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Master of Science in Human Factors

Master of Science in Human Factors


In the Master of Science, MS, Human Factors degree at Northeastern University’s College of Engineering, you’ll learn human-centered engineering. Master’s Human Factors students will build on their engineering, science, or mathematics knowledge with an understanding of human capabilities and limitations to design products and systems for safe, efficient, and comfortable human use. A growing and important technical professional field, human factors, including ergonomics, is considered essential to improving business performance, decision-making, and market competitiveness.

The key sectors demanding human factors professionals include transportation, healthcare, robotics, manufacturing, computer, consumer products, social, and organizational and military issues.

Innovative Curriculum - MS in Human Factors

A multidisciplinary program, the MS in Human Factors prepares you as an advanced human factors professional by bringing together faculty expertise in engineering, the sciences, humanities, and the arts. Faculty also come from a variety of reputable companies and industries, ensuring that the skills, theories, and procedures you learn, from sociotechnical systems and statistical methods to organizational psychology, are directly applicable to the important work you’ll be doing after graduation.

The core courses of the MS in Human Factors program are built on the foundations of human factors and ergonomics, probabilities and statistics, etc. Topics from these foundation areas are integrated to create human factors for engineering applications.

The MS in Human Factors curriculum is highly flexible, allowing you to customize your degree toward your professional goals. There are 30 electives to choose from, such as:

• Ergonomics and the Work Environment
• Advanced Quantitative Analysis
• Computer/Human Interaction
• Biometrics for Design

Students can complete a master’s degree by pursuing any of one of the three tracks: course work option, project option, and thesis option. You’ll also gain rich research experiences using your human factors skills in both individual and group projects to solve real-world challenges, including the thesis and project options.

Students may pursue any program either on a full-time or part-time basis; however, certain restrictions may apply.

  • Discover opportunities to improve systems, processes, and enterprises through human factors knowledge
  • Apply human factors methods to solving complex problems involving human factors and ergonomics issues
  • Work with technology teams to design and build complex human factors systems
  • Use tools and methods for human factors and ergonomics to generate analyses and reports
  • Create integrated views of human factors from multiple sources of an enterprise
  • Understand and explain results of human factors studies
  • Design and develop human factors projects

Over 15 graduate certificates are available to provide students the opportunity to develop a specialization in an area of their choice. Certificates can be taken in addition to or in combination with a master’s degree, or provide a pathway to a master’s degree in Northeastern’s College of Engineering. Master’s programs can also be combined with a Gordon Engineering Leadership certificate. Students should consult with their faculty advisor regarding these options.

Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership Certificate

Students may complete a Master of Science in Human Factors in addition to earning a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership. Students must apply and be admitted to the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program in order to pursue this option. The program requires fulfillment of the 16-semester-hour curriculum required to earn the Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership, which includes an industry-based challenge project with multiple mentors and 16 semester hours of required human factors course work.

Engineering Business Certificate

Students may complete a Master of Science in Human Factors in addition to earning a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Business. Students must apply and be admitted to the Galante Engineering Business Program in order to pursue this option. The program requires the applicant to have earned or be in a program to earn a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Northeastern University. The integrated 32-semester-hour degree and certificate will require 16 semester hours of the human factors core courses and 16 semester hours from the outlined business-skill curriculum. The coursework, along with participation in co-curricular professional development elements, earn the Graduate Certificate in Engineering Business.

Experiential Learning

Northeastern combines rigorous academics with experiential learning and research to prepare students for real-world engineering challenges. The Cooperative Education Program, also known as a “co-op,” is one of the largest and most innovative in the world, and Northeastern is one of only a few that offers a Co-op Program for graduate students. Through this program students gain up to eight months of professional experience employed as part of the academic curriculum, giving them a competitive advantage after graduation.

Program Goals

Career Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that students with a human factors degree make a 2019 median salary of $91,400, and ONET OnLine indicates that 48% of positions require a master’s degree.

Academic Advising

The Academic Advisors in the Graduate Student Services office can help answer many of your questions and assist with various concerns regarding your program and student record. Use the link below to also determine which questions can be answered by your Faculty Program Advisors and OGS Advisors.

Admissions & Aid

Ready to take the next step? Review degree requirements to see courses needed to complete this degree. Then, explore ways to fund your education. Finally, review admissions information to see our deadlines and gather the materials you need to Apply.