Human Factors and Applied Cognition (HFAC) Program
What will I be able to do with my Ph.D. degree once I graduate?
A Ph.D. degree from our program will prepare you to be a strong researcher and highly-valued practitioner in the filed of Human Factors. After you graduate you will be able to pursue a number of different avenues from academia, government, and private industry. For example, our Ph.D. students have moved on to work at academic institutions such as Carnegie Mellon, George Mason University, and Old Dominion University, government installations like Army Research Lab, Naval Research Lab, and Turner-Fairbank Research Center, and even large corporations such as Microsoft Games, Verizon, and Google.
I am interested in doing a certain type of research, do faculty in your program do this type of work?
Student and faculty member match is highly valued in the HFAC program. It is important that potential students identify a faculty member who shares similar interests. If you have a specific research interest you can browse our faculty and student pages to identify which faculty member's interests are mostly closely aligned with yours.
Will hours from a previously completed Master's degree transfer toward my Ph.D. degree?
Up to 32 hours of credits from a previous Master's program can be transfered toward a Ph.D. degree. The specific courses and number of courses that transfer depends on the degree, the University, and how well the courses align with the GMU teaching philosophy.
If I were accepted into your program, would any of my prior courses be transferable?
It depends. Graduate level courses from another University or a previous degree are transferable but it depends on the degree, the University, and how well the courses align with the GMU teaching philosophy.
What is the length of the Ph.D. program?
Students in the Ph.D. program typically graduate in 5 years. The length of the Ph.D. program is really dependent upon the student and the activities that the student engages in.
Do I need to be a Psychology major to be eligible to apply to the program?
Human Factors is very much an interdisciplinary field and while the HFAC program lies within the Psychology department this does not mean that you must have a Psychology degree to apply. HFAC does accept non-psychology majors into the Graduate program, but we handle these on a case by case basis. Students who did not major in Psychology may be asked to take some Undergraduate and Graduate Psychology courses in addition to the standard Graduate curriculum.
Can I take classes in your department if I am not a graduate student?
Non-degree or extended studies students are generally not allowed to take Graduate courses in the Psychology department. The Human Factors and Applied Cognition program, however, has allowed non-degree or extended studies students to enroll in our courses. If you are interested in enrolling HFAC courses please contact Darby Wiggins (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please contact Darby Wiggins BEFORE you submit your application to George Mason University.
May I receive a listing of your graduate courses?
Current and past course syllabi are located at the following link: http://psychsyllabi.gmu.edu/
What type of financial assistance is available from your department?
Historically, almost all of our Ph.D. students have had tuition coverage and a stipend for every academic year of the program. The primary means of support has been faculty research grants. Other sources of financial assistance are listed below.
(1) Teaching Assistantships (TA positions). Students assist faculty in teaching undergraduate courses by, for example, grading exams and running lab sections.
(2) Fellowship Awards. Fellowship awards of $1,000 to $5,000 are available to a limited number of incoming students. These awards come with no work requirement.
(3) Presidential Scholar Award. ("Super" GRAs) These positions are available to some students with exceptionally high grades and GRE scores. These awards come with a stipend of $18,000 and tuition remission for 18 credit hours for the academic year. They require a 20 hour work commitment by the student. Historically, the Psychology Department has received one or more per year. They are renewable for up to two additional years.
(4) Government and industry internships.
How much tuition will I pay if I am accepted into your program?
Current Graduate tuition rates can be found at the following website: http://studentaccounts.gmu.edu/tuition.html