Master of Science

The Master of Science degree in Biomechanics was established in Fall 2016, and remains the only true biomechanics graduate degree in the state of West Virginia.

The mission of the our M.S. program in Biomechanics (MSBiomech) is to prepare students for advanced studies in human movement science, medical career paths such as physical therapy and medicine, and employment in areas of exercise science (research associates, laboratory technicians, academia). The MSBiomech would prepare students to enter a variety of career paths. The biomechanics field is diverse; therefore job descriptions are just as diverse. Often jobs are in research and development with specialization in orthopedics or movement analysis. Specialization in orthopedics involves working with orthopedic surgeons in research and development of surgical procedures, instrumentation and equipment. Movement analysis is related to investigation of injuries (cause and prevention) or performance. Movement analysis utilizes instrumentation including high speed cameras, force measurement, electromyography and computer software to analyze human movement. This is often related to technique analysis and/or the design and development of equipment. