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Department of Mechanical Engineering

Certificate Programs

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers five certificate programs in Assistive DesignHuman-Computer Interaction, Human Factors in Data ScienceHuman Factors in Medical Devices and Systems, and Manufacturing Engineering. All certificate programs are open to students with a bachelor's degree and require the completion of four courses.

Assistive Design Certificate Program

A blend of human factors engineering and mechanical engineering, students in this certificate program will learn the fundamentals of design in both fields and apply them to the design of assistive devices to address real-world problems. The program serves as a technical credential to professionals interested in expanding their skill set to include designing for the needs of unique populations. These populations include professionals (e.g., veterinarians, dentists, and firefighters) as well as individuals with disabilities.

Their skills will be of value in the fields of rehabilitation, medical technology, education, and specialty services where dedicated understanding of a user’s needs in product design are required. Students with a passion for service to the community will find this program particularly worthwhile.

The courses in this program fulfill requirements in the MS in Human Factors Engineering and the MS in Mechanical Engineering programs. Students may transfer credits towards a master's degree in one of these programs at Tufts.

Human-Computer Interaction Certificate Program

With hardware processing power increasing and software development techniques improving, the user interface is quickly becoming the key bottleneck in developing computer products that meet market needs.

When the human-computer interface does not reflect the needs of the intended users, products fail in the marketplace and enormous sums of money are spent on documentation, help lines, and training courses to overcome the difficulties of running programs. Much of this difficulty can be avoided with proper attention to both the physical and psychological constraints of the user.

Extending the expertise of its internationally recognized Human Factors Engineering program, Tufts has designed this certificate program to train the next generation of computer programmers for tomorrow's complex programming challenges. Students must complete four courses, including those in engineering psychology, user interface design, and computer programming. Students interested in earning a graduate degree can often apply these certificate courses toward a master's degree in computer science or human factors.

Human Factors in Data Science Certificate Program

The Human Factors in Data Science certificate program provides students with the knowledge and skills to engage in the design of artificial intelligence (AI) systems, based on data science (DS) and machine learning (ML) applications, providing a critical understanding of the role that humans play through the data processing pipeline.

As engineering solutions turn more and more toward automation and the use of AI, the need for practitioners who understand the critical role of human decision making in automated system design is greater than ever. This program will be of value to students interested in engineering, data science and computer science with a desire to build human-AI systems.

The program draws on courses in human factors engineering and data science. Students will be prepared to engage in AI system development, guiding the design of human data collection, feature extraction and system implementation efforts.

Human Factors in Medical Devices and Systems Certificate Program

The rate of preventable deaths due to medical error is huge. A widely cited report published in 2016 suggests at least 250,000 patients die each year due to medical error, making it the third leading cause of death in the USA. A large percentage of these deaths are related to poor user interface design.

Recognizing the medical error "epidemic," the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requires the manufacturers to Class II and III devices to apply HFE through the device development process and validate that representative users can operate them safely. This requirement has increased the demand for professionals in the field of human factors engineering who have special knowledge about the design and evaluation of medical technology.

The Human Factors Engineering Program at Tufts University can help prepare you to enter this exciting field.

Manufacturing Engineering Certificate Program

As the United States continues to compete in global markets, the need for manufacturing engineers who can design, build, operate, and manage competitive production systems has never been greater.

Excellence in three-dimensional design and production—especially knowledge of quality CAD, CAM, CNC machining, and robotics—remains critical as industries strive to reduce labor costs, increase productivity and profitability, tighten performance standards, and improve quality.

The certificate program educates students in the latest technologies through a hands-on, industry-based curriculum, and contributes to the formation of future leaders in manufacturing engineering.

More questions? Email certificates@tufts.edu.