In-class activities reviewing colorblindness

Human Factors & Applied Cognition

Explore your individual interests and the interactions of humans and technology through a wide range of research training, testing of design systems and environments.

Impact Human Interactions with Technology

Human factors is about making our world run smoothly. These professionals explore the interaction of humans and technology, testing the designs of systems, tasks, machines, tools and environments in order to enhance efficiency, ease of use, safety and productivity.

As a human factors student at USD, you will conduct and administer applied psychological research and serve as human factors and ergonomics specialists for organizations such as the U.S. military, the Federal Aviation Administration, technology start-up firms, top companies such as Oracle and Microsoft, and universities including Michigan State and George Mason. 

Your research will be conducted with faculty who are experts and leaders in their field. Current research programs include driving and aging, interface design for educational technology, risk perception and decision making, motivation and engagement during video gameplay, traffic safety and measures of mental workload.

Prepare to make an impact on human interactions with technology as a human factors student at USD.   

Degrees & Offerings

Psychology: Human Factors & Applied Cognition (M.A.)

  Vermillion Main Campus

The master's degree in human factors psychology requires 30-36 credit hours and is offered in a thesis or non-thesis program of study. The non-thesis track is offered as a terminal master's degree. The thesis-track master's may be earned in the process of completing your Ph.D. degree.

Learn more about the psychology program

View Admissions Requirements

Psychology: Human Factors & Applied Cognition (M.A.)

Accelerated Program
  Vermillion Main Campus

If you are a current USD undergraduate student who would like to begin a master's degree while completing your bachelor's degree, you may apply and begin the program after completion of 90 undergraduate credit hours.

View Admissions Requirements

Psychology: Human Factors & Applied Cognition (Ph.D.)

  Vermillion Main Campus

The human factors Ph.D. requires 84 credit hours of core psychology and human factors coursework, electives and a dissertation. With over 30 credit hours of elective coursework, you can easily customize your degree completion plan to align with your career goals.

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Psychology: Human Factors & Applied Cognition (M.A./J.D.)

Concurrent Program
  Vermillion Main Campus

Students who are already enrolled in the USD Knudson School of Law and who have sufficient background in psychology may qualify for this concurrent degree leading to the M.A. in Psychology.

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Program Details





Graduate Admissions

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in psychology.
students looking at a laptop having a discussion with their professor


Expand your understanding of the human mind and behavior as you develop strengths in research, critical thinking, advocacy and service.

A meeting in progress at the psychological services center between a faculty member and student.

Psychological Services Center

The Clinical Psychology program is committed to the scientist-practitioner model of training.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know your professors in the Department of Psychology. Our faculty serve as experts in their fields and maintain active research involving laboratory-based research, survey studies and/or community-based field research.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jan Berkhout

Jan Berkhout

Bio Image for Faculty Member Michael Granaas

Michael Granaas

Director-Human Factors
Bio Image for Faculty Member Douglas Peterson

Douglas Peterson

Bio Image for Faculty Member Timothy Ricker

Timothy Ricker

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jong Sung Yoon

Jong Sung Yoon

Assistant Professor

Surprisingly Affordable

Whether you’ve recently completed your undergraduate degree, or you want to kick your career up a notch, graduate school is the next logical step. The good news is there is funding for both online and on-campus students to get you through your program. 

Graduate Tuition & Costs

Learn more about tuition and fees for undergraduate students and see how your out-of-pocket costs at USD compare to those at other colleges and universities. Visit the Graduate Tuition & Costs Detailed page for program specific costs and fees.

Financial Aid

Navigating options for how to pay for college can be challenging, but you are not alone. The Office of Financial Aid will work with you and your family to explore how you can make your college education even more affordable.

Graduate Assistantships

USD offers opportunities for grad students to earn a reduced tuition rate in exchange for their teaching, research and service efforts to the university.


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