DOCTORAL LEVEL GRADUATE STUDY IN ERGONOMICS
Doctoral Graduate Program
The ergonomics curriculum for doctoral students includes the same core courses as described in the MS Program plus
six additional core courses. A sample curriculum for doctoral students pursuing ergonomics graduate study is outlined below.
Doctoral students are also required to complete additional graduate courses (30-40 semester hours) supporting their specific
research area. A doctoral-level degree requires the students to complete 72 semester hours (credits) of course and research
work. All doctoral students are required to write research grant proposals and conduct mentored laboratory or field research.
Additional Required Ph.D. Core Courses (in addition to the M.S. core courses)
ERHS 000 Occupational Safety and Health Management (3 s.h.)
A new graduate course aimed at developing management competencies
for safety and health professionals. The course will include knowledge, skills and applications relating to environmental, health,
and safety policy, laws, rules, regulations and standards at local, state, federal and international levels, agencies, enforcement,
best practices, cost benefit and return on investment models, management systems, lean management, Six-Sigma quality programs,
and communication and presentation skills.
ERHS 536 Advanced Occupational Health (3 s.h.)
This course covers the principles of occupational medicine, occupational health nursing, industrial hygiene, and occupational safety. A portion of the course includes on-site factory visits for interdisciplinary student teams from industrial hygiene, occupational medicine, safety, engineering, psychology, and ergonomics. Group projects that are related to these site visits encourage the students to work as a team in identifying and solving an array of occupational health problems.
PSY 792 F Epidemiology of Occupational Injury and Illnesses (3 s.h.)
The goal of this course is to provide
students with an understanding of basic public health approaches to the prevention and control of occupational illnesses and
injuries. Issues that will be covered include an introduction to the use of epidemiologic approaches to occupational illnesses
and injuries, problem identification, and prevention efforts in industry, health departments, and unions.
ERHS 532 Epidemiologic Methods (3 s.h.)
This course is designed to provide the students
with the basic principles and methods of conducting and interpreting epidemiologic studies. Study design and the application of
epidemiological methods is illustrated through readings and discussion of published studies and through problem solving.
ERHS 542 Biostatistical Methods for Qualitative Data (3 s.h.)
This course is designed to provide the students with knowledge and shill related to statistical analysis of categorical data as
obtained in epidemiology, occupational health, and clinical sciences.
ERHS 696-A Logistic Regression Analysis (3 s.h.)
Advanced graduate statistics which includes multivariate analyses. This course exposes students a variety of statistical topics
including multiple logistical regression, fitted models, stepwise logistic regression, multivariate analyses, and advanced
study designs. This advanced statistic course requires the student to complete six semester hours of graduate statistics as a
The goal of the Ergonomics graduate program at the doctoral level is to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of and
experience in ergonomics through didactic instruction, laboratory research, and applied field work.
This goal will be obtained through competency in the
following educational objectives (derived from the Ergonomist Formation Model):
1. To recognize the integrated (systems) nature of ergonomics and the available knowledge base to adapt the environment to people.
2. To translate general design principles, standards, guidelines and regulations into project specific requirements to which one can design.
3. To recognize and measure the physical characteristics of people and their responses to their activities and their environments with particular
reference to health, safety, comfort and performance.
4. To recognize the impact of organizational culture and related structure, practices, policies and procedures on ergonomics to
achieve a good quality of work-life and performance.
5. To select and use the appropriate methods for investigating ergonomics issues, and present data to evaluate future design
solutions. To measure, collect, aggregate, manipulate and evaluate data in a reliable and valid manner.
6. To explain the major methods and procedures used in ergonomic investigations of user activities and work processes
(physical and cognitive) and to know when to use them and how to interpret results.
7. To outline and discuss the techniques and procedures used in the design process and how ergonomic input to the process can
be most effectively achieved.
8. To restate the methods used in evaluation and design of human machine interfaces (including controls, displays
(physical an psychophysical attributes), workspace arrangement and seating) to reduce human error, decrease human workload,
and enhance human health, comfort, safety and productivity.
9. To explain the methods used for macroergonomic analysis; that is, optimization of the overall structure and related process of
the work system.
10. To apply ergonomics skills and knowledge to human-oriented systems and products.
11. To discuss how ergonomics affects an individualís way of life and to know how legislative actions and current economic
situations affect the application of ergonomics.
12. To define the impact of ergonomics on peopleís lives, the costs and benefits accruing from ergonomics activities, the social
and psychological impact of ergonomics investigations, and the professional responsibilities and requirements for the
ergonomics practitioner óincluding professional ethics, and ability to communicate (verbally and in writing)
Plan of Study
Graduate work towards a Ph.D. must include at least two semesters of residence and include a minimum of 72 hours of total graduate
study including research for the dissertation. Graduate studies toward an MS degree are included in the minimum requirements, with a maximum of 36 hours transferred in from a MS program in a closely allied area at a recognized institution. Doctoral students must complete all core ergonomics courses described in the masterís and doctoral training. The ergonomics program leading to a doctoral degree is tailored to meet the needs of the individual student. The studentís plan of study is based on the Departmentís core requirements, core requirements, and electives that support the studentís research interest and career objectives. The doctoral students are required to perform independent research and a written dissertation. The total time in the doctoral program is expected to be four years. Students are encouraged to select dissertation topics that are a component of or parallel to, currently funded research projects by faculty. We anticipate that the final two years of each doctoral studentís study will be supported by externally funded research grants.
Qualifying and Comprehensive Examinations
A Qualifying Examination is typically given at the completion of formal course work and evaluates the student in four areas: 1) didactic knowledge, 2) relevant analytical skills, 3) ability to design a research project, and 4) English written and oral communication skills. Each student must satisfy the Qualifying Exam requirements of their department. The student must also demonstrate his or her capability for creative individual research achievement by completing and defending a research proposal in a Comprehensive Examination conducted by an examining committee. This committee consists of at least five members of the University faculty, with at least three faculty members from the studentís home department. At least one member must be from outside the studentís department. The Examining Committee determines if the student is ready to commence the dissertation research at the current state of preparation. Having satisfactorily completed this examination, the student is accepted as a candidate for the doctoral degree.
Final Examination (Ph.D. Defense)
The student must complete and defend their dissertation in a final examination conducted by an examining committee composed
of five graduate faculty, one of which must be from outside the studentís department. The dissertation must include original
thought in formulation and conduct of the research. Original data collection may not be strictly required; existing
well-documented databases may be used as a research basis.
The standard of quality will be judged relative to the
probability the dissertation could withstand a peer reviewed publication process. Additionally, students are
expected to have at least 3 published or submitted manuscripts in scientific journals at the time of graduation.
Department Contact Information:
Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences
1681 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523
Phone: (970) 491-7038
Fax: (970) 491-2940