Florida Institute of Technology

Location:   Melbourne, Florida

Department:   Center for Aviation Human Factors Health Sciences


Quick links:


Directory of Graduate Programs


Title of program:

M.S. in Aviation Human Factors (resident program) or

M.S. in Human Factors in Aeronautics (online program) or

Ph.D. in Aviation Sciences (resident program) or

Doctor of Aviation (Av.D.) (online program)

Year human factors/ergonomics
program was established:

1982 (as Engineering Psychology Program)

Accredited by HFES?


Contact person for more information, including applications:

Contact for the M.S. in Aviation Human Factors (resident program) or M.S. in Human Factors in Aeronautics (online program):
Dr. Deborah Carstens
Florida Institute of Technology
150 W. University Blvd.
M.S. in Aviation Human Factors (resident program):
M.S. in Human Factors in Aeronautics (online program):


Contact for the Ph.D. in Aviation Sciences (resident program) or Doctor of Aviation (Av.D.) (online program):

Dr. Ersoy Subasi        
Florida Institute of Technology
150 W. University Blvd.
Ph.D. in Aviation Sciences (resident program):
Doctor of Aviation (Av.D.) (online program):




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:

M.S. in Aviation Human Factors (resident program): Human factors refer to the field of study that attempts to identify the principles of human/machine interaction and applies these principles to the design and operation of engineered systems. Thus, the field is both a rigorous research domain rooted in cognitive, physiological and engineering theory and applied science with an intimate and direct connection to the operational world. Although the range of engineered systems of interest in human factors is very wide, this degree concentrates on aviation-related human factors studies. Such studies range from aircraft cockpit design and aircraft maintenance methods and procedures to complex ground-based entities such as the National Airspace System. Human factors is now recognized as an indispensable component of systems design and evaluation, accident investigation and prevention, simulation, training, procedures development and system performance testing. Considerable research is being conducted in this field by government and private entities around the world. In addition to its advantageous location on the Space Coast, Florida Tech has significant university assets that enhance its potential for aviation human factors research and education.


M.S. in Human Factors in Aeronautics (online program): Human factors in aeronautics is the science behind the human element of aviation and how humans’ interface with machines. The study of human factors involves the psychological, social, biological and safety characteristics of a user and the system in which they work. Experts in the field of human factors work to understand the human interaction with aviation technology so they can improve the complex nature of the environment and its user's experience. Florida Tech's online human factors in aeronautics learning program is highly interactive and brings students and faculty together through discussion boards and live chat sessions with peers and professors for a sense of academic closeness that is sometimes missing in other online programs, or even in traditional classroom settings.


Ph.D. in Aviation Sciences (resident program): The doctor of philosophy program is designed to prepare students to have an understanding of the diverse and multidisciplinary nature of the critical issues facing the aviation industry, to acquire the capacity and experience needed to perform autonomous research that will advance the frontiers of aviation knowledge, and to assume leadership positions within the aviation community in both academic and non-academic settings. The focus of the program is a combination of theory and practice, and dissertation research is oriented for aviation professionals to solve both research- and theory-based aviation problems and apply solutions to real problems in the field.


Doctor of Aviation (Av.D.) (online program): The Doctor of Aviation is designed to prepare working professionals in aviation with the capacity and experience needed to make scholarly contributions that enhance and promote practice within the aviation profession and to assume leadership positions within their organization. Although the focus of the Av.D. is applied and intended for the practitioner, the program is research-oriented, similar to that of a Ph.D. program, and students are expected to prepare, conduct and report dissertation research. This emphasis on research is reflected in the curriculum as described below. The program is cohort-based, with new cohorts entering the program each fall term and is designed so cohorts can complete the program in as few as three years with the last year dedicated to the dissertation component.

Number of degrees granted during last 3 years:

M.S. in Aviation Human Factors (resident program) - 19
M.S. in Human Factors in Aeronautics (online program) - 20
Ph.D. in Aviation Sciences (resident program) - 13
Doctor of Aviation (Av.D.) (online program) - 2

Can students attend part-time?


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:

Rolling Admission. Recommended to apply a minimum of one month prior to the start of each semester.



Minimum requirements

  • GRE: 1500 v + q + a preferred; however, GRE requirements are waiverable
  • Grade point average (last 4 yrs: A = 4.0): 3.0 for master’s degrees and 3.3 for doctorate degrees.
  • 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: Varies
  • Relevant work experience: :  H for the Av.D., L for the Ph.D. and M.S. degrees
  • Letters of recommendation: H
  • Personal interview: N/A

Tuition and fees

  • M.S. in Aviation Human Factors (resident program) $1,241/credit hour
  • M.S. in Human Factors in Aeronautics (online program) $600/credit hour
  • Ph.D. in Aviation Sciences (resident program) $1,241/credit hour
  • Doctor of Aviation (Av.D.) (online program) $1,050/credit hour


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:


Types of assistance available:

Teaching assistantship (tuition exempt) 

Research assistantship (tuition exempt) 

When should students apply for financial assistance?

Before submitting an application for submission 


Graduate degree offered:

M.S. in Aviation Human Factors (resident program)
M.S. in Human Factors in Aeronautics (online program)
Ph.D. in Aviation Sciences (resident program)
Doctor of Aviation (Av.D.) (online program)

Number of units required:


Exams required:

Thesis Defense, Capstone Project or Final Program Examination for Master’s Students

Comprehensive exam and Dissertation Defense for Ph.D./Av.D.

Research required: 

Thesis or Nonthesis for Master’s Programs, Dissertation for Ph.D./Av.D.

Language requirements:


Practical experience required:


Typical number of years required to obtain degree:

1.5 years for M.S. and 3 years for Ph.D./Av.D.

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:

0 (but can be taken for electives) 


Research and support facilities available to students in the program:
HF ASSIST Lab, ATLAS Lab, BATD Lab, ATC Lab, Flight Line, and Center for Aeronautics and Innovation. Please read more about our facilities here, 

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:

20 men, 10 women (master's program)

7 men, 5 women (doctorate program)

Current number of first-year students in program:


Faculty-to-student ratio: 

7 to 1

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

  • academia: 20%

  • industry: 60%

  • government: 20% 


John Deaton, PhD

Deborah Carstens, PhD 

Meredith Carroll, PhD

[Updated May 2022]