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Information for Students

San Jose, California
College of Graduate Studies

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Title: Human Factors/Ergonomics (MS)
Joint program: with Industrial and Systems Engineering Psychology, Industrial Design, Human Performance, and Computer, Information, and Systems Engineering
Est: 1993
Granted last 3 years: MS 35
Part-time: yes
HFES student chapter:
Program: The interdisciplinary nature of HF/E is emphasized through a broad curriculum and diverse student backgrounds. Projects provide practical experience in local (Silicon Valley) high-tech manufacturing, research, and professional workplace settings. Emphasizes statistics and experimental design and basic human factors and ergonomics to maintain diversity, enrollment in courses with non-HF/E majors. Students can focus in either of two tracks: one on human factors ergonomics, design and workspace evaluation, the other on human-computer interaction and usability analyses.  Students participate in seminar and internship programs associated with area information technology firms or with area governmental laboratories (e.g., NASA Ames Research Center).
Contact: Louis E. Freund, Program Director, SJSU, ISE Dept, 1 Washington Sq., San Jose, CA 95192-00085; 408/924-3988;,
Catalog: online at Web site shown

Deadlines: 2/1 (fall admissions only)
Fee: $55. See Web site for current application deadline and details.

GPA: 3.0 last 60 units
GRE: not required
Other: Three reference letters required by department. Accepts students from almost all undergraduate degree backgrounds (e.g., psychology, industrial engineering, human performance, industrial design, occupational therapy, industrial technology, or information technology specializations). Upper-division statistics through regression, correlation, and introduction to analysis of variance is recommended for admission and required for advancement to classified standing. Upper-division human factors course and either cognition or perception recommended; may be taken concurrently with other courses in the curriculum.
Research: low
Work experience: medium
Letters: high
Interview: high

Students applying last year: 35
Accepted: 28
Entered program: 20
Openings/year: 20 fall, 0 spring

Check SJSU Web site for current fee structure:

% receiving: 50
Amounts: $7200/$10000/$14000 (depends on source and type of work)
Available: RA, not tuition exempt
Apply: with application

MS: 30 units, thesis option for selected students, thesis/project research required, no languages or practical experience required, 2-2 1/2 years
Nonthesis option: yes

Required courses (units): HF Engineering (3), Design of Experiments (3), Human Factors experiments (also meets writing requirement) (3), Engineering Psychology (3), Human Motor Development (3), HF Seminar (2), Thesis or culminating project (4)
Electives: Three of the following or other approved courses: Human Computer Interaction (3), Safety Engineering (3), Ethnographic Studies (3), HF in Design (two courses; 3 each), Engineering Economics (3), Work Measurement (3), Usability Testing (3), Seminar in Cognition (3), Seminar in Perception (3)
Required courses outside department: 0
Recommended courses outside department: 2
Offered: night
Class size: 18-25

Research facilities: Human performance labs include motor learning facility with PCs and devices to measure reaction time, CAT, and tracking. Also energy expenditure, force platform, and video/computer systems for motion study. IE labs focus on workplace design and performance measurement. Equipment includes video, heart rate, time study, and flexometer devices and PCs. Computer Engineering program has labs and software suitable for sophisticated modeling of human-system interaction. Psychology Program conducts research at the Aerospace Human Factors Research Division at NASA-Ames Research Center. Industrial Design Program has access to approximately 20 high-performance Macintosh and Silicon Graphics workstations with high-resolution color, in addition to machines available in the several general-purpose computer labs throughout the university. The usability testing lab at Interface Analysis Associates has frequently been available for student thesis research that is related to Dr. Andre's evaluation and design projects. The Human Automation Integration Laboratory (HAIL) provides human-system simulation facilities and research assistant opportunities (
Teaching: none
Current research: Freund: Economics of ergonomics, workplace and task evaluation, simulation of air traffic controller workload using ACES/AirMidas. Wughalter: Schedule of practice to facilitate memory and performance. Jordan: Attention issues in head-up displays; scanning visual space (attention or visual fields). Andre: Display/control compatibility, simulation of visual scenes design, visual cues for flight control, display/control evaluation.

Active: 25 men, 35 women
First-year students: 18
Mean scores: GPA 3.2, GRE 570 v, 450 q

Program Faculty:
Anthony Andre, PhD 1991, Univ. of Illinois; engineering psychology, display/control compatibility
Louis Freund, PhD 1969, Univ. of Michigan; industrial engineering, economics of ergonomics, methods engineering, workplace design
Kevin Jordan, PhD 1982, Kansas State Univ.; psychology, attention
Emily Wughalter, EdD 1981, Univ. of Georgia; human performance and motor learning
Adjunt Faculty:
Abbas Moallem, ergonomics and HCI
Cary Feria, perception
Sahika Korkmaz, ergonomics and workplace design
John McClusky, HF in design

[Updated November 2009]