Today’s Degree in Human Factors and Ergonomics: Five Courses Students Will Encounter

  • Perspectives in Learning, Perception, and Cognition
  • Virtual Reality and 3D Interaction
  • Anthropometrics, Size, and Fit
  • Behavioral Decision Theory
  • New Product Development

Today’s degree program in human factors and ergonomics offers students a pro-grade education in the study of the human body and how it affects design, products, and services. Graduation and ultimately receiving this degree requires the student to complete a strong line of coursework designed to instill the knowledge it takes to be a leader in the industry. To that end, the following represent five example courses that all students of this particular degree program can expect to attend and must pass.

Related resources: Top 15 Master’s in Human Factors and Ergonomics

1. Perspectives in Learning, Perception, and Cognition

At the root of nearly all areas of human psyche are the components of learning, perception, and cognition. The course Perspectives in Learning, Perception, and Cognition takes these concepts and explores the various theories and perspectives into their inner-workings. How does the human mind encode learned skills and behaviors? How does cognition affect the aforementioned coding processes? Learn the answers to these kinds of questions and more right here.

2. Virtual Reality and 3D Interaction

As virtual reality and three-dimensional worlds and interactions become increasingly common in the products and services found throughout today’s world, students of this degree program would be crippled without becoming familiar with this virtual realm. Virtual Reality and 3D Interaction is one of the required courses in the human factors and ergonomics degree that handles this exact, critical subject matter. As it turns out, students will find, much of the virtual world and the real world are becoming increasingly indistinguishable.

3. Anthropometrics, Size, and Fit

Anthropometrics, Size, and Fit is a required course that explores the human body and how its unique qualities and physical parameters go on to affect the products and services born to the markets each and every day. For those unfamiliar with the term, “anthropometrics”, as defined more concisely by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, is “the science that defines physical measures of a person’s size, form, and functional capacities.” This information, according to the NIOSH, is then applied to further understand “the interaction of workers with tasks, tools, machines, vehicles, and personal protective equipment — especially to determine the degree of protection against dangerous exposures, whether chronic or acute.”4. Behavioral Decision Theory

The human decision-making process has long vexed scientists, psychologists, general doctors, and many others. What are the factors that all come together to ultimately form a person’s “decision” to do or not do something? Are these factors the same in all people? What happens at a biological level when decisions are processed and then finalized? Learn more about this area of required learning in the Behavioral Decision Theory course.

5. New Product Development

As the name of this course suggests, New Product Development is a required course in the HFE degree that specifically covers the ins and outs of modern new product development processes. Students here will learn all about the various components to the development process such as “Generation”, “Idea Screening”, and “Concept Testing”. In most studies of the discipline, and as covered well by the Huffington Post article “8 Step Process Perfects New Product Development”, there are eight, distinct steps to most organized new product development approaches today.

Today’s HFE degree is a sure way to prepare for any number of excellent career opportunities that rely on this kind of valuable knowledge set in the worker. The above-mentioned courses are some of those that students can expect to run into on the path to degree completion here. For more detailed information on human factors and ergonomics degree required courses, you are encouraged to contact your school’s guidance department directly.