Texas Tech University Department of Industrial Engineering



Title of program

Industrial Engineering with specialization in Ergonomics (MSIE, PhD)

Year human factors/ergonomics program was established


Accredited by HFES?


Contact person for more information, including applications

James L. Smith, Texas Tech University, Industrial Engineering Dept., Lubbock, TX 79409-3061; 806/742-3543,,

Catalog (free)

Graduate School, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-1033,

Academic calendar


Human factors/ergonomics graduate degrees offered

MSIE and PhD

Goals, objectives, and emphasis of the program

The Texas Tech Industrial Engineering graduate program in human factors and ergonomics is designed to develop qualified and competent practicing engineers, teachers, and researchers. Over the last 50 years the ergonomics program has produced more than 150 MS and 70 PhD graduates who hold leadership positions in educational, research, manufacturing, governmental, and consulting organizations. The program emphasizes occupational ergonomics from both the physical and cognitive perspectives, in conjunction with the Human Factors Program in Experimental Psychology. Areas of emphasis include workplace design, anthropometry, musculoskeletal systems, cumulative trauma, work physiology, biomechanics, environmental hygiene, manual materials handling, occupational safety and health, automation, information processing, decision making, and the development of intelligent interfaces for decision support systems.

Number of degrees granted during last 3 years

MSIE 3, PhD 5

Can students attend part-time?


Are required courses offered through distance learning?


Are required courses offered during summer?


Does the university have an HFES student chapter?




Application deadlines

Spring: June 15; Fall: January 15 for full consideration

Application fee




Minimum requirements

Applications (e.g., transcripts, GRE scores, work history, letters of recommendation, and written personal statements) are evaluated by the graduate faculty to determine the student's potential for completing the graduate degree. No rigid criterion or cut-off points are used in admissions decisions. Foreign students are subject to financial and immigration. Science, mathematics, or engineering undergraduate degree recommended. Leveling courses may be required in math and engineering science for students without engineering undergraduate degrees.

Importance of other criteria as admission factors

Research: high

Work experience: high 

Letters: high 

Interview: medium

Tuition and fees

Resident: $4,478/semester (approximate; see catalog) 

Nonresident: $8,690/semester (approximate; see catalog)



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


Types of assistance available

TA, RA, scholarship, not tuition exempt but nonresident fees waived

When should students apply for financial assistance?

With application



Graduate degrees offered

MSIE and PhD

Number of units required

MSIE: 30
Nonthesis option: 30 hours 

PhD: 60 

Exams required

MSIE: thesis defense
Nonthesis option: comprehensive exam

PhD: 2 exams

Language requirements


Research required

MSIE: yes
Nonthesis option: no

PhD: yes 

Practical experience required


Typical number of years required to obtain degree

MSIE: 1.5 years 
Nonthesis option: 1

PhD: 3 years

Is there a non-thesis option?




Required courses (units)

Ergonomics and Design (3), Work Physiology (3), Occupational Biomechanics (3), Safety Engineering (3), Loss Assessment and Control (3), Cognitive Engineering (3), Human Factors in Engineering & Design (3)

Electives (units)

Design of Experiments (3), Decision Theory and Management Science (3), Productivity and Performance Improvement in Organizations (3), Simulation Models for Operations Analysis (3), Total Quality Systems (3), Theoretical Studies in Advanced IE Topics. (3). Human factors electives from Psychology, as appropriate

Number of courses outside department that are required


Number of courses outside department that are recommended

0–2 for MS, 5 for PhD

Average or typical class size in a required course




Research and support facilities available to students in the program: 

The Industrial Ergonomics Laboratory occupies more than 4,000 square feet in the Industrial Engineering Building. Lab facilities include equipment specialized for research in work physiology (Metabolic Measurement Systems [Cosmed K4b2], physiological monitoring and recording equipment); biomechanics (3D motion analysis system, force platforms, Biodex, portable load cells, lifting machines); ASL desktop and head-mounted eye tracking systems; usability lab; environmental hygiene (environmental monitoring systems); human gait (slip-fall arresting rig); general ergonomics equipment such as anthropometers and dynamometers. Support facilities include a student computer laboratory, metal and woodworking shops, and an electronics shop. University computing facilities include mainframe and additional microcomputer facilities.

Teaching opportunities available to students in the program:
TAs primarily assist faculty with classroom teaching and labs. Opportunities to assume full teaching responsibility are available to PhD students.

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

Physiological modeling of high frequency lifting, Risk and task analysis for future space stations, stochastic resonance for time-to-contact estimation, social networks for construction collaboration, Biomechanical data mining, Conditional value at risk (CVaR) threshold for fault detection, Eye Movements during a Collision Detection Task, Scheduling Options for Hazardous Operations Regarding the Potential for Human Error: A Systems Dynamic Model.


Current number of active students in program, by gender

6 men, 2 women

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

MSIE GRE 510 v, 680 q, GPA 3.50

PhD GRE 443 v, 760 q, GPA 3.70



Mario Beruvides, PhD 1993, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; macroergonomics, engineering management, productivity 

Simon M. Hsiang, PhD 1992, Texas Tech University; cognitive engineering, biomechanics, virtual reality, modeling and system design, data mining, system identification, human safety and reliability 

Patrick E. Patterson, PhD 1984, Texas A&M University; ergonomics, biomechanics, interaction design, safety 

James L. Smith, PhD 1980, Auburn University; work physiology, biomechanics, ergonomics

[Updated February 2015]