Bentley University

Location:   Waltham, Massachusetts

Department:   Information Design and Corporate Communications

Quick links:

Directory of Graduate Programs


Title of program:

Human Factors in Information Design (MS)

Year human factors/ergonomics
program was established:


Accredited by HFES?


Contact person for more information, including applications:

William M. Gribbons
Bentley College
175 Forest St
Waltham, MA 02452

Catalog (free):

Sharon Hill
175 Forest St
Waltham, MA 02452

Academic calendar:


Human factors/ergonomics graduate degrees offered:


The Master of Science in Human Factors in Information Design (MSHFID) program prepares working professionals to meet the requirements of the changing marketplace for technology products. Bentley's human factors program educates tomorrow's leaders in the user experience (UX) profession. Bentley University emphasizes the strategic role of UX in business by enhancing an organization's competitive advantage.

Goals, objectives, and emphasis of the program:

The program combines a deep understanding of human behavior and perception to inform product design and optimize the user experience. Our graduates have the ability to move quickly from research and data to innovative design solutions. At the core of our program design is a deep commitment to internationalization and universal accessibility in product and service design.

The Design and Usability Testing Center is the technological centerpiece for the MSHFID program. This facility exemplifies the philosophy underlying all of our programs: to build "real world" bridges between the theory of human factors and the practice of product design. Full-time students may apply for one of the available consulting positions in the center.

Number of degrees granted during last 3 years:

MS: 60

Can students attend part-time?


Are required courses offered through distance learning?


Are required courses offered at night?


Are required courses offered during summer?


Does the university have an HFES student chapter?



Application deadlines:

June 1

Application fees:



Minimum requirements

  • GPA: 3.2
  • GRE: 600 q
  • Other: MSHFID candidates must have relevant work experience in UI design, information architecture, software, mobile, web or hardware development, industrial design, usability testing, or UX research; and a bachelors degree in engineering, psychology, design, or sociology; or permission from the program director.

Importance of other criteria as admission factors:

  • Research: Medium
  • Work experience: high
  • Interview: Medium
  • Letters: high

Tuition and fees:

$3,654/three-credit course


Number of students applying to the human factors/ergonomics program last year:


Number of students accepted into the program last year:


Number of students entering the program last year:


Anticipated number of openings per year for the next two years:



Percentage of students in program receiving financial assistance:


Amount received per year:


Types of assistance available:

RA, tuition exempt

When should students apply for financial assistance?

With application


Graduate degree offered:


Number of units required:

30 units, 200-hour internship

Language requirements:


Typical number of years required to obtain degree:

2.5 years part-time, 1 year full-time

Is there a non-thesis option?

Yes for part-time students


Required MS courses (credit hours)
Note: Some of the courses are offered online:

Required courses (units):

  • Foundation in Human Factors (3)
  • Usability Testing and Assessment Programs (3)
  • Managing a User-Centered Design Team (3)


  • Globalization (3
  • Visualizing Information (3)
  • Expert Systems (3)
  • Field Methods (3)
  • Universal Accessibility (3)
  • Information Architecture (3)
  • Advanced User Interface Design (3)
  • Ethnography (3)
  • Research Methods (3)
  • Prototyping and Interaction Design(3)
  • Thesis (3)
  • Research Methods for Human Factors Internship (3)

Number of courses outside department that are required:

Two selected from either management, statistics, or computer science departments.

Number of courses outside department that are recommended:


Average or typical class size in a required course:



Research and support facilities available to students in the program:
Students are able to work on research projects in the Design and Usability Testing Center. The Center contracts with leading high tech, health care, and financial services groups around the world to consult on development projects and to conduct tests and user research. This provides students an unparalleled experience to see first-hand the intersection of human factors and product design.

Teaching opportunities available to students in the program:


Current research activities and projects being carried out by program faculty and/or students:

This past year the Center worked with over thirty high tech firms on a variety of development projects.


Current number of active students in program, by gender:

50% men, 50% women

Current number of first-year students in program:


Based on current graduate students in the program, the mean score on admission tests and undergraduate GPA by degree being sought are:

GRE 600, GPA 3.2


William Albert, PhD 1998, Boston U.; measuring the user experience

William Buchholz, PhD 1976, U. Illinois; Web design, information architecture

Gary David, PhD 1999, Wayne State U.; ethnography

William Gribbons, PhD 1986, U. Maryland; human factors engineering, HCI, usability engineering

Roland Hubscher, PhD 1995, U. of Colorado; human factors, performance support

Meena Kothandaraman, MS 1995, Syracuse U.; user-centered behavior, field methods

Tom Tullis, PhD, Rice U.; human-computer interaction, human factors engineering, cognitive psychology

Chauncey Wilson, PhD 1972, U. Pittsburgh; user-centered design, prototyping, usability engineering

[Updated June 2012]