This is the first post in our 2-part look at some HF programs. Anne’s post about North Carolina State University’s program can be found here.
Did you know that Human Factors is not only a fun blog, but something you could get a graduate degree in? The field is known by many names but they are the same, more or less¹ (for example, Anne and I received our degree in “engineering psychology”).
The degree is fairly generic and is defined further by specialization (for example, human-computer interaction and usability are closely associated with HF but by no means limited to it). Human factors graduates work in industry (evaluating software/hardware usability, designing), government, and research.
The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) website has a non-exhaustive list of accredited programs in the U.S. Clemson’s HF graduate degree program [link to Clemson's program, HFES link to Clemson] is the only accredited program in South Carolina. Anne will highlight her own university (North Carolina State University). If you’d like to mention your program (or Alma mater, please comment, especially our international readers).
Unfortunately, we probably should have done these posts months ago when students were researching and applying to programs but better late than never! Still deciding on whether to do the M.S. or PhD? See this article (PDF link) provided by HFES. It’s old but still has great information.
Clemson University is located in Clemson, South Carolina which is situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains (in the upper left corner of the state). The area is known as the “upstate” of South Carolina and is adjacent to one of the largest metropolitan areas of the state (Greenville-Spartanburg area).
The Department of Psychology at Clemson University offers both master’s and PhD degrees in Human Factors. Clemson’s program is newer than most (established in 1988) but already has graduated several PhD students who work in academia and industry. The faculty have a wide variety of research interests. My own interests are pretty well covered by my posts on this blog.
We do not have rolling admissions; instead, applications are accepted yearly and acceptances are made in mid-late spring. It is probably a very good idea to target people who’s research sounds interesting to you and then ask them if they are taking students that year.
Feel free to ask me questions about the program but the best person to ask is our graduate coordinator:
Dr. Robert Sinclair
Department of Psychology
418 Brackett Hall
Clemson, SC 29634
(864) 656-0358 (fax)
¹similar terms to human factors: applied cognitive psychology, applied experimental psychology, engineering psychology