California State University, Long Beach

Location:   Long Beach, California

Department:   Psychology


Quick links:


Directory of Graduate Programs


Title of program:

Master of Science in Psychology, Option in Human Factors

Year human factors/ergonomics
program was established:


Accredited by HFES?


Department sponsoring program:


Contact person for more information, including applications:

Gabriella Hancock, PhD
California State University, Long Beach (CSULB)
1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840

Academic calendar:



Human factors/ergonomics graduate degrees offered:

MS – Human Factors

Goals, objectives, and emphasis of the programs:

The CSULB MS Human Factors program is designed to prepare students to apply human factors skills to the design of jobs, information systems, consumer products, workplaces and equipment in order to improve user performance, safety and comfort. The MS-Human Factors Program is designed as a terminal MS degree, but it also provides excellent preparation for advanced graduate work. Students in the program acquire a background in experimental psychology and research methods. They are trained in the application of the material through courses in human factors, computer applications and interface design. Special topics seminars, in areas such as large-scale simulation and usability testing, complement the core program of study. Finally, students complete a thesis in their chosen area of human factors.

Number of degrees granted during last 3 years:


Can students attend part-time?

Yes, but the program is designed as full-time. 

Are required courses offered through distance learning?


Are required courses offered at night?

Yes, but Limited

Are required courses offered on weekends or during summer?


Does the university have an HFES student chapter?



Application deadlines:

January 15


Application Fees:



Are separate applications required for university and department?

Department application forms are part of university application process – submitted as one application.



Minimum requirements

  • Grade point average (last 4 yrs: A = 4.0): 2.5 (course-by-course evaluation)
  • GRE combined: n/a for Fall 2023
  • GRE Verbal: n/a for Fall 2023
  • GRE Quantitative: n/a for Fall 2023
  • GRE Analytical: n/a for Fall 2023
  • Other: Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from a four-year accredited college or university, or a bachelor’s in another area and the equivalent of four lower-division and eight upper-division CSULB courses (list available on MSHF Application web page:  

Importance of other criteria as admission factors:

  • Previous research activity: high
  • Relevant work experience: medium
  • Extracurricular activities: low
  • Letters of recommendation: high
  • Personal interview: not required

Tuition and fees

additional $396/per unit non-resident fee


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:

Minium: $3,000
Typical: $7,176
Maximum: $10,176

Types of assistance available:

Research assistantship (not tuition exempt)
Teaching assistantship (not tuition exempt)
Traineeships, pending availability of external funds (not tuition exempt)

When should students apply for financial assistance?

At same time as submitting application for admission. 


Graduate degree offered:

MS in Psychology, Human Factors Option

Number of units required:


Exams required:

Oral defense of thesis (Thesis track option)

Language requirements:


Research required:

Thesis (Track Option) 

Practical experience required:

Practicum (1 semester)

Typical number of years required to obtain degree:


Is there a non-thesis option?



Required Courses (units):


  1. Statistical Design and Analysis of Experiments (3 units) 
  2. Computer Applications in Psychology (3 units) 
  3. Human Factors (3 units) 
  4. Human Factors' Methods (3 units) 
  5. Sem in Human-Computer Interaction (3 units) 
  6. Practicum in Human Factors (3 units)
  7. Systems Engineering & Integration (3 units) 
  8. Seminar in Perception and Attention (3 units) OR 1 Req 
  9. Seminar in Cognition (3 units)
  10. Human Factors Work-Based Research (3 units) OR 1 Req depend upon Track Option
  11. Thesis (6 units)


One elective course chosen from the following:

  1. Multivariate Statistical Analysis (3 units) 
  2. Social Network Analysis (3 units) 
  3. Qualitative Methods and Analysis (3 units) 

Number of courses outside department that are required:


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: 
MSMF faculty and research facilities can be found under the MSHF Faculty Mentors & Research Facilities drop-down menu at:  

Teaching opportunities available to students in the program:
Each semester the department of Psychology hires about 10–13 graduate assistants to perform various activities. The assignments are usually 10 hours per week for 17 weeks in the Fall and/or Spring semester. Most GA assignments fall into two major categories. Some assignments are to assist in the introductory research methods course. This involves preparing materials, grading papers and assisting students. Other GA assignments support introductory and intermediate statistics courses. These assignments generally involve grading papers, assisting students and helping students with various statistical software packages.

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

Gabriella Hancock's research focuses on human performance under stress, psychophysiological assessment of cognitive and affective states, individual differences, motivation, and human-technology interaction. 

Gerry Hanley manages a wide range of usability projects for educational institutions, government agencies, and the private industry. 

Jim Miles' areas of specialization include cognitive control processes, stimulus-response compatibility effects, and the interaction between goal intentions and environmental biases. 

Thomas Strybel's research is in the areas of human performance measurement, aviation human factors, simulation methods, and audiovisual perception. 

Kim Vu's research is in the area of action selection, human-computer interaction, and aviation human factors. 

David Illingworth conducts research in the areas of cognitive decision theory, information search, decision support systems, and human-algorithm interaction


Current number of active students in program, by gender:

17 women, 11 men

Current number of first-year students in program:


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

  • Mean GRE Verbal: n/a
  • Mean GRE Quantitative: n/a
  • Mean GRE Analytical: n/a
  • Mean GRE Combined: n/a
  • Mean undergraduate GPA: 2.5

Number of current HF/E postdocs:


Of the number of those graduating in the past year, what percentage gained employment in:

  • Academia: 
  • Industry: 
  • Government:


James Miles, PhD 2007, U. of Virginia; Display-Control Compatibility, Action Control, and Spatial Representation 

Kim Vu, PhD 2003, Purdue U; Display-Control Compatibility, Situation Awareness and Workload Training 

Gabriella Hancock, PhD 2017, U of Central Florida; Stress and Workload, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Human Performance 

Thomas Z. Strybel, PhD 1987, U of Arizona; Aviation Human Factors, Human Performance Measurement, Audiovisual Displays and Perception 

Gerry Hanley, PhD State University of New York at Stony Brook; Human Memory, Reality Monitoring, and Decision Making. 

David Illingworth, PhD 2020, Georgia Tech;  cognitive decision theory, information search, decision support systems, and human-algorithm interaction.

Faculty-to-student ratio: 1 to 5.6 

[Updated September 2022]