in person

Applied Cognitive Psychology: User Experience

MA in Psychology

In the MA Program in Applied Cognitive Psychology: User Experience, you will gain the skills to apply cognitive psychology theory and empirical research to create human-centered solutions. This program prepares graduates for promising careers in user experience research, product design, and human-computer interaction.

User Experience (UX) is an empirical approach to design that prioritizes human needs, cognitive capabilities, and behavior. Human-centered design starts with a deep understanding of psychology to create successful interactions between people and the devices, applications, and interfaces they use. In this program, you will learn the cognitive principles and research methods needed to create intuitive digital experiences and evaluate existing solutions. Join us in shaping how cutting-edge technology transforms the human experience.

Program Highlights
  • Our 48-unit terminal MA program equips graduates with advanced knowledge in cognitive psychology, user experience, research methods, and statistics, preparing you for a successful career in User Experience.
  • Stand out from other recent graduates with hands-on experience. Our program’s unique practical component includes professional internships and work opportunities in the Games & Interactive Technology Lab. By completing the required field internship, typically undertaken during the summer between your first and second years, you will graduate with relevant work experience on your resume.
  • Attend our bi-monthly UX Lunch event series, featuring speakers from diverse domains who share their professional experiences and work examples. Receive in-depth guidance on building an impressive UX portfolio, mastering job applications, and excelling in interviews.
  • In addition to the one-on-one coaching you’ll receive from your advisor, you’ll benefit from comprehensive career support services through CGU’s Career Development Office to transition seamlessly from the program into your desired career. Throughout the program, students are connected with industry events and conferences in the UX field, fostering networking opportunities and keeping you informed about the constantly evolving technology landscape.
  • UX researchers are highly employable, and land jobs at companies across a broad range of industries, from tech to healthcare. Read the Nielsen Norman Group report on UX careers.
  • This program is STEM designated, allowing international students who hold F-1 visas to apply for OPT work authorizations for a total of 36 months (an initial 1-year period and a 24-month OPT STEM extension) of paid work experience in the U.S. after graduation.

Program At-a-glance

  • 48 units

    required units

  • MA in Psychology

    degree awarded

  • In Person


  • Spring, Summer, Fall

    program start

  • 2 years | full time*

    estimated completion time

Request info Apply now

Kathy Pezdek

Professor of Psychology

Regina Burch

Assistant Director of Admissions



  • Portrait of Kathy Pezdek

    Kathy Pezdek

    Professor of Psychology

    Research Interests

    Memory & Comprehension, Eyewitness Memory, Autobiographical Memory

  • Danielle Green

    Danielle Green

    Assistant Professor of Practice

    Research Interests

    User Experience, Product Strategy, Gaming, Technology for Health and Wellness, Educational Technology, Inclusive Design

  • Portrait of Yan Li

    Yan Li

    Associate Professor of Information Systems & Technology

    Research Interests

    Data science, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Health Informatics, Mobile Health, Data Management, Data warehousing, Business intelligence, ICT4D

  • Chinazunwa Uwaoma

    Chinazunwa Uwaoma

    Research Assistant Professor of Information Systems & Technology

    Research Interests

    Internet of Things, Mobile Computing, Computer Communications & Networks, Healthcare Systems, Artificial Intelligence, and Cyber Security

Extended Faculty

  • Lise Abrams

    Pomona College

    Research Interests

    Language and memory, speech production, tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) states, cognitive aging, bilingualism

  • Gabriel I. Cook

    Claremont McKenna College

    Research Interests

    Cognition, memory

  • Jennifer Groscup

    Scripps College

    Research Interests

    Intersection of psychology and law

  • Alison Harris

    Claremont McKenna College

    Research Interests

    Cognitive neuroscience, decision neuroscience, neuroeconomics

  • David Moore

    Pitzer College

    Research Interests

    Cognitive development, development of mental rotation, infant-directed speech, categorization in infancy

  • Catherine L. Reed

    Claremont McKenna College

    Research Interests

    Cognitive neuroscience, electroencephalography, human behavior and human factors, multisensory perception

  • Shlomi Sher

    Pomona College

    Research Interests

    Rational and psychological levels of analysis; scientific approaches to the mind-body problem

  • Patricia Smiley

    Pomona College

    Research Interests

    Language development, self-development, achievement motivation

  • Sharda Umanath

    Claremont McKenna College

    Research Interests

    Cognition, education, experimental psychology, memory

  • Megan Zirnstein

    Pomona College

    Research Interests

    Sentence processing, individual differences in reading behavior and comprehension, bilingual language processing, ERPs, eye tracking


Cognitive Psychology (8 units)

  • Applied Cognitive Psychology (4 units)
  • Cognition (4 units)

User Experience (12 – 16 units)

  • User Experience Design & Strategy (4 units)
  • Interaction Design and Usability Testing (4 units)
  • User Experience Research Methods (4 units)
  • Independent Study: Field Internship (0 – 4 units)

Statistics & Research Methods (12 units)

  • Research Methods (4 units)
  • Intermediate Statistics (2 units)
  • Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) (2 units)
  • Applied Multiple Regression (2 units)
  • Categorical Data Analysis (2 units)

Electives in Cognitive Psychology, Methods, and Related Fields (12 – 16 units)
You are encouraged to take elective courses in advanced methods and statistics as well as in cognitive psychology. You are also able to benefit from related courses offered by the Center for Information Systems & Technology, including programming courses. Electives are selected based on your interests and with the approval of your academic advisor. Popular electives include:

  • Design Thinking & Creative Problem Solving
  • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
  • Data Analytics in Practice
  • Creating the Future with Emerging Technologies
  • Mobile App Development

Application Guidelines

Requirements Summary

Item Description
Application Fee $80
Official Transcripts Yes
Letters of Recommendation 2
Statement of Purpose Yes
Resume Yes
Other Requirements English proficiency exam

Spring 2024
Priority Deadline – November 1, 2023
Final Deadline (International) – November 15, 2023
Final Deadline (Domestic) – December 1, 2023
Classes begin – January 16, 2024

Summer 2024
Priority Deadline – February 1, 2024
Final Deadline (International) – March 1, 2024
Final Deadline (Domestic) – April 1, 2024
Classes begin – May 13, 2024

Fall 2024
Priority Deadline – February 1, 2024
Final Deadline (International) – July 5, 2024
Final Deadline (Domestic) – August 1, 2024
Classes begin – August 26, 2024

Application Checklist

Back to the tabs
Apply now

Request More Info

Contact us for more information


While waiting for our answer, take a look at our FAQ

Maybe you'll find some answers to your questions