Work Environment

Degrees in Occupational Ergonomics and Safety (OES)

Not many tools and machines are designed to accommodate the human form, human thought patterns or human lifestyle. As a result, job-related stress and injury resulting from machinery, operations and systems are endemic. The solutions are simple, but challenging: make new stuff, make it better and make it fast; and create jobs, processes and work environments that mesh with how people are meant to live. Are you up to the challenge? Prevent acute injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, and mental stresses resulting from poorly designed work environments, with WE’s advanced degree in Occupational Ergonomics and Safety.

Learn to design work spaces that promote health. Studying with Maria Brunette, Bryan Buchholz, Robert Karasek or Laura Punnett, you’ll prepare for a career recognizing, evaluating and controlling the hazards that result from a poor fit between the worker and the workplace. You’ll develop an understanding of human anatomy, physiology and psychology, as well as industrial hygiene and epidemiology, manufacturing technology and work organization. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to create processes that optimize skill utilization and learning, and physiological and psychological well-being. Due to the complex multi-disciplinary nature of this program, you’ll be invited to choose one of the following tracks:

  • Safety practices
  • Industrial hygiene
  • Psychosocial work design
  • Musculoskeletal epidemiology
  • Biomechanics
  • Psychosocial stress research
To earn your Master’s Degree, you’ll take the 15 Work Environment Core credits, plus 12 credits of OES concentration courses, and 9 credits of electives, and you’ll complete your capstone project.

Your Doctoral Dissertation research may include one of the following areas: 
  • Field evaluation of ergonomic and safety exposures with hazard surveillance
  • Biomechanical modeling
  • Psychophysical methods for exposure assessment
  • Technical and social factors in reorganizing work
  • Strategies for injury prevention and control
  • Evaluation of control measure effectiveness

Prerequisites: One semester of math, one semester of biology and one semester of physics with a grade of C or better are required. Courses must be taken prior to matriculation in WE program.