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. In our undergraduate program in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences—one of the first of its kind in the nation—you'll choose form one of three concentrations to customize you degree: systems thinking and design, human-centered interface design, or innovation and human-centered design. Join a growing field with exciting career opportunities in business, government, and academia.

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.

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 U., human factors and psychology double major

Create the future.

As technology advances and becomes more and more prevalent in our daily lives, it's critical that new technologies continue to work for and with us. Our program provides you with the knowledge and opportunities to create the future—and it's also a great foundation for continued study in graduate school to further develop your expertise.

A human factors degree leads students to careers as:

  • human factors psychologists
  • human factors engineers
  • human factors researchers
  • engineering psychologists
  • usability researchers
  • user interface (UI) designers
  • user experience (UX) designers
  • usability specialists
  • ergonomics specialists
  • product managers

No matter how technologically advanced we get, the human really is the key component and we have to design for the human.

- Samantha Smith, CLS assistant professor

Get involved.

Michigan Tech is the perfect place to study human factors because science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are in everything we do. Get involved on campus and build community with fellow students who all use STEM to make the world a better place.

Human factors students are encouraged to participate in student organizations such as:

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
  • Association of Psychology Students
  • Psi Chi (the National Honor Society of Psychology)
  • Enterprise
  • Any of our other 240+ student organizations across campus

As a human factors major, you can:

  • Build a personalized course plan. Complement the required courses with additional courses to explore and enhance your interests in different areas of psychology.
  • Develop 21st century skills to make technology work better for humans: quantitative and qualitative research methods, experimental design, user-centered design, creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and more.
  • Get involved in research. All human factors majors have the opportunity to assist faculty with research and complete their own research project.
  • Create real solutions for real clients through participation in Enterprise.
  • Prepare for your future career with internships, co-ops, and personalized faculty support through the graduate school application process.

Required Courses

To obtain a Bachelor of Science in Human Factors at Michigan Tech, a minimum of 86–88 credits fundamental to understanding humans, technology, and the design of human-technological systems are needed. This requirement includes 43 credits in core human factors courses.

You are also required to take 39 credits of general education, including 24 credits of HASS general education courses and 15 credits of STEM general education courses. Finally, you will take 10–14 credits of free electives and 7 credits representing a culminating experience, for a total degree requirement of 120 credits. In line with University requirements, 3 credits of co-curriculars are also required.

Program Learning Goals

By the completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • identify, formulate, and address complex socio-technical problems by applying human factors methods, principles, regulations, guidelines, and standards.
  • apply human-centered design practices to identify requirements and produce solutions that enhance performance, safety, comfort, and well-being.
  • communicate effectively—within multidisciplinary teams, to a range of stakeholders, and via multiple modalities.
  • recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in human factors research and design, and make informed decisions through a systems approach that takes into account the global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts that impact human-technology interaction.
  • function effectively within a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  • conduct user research and evaluation, analyze and interpret human performance data, and apply the results as part of an iterative design process.
  • acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.