Welcome to our ranking of the Top 15 Master’s in Human Factors and Ergonomics.

The field of Human Factors and Ergonomics is essentially the study of human abilities and limitations to design systems, machines, tools, and organizations that are safe and efficient to maximize human performance and efficiency. These programs may be found in engineering or psychology departments and may be primary degrees or areas of concentration. This specialized field typically requires professionals to have either a master’s or doctorate level degree. Graduates of these programs are successful in:

  • research
  • usability
  • occupational safety
  • product design
  • web design

Positions are found in a variety of settings including:

 

  • government
  • academia
  • transportation
  • consulting
  • medicine
  • robotics

Keep reading to find the right program for you and begin an application today.

Methodology

Using information gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator, we looked at colleges offering a master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology and then narrowed our focus to programs accredited by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. The schools offering accredited human factors programs were then ranked based on student to teacher ratio and average graduate tuition.

Ranking the Top 15 Master’s in Human Factors 2020

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • 15:1 or less= 5 Points
  • 16:1 to 20:1= 3 Points
  • Greater than 20:1= 1 Point

Average Graduate Tuition

  • Less than $10,000 per year= 5 Points
  • $10,000 to $15,000 per year= 4 Points
  • $15,001 to $20,000 per year= 3 Points
  • $20,001 to $25,000 per year= 2 Points
  • Greater than $25,001 per year= 1 Point

15. San Jose State University – San Jose, California

Human Factors/Ergonomics MS Program


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Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,176/year in-state and $16,680/year out-of-state
Points: 6
San Jose State University features a top master’s in human factors and ergonomics. It’s focused on theory, practical applications, and research. This HFES accredited program is available to both full and part-time students. Courses are typically offered during the evening, accommodating working professionals. Core courses include:

  • Motor Learning
  • Human Factors Experiments
  • Human Factors / Ergonomics

Students complete nine units of electives from areas like:

  • industrial engineering
  • psychology
  • kinesiology.

14. California State University – Long Beach, California

MS in Psychology, Option in Human Factors


Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,176/year in-state and $16,680/year out-of-state
Points: 6
The Department of Psychology at California State University Long Beach features a top master’s in human factors designed as a terminal degree. It also  provides students with a strong foundation for doctoral level study. Required courses include:

  • Systems Engineering and Integration
  • Human Factors’ Methods
  • Computer Applications in Psychology

All students complete a thesis. Students can gain experience working in a variety of labs and centers in the psychology building, including:

  • The Center for Human Factors in Advanced Aeronautics Technologies
  • The Center for Usability in Design and Assessment.

13. Georgia Institute of Technology – Atlanta, Georgia

Master’s in Engineering Psychology


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Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,788/year in-state and $28,568/year out-of-state
Points: 7
The top master’s in engineering psychology at Georgia Institute of Technology is taught from an applied experimental psychology perspective. Students learn what it takes to make technology accessible to all users across a variety of environments. Courses may include:

  • Human Abilities
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Sensation/Perception

The program prepares students for advanced doctoral study in their area of specialization.

12. George Mason University – Fairfax, Virginia

Human Factors and Applied Cognition Master’s Program


Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,736/year in-state and $32,322/year out-of-state
Points: 7
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason University offers a top human factors master’s program emphasizing:

  • human factors
  • applied cognition
  • neuroergonomics

Students have access to nine different research labs across a variety of domains including:

  • healthcare
  • robotics
  • transportation
  • aviation

Students without previous industry experience are placed in a part- or full-time practicum before earning their degree. Courses may include:

  • Cognitive Engineering: Cognitive Science Applied to Human Factors
  • Advanced Statistics
  • Cognitive Bases of Behavior

11. The Ohio State University – Columbus, Ohio

Master of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering-Human Systems Integration


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Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,560/year in-state and $34,064/year out-of-state
Points: 7
The Ohio State University features a top master’s in human systems integration focused on how the mind and body work tougher. Students can choose to focus in one of three areas including:

  • Cognitive systems engineering
  • Physical ergonomics and biodynamics
  • Safety engineering

Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories including the Cognitive Systems Engineering Laboratory and the Biomechanics and Physical Ergonomics Laboratories. Courses may include:

  • Risk Assessment Tools for Occupational Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Occupational Safety: Analysis and Design of Work Environments
  • Human Centered Automation

10. Old Dominion University – Norfolk, Virginia

Psychology M.S. with a Concentration in Applied Cognitive Psychology-Human Factors


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Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,727/year in-state and $28,435/year out-of-state
Points: 8
The Department of Psychology at Old Dominion University features a master’s in psychology with a focus on human factors psychology. The human factors concentration includes coursework in:

  • Human-Computer Interface Design
  • Human Factors Psychology
  • Ergonomics

All students complete a thesis. Graduates are prepared for the workforce or to begin doctoral study.

