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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

Program At a Glance

48 units

2 years

*Program completion times may vary depending on course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.

Fall | Spring | Summer

Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences

MA in Psychology

Featured Courses

PSYCH 350ux
User Experience Design & Strategy

Advances a strategic method to quickly and effectively launch a product or service online and empirical practices that are a better guarantee of successful product development.

Interaction Design and Usability Testing

Understand and apply interaction design theory and techniques to conceive, design, and test responsive websites that run on the web and mobile devices.

PSYCH 350u
Applied Cognitive Psychology

Explores the most productive avenues for applying cognitive psychology to understanding and solving real world problems.


Provides a comprehensive overview of information-processing mechanisms of the mind, including consciousness, perception, attention, memory, and knowledge.

IST 340
Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining

Studies the data mining process goal of discovering nontrivial, interesting, and actionable knowledge from data in databases.

User Experience Research Methods

Provides a comprehensive review of the research “toolkit” needed to answer the full breadth of strategic and tactical research questions encountered in the field of User Experience and Product Design.


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
Faculty & Research
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

Request information about the Applied Cognitive Psychology: User Experience program

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Kathy Pezdek

Professor of Psychology

Regina Burch

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-9421