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Graduate Program

Master of Science in Human Factors – Non Thesis Option

Human Factors is the study of the interaction of humans with technology. Human Factors is sometimes also referred to as "Engineering Psychology" or "Ergonomics." This is a rapidly growing field with wide engineering and non-engineering applications. The program offers specialized courses, training, and research opportunities in the human-centered aspects of engineering activities such as: medical devices and systems design, product design, computer-interface design, ergonomics, and workplace safety.

Applicants are admitted to this program on the basis of their educational qualifications. It is expected that applicants to the Human Factors program will have an acceptable BS in engineering or science. Relevant course work and research experience may be considered for non-engineering students. For further details please contact the acting program director, Professor James Intriligator. The Department also requires all applicants to submit their recent General Record Examination (GRE) scores. More detailed descriptions of all application requirements are provided in the Graduate School Handbook. Learn more.

Candidates are required to complete the equivalent of ten (10) credits to graduate from this program. Full-time MS candidates generally complete their degree requirements in two semesters.

  1. Breadth of Technical Exposure (three credits)

    • ENP 162 – Human-Machine Systems Design
    • ENP 163 – Analytical Methods in Human Factors Engineering
    • Design Course
      • ME 102 – Inventive Design
      • ENP 161 – Human Factors in Product Design

    Human Factors is an applied field of diverse engineering science fundamentals shaped by areas of application. The purpose of this requirement is to expose the student to the connections between the various sub-disciplines of human factors. All core courses will have an analytical component that is taught as applied to the subject area, a project component, and a software component.

  2. Development of Analytical Capabilities (two credits)

    • PSY 107 – Advanced Probability and Statistics I
    • PSY 108 – Advanced Probability and Statistics II

    The ability to apply statistical analysis to the solution of human factors problems is central to this curriculum.

  3. Professional Development (three credits)

    The successful practice of engineering requires additional skills outside of the core technical skill set. To develop these professional skills, students must take a technical communications class, and take two additional professional education courses, one of which can be an engineering project.

    • Technical Communications (1 credit)
      • EM252 – Business Communication
      • ME118 – Advanced Data Acquisition (This is an experiments-based course with a substantial technical writing requirement)
    • Professional Education or Project (2 credits)

      Professional Education classes available from the Tufts Gordon Institute
      • EM 211 – Lean Six Sigma (with option to earn lean six sigma black belt certification) (1.0 credit)
      • EM 231 – Project Management Strategies & Methodologies (0.5 credit)
      • EM 241 – Strategic Management in the Era of Big Data Analytics (1.0 credit)
      • EM 262 – Negotiation & Conflict Resolution for Engineers & Technologists (0.5 credit)
      • EM 254 – Advancing Innovation: Breakthrough Methodologies for Technology Firms (1.0 credit)
      • EM 261 – Leadership for Technical Professionals (1.0 credit)
      • ME 299 – Masters Project

        As an alternative to an EM (engineering management) professional education class students may select to complete an ME299 1 credit (1 semester) project under the guidance of a faculty advisor in the Mechanical Engineering Department. Students are required to make a poster presentation of their work that is open to the community at the end of the semester. Project advisors may not always be available. Students must identify a faculty member to serve as the project advisor and register for ME299 with the approval of the faculty advisor.
  4. Focus Course Work (two credits)

    Two additional technical courses should be selected by students in consultation with their advisor(s). These elective courses must be at the graduate level (100 or above). Taking courses outside of engineering and the sciences are exceptions in this program requiring departmental approval prior to registration; otherwise such courses will not be counted towards the degree requirements.

  5. Typical Program of Study (Full Time)

    Semester 1 (Fall)
    5 credits
    Semester 2 (Spring)
    5 credits
    ENP 162ENP 163
    PSY 107PSY 108
    1 credit Technical Communication
    EM252 or ME118)
    ME102 or ENP 161
    1 credit focus coursework
    (engineering graduate elective)
    1 credit focus coursework
    (engineering graduate elective)
    1 credit professional education or project1 credit professional education or project

  6. Degree Completion

    To complete the degree, the student should fill out the "Master's Degree Sheet" available on-line and also submit the Graduate Exit Survey. The student fills out the degree sheet, obtains approval from his/her academic advisor, and submits it to the Department Chair for approval. The Department then sends the approved form to Student Services for processing and retains a copy as part of the student's record. Upon receiving of this form, Student Services places the student on the "Graduate Degree Listing" for the next degree awarding cycle (February, May, or August). Specific due dates for these forms are provided in the Graduate School handbook for the graduation year.