M.S. in Human Factors

The Master of Science in Human Factors (MSHF)

~Program updated effective January, 1, 2021

The Master of Science in Human Factors (MSHF) is an online program tailored to working professionals who want to better understand the interrelationship between humans and technology, environment, and other system components, as relates to human performance, limitations, and error in simple and complex systems. This multidisciplinary degree explores how humans interact with technology, designs, social systems, operational interfaces, and environmental factors in contexts that include healthcare, aerospace, transportation, military, security, virtual and augmented reality, simulation, computing, and other complex sociotechnical systems concerned with human performance, system design, and safety.

Students have the opportunity to pursue either a Specialist or Research Cognate, to tailor the learning experience to their specific needs, professional goals, and industry demands. Along either track, students can expect to study human physiology, cognition, psychology; human performance capabilities, limitations and errors; virtual, robotic, and simulation environments and the human experience; and the impact of ergonomics, biomechanics, and anthropometrics on human effectiveness and interactions within complex sociotechnical systems.

Students will also learn and apply the critical thought and synthesis skills required to analyze current trends and past events and designs, in which human error led to operational failures, as core elements of the curriculum in either track. Our goal is for graduates to emerge from the MS in Human Factors program with the knowledge and ability to identify trends, analyze system requirements, develop strategies, recommend solutions, and recognize opportunities for innovation in this field.

Students may opt for the opportunity to complete the Specialist Cognate, which does not incorporate the research focus (30 credits), or to pursue the Research Cognate (33 credits), which incorporates Research Methods, Statistical Analysis, and the culminating Thesis I and II. This option will allow the student to complete original human factors research at the end of the MSHF degree program.

The MSHF degree program does not include any elective courses or specializations, and it follows a prescribed prerequisite course progression for the first two core courses; MSHF 606 and MSHF 612 must be successfully completed before a student may progress in the Program, and the thesis courses ~(RSCH 700A and RSCH 700B respectively) must be the final culminating courses.



MSHF 606Human Cognition3
MSHF 612Human Performance, Limitation, and Error3
MSHF 624Ergonomics and Biomechanics3
MSHF 640Human Physiology and Adaptation3
SYSE 641Systems Psychology3
SYSE 647Human Factors in Complex Systems3
MSHF 652Crew Platform/Control Room Automation, Design, and Integration3
Total Credits21



RSCH 650Research Methods and Analysis3
SYSE 653Cognitive Systems Engineering3
MSHF 618Virtual Environments, Simulation and Robotics3
Total Credits9


RSCH 665Statistical Analysis3
RSCH 670Research Methods3
RSCH 700AThesis I3
RSCH 700BThesis II3
Total Credits12
Total Degree Requirements
Specialist Option30
Research Option33

Estimated Cost of Attendance