Virginia Tech™home

Ph.D. in Cognitive Engineering

Cognitive engineering is a multidisciplinary endeavor concerned with the analysis, design, and evaluation of complex systems of people and technology.  This field of study embraces knowledge from human factors, psychology/cognitive science, human-computer interaction, and systems engineering.  This concentration provides interdisciplinary training and exposure to the major approaches, methods, and tools to understand the capabilities and limitations of human cognition and their impact on interactive systems design.  The concentration also covers design techniques for developing technology in sociotechnical systems.  The course work builds the foundation for impactful dissertation research in the areas of cognitive engineering analysis, human performance and measurement, human-computer systems and human-systems integration.

Coursework Requirements

Number Title Credits
ISE 5024 ISE Seminar 0
ISE 5104 or   
ISE 5814
Operations Research or
System Dynamics Modeling of Socio-Technical Systems
ISE 5615 Human Factors Research Design I 4


Number Title Credits
ISE 5604 Human Information Processing 3
ISE 5654 Human Factors System Design 3
ISE 5714 Usability Engineering 3
ISE 6984 Cognitive Task and Work Analysis 3
Number Title Credits
ISE 5154 Applied Human Factors Engineering 3
ISE 5614 Human Physical Capabilities 3
ISE 5674 System Safety Analysis 3
ISE 5644 Human Audition and Auditory Display Design 3
ISE 5694 Macroergonomics 3
ISE 6604 Human Factors in Visual Display Systems 3
ISE 6624 Advanced Topics in Human Factors & Ergonomics 3
ISE 5034 Mathematical Probability and Statistics 3
ISE 5474 Statistical Theory of Quality Control 3
ISE 5424 Simulation I 3
ART 5524 Topics in Human Centered Design 3
CS 4624 Multimedia, Hypertext, and Information Access 3
CS 5724 Models and Theories of Human Computer Interaction 3
CS 5734 Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 3
CS 5754 Virtual Environments 3
CS 5764 Information Visualization 3
CS 5774 User Interface Software 3
CS 6724 Advanced Topics in Human-Computer Interaction 3
ECE 5564 Wearable + Ubiquitous Computing 3
GRAD 5134 Topics in Interdisciplinary Research
(when HCD topic is offered)
PSYC 5134 Advanced Psychometric Theory 3
PSYC 5344 Cognitive Psychology 3
STAT 4504 Applied Mutivariate Statistics 3
STAT 5104 Probability and Distribution Theory 3
STAT 5204 Experimental Design & Analysis I 3
STAT 5404 Nonparametric Statistics 3
STAT 5504 Multivariate Statistical Methods 3
STAT 5644 Nonparametrics

ART = Art & Art History; CS = Computer Science; ECE = Electrical & Computer Engineering; GRAD = Graduate Studies; PSYC = Psychology; STAT = Statistics

Additional Information

  • Students will broaden their knowledge by taking at least 3 credit-hours of electives outside of the ISE department.

Supporting Faculty Members

Joseph L. Gabbard

Nathan Lau