Academic Programs

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The Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. degree is intended for students who excel academically and would like to pursue advanced studies in ergonomics. Students entering the Ph.D. program are expected to meet common academic standards, but the course work and areas of study are generally tailored to meet the interest of the student and available resources. During their first year in the Ph.D. program, students will focus primarily on course work that will introduce them to areas of possible research and prepare them for work in those areas. The first year culminates in a qualifying examination that evaluates their readiness for advancing in the program. During the second year, students will continue to take courses, but will also work with individual faculty to define their research topic. This second phase of the program concludes with the preliminary examination which evaluates the student’s readiness to conduct a proposed research project. Students are then advanced to candidacy and select a faculty dissertation committee who will oversee their research. This last phase culminates in a public defense of the research dissertation.


The MS Program

The Masters degree is intended for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering or physical science.  Most students can complete the Occupational Safety Engineering/Ergonomics (OSE) option in 10-16 months, starting in either September or January.  Students have flexibility in selecting course work to match specific interests, including cognitive ergonomics, physical ergonomics, safety engineering, and safety management.  Those wishing to pursue a Ph.D. degree will find that the M.S. program provides excellent preparation.


Select Graduate-Level Courses

IOE 430 – Global Cultural Systems Engineering

IOE 432 – Industrial Engineering Instrumentation Methods

IOE 434 – Human Error and Complex System Failures

IOE 436 – Human Factors in Computer Systems

IOE 437 – Automotive Human Factors

IOE 438 – Occupational Safety Management

IOE 463 – Measure & Design of Work

IOE 533 – Human Factors in Engineering Systems

IOE 534 – Biomechanics

IOE 536 – Cognitive Ergonomics

IOE 537 – Ergonomics for Inclusive Design

IOE 539 – Occupational Safety Ergonomics

IOE 593 – Directed Research/Professional Project

IOE 836 – Seminar in Human Performance

IOE 837/EHS 668 – Seminar in Occupational Health and Safety Engineering


Funding Opportunities

Ph.D. Funding

The Ph.D degree requires 4 to 5 years, with one to two years of intensive course work and two to three years of intensive research. The PhD is intended for students who wish to conduct, manage or interpret research in academic, industry or government settings. Please note:

  • You may apply to the Ph.D degree directly from an undergraduate degree. You do not need to start with a Masters degree.
  • Full Fellowship funding is standard for admitted students.

Masters Funding

With a few exceptions, financial aid is not available through the department or university for incoming Masters students. Note, however, that a limited number of traineeships are available from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents who are interested in Occupational and Safety Engineering (OSE) professional and research careers. This track provides a strong background in basic quantitative skills along with in-depth training in physical and cognitive ergonomics, safety and health. All NIOSH trainees are required to take the following core courses in safety, ergonomics, and public health.

Safety/Occupational Health Core – 11 credits

EHS 550: Introduction to Occ & Env Health (2 credits)

EHS 600: Professional Perspectives in Environmental Health (2 credits)

EHS 651: OH&S Program Management (2 credits)

EHS 658: Physical Hazards (1 credit)

IOE 438: Safety Management (2 credits)

IOE 539: Safety Engineering Methods (3 credits)

IOE 837: Occupational Health and Safety Engineering Seminar (1 credit)

Epidemiology and Statistics Core – 6 credits

EPI 503: Strategies and Uses of Epidemiology (3 credits)

IOE 570: Design of Experiments (3 credits)

Seminars and Research – 4-5 credits

IOE 836: Ergonomics Seminar (1 credit)

IOE 590: Directed Research (3-4 credits)

NIOSH trainees must also complete a Master’s research project (IOE 590) and must earn a minimum of 36 credit hours to receive financial assistance through the NIOSH grant.

Students who do not receive NIOSH funding can complete the M.S. degree with 30 credit hours and have more flexibility in course selection. Specific requirements for the IOE M.S. degree can be found HERE.