Human Factors & Health Systems Engineering

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering

Woman working on computer while drinking coffee

The Human Factors and Health Systems Engineering graduate program at UW–Madison focuses on data, system design, and the health care system. In just 12 months, you are ready to excel in your industry.


Is this program right for you?

Challenges and problems with health systems bring an increased need for engineers who can lead innovation. The University of Wisconsin–Madison Master of Science in Industrial Engineering: Human Factors & Health Systems Engineering enables you to improve system performance and drive positive change in the health industry.

While people work with computers in every industry, the need for accuracy and ease of use increases dramatically in the health care field. At UW–Madison, you learn to address and overcome known challenges by applying existing human performance knowledge and generating new and relevant experimental data.

Work with renowned faculty to learn traditional engineering principles, such as ergonomics, management approaches, job design, and decision science. Then apply those principles to broad issues in health care, including long-term care, prevention, quality improvement, and patient safety.

With an emphasis on real-world application and an accelerated 12-month timetable, the UW–Madison Human Factors & Healthcare Systems Engineering master’s program provides a path for you to substantially contribute to human health and wellbeing through your engineering expertise.

Is this program right for you?

Challenges and problems with health systems bring an increased need for engineers who can lead innovation. The University of Wisconsin–Madison Master of Science in Industrial Engineering: Human Factors & Health Systems Engineering enables you to improve system performance and drive positive change in the health industry.

While people work with computers in every industry, the need for accuracy and ease of use increases dramatically in the health care field. At UW–Madison, you learn to address and overcome known challenges by applying existing human performance knowledge and generating new and relevant experimental data.

Work with renowned faculty to learn traditional engineering principles, such as ergonomics, management approaches, job design, and decision science. Then apply those principles to broad issues in health care, including long-term care, prevention, quality improvement, and patient safety.

With an emphasis on real-world application and an accelerated 12-month timetable, the UW–Madison Human Factors & Healthcare Systems Engineering master’s program provides a path for you to substantially contribute to human health and wellbeing through your engineering expertise.

Admissions requirements

All applicants must:

  • Have a Bachelor of Science in engineering or a related discipline from an accredited institution.
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  • Submit GRE scores using code 1846.* (The GRE requirement is waived for Spring 2021 or Fall 2021 applicants only.)
  • Submit evidence of English language proficiency, if applicable. The required proficiency scores are: TOEFL IBT 92, PBT 580; or IELTS 7.0.

Ideal applicants will:

  • Have successfully completed a mathematical statistics course (e.g., Stat 312).

Application materials required:

  • Online application
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of purpose
  • Transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation*

*Waived for UW–Madison Industrial and Systems Engineering students and alumni.

Program highlights

  • The Human Factors & Health Systems Engineering master’s degree is accelerated, so you graduate in just one year.
  • It’s also course-only, so you complete your degree in a predictable time frame.
  • With more than $12.8 million in annual research expenditures, nearly 100 patents, and 13 startups, our faculty and students are at the forefront of scientific discovery and real-world translation.
  • Our flexible curriculum allows you to customize your degree program to fit your personal objectives.

University of Wisconsin–Madison ranked Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs and Best Engineering Grad Schools by U.S. News & World Report.

How you'll learn

  • 12-16 months of full-time study on campus to earn your degree.
  • Flexible curriculum can be personalized to suit your needs.
  • Students who hold a graduate degree may transfer up to 9 credits of prior graduate work.
  • UW–Madison Industrial Engineering students may count up to 7 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above towards degree.
  • Complete in fall-spring-summer or fall-spring-fall (allows for summer job internship).

Sample curriculum

Fall Courses

  • Engineering Economic Analysis
  • Introduction to Human Factors
  • Health Systems Engineering
  • Inspection, Quality Control, and Reliability
  • Engineering Management of Continuous Process Improvement
  • Human Factors Engineering
  • Special Topics in Industrial Engineering
  • Safety and Quality in the Medication Use System
  • Organization and Job Design
  • Advanced Independent Study

Spring Courses

  • Engineering Economic Analysis
  • Introduction to Human Factors
  • Health Systems Engineering
  • Inspection, Quality Control, and Reliability
  • Human Performance and Accident Causation
  • Patient Safety and Error Reduction in Healthcare
  • Occupational Ergonomics and Biomechanics
  • Introduction to Quality Engineering
  • Special Topics in Industrial Engineering
  • Safety and Quality in the Medication Use System
  • Health Information Systems
  • Design and Human Disability and Aging

Summer Courses

  • Engineering Economic Analysis
  • Introduction to Human Factors
  • Introduction to Decision Analysis
  • Introduction to Quality Engineering
  • Special Topics in Industrial Engineering
  • Advanced Independent Study
  • Graduate Cooperative Education Program

Other Suggested Courses

  • Health Program Planning, Evaluation, and Quality Improvement
  • Health Systems, Management, and Policy
  • Introduction to Epidemiology
  • Cost Effectiveness Analysis in
  • Health and Healthcare
  • Measuring Health Outcomes
  • Service Operations Management
  • Healthcare Operations Management
  • Sustainable Approaches to System Improvement
  • Clinical Research Informatics
  • Introduction to Bioinformatics
  • Advanced Bioinformatics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Special Topics in Engineering Mechanics
  • Management Consulting

Job outlook

Top Job Titles
  • Engineering Manager
  • Quality Engineer
  • Director of Engineering

Market Salary
$63K median salary in 20191

Projected Job Growth
Use: 9.7% for Industrial Engineers (2016-2026)

Top Employers
  • Edwards Lifesciences
  • Fresenius Medical Care
  • TriMedx
  • SRC Incorporated
  • Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Source: Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight. 2020.
Source 1: NACE 2019 Salary Survey

Ready to learn more about Human Factors & Health Systems Engineering?
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Connect with our enrollment coaches

Our friendly, knowledgeable enrollment coaches are here to answer your questions. Contact an enrollment coach to:

  • Learn how to make this program work with your life/schedule
  • Verify credit transfers
  • Get help with your application
  • Determine if financial aid is available

Visit with our coaches on campus or at an upcoming student fair in your area. Search student fairs & events

Connect with a coach

Katie Groh

 My career goal is to be a user researcher for a tech company. I’ll be able to take the techniques I’ve learned in this class and combine that with coding in R to create visualizations that are easy to understand and help make products better.  

Katie Groh, Epic worker and student at UW-Madison
Read more about Katie