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Information for Students

West Lafayette, Indiana
School of Industrial Engineering

Title: Human Factors Engineering Option (MS, PhD)
Joint program: with Department of Psychological Sciences
Est: 1956
Granted last 3 years: MS 11, PhD 17
Part-time: yes
Distance learning available: yes
HFES student chapter: yes
Program: Physiological, psychological, and sociological aspects of the design of tasks, equipment, systems, and the work environment. Study of human-machine computer information and control systems. Instrumentation and analytic methods for the design and execution of human factors studies. Job design, training, safety engineering, and cognitive engineering.
Contact: Steven J. Landry, Associate Professor and Associate Head, School of Industrial Engineering, 315 N. Grant St., West Lafayette, IN 47907-2023, 765-494-6256;,, or Graduate Committee Chair: Barrett Caldwell, Professor,

Deadlines: January 5 (fall), September 1 (spring)
Fees: $55

GPA: 3.0 (recommended)
GRE: 155 v, 162 q, 4.0 a (recommended, no minimum)
Other: TOEFL: 570 (paper-based total) or 213 CBT (computer-based total, 77 IBT (Internet Based Test), 4.5 TWE for international students. Mathematics through multivariate calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra; calculus-based probability and applied statistics; and proficiency in computer programming. Preference given to students with undergraduate degrees in engineering, science, and psychology.
Research: high
Work experience: medium
Letters: high
Interview: low

Students applying last year: 412 (MS and PhD, all areas of Industrial Engineering)
Accepted: 80
Entered program: 38
Openings/ year: 5–8

Resident: $4819/semester
Nonresident: $13029/semester

% receiving: 100
Amount: $12000/16000
Available: fellowships, TA, RA, all tuition exempt
Apply: with application

MS thesis: 21 units, oral defense of thesis, research required, no languages or practical experience required, 1 1/2–2 years
MS nonthesis option: 30 units, no exams, languages, research, or practical experience required, 1 1/2 years
PhD: 18–24 units beyond MS, preliminary defense of proposal and defense of thesis required, research required, no languages or practical experience required, 3–5 years

Required courses (units): Design of Experiments (3)*, Human Factors in Engineering (3)*, Research Seminar in Human Factors (3)
Electives: Job Design (3), Safety Engineering (3)*, Cognitive Engineering of Interactive Software (3), Human Aspects of Computing (3), Applied Ergonomics (3)*, Decision Theory in Engineering (3)*, Knowledge-Based Systems (3), Systems Simulation (3)*, Simulation Design and Analysis (3), Applied Regression Analysis (3), Sampling and Survey Techniques (3), Applied Multivariate Analysis (3)*, Psychology of Industrial Training (3), Occupational Analysis (3)
* Course available by distance learning through Purdue Engineering Professional Education.
Required courses outside department: 0
Recommended courses outside department: 2
Class size: 10–30

Research facilities: Research is conducted in both field settings and laboratories. Three laboratory facilities are available for the development of software for experimentations and for the development of experimental apparatus. Six laboratories exist for conducting experimentations, one of which is climatically controlled. The laboratories are networked, linked to the Internet and Internet2, and equipped with appropriate computing systems and a comprehensive set of cognitive tests and measures.
Teaching: Teaching assistantships are available in a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses that match the student's background and interests. Research assistantships are available as University Fellowships and opportunities to work on a variety of externally funded projects.
Current research: Studies emphasize the cognitive and social aspects of designing and operating advanced technologies. These include designing human-centered home pages, key word searches, browsers, e-commerce, and distance learning. Other currently active areas include cognitive task analysis, usability testing, design for special populations, digital human modeling, engineering of socio-technical systems, modeling human performance of multiple tasks, design of alerting and warning systems, air traffic control systems, patient safety, gestural interaction, human robot interaction, and information visualization.

Active: 13 men, 9 women
First-year students: 6
Mean scores: MS: GRE 410 v, 750 q, 4.2 a, GPA 3.4; PhD: GRE 670 v, 800 q, 4.0 a, GPA 3.4

Barrett S. Caldwell, PhD 1990, UC Davis; information technology
Vincent Duffy, PhD 1996, Purdue U; digital human modeling
Steven J. Landry, PhD 2004, Georgia Tech; air traffic control
Mark R. Lehto, PhD 1985, U Michigan; safety engineering
Sara McComb, PhD 1998, Purdue U; collaborative cognition and team communication
James D. McGlothlin, PhD 1988, U Michigan; ergonomics
Robert W. Proctor, PhD 1975, U Texas-Arlington; human performance
Juan Wachs, PhD 2008, Ben-Gurion U; human-robot interaction and assistive technology
Ji Soo Yi, PhD 2008, Georgia Inst. of Tech; human-computer interaction

[Updated February 2014]

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