interface. UHCL has one of the few Master's programs in the state of Texas explicitly designed to prepare people to work in industry upon graduation. Accredited by: None.
Contact: S. Camille Peres, University of Houston-Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Blvd., Box 307, Houston, TX 77058, 281/283-3412; PeresSC@uhcl.edu, http://www.uhcl.edu/appliedcognitive.
Catalog: (free) Office of Admissions, 2700 Bay Area Blvd., Box 13, Houston, TX 77058

APPLICATION:
Deadlines (program): Fall, June 15
Fee: $35 for domestic applicants; $75 for international applicants

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: No minimum requirements
Other: Introduction to Psychology, Statistics
Research: medium
Work experience: medium
Extracurricular activities: low
Letters: high
Interview: n/a

ADMISSIONS:
Students applying last year: 10
Accepted: 10
Entered program: 10
Openings/year: 10

TUITION AND FEES:
Resident: $100/semester credit hour
Nonresident: $381/semester credit hour

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE:
% receiving: 0
Amount: n/a
Available: teaching assistantship, research assistantship (sometimes tuition exempt)
Apply: There is a separate application to the university's Master's in Psychology and the Applied Cognitive Psychology sub-plan. Both processes must be completed.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS:
Master's in Psychology: 42 units, no exam requirements, English, Master's thesis optional, 500 hour internship optional, 2.5 to 3 years

CURRICULUM:
Required courses (units): 3 of the following five: Learning Principles, Advanced Social Psychology, Biological Basis of Behavior, Human Growth and Development, Organizational Psychology ACP: Research Design & Statistical Measurement I & II, Advanced Cognitive Psychology, Human Factors Engineering, User Centered Design, Human Factors Methods and Analysis, Human Factors & Ergonomics Seminar and Practicum in Human Factors/Ergonomics, (6 hours). Master's Option: Graduate Internship (6 hours) or Master's Thesis (6 hours).
Electives: Training and Development, Programming with Visual Basic, Ergonomics and Workplace Design, Ergonomics Methods and Analysis, Web Design, Technical Foundation of Digital Media
Required courses outside department: none required, up to 3 typical
Required courses offered at night, weekends, summer: night typically 4:00-6:50pm or 7:00-9:50pm, no weekends, occasionally summer
Class size: 4-25

RESEARCH/TEACHING OPPORTUNITIES:
Research facilities: The applied cognitive research lab facility at UHCL has an observation room for typical usability-type studies and also has an EMG machine for measuring muscle movements associated with software use
Teaching opportunities available to students: Teaching assistant positions
Current research: Efficient Strategy Selection-Research investigating the cognitive mechanisms associated with the acquisition and utilization of efficient strategies for using software, specifically, the selection rules people use and what influences these rules. As part of this research, we're investigating the relationship between muscle activity (using EMG) and perceived discomfort when using software. Auditory Displays-Research investigating how auditory displays can be designed for optimal performance and satisfaction, both at the most basic level (e.g. how dimensions of sound used in auditory displays impact user's performances) and at more complex levels (can the utilization of principles of composition in the design of auditory displays improve performance/satisfaction). Further, we are interested in the appropriate training paradigms for these alternative displays.

STUDENT STATISTICS:
Active: 9 men, 11 women
First-year students: 10
Mean scores: : n/a

FACULTY:
S. Camille Peres, PhD, 2005; HFES member; auditory displays, efficiency with software, using simulations to teach statistics
Magdy Akladios, PhD; HFES member; ergonomics, safety, industrial hygiene, industrial engineering

[Updated March 2011]