Mississippi State University

Location:   Mississippi State, Mississippi

Department:  Industrial and Systems Engineering


Quick links:


Directory of Graduate Programs


Title of program:

Industrial and Systems Engineering with a concentration option in Human Factors and Ergonomics (MS, PhD)

Year human factors/ergonomics
program was established:


Accredited by HFES?


Contact person for more information, including applications:

Kari Babski-Reeves, PhD, CPE, or Lesley Strawderman, PhD, PE
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Mississippi State University
P.O. Box 9542
479-2 Hardy Rd., 260 McCain
Mississippi State, MS 39762-9542
or 662/325-7214

Catalog ($3):

Office of Graduate Studies
P.O. Box G
116 Allen Hall
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, MS 39762


Academic calendar:


Human factors/ergonomics graduate degrees offered:

MS and PhD

Goals, objectives, and emphasis of the programs:

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Concentration Option in Industrial and Systems Engineering is designed for students who desire a comprehensive education in physical and cognitive ergonomics and human factors, and occupational health and safety. Both MS and PhD students take courses from other ISE areas (operations research, manufacturing, and management) as well as from supporting disciplines (e.g., statistics, kinesiology, psychology, etc.). Courses are offered that span physical and cognitive aspects of HF/E. All students, except non-thesis MS students, will conduct degree research with human participants.

Number of degrees granted during last 3 years:

MS 6, PhD 4

Can students attend part-time?


Are classes offered during summer


Are classes offered at night?


Does the university have an HFES student chapter?



Application deadlines:

June 1 (fall)
November 1 (spring)
April 1 (summer)


Application Fees:

$40 (nonrefundable)



Minimum requirements

  • GPA (MS): 3.0/4.0 (junior and senior years)
  • GRE: Students entering with BS from program not accredited by EAC/ABET must submit composite v, q and a.
  • Other: TOEFL 550 (international) and BS from an EAC/ABET accredited program is recommended. For PhD, MS from an EAC/ABET accredited program is recommended, though a direct admit to PhD is possible for outstanding BS student applications.TOEFL 550 (international) and BS from an EAC/ABET accredited program is recommended. For PhD, MS from an EAC/ABET accredited program is recommended, though a direct admit to PhD is possible for outstanding BS student applications.

Importance of other criteria as admission factors:

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

Tuition and fees

Resident: $2,902.50/semester
Nonresident: $7,335.00/semester
art-time: $322.50/hour for residents
$815.00/hour for nonresidents


Student Acceptance Rate:


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



Percentage of students in program receiving financial assistance:


Amount received per year:

$1,200–$1,800/month depending on student level and funds availability

Types of assistance available:

Assistantship (tuition exempt); GTA and GRA (tuition exempt); fellowships

When should students apply for financial assistance?

With application for admission


Graduate degree offered:

MS and PhD

Number of units required:

MS: 24 course hours plus 6 hours of thesis
9-hour minimum enrollment (fall, spring)
6-hour minimum enrollment (summer)
PhD: 48 course hours post BS minimum
plus 20 hours of dissertation research

Exams required:

MS: thesis proposal and thesis defense
hD: comprehensive exam (written and oral),
dissertation proposal, and dissertation defense

Language requirements:


Research required:

MS: thesis research, summer internship or equivalent independent research
PhD: dissertation research

Practical experience required:


Typical number of years required to obtain degree:

MS: 2
PhD: 2–3 beyond MS

Is there a non-thesis option?

Yes (33 course hours and written and oral comprehensive exam)


Students must complete their curriculum with a 3.0 GPA or better. The following courses are available within the ISE department: Industrial Ergonomics (4), Human Factors Engineering (3), Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction (3), Occupational Safety Engineering (3), Cognitive Engineering (3), MacroErgonomics (3), Applied Ergonomic Methods (3), Special Topics in Industrial Engineering (3), and Directed Individual Study (3)

Number of courses outside department that are required:

MS: 1 Statistics, 1 support area
PhD: 2 Statistics, 2 support area

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:
The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering has a well-developed laboratory that supports research and teaching in industrial and cognitive ergonomics (roughly 5,000 square feet) in McCain Engineering Hall. Additionally, research conducted in conjunction with the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems may be conducted in the CAVS Human Factors Laboratory or Driving Simulator Laboratory.

Teaching opportunities available to students in the program:
Graduate Teaching Assistants help faculty with course preparation, grading, laboratory exercises, group work, and lectures. Senior PhD students occasionally teach undergraduate courses, and in special cases graduate courses, under faculty supervision.

Current research activities and projects being carried out by program faculty and/or students:
The laboratory currently supports research in many HFE areas: ageing, cognitive performance, construction safety and health, consumer project design, usability, human-computer interaction, industrial ergonomics, biomechanics, musculoskeletal disorders, occupational safety and health, sociotechnical (macroergonomics) systems, health systems, localized and global fatigue, thermal applications, workload, stress, virtual reality and augmented visualizations, worker training, work systems design, digital human modeling, standards development and evaluation, and transportation. Some current projects include evaluation of law enforcement personnel body armor, pedestrian modeling, humanitarian supply chain modeling, novice vs expert work strategy comparison, digital human modeling, cognitive modeling, cognitive task analysis, and usability.


Current number of active students in program:


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 1767 v+q+a, GPA 3.2/4.0


Kari Babski-Reeves, PhD 2000, Mississippi State U., industrial ergonomics, musculoskeletal injuries, fatigue, human performance workload, occupational biomechanics, physical performance, occupational safety and health, and training

Lesley Strawderman, PhD 2006, Pennsylvania State U., service industry human factors, usability, health care systems, consumer product design, cognitive ergonomics, macroergonomics, safety, work measurement and facilities layout

[Updated May 2012]