The Department of Psychological Sciences at Rice University uniquely blends the science of the human brain (e.g., researching the brain, memory, and language) with the science of human behavior and performance (e.g., researching effectiveness and satisfaction in educational and workplace settings). Our breadth of research interests creates a unique learning and research environment. The primary emphasis in the department is on research, in both the laboratory and applied settings.
As one of the most popular undergraduate majors on campus — with our world-class scholars and educators — we have a track record of providing students with a strong background in psychological science, leaving them very well prepared for their promising futures in graduate school, medical school, law school, and beyond.
Our Psychological Sciences graduate programs are designed for students wishing to pursue the MA and Ph.D. degrees and continue on to university-level teaching and research, or to work in applied settings that require these degrees. Program flexibility and unprecedented collaborative opportunities result in our students' successful post-graduate placements and continued career achievements.
Graduate education in our doctoral program is organized around Research Interest Groups (RIGs). A RIG consists of a group of faculty and graduate students with shared research interests. Active RIGs are (1) Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, (2) Health Psychology & Behavioral Medicine Research, (3) Human-Computer Interaction & Human Factors, and (4) Industrial-Organizational Psychology. This collaborative environment encourages easy mentor/student interactions, which our students continue to enjoy even after graduation.
Additionally, Psychological Sciences now offers two different professional master’s programs:
Master (MA) of Human-Computer Interaction & Human Factors: This 2-year full-time program will expand students’ knowledge of critical concepts and methods in psychology, and how to apply those concepts to real-world problems. Graduates of the program will be well-positioned to lead human factors and human-computer interaction efforts across a broad range of industries, including IT/telecommunications, health care, defense, e-commerce, and energy.
Master (MA) of Industrial-Organizational Psychology: This 2-year full-time program offers students graduate-level training in an applied area of psychology for which there is a very high demand. Students are provided with scientific and practical knowledge about the nature of the psychology of work and the workplace, the future of work, and a deep set of methodological and statistical skills. Graduates of the program will be well positioned to work in a wide variety of corporate, nonprofit, and government settings, on projects ranging from medical safety to the promotion of inclusive cultures (and prevention of harassing ones). I-O psychologists are presently in extremely high demand according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and US News and World Report (#2 in USNWR Best Science Jobs, 2020); Rice’s existing I-O psychology doctoral program receives routine requests from employers seeking students with Master’s-level training.