Location: Mississippi State, Mississippi
Department: Industrial and Systems Engineering

Quick links:


Program Background

Admission Requirements

Financial Assistance


Student Statistics

Application Process


Degree Requirements

Research/Teaching Opportunities


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
662/325-1677, kari@ise.msstate.edu; or 662/325-7214, strawderman@ise.msstate.edu

Catalog (free)

Published four times per year: February, July; semi-monthly in April: Mississippi State University Registrar's Office, P.O. Box 5268, Mississippi State, MS 39762-5268


Office of Graduate Studies, P.O. Box G, 116 Allen Hall, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762; grad@grad.msstate.edu

Web site


Academic calendar


Human factors/ergonomics graduate degrees offered

MS and PhD

Goals, objectives, and emphasis of the program

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 required courses offered at night? 


Are required courses offered during summer?


Does the university have an HFES student chapter?




Application deadlines

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

Application fee

$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 

Part-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 degrees 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 

PhD: 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) 



Required courses (units)

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


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]