Human Factors, MS

Yingzi Lin
Associate Professor and Program Advisor
357 Snell Engineering

This program addresses the growing need for engineering professionals trained in advanced human factors who can utilize Human Factors theories, procedures and empirically derived knowledge into understandable and actionable information for use in the design and evaluation of a wide variety of products and systems. The key sectors demanding human factors professionals include transportation, healthcare, robotics, manufacturing, computer, consumer products, social, and organizational and military issues. The core courses of the proposed 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. Students can select their elective or breadth courses from a wide range of fields. The program seeks to prepare students for a comprehensive set of human factors-related professional positions.

General Degree Requirements

To be eligible for admission to any of the MS degree programs, a prospective student must hold a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, science, mathematics, or an equivalent field. Students in all master’s degree programs must complete a minimum of 32 semester hours of approved course work (exclusive of any preparatory courses) with a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.000. Students can complete a master's degree by pursuing any of one of the three tracks: course work option, project option, and thesis option. Specific degree requirements for each of these tracks can be found under the Program Requirements tab. Students may pursue any program either on a full-time or part-time basis; however, certain restrictions may apply.

Academic and Research Advisors

All nonthesis students are advised by the academic advisor designated for their respective concentration or program. Students willing to pursue the thesis option must first find a research advisor within their first year of study. The research advisor will guide the students' thesis work, and thesis reader(s) may be assigned at the discretion of their research advisor. The research advisor must be a full-time or jointly appointed faculty or affiliated member of the MIE department; otherwise, a petition must be filed and approved by the MIE Graduate Affairs Committee. If the research advisor is outside the MIE department, a faculty member with 50 percent or more appointments in the MIE department must be chosen as co-advisor. Thesis option students are advised by the academic advisor of their concentration before they select their research advisor(s).

Plan of Study and Course Selection

It is recommended that all new students attend orientation sessions held by the MIE department and the Graduate School of Engineering to acquaint themselves with the course work requirements and research activities of the department as well as with the general policies, procedures, and expectations.

In order to receive proper guidance with their course work needs, all MS students are strongly encouraged to complete and submit a fully signed Plan of Study (PS) to the department before enrolling in second-semester courses. This form not only helps the students manage their course work but it also helps the department to plan for requested course offerings. The PS form may be modified at any time as the students progress in their degree programs. 

Change of Program/Concentration

Students enrolled in any of the MIE department programs or concentrations may change their current program or concentration no sooner than the beginning of their second full-time semester of study. In order for the program or concentration change request to be considered by the MIE graduate affairs committee, the student must be in good academic standing and have completed at least 8 semester hours of required course work in their sought program at Northeastern.

Core Requirements

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated. Students may not register for more than 9 semester hours in the fall, spring, and summer terms.

IE 6500Human Performance in Sociotechnical Systems4
IE 7280Statistical Methods in Engineering4
IE 7315Human Factors Engineering4
EMGT 5300Engineering/Organizational Psychology4


Complete one of the following options:

Course Work Option

Complete 16 semester hours from the course list below.16

Project Option

IE 7945Master’s Project4
Complete 12 semester hours from the course list below.12

Thesis Option

IE 7990Thesis8
Complete 8 semester hours from the course list below.8

Course List

College of Engineering
IE 5137Computational Modeling in Industrial Engineering4
IE 5390Structured Data Analytics for Industrial Engineering4
IE 5630Biosensor and Human Behavior Measurement4
IE 5640Data Mining for Engineering Applications4
IE 6600Computation and Visualization for Analytics4
CIVE 7388Special Topics in Civil Engineering (Urban Informatics and Processing)4
College of Social Sciences and Humanities:
ECON 7200Topics in Applied Economics4
ECON 7251International Finance4
ECON 7271Industrial Organization4
College of Science
PSYC 5180Quantitative Methods 13
PSYC 5181Quantitative Methods 23
PSYC 7300Advanced Quantitative Analysis3
PSYC 7301Research Methodologies Psychology3
Bouvé College of Health Sciences
PT 5600Ergonomics and the Work Environment3
EXSC 5210Physical Activity and Exercise: Prescription, Measurement, and Testing3
EXSC 5220Advanced Exercise Physiology3
Khoury College of Computer Sciences
CS 5340Computer/Human Interaction4
CS 6350Empirical Research Methods4
College of Arts, Media and Design
ARTG 5150Information Visualization Principles and Practices3
ARTG 5310Visual Cognition4
ARTG 5330Visualization Technologies 1: Fundamentals4
ARTG 5600Experience Design Studio 1: Principles4
ARTG 5610Design Systems4
ARTG 5640Prototyping for Experience Design4
Design Research Methods
ARTG 6310Design for Behavior and Experience4
ARTG 6320Design of Information-Rich Environments4
GSND 6240Exploratory Concept Design4
GSND 6250Spatial and Temporal Design4
GSND 6330Player Experience4
GSND 6340Biometrics for Design4

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

32 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required