About Human Factors & Ergonomics

A person sits with their arm extended holding a device while another takes a photograph

The Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) graduate program at the University of Minnesota offers interdisciplinary coursework that addresses human performance and how it can be enhanced through the design of products, tools, systems, interfaces, working environments, processes, and organizations.

Degree Options

HFE has applications ranging from clothing and living spaces to business processes, the design of health care processes and technology, computer interfaces, and spacecraft cockpits. The program’s interdisciplinary curriculum has graduate faculty representing the Colleges of Design; Science and Engineering; Liberal Arts; Education and Human Development; and Public Health.

What Alumni Say

The program at the U gives you flexibility and allows students to tailor classes around their interests. You can choose to focus on a specific domain, or stay general and gain a variety of knowledge.

—Simon Ozbek (MS '20, Human Factors & Ergonomics)

Career Possibilities
Research and Creative Scholarship

Our faculty and students’ research cover a vast range of topics. Past thesis projects have investigated how to design haptic technology to augment virtual reality and even the impact that weather and infrastructure design has on the mobility of people with impaired vision.

Explore thesis projects

Human Factors & Ergonomics in the Twin Cities

Ingenuity and industry connections

Creative thinkers from the University of Minnesota are responsible for GORE-TEX®, Post-it® Notes, several tasty new apple varieties, Ziagen—the standard drug used worldwide to treat HIV/AIDS, and an improved CPR method. Over the past five years, inventions of University researchers have generated nearly $274 million in revenue for Minnesota. This legacy demonstrates the value we, at both the university and collegiate level, place on interdisciplinary research, human-centered design, and relationships to key industries in the Twin Cities. 

Students in the Human Factors and Ergonomics Program build upon this legacy by collaborating across disciplines on innovative research projects to produce human-centered design work.

Meet Our Faculty and Staff

Our faculty and students’ research cover a vast range of topics. Theses have investigated how to design haptic technology to augment virtual reality and even the impact that weather and infrastructure design has on the mobility of people with impaired vision.

Brad Holschuh working on a piece of technology