9. Auburn University – Auburn, Alabama

MISE Master of Industrial and Systems Engineering


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Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,630/year in-state and $28,890/year out-of-state
Points: 8
The Center for Occupational Safety, Ergonomics, and Injury Prevention at Auburn University features a top master’s in industrial and systems engineering. It’s for students interested in occupational safety, ergonomics, and occupational injury prevention. Courses cover areas like:

  • Ergonomics
  • Human Factors Engineering
  • Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene

Courses are available online and on-campus, providing students with the flexibility needed to balance personal and professional obligations.

8. Clemson University – Clemson, South Carolina

Master’s in Applied Psychology-Human Factors


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Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,386/year in-state and $19,776/year out-of-state
Points: 8
The top master’s in human factors at Clemson University is a two year program. It has the flexibility to accommodate students planning to join to the workforce and those planning to pursue doctoral study. This HFES accredited human factors master’s program is available to applicants with a major in psychology or a related field from an accredited undergraduate program. All students complete a thesis and an approved supervised field internship.

7. University of Houston-Clear Lake – Houston, Texas

Psychology M.S. with a Concentration in Applied Cognitive Psychology-Human Factors


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Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,596/year in-state and $16,866/year out-of-state
Points: 8
The University of Houston Clear Lake offers an innovative interdisciplinary human factors program through its Applied Cognitive Psychology concentration. Students will gain an understanding of the user centered design process and how to evaluate human-machine interfaces. Students complete a variety of practicum and research experiences throughout the program. This helps them gain valuable hands-on training. Courses cover areas like:

  • Human Factors Methods and Analysis
  • User Centered Design
  • Human Factors Engineering

Students can choose to complete an internship or master’s thesis.

6. Texas Tech University – Lubbock, Texas

Master’s in Human Factors Psychology


Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,832/year in-state and $13,302/year out-of-state
Points: 8
Texas Tech University features a terminal top master’s in human factors psychology with a thesis and non-thesis program option. Both options include 30 credits of coursework in areas like:

  • Human Factors Psychology
  • Human Factors in Ergonomics and Design
  • Control Theory for Humans

Students gain valuable quantitative and computer skills including JAVA, Visual Basic, and SAS. Teamwork experiences are available through collaborative class assignments and projects and group projects.

5. Wright State University – Dayton, Ohio

Master of Science in Human Factors and Industrial/Organizational Psychology


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Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $14,298/year in-state and $24,286/year out-of-state
Points: 9
The College of Science and Mathematics at Wright State University features a top human factors master’s program. It’s for students who want to learn to improve group performance and work systems through psychology. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in psychology from an accredited institution or  a strong academic foundation in psychology. Students have access to several state-of-the-art research laboratories including the Human Effectiveness Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory. This 37 credit hour program includes a thesis requirement that prepares students for doctoral study.

4. Virginia Tech – Blacksburg, Virginia

Master’s in Human Factors Engineering and Ergonomics (HFEE)


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Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,310/year in-state and $26,825/year out-of-state
Points: 9
Virginia Tech offers the top master’s in human factors engineering and ergonomics program.  It’saccredited by both the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics and the HFES. Courses cover areas like:

  • Human Factors System Design
  • Human Information Processing
  • Human Physical Capabilities

All students complete a thesis. Research opportunities are available in:

  • industrial safety
  • training
  • transportation systems
  • auditory communications

Students work closely with faculty to select content area and elective courses as well as laboratory research experiences.

3. University at Buffalo – Buffalo, New York

Master of Science in Human Factors and Ergonomics Engineering


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Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,090/year in-state and $22,650/year out-of-state
Points: 9
The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University at Buffalo offers a top master’s in human factors and ergonomics engineering. Required courses cover:

  • Human Information Processing
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Human Factors in Safety

Students can engage in a research experience by completing a thesis, completing research in an applied setting, or completing a research assistantship. Research efforts are funded by several organizational including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Federal Aviation Administration.

2. North Carolina State University – Raleigh, North Carolina

Human Factors and Applied Cognition Master’s Program


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Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,917/year in-state and $25,405/year out-of-state
Points: 10
The Department of Psychology at North Carolina State University features a top master’s in human factors and applied cognition. The program is intentionally kept small to foster close contact between faculty and students who develop apprenticeship relationships. Students complete coursework in areas like:

  • computer science
  • safety
  • research methods
  • I/O psychology

Students have access to a variety of state-of-the-art laboratories including the Applied Cognitive Psychology Laboratory and the Ergonomics and Aging Laboratory.

1. University of Idaho – Moscow, Idaho

Master’s in Experimental Psychology-Human Factors


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Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,266/year in-state and $24,902/year out-of-state
Points: 10
Our top choice for a master’s in human factors is offered by the University of Idaho. Courses can be taken online or on-campus, making this a great choice for working professionals. Online students pay the low in-state tuition rates. Courses cover advanced topics including:

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Sensation and Perception
  • Engineering Psychology

Students can engage in hands-on learning by participating in research in a variety of human factors areas. Students can also complete an internship, gaining valuable hands-on experience. Graduates are successful in roles like:

  • social science research assistant
  • human factor engineer
  • survey researcher.