Director                             Purpose and Program Characteristics
  Requirements                   Trainees
  Degree Requirements       Master's Degrees
  Advisory Committee
  Course Description           Electives

  NIOSH HOMEPAGE            FOGARTY Training Program
  Ergonomics Program         Safety Program

Director:Dr. Lawrence Schulze

Purpose and Program Characteristics:

The Occupational Safety Engineering Program (OSEP) is housed within the Department of Industrial Engineering, in the Cullen College of Engineering, at the University of Houston.  The purpose is to provide academic (Masters level) training to Occupational Safety and Health (OS&H) professionals to fill the gap between the need and availability at the regional, material, and interest levels.  Since 1989, 11% of the MS degrees awarded by the UH IE Department have had an ergonomics/safety focus. Students are instructed in the theoretical concepts of safety and ergonomic principles and are provided with opportunities to put the theory into practice.

The goal is to produce qualified safety professionals with advanced degrees who will be able to more effectively direct occupational safety and health programs as well as contribute to the advanced education of safety and health professionals as faculty members in other occupational safety and health related institutions.


The minimum entrance requirements into the graduate programs offered by the Department of Industrial Engineering include:  (1) a minimum 3.0/4.0 grade point average (GPA) over the last 60 semester or 90 quarter hours of undergraduate studies; conditional admission only applies to the master's program and may sometimes be granted to students with a GPA of 2.64/4.0 or better; (2) students who transfer from another graduate program must have at least a 3.0/4.0 or better; (3) TOEFL score of 550 or higher for international students whose native language is not English (does not apply if student received undergraduate degree at a U. S. institution); (4) all Ph.D. applicants must have completed an appropriate Masters program with thesis or demonstrated ability for research and technical writing (students who have not written a Master's thesis will be required to demonstrate their research abilities by working with a UH faculty member); (5) the minimum requirements listed are general guidelines for all graduate applicants and the requirements for Ph.D. applicants are correspondingly higher and on a competitive basis; (6) a degree in an engineering discipline is required; however, students with degrees in closely related fields may be accepted subject to additional requirements or leveling courses in the engineering sciences; and (7) applicants may be requested to submit GRE scores as an academic reference (typical entry-level GRE scores for Masters students and Ph.D. students are 1,100 and 1,200, respectively, based on the sum of the verbal and quantitative portions of the exam.  In addition, NIOSH funding is restricted to US Citizens and Permanent Residents.


Michael W. Lee
MSIE candidate

Geoffrey Josefy
MSIE candidate

NIOSH-supported OSEP academic and research trainees are recruited at both the local and national levels.  Students have enrolled in the IE Department with specific intentions of pursuing advanced training concentrating in the area of Ergonomics/Safety.  Twenty-five inquiries regarding advanced safety/ergonomics training are received in the IE Department weekly.  Potential trainees are recruited through active participation in the Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers and though national advertisement. Many trainees have some formal engineering background.  However, those without undergraduate IE degrees, or those without undergraduate engineering degrees will be permitted to take leveling courses to prepare them for advanced  safety engineering training.

Degree Requirements - Specific

All students admitted to any of the following graduate programs must have credit for the following courses or their equivalents: INDE 6368 (Probability and Statistics) and INDE 6372 (Introduction to Operations Research). Students deficient in these areas must complete these courses during their first year in the program. These courses do not count towards satisfying the program hour requirements.  In addition, individuals without Industrial Engineering undergraduate degrees and individuals without undergraduate engineering degrees will be required to take leveling courses to ensure that they have sufficient engineering training to be awarded advanced Industrial Engineering Degrees.  Appendix D provides a a list of leveling courses for individuals without undergraduate degrees in industrial engineering and individuals without undergraduate degrees in any engineering discipline.

Master's Degrees - Occupational Safety Engineering

The following are the minimum requirements for receiving a Master of Science degree from the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Houston with a concentration in Occupational Safety Engineering: (1) a minimum of 30 semester hours of approved graduate level course work, including 6 semester hours of thesis and one semester hour of graduate seminar (INDE 6111).  (2) The student is required to take the courses listed in Appendix E; Ergonomics/Safety Course of Study for NIOSH Trainees which provides addition courses important to ensuring that NIOSH OSEP trainees are competent to address challenges that they will encounter in the work environment.  Additional courses may be taken from other areas as determined by the student and their committee; representative electives are also presented in Appendix E.  A description of the required and elective courses is presented in Appendix L, following the list of required and elective courses. (3) Satisfactory oral defense of a thesis. (4) No more than six semester hours of course work toward this degree may be taken outside of the IE department.

Advisory Committee for M.S. Applicants and Candidates-

NIOSH OSEP candidates must select an advisory committee, whose composition is subject to the approval of the IE director of graduate programs and the OSEP director after or near to the completion of course work.  Any subsequent changes to the composition of this committee must be approved by the director of graduate programs. The advisory committee must be composed of at least three faculty, including at least two members from the IE department , at least one from outside the department, and at least one from the UTSPH SWCOEH.  THese requirements are the same as those currently required for the Fogarty international trainees.

A formal thesis proposal must be submitted to the advisory committee and director of graduate programs within one semester after the advisory committee is selected and approved. The proposal defense may not be scheduled earlier than two weeks after all committee members have been provided a copy of the proposal.

A formal thesis defense follows the student's completion of their research.  The presentation is conducted in a formal setting in which the results of the research are presented.  The committee meets in closed session after the presentation to discuss and vote on the student's pass/fail grade.  Each student has two opportunities to pass their thesis defense.