Human Factors—BS

Be An Integrator

Human factors is an applied field of study at the crossroads of psychology, engineering, and computing that examines human abilities, limitations, behaviors, and processes in order to inform human-centered design.

The Bachelor of Science in Human Factors at Michigan Tech—one of the first of its kind in the nation—develops confident, tech-focused problem solvers adept at optimizing the interaction between humans and various systems, products, systems, and environments. As a human factors professional, your primary goal will be to enhance the usability, safety, and efficiency of these systems by considering the capabilities and limitations of human users. You'll join a growing field with exciting career opportunities in business, government, and academia.

What is Human Factors?

Make an Impact

Discover how to improve systems, technology, or tools to reduce human error and increase safety and productivity. In our research labs, students work on addressing these problems, often in interdisciplinary teams.

One hundred percent of human factors students participate in undergraduate research. Earn credit or get paid as a research assistant on projects involving driving simulators, video game consoles, artificial intelligence, and eye-tracking systems. Plus, gain real-world experience with Michigan Tech's Enterprise Program, working on real projects for real clients.

Concentrations to Customize Your Degree

All human factors students will select an interdisciplinary technical concentration. Focusing your effort in a concentration allows you to specialize and align with a future career interest, increasing your chances of securing a job or continuing onto graduate studies post-graduation.

Plus, concentrations make it easier to add a minor without increasing your time at Michigan Tech. (Note that completing a concentration does not, alone, complete a minor; students who choose to pursue an aligned minor may need to use some free electives or general education courses to do so.) All technical concentrations include foundational courses in programming to prepare students to work and communicate effectively in tech fields.

Systems Thinking and Design

This engineering-oriented concentration area focuses on developing students' ability to analyze complex problems, construct low-fidelity systems models, and use a dynamic systems model to make appropriate design decisions. This concentration is aligned with Michigan Tech's minor in systems engineering.

Human-Centered Interface Design

This computer science-oriented concentration equips students with the skills to create intuitive and user-friendly digital interfaces. This minor is aligned with Michigan Tech's minor in computer science.

Innovation and Human-Centered Design

This concentration prepares students to drive innovation and create user-centric solutions through a curriculum focused on marketing, consumer behavior, design thinking, and business applications. This concentration is aligned with Michigan Tech's Business and Enterprise minors.

Student-Designed Concentration

Of course, human factors principles can be applied across a number of disciplines and applications. If the above concentrations don't fit your interest and you'd like to pursue a different concentration, speak to your advisor.

  • 4
    concentration options
  • 100%
    of human factors students involved in research 
  • $141,500
    median salary for UX researcher
  • $89,087
    average salary human factors engineer

Tomorrow Needs Human Factors Professionals

A world moving at a faster pace and increasingly reliant on technology requires human factors professionals to make that technology work better with humans. You'll have opportunities to solve real-world problems, such as improving the user experience of websites and apps or everyday products like automobiles and mobile devices; making medical instruments and devices safer to use; creating ergonomic workstations to reduce user fatigue and injury. A degree in human factors opens doors in business, non-profits, academia, government, and more.

Career Opportunities for Human Factors Majors

Some of the jobs open to you with a BS in Human Factors:

  • Engineering Psychologist
  • Ergonomics Specialist
  • Human Factors Engineer
  • Human Factors Psychologist
  • Human Factors Researcher
  • Product manager
  • Usability Researcher
  • Usability Specialist
  • User Experience (UX) Designer
  • User Interface (UI) Designer

Michigan Tech Human Factors Majors Can Get Hired By

Thousands of companies hire human factors professionals, with many hiring dozens, if not hundreds each year. These are just some of the companies hiring human factors majors:

  • Amazon

  • Apple

  • Boeing

  • Ford Motor Company

  • Garmin

  • GE Aerospace

  • GE Healthcare

  • Google

  • Instagram

  • Lowe's

  • Medtronic

  • Samsung

  • Target

  • Tesla

  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security

  • U.S. Veterans Health Administration

Human Factors Career Resources

Ready to take the next step?

Learn more about studying human factors at Michigan's flagship technological university.

"'I'm thankful that my professors encourage my questioning. It's part of the culture here—being curious. It has a lot to do with being research-based."Katie Ulinski ‘23, BS Human Factors, BS Psychology

Study Human Factors at a Technological University

Be at the crossroads of psychology, engineering, and computing in a major that examines human abilities, limitations, behaviors, and processes in order to inform human-centered design. You'll become an integrator making an impact. Improve systems, technology, or tools to reduce human error and increase safety and productivity. Collaborate with engineers and others in different STEM fields on a variety of research projects.

  • Get personalized attention: 6:1 student to faculty ratio. 6:1 student to faculty ratio. Nearly every major class is taught by one of our core faculty. Your instructors will not only know your name, but will also take the time to get to know you and help you explore career possibilities. Faculty can better help connect you with research opportunities that meet your needs and provide valuable experience.
  • Customize your education: Choose one of three concentrations—aligned with systems engineering, computing, or business— to create a personalized program of study and build a unique portfolio of skills and experiences that sets you apart on the job market. Do you want to pursue an area of study outside these three concentrations, talk to an advisor. Together you might be able to build your own concentration.
  • Engage in research: Earn credit or get paid as a research assistant on projects involving driving simulators, video game consoles, artificial intelligence, and eye-tracking systems. Research experiences give students a competitive advantage when applying for graduate school and for research-based jobs in industry. All human factors students gain foundational research skills through a two-semester research course in which they work in teams to design, conduct, and present the results of a study of their choice.
  • Gain hands-on experience in real-world projects: All human factors students complete a capstone experience through Michigan Tech's Enterprise Program. Student-run business teams provide end-to-end original product development in engineering design, team building, and project management. You'll work with a faculty advisor. 

Undergraduate Majors in Cognitive and Learning Sciences

Not sure which major is the right fit? No problem.
Just declare the General Sciences and Arts major,
give yourself time, and decide when you arrive on campus. To learn more speak to an academic advisor.

Undergraduate Minors

Specialize in a secondary discipline outside of or complementary to your major, expand your knowledge base, and boost your potential career options with a psychology minor. Want a future career in law or medicine? A minor in a pre-professional program such as Law and Society or Pre-Health prepares you for graduate school. Or choose any of the other 80+ minors. Although you can declare a minor anytime, we recommend that you begin your minor studies as early as possible in your academic career. To learn more speak to an academic advisor.

Tomorrow Needs You

Human factors professionals do a lot of things, but there's one thing we do first and foremost: we help people. As technology advances and becomes more and more prevalent in our daily lives, we use our analytic and problem solving skills to ensure new technologies continue to work for and with us to create human-centered solutions in transportation, health care, energy, and more—much more. Become a human factors professional who is ready for what tomorrow needs.

I chose human factors because I am interested in designing better products for the future. Doing so will save users from the headache of a poorly designed product or application.

Patric Payne
Patrick Payne ‘25
BS Human Factors