Florida Institute of Technology

Location:   Melbourne, Florida

Department:   Center for Aviation Human Factors Health Sciences

Quick links:

Directory of Graduate Programs


Title of program:

Aviation Human Factors (MS) (resident program) or Human Factors in Aeronautics (online program)

Year human factors/ergonomics
program was established:

1982 (as Engineering Psychology Program)

Accredited by HFES?


Contact person for more information, including applications:

John E. Deaton, Chair, Human Factors Program
Florida Institute of Technology, College of Aeronautics
150 W. University Blvd
Melbourne, FL 32901
Steve Cusick, Graduate Program Chair


Graduate Admissions Office, Florida Institute of Technology
150 W. University Blvd.
Melbourne, FL 32901

Academic calendar:


Human factors/ergonomics graduate degrees offered:


Goals, objectives, and emphasis of the programs:

The program provides a sound theoretical foundation and offers training in applied research methods and in systems design and evaluation techniques. Designed to benefit and support the unique facilities available at Florida Tech for applied research, the program emphasizes the cognitive, perceptual, and ergonomic aspects of human factors. Students can acquire the knowledge and skills essential for careers in industry and government or for successful doctoral-level study. Faculty interests include design of dynamic displays, techniques for integrated information presentation, crew resource management, workstation design, air traffic control facilities, workload analysis, human-computer interaction, operations and management, aircraft accident investigation and prevention, and several other practical issues of human performance in technological tasks. Florida Tech has a prime location on Florida's Space Coast nestled among many high-tech companies and government agencies. The world's leading aviation and aerospace industries and research institutes are easily accessible. NASA and the Kennedy Space Center are only a few miles away. This provides a wide variety of practicum, internship, and interdisciplinary research opportunities in challenging occupational settings. Students are encouraged to take electives in the computer sciences, aeronautical sciences, industrial and organizational psychology, and the engineering disciplines. Students interested in advanced study beyond the MS should contact the program chair for more information on allied PhD programs.

Number of degrees granted during last 3 years:

MS: 5

Can students attend part-time?


Are required courses offered through distance learning?


Are classes offered at night?


Are classes offered on weekends?


Are required classes offered during summer?


Does the university have an HFES student chapter?



Application deadlines:

March 1; late applications will be considered


Minimum requirements

  • GRE: 1500 v + q + a preferred; however, GRE requirements are waiverable
  • Other: Bachelor's degree in aeronautics engineering, psychology, computer science, or other technical fields required. Students with an interest or experience in aviation and/or the aerospace sciences are strongly encouraged.

Importance of other criteria as admission factors:

  • Research: high
  • Relevant work experience: medium
  • Letters of recommendation: medium
  • Personal interview: medium

Tuition and fees

Resident and Nonresident: $1,090/credit hour resident program
$550/credit hour online program


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:

5% (resident)

Types of assistance available:

TA, RA (tuition reduction)

When should students apply for financial assistance?

With application


Graduate degree offered:


Number of units required:


Exams required:

Thesis, demonstrated computer literacy and mathematical skills required

Language requirements:


Practical experience required:


Typical number of years required to obtain degree:


Is there a non-thesis option?

Yes, A 30 credit hour, nonthesis, online program is available.


Required Courses (units):

Introduction to Man-Machine Systems (3), Human Performance 1 and 2 (6), Sensation and Perception (3), Thesis Research (6) (resident program only), Human-Computer Interaction (3), Statistics (3), Research Methods (3)


Cognitive Science, Advanced Aircraft Operations, Accident Investigation, Information Systems, Program Management, Computer Graphics, Artificial Intelligence, Introduction to Simulation, Aviation Physiology, Practicum in Computer Education, Neural Networks, Ocean Engineering Systems, Learning and Memory, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and Industrial Training

Number of courses outside department that are required:


Number of courses outside department that are recommended:



Research and support facilities available to students in the program:
Extensive research facilities are at the College of Aeronautics, other campus labs, and with FIT LLC at the Melbourne International Airport. Facilities include high-fidelity flight simulators, single- and multiengine aircraft, psychophysiological monitoring equipment, and the potential for marine research aboard the R/V Delphinus. The Center for Aviation Human Factors Lab is equipped with IBM PC-compatible computers, an Elite simulator, and student office spaces. The program collaborates with local industry and federal agencies, including Kennedy Space Center, Northrop-Grumman, Collins, Harris Corporation, Space Florida, and Holmes Regional Medical Center.

Teaching opportunities available to students in the program:
Teaching seminars may be offered at the master's level.

Current research activities and projects being carried out by program faculty and/or students:
The use of haptics in developing enhance virtual environment training programs; cross cultural training using virtual technology to teach Iraqi peacekeepers cultural knowledge of the local population; system interface design of a surface explosive detection device; human factors issues associated with the next generation aircraft; interface design for UAV systems, to name a few.


Current number of active students in program, by gender:

39 men, 6 women

Current number of first-year students in program:



Paul Buza, DO, FACN, Neurology Board Certified; internal medicine, aviation physiology, clinical hyberbaric and dive medicine

John H. Cain, PhD, Florida Tech; aerodynamics, accident investigation, educational technology

Stephen K. Cusick, JD, U. of Louisville; aviation safety, aviation law, human factors, aviation safety management systems

John E. Deaton, PhD, Catholic U. of America; Director, Aviation Human Factors Program; human-computer interaction, cockpit automation, human performance, man-machine system design, training applications

Tom Utley, PhD, Florida Tech; aviation, synoptic and satellite meteorology

Dennis Vincenzi, PhD, U. of Central Florida; human factors, man machine systems, human performance, sensation and perception, aviation psychology

Donna Wilt, PhD, Florida Tech; advanced avionic systems, situational awareness and decision making

[Updated May 2012]