Program: M.S., Assistive Technology Engineering

Program Description

Notice: The M.S. in Assistive Technology Engineering has been suspended as of Fall 2023.

The online Master of Science in Assistive Technology Engineering (ATE) serves new entrants and midcareer professionals who want to focus or reorient their careers in the fields of biomedical engineering and assistive technology. The program provides graduates with the knowledge, technical skills and managerial abilities needed for success in specific areas of professional practice and for leadership in the field. Additionally, the program prepares graduates to become innovative and cross-discipline team leaders in the biomedical engineering and assistive technology fields.

The degree program is a joint effort among three colleges: the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Health and Human Development, and The Tseng College of Extended Learning. The distinctive feature of this program is the collaborative effort of the design and delivery of the curriculum, drawing upon expertise from various colleges at CSUN and regional and national practitioner groups. The core curriculum covers the essentials of anatomy, biology and human factors. Beyond the core curriculum, engineering design and development, instrumentation and measurement, applied biomechanics and motor control, robotic applications and control interfaces, augmentative and alternative communication, software development and project management constitute topics for this unique program.

The program is offered in a cohort format with an integrated curriculum, ensuring that one course builds upon another and that assignments are designed within and across courses. The cohort approach has proven to be effective for working professionals in terms of ensuring high student retention and completion rates. The online instruction mode provides scheduling flexibility and learning optimization to the cohort students, which attracts prospective applicants to the program during recruitment launches.

This program is available through self support (funded entirely by student fees and offered in a cohort format) in partnership between one of the CSUN academic colleges and The Tseng College.

Program Requirements

A. Requirements for Admission to the Program

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college majoring in engineering, computer science, physical or biological sciences with a GPA of 2.5 or above.
  2. Relevant work experience in the field of assistive technology will be considered in lieu of a bachelor’s degree in the above fields. (Note: This is not waiving a bachelor’s degree requirement. It is only considering other undergraduate majors who have relevant work experience in the field.)
  3. Approval by the coordinator of the ATE program, who will review the application to determine if the student shows high promise of success in the program.

B. For Advancement to Classified Status

A cumulative 3.0 GPA in all work undertaken since the time of admission into the ATE program, with no ATE course grade below a “C.”

C. For the Degree

  1. Completion of 33 units required by the ATE cohort program, including 30 units of coursework and 3 units of the culminating Graduate Project.
  2. All coursework in the student’s graduate program must be completed with a “C” or better while maintaining an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  3. Successful passage of a final oral defense, based on the content of the written project report.

D. Coursework

The ATE degree program includes 10 courses (3 units each) and a culminating graduate project (3 units) for a total of 33 units. Research and development components are embedded in interdisciplinary seminars and the graduate project for a total of 6 units. The course grades for the interdisciplinary seminars (ATE 694) and the graduate project (ATE 698) are CR/NC. The ATE is a two-year program, which includes two Fall terms, two Spring terms and two Summer terms for a total of six terms. The course scheduling allows students in the cohort group to take two to three courses per term, typically toward the completion of the degree.

All coursework in the student’s graduate program must be completed with a “C” or better. No grade below a “C” can be counted in the formal program. Any grade of “C-” or below in the formal program must be repeated after an approved course repeat form has been filed. If the student does not receive a “C” or better on the second attempt, the student will be disqualified from the program. A maximum of 6 units in the formal program may be repeated at the graduate level. The repeat grade will appear on the transcript. Students who fail to pass any coursework in the program may repeat the course when it is offered in the next cohort program cycle.

1. Required Courses (30 units)

ATE 501 Functional Biology Biomaterials, and Design Innovation (3)
ATE 502 Seminar in Human Characteristics in Relation to Usability of Assistive Technologies (3)
ATE 603 Applied Biomechanics and Motor Control (3)
ATE 604 Instrumentation and Measurement (3)
ATE 605 Robotic Applications and Control Interface in Assistive Technology (3)
ATE 606 Assistive Technology Software Development and Applications (3)
ATE 607 Product Design and Development for Assistive Technology (3)
ATE 608 Augmentative and Alternative Communication (3)
ATE 609 Assistive Technology Project Management (3)
ATE 694 Current and Emerging Topics in Assistive Technology (1-1-1)

2. Culminating Experience (3 units)

ATE 698 Graduate Project (3)

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 33


Master of Science in Assistive Technology Engineering
Academic Lead: Li Liu
(818) 677-7802

Staff: Jesse Knepper
(818) 677-4415

Staff: Heather Leohner
(818) 677-4642

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Master of Science in Assistive Technology Engineering will be able to:

  1. Evaluate various assistive technologies and their current applications.
  2. Design and develop new assistive technology products.
  3. Describe and interpret regulatory policies and apply ethical considerations in the development of assistive technology products.
  4. Lead a multidisciplinary team in the assistive technology environment.
  5. Apply the principles of human-technology interaction to the development of assistive technology products.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in written and oral presentations and to think critically across the multidisciplinary fields that encompass assistive technology.