Michigan Technological University

Location:   Houghton, Michigan

Department:  Cognitive and Learning Sciences


Quick links:


Directory of Graduate Programs


Title of program:

Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors Program (MS, PhD)

Year human factors/ergonomics
program was established:


Accredited by HFES?


Contact person for more information, including applications:

Dr. Susan Amato-Henderson
Michigan Technological University
Cognitive and Learning Sciences
1400 Townsend Dr.
Houghton, MI 49931


Academic calendar:


Human factors/ergonomics graduate degrees offered:

PhD Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors
MS Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors

The Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors Program's curriculum is designed to develop scholars and practitioners capable of improving sociotechnical systems through instructional and technological design, providing a strong scientific and technological basis in cognitive science and human factors. Master's and doctoral students enrolled in this program gain core competency in understanding human behavior, conducting human-subject research, and employing the concepts, tools, and applications of human-factors psychology.

Goals, objectives, and emphasis of the programs:

This research-intensive program unites the expertise of multiple disciplines toward optimizing performance, health, and safety at the interface of humans and technology. Participating scholars include both human experts and built-systems experts, including psychologists, engineers, computer scientists, and usability specialists. Scholarship emphasizes human attention, perception, memory, cognition, and action in the following areas:

  • Cognitive engineering and decision making;
  • Individual differences in human performance;
  • Physical ergonomics;
  • Human-centered design; and
  • Educational technology

Number of degrees granted during last 3 years:

1 PhD, 1 MS

Can students attend part-time?


Are required courses offered through distance learning?


Does the university have an HFES student chapter?



Application deadlines:

February 15


Application Fees:

Free; submitted online



Minimum requirements

  • GPA: 3.5
  • GRE: 308 (1200) recommended
  • Other: 3 letters of recommendation; CV; personal statement/writing sample; BA/BS in Psychology, Human Factors, Computer Science, Engineering, or related areas (rec); BA/BS (req); Pre-Req coursework for non Psychology graduates includes Research Methods, Cognitive Psychology, Statistics (req, although can complete first year in program)

Importance of other criteria as admission factors:

  • Research: high
  • Work experience: medium
  • Extracurricular activities: medium
  • Letters: high
  • Interview: high

Tuition and fees

Full time: $789/credit (9 credits = full time)
Part time: $789/credit


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:

Varies, Full-Time Grad Assistantship is $14,428 plus full tuition

Types of assistance available:

Teaching and research assistantships

When should students apply for financial assistance?

With application; all accepted students are considered for assistance


Graduate degree offered:

MS and PhD


Required Courses (units):

  • Applied Cognitive Science (3)
  • Human Factors (3)
  • Advanced Statistical Modeling (6–8)


  • Human Performance (3
  • Judgment and Decision Making (3)
  • Cognitive Task Analysis (3)
  • Testing and Measurement (3)

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:

3–20 students (6–8 average)


Research and support facilities available to students in the program:
Our state-of-the-art research facilities, located on the ground floor of the Meese Center, are equipped with innovative equipment, including a usability suite; a video-based simulation system; a driving simulator; a law-enforcement shooting simulator; eye-movement and motion tracking systems; computer vision technologies (vicon trackers, kinect); a display wall (24 multi-visions); sound booth (whisper room) and digital audio workstations (protools, cubase); driving simulators (NADS miniSim, OpenDS, LCT); physiological devices (ECG, EMG, Respiration belt); neuroergonomic equipment (fNIRS, EEG); robots (i-Robot, Romo), and many more.

Teaching opportunities available to students in the program:
Qualified students with MA/MS degrees may teach undergraduate courses in psychology. Qualified students with BA/BS degrees may teach course lab sections or serve as teaching assistants.

Current research activities and projects being carried out by program faculty and/or students:
We offer specialization in five different focus areas (cognitive engineering and decision making; individual differences in human performance; physical ergonomics; human-centered design; educational technology) that span the interests of multiple faculty and research groups, which include The Applied Cognition & Expertise (ACE) Laboratory; Cognitive Modeling and Experimentation (CME) Lab; Decision Sciences and Decision Engineering (DeSciDE) Lab; Ethical Decision-making and Ethical Naturalism Lab; Human Factors and Systems Modeling Lab; Integrated Physiology Lab; Mind Music and Machine (tri-M) Lab; Social Motivation, Attitudes and Cognition (SMAC) Lab; The Safety, Technology, and Attention Research (STAR) Laboratory; the Motor Behavior Lab; and the Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) Lab. The ACSHF program is a research-intensive interdisciplinary program that spans multiple disciplines, including psychology, engineering, human-computer interaction and usability. Research focuses on bridging the gap between basic and applied science with an emphasis on addressing real-world problems.


Current number of active students in program:


Current number of first-year students in program:



Susan Amato-Henderson, PhD, Motivation Science; Self-Efficacy; Individual Differences in STEM Learning

Adam Feltz, PhD, Moral Psychology and Disagreement; Individual Differences; Applied Ethics and Group Interaction

Myounghoon "Philart" Jeon, PhD, Human-Computer Interaction and Interaction Design; Auditory Displays (Sonification) and Assistive Technology for Special Populations; Affective Computing, Emotional Design, and Automotive User Interfaces

Shane T. Mueller, PhD, Computational Modeling and Recognitional Decision Making; Perceptual and Memory Processes; Representations of Cultural Knowledge

Kelly S. Steelman, PhD, Basic and Applied Attention, and Models of Attention; Human Performance in Aviation; Instructional Design and Display Design

[Updated November 2013]