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Information for Students

San Jose, California
College of Engineering

Title: Human Factors/Ergonomics (MS)
Joint program: With Industrial & Systems Engineering Psychology, Industrial Design, and Kinesiology
Est: 1993
Accreditation: HFES
Granted last 3 years: MS 56
Part-time: Yes
HFES student chapter:
Program: The interdisciplinary nature of HF/E is emphasized through a broad curriculum and diverse student backgrounds. Projects provide practical experience in local (Silicon Valley) high-tech manufacturing, research, and professional workplace settings. Emphasizes statistics and experimental design and basic human factors and ergonomics to maintain diversity, enrollment in courses with non-HF/E majors. All students are required to complete the program core consisting of 17 units plus a 4 unit project or thesis. Students also complete 3 courses (9 units) of elective courses of their choosing. Emphasis areas are suggested such as Cognitive Psychology, HCI/UX/UI, Ergonomics, or Human Performance, but students may select electives from across all offerings. Students often work part time or full time in paid internship programs offered by area information technology firms or with area governmental laboratories (e.g., NASA Ames Research Center).
Contact: Louis E. Freund, Program Director, SJSU, ISE Dept, 1 Washington Sq., San Jose, CA 95192-00085; 408/924-3890;,
Catalog: Online at Web site shown

Deadlines: February 1 (fall admissions only)
Fee: $55. See Web site for current application deadline and details.

GPA: 3.0 last 60 units
GRE: Not required
Other: Three reference letters required by department. Accepts students from a wide range of undergraduate degree backgrounds (e.g., psychology, industrial engineering, human performance, industrial design, occupational therapy, computer science, or information technology specializations). Program prerequisites: Upper-division perception, cognition, and statistics through regression, correlation, and introduction to analysis of variance are required for advancement to classified standing. See program FAQ at
Research: Low
Work experience: Medium
Letters: High
Interview: Not required

Students applying last year: 78
Accepted: 34
Entered program: 24
Openings/year: 30 fall, 0 spring

Check SJSU Web site for current fee structure:

% receiving: 30
Amounts: $7,200/$10,000/$14,000 (depends on source and type of work)
Available: RA (not tuition exempt)
Apply: Upon notification of acceptance

MS: 30 units, thesis option for selected students, thesis/project research required, no languages or practical experience required, 2–2 1/2 years
Nonthesis option: Yes (project)

Required courses (units): HF Engineering (3), Design of Experiments (3), Human Factors Experiments (also meets writing requirement) (3), Engineering Psychology (3), Human Motor Development (3), HF Seminar (2), Thesis or culminating project (4)
Electives: Three of the following or other approved courses: Human Computer Interaction (3), Advanced Interaction Design (3), Safety Engineering (3), Ethnographic Studies (3), HF in Design (two courses; 3 each), Engineering Economics (3), Work Measurement (3), Usability Testing (3), Seminar in Cognition (3), Seminar in Perception (3); Medical Errors Reduction and Patient Safety Engineering (3)
Required courses outside department: 0
Recommended courses outside department: 2
Offered: Late afternoon and evening
Class size: 18–25

Research facilities: Human performance labs include motor learning facility with PCs and devices to measure reaction time, CAT, and tracking. Also energy expenditure, force platform, and video/computer systems for motion study. IE labs focus on workplace design and performance measurement. Equipment includes video, heart rate, time study, and flexometer devices and PCs. Computer Engineering program has labs and software suitable for sophisticated modeling of human-system interaction. Psychology Program conducts research at the Aerospace Human Factors Research Division at NASA-Ames Research Center. Industrial Design Program has access to approximately 20 high-performance Macintosh and Silicon Graphics workstations with high-resolution color, in addition to machines available in the several general-purpose computer labs throughout the university. The usability testing lab at Interface Analysis Associates has frequently been available for student thesis research that is related to Dr. Andre's evaluation and design projects.
Teaching: None
Current research:

  • Freund: The human side of service engineering, co-production quality, human factors in health care delivery systems
  • Wughalter: Organizing practice and understanding contextual variables to facilitate memory and performance of motor skills, translating research for applications in the workplace
  • Still: Human-computer interaction, visual attention, intuitive design, usability testing, cyber security
  • Laraway: Learning, memory, motivation, behavior analysis, organizational behavior, online education, research methods, human factors/ergonomics
  • Feria: Visual perception and attention
  • Schuster: Cognitive factors in cybersecurity, human performance implications of video game experience, human-robot interaction, individual and shared cognition in complex environments, training
  • Andre: Display/control compatibility, simulation of visual scenes design, medical device design and evaluation
  • Nathan-Roberts: affective design, sociotechnical systems, human factors in healthcare systems

Active: 27 men, 38 women
First-year students: 24
Mean scores: GPA 3.3, GRE not required

Program Faculty:
Anthony Andre, PhD 1991, Univ. of Illinois; engineering psychology, display/control compatibility, medical device design
Cary Feria, PhD, 2004, UC Irvine; perception
Louis Freund, PhD 1969, Univ. of Michigan; industrial engineering, human factors in health care, methods engineering, workplace design
Sean Laraway, PhD 2003, Western Michigan Univ.; cognition, experimental design
Dan Nathan-Roberts, PhD 2012, Univ. of Michigan; ergonomics, home healthcare systems
Daniel Rosenberg, Interaction design, gamification, information architecture and information visualization
David Schuster, PhD, 2013, Univ of Central Florida; perception
Jeremiah Still, PhD, 2009, Iowa State Univ.; human computer interaction
Emily Wughalter, EdD 1981, Univ. of Georgia; human performance and motor learning

[Updated January 2015]

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