PROGRAM BACKGROUND

Title of program

Master of Science in Psychology, Option in Human Factors

Year human factors/ergonomics program was established

1972

Accredited by HFES?

Yes

Primary department sponsoring program

Psychology

Contact person for more information, including applications

Diane Roe, CSULB, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-0901; 562-985-5000;
Diane.Roe@csulb.edu 

Web site

www.csulb.edu/psychology 

Academic calendar

Semester

Human factors/ergonomics graduate degrees offered

MS – Human Factors

Goals, objectives, and emphasis of the program

The CSULB MS Human Factors program is designed to prepare students to apply human factors skills to the design of jobs, information systems, consumer products, workplaces and equipment in order to improve user performance, safety and comfort. The MS-Human Factors Program is designed as a terminal MS degree, but it also provides excellent preparation for advanced graduate work. Students in the program acquire a background in experimental psychology and research methods. They are trained in the application of the material through courses in human factors, computer applications and interface design. Special topics seminars, in areas such as large-scale simulation and usability testing, complement the core program of study. Finally, students complete a thesis in their chosen area of human factors.

Number of degrees granted during last 3 years

15

Can students attend part-time?

Yes

Are required courses offered through distance learning?

No

Are required courses offered at night?

Yes, but limited

Are required courses offered on weekends or during summer?

No

Does the university have an HFES student chapter?

Yes


 

APPLICATION PROCESS

Application deadline

January 15

Application fee

$55

Are separate applications required for university and department?

Yes


 

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Minimum requirements

Grade point average (last 4 yrs: A = 4.0): 2.5 (course-by-course evaluation)

GRE combined: no minimum

GRE Verbal: no minimum

GRE Quantitative: no minimum

GRE Analytical: no minimum

Other: A completed undergraduate major in psychology that includes three specific prerequisite courses (Intermediate Statistics, Sensation and Perception, Cognition), or a major in another field with 24 units of upper division psychology that includes the same three specific prerequisite courses.

Importance of other criteria as admission factors

Previous research activity: high

Relevant work experience: medium

Extracurricular activities: low

Letters of recommendation: high

Personal interview: not required

Tuition and fees

$3,859 FT; additional $372/per unit non-resident fee


 

ADMISSIONS

Number of students applying to the human factors/ergonomics program
last year

28

Number of students accepted into the program last year

10

Number of students entering the program last year

8

Anticipated number of openings per year for the next two years

10–12


 

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Percentage of students in program receiving financial assistance

90%

Amount received per year

Variable; dependent upon availability of funds

Types of assistance available

Research assistantship (not tuition exempt)

Traineeships, pending availability of external funds (not tuition exempt)

When should students apply for financial assistance?

Financial aid: follow federal guidelines; Assistantships based on external funding to HF faculty may be available after acceptance into program.


 

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Graduate degrees offered

MS in Psychology, Human Factors Option 

Number of units required

36

Exams required

Preliminary orals of thesis; final orals of thesis

Language requirements

None

Research required

Thesis

Practical experience required

None

Typical number of years required to obtain degree

3

Is there a non-thesis option?

No


 

CURRICULUM

Required courses (units)

36-UNIT PROGRAM REQUIRED COURSES

  1. PSY 511 Statistical Design and Analysis of Experiments

  2. PSY 518 Computer Applications in Psychology

  3. PSY 527 Human Factors

  4. PSY 533 Research in Cognition and Learning 
    or 
    PSY 634 Seminar in Cognition

  5. PSY 627 Human Factors Methods

  6. PSY 633 Seminar in Perception and Attention

  7. PSY 635 Seminar on Situation Awareness

  8. MAE 508 Systems Engineering and Integration

  9. CECS 448 User Interface Design

  10. PSY 698 Thesis (6 units)

Electives

One elective course chosen from the following:

  • PSY 512 Multivariate Analysis

  • PSY 544 Cognitive Neuroscience

  • PSY 696 Research Methods

  • PSY 697 Directed Research

  • ENGL 419 Writing in Science and Technology

Number of courses outside department that are required

2

Number of courses outside department that are recommended

1 additional

Average or typical class size in a required course

10–15


 

RESEARCH/TEACHING OPPORTUNITIES

Research and support facilities available to students in the program: 

The department is located in the Psychology Building, a four-story structure which houses faculty and graduate student offices, a newly constructed computer lab, and laboratories for faculty and student research in the major areas of Psychology. Human factors experience can be obtained in two Centers and various laboratories in the Psychology Building:

  • The Center for Human Factors in Advanced Aeronautics Technologies (CHAAT), a state-of-the-art facility for research and simulations of advanced air technologies and air traffic management issues. You must be a US citizen to participate in CHAAT.

  • The Center for Usability in Design and Assessment (CUDA), a usability testing laboratory that provides real-world hands-on experience in usability testing and interface design.

  • Perceptual, cognitive, and neuroscience research laboratories provide ample space and equipment for research in a variety of areas including auditory and visual perception, cognitive psychology, aviation psychology and human-computer interaction.

Teaching opportunities available to students in the program:
Each semester the department of Psychology hires about 10–13 graduate assistants to perform various activities. The assignments are usually 10 hours per week for 17 weeks in the Fall and/or Spring semester. Most GA assignments fall into two major categories. Some assignments are to assist in the introductory research methods course. This involves preparing materials, grading papers and assisting students. Other GA assignments support introductory and intermediate statistics courses. These assignments generally involve grading papers, assisting students and helping students with various statistical software packages. 

Current research activities and projects being carried out by program faculty and/or students:
Please visit the web pages of individual faculty members for current projects.


 

STUDENT STATISTICS

Current number of active students in program, by gender

8 men, 16 women

Current number of first-year students
in program

8

Based on current graduate students in the MS Human Factors program, the mean score on admission tests and undergraduate GPA by degree being sought are

Mean GRE Verbal: 153

Mean GRE Quantitative: 151

Mean GRE Analytical: 4.0 (writing)

Mean GRE Combined: 304

Mean undergraduate GPA: 3.65

Number of current HF/E postdocs

0

Of the number of those graduating in the past year, graduates gained employment in

Academia: 0


Industry: 4


Government: 2


 

FACULTY

James Miles, PhD 2007, U. of Virginia; cognitive control processes: stimulus-response compatibility effects, eye-tracking, perception-action relations

Thomas Strybel, PhD 1987, U. of Arizona; auditory-visual space perception, multisensory interaction, workload and situation awareness metrics

Dan Chiappe, PhD 1997, U. of Toronto; attention, cognition, situation awareness

Kim-Phuong Vu, PhD 2003, Purdue U.; human-computer interaction, display-control compatibility, aviation psychology

Faculty-to-student ratio: 1 to 6

[Updated January 2015]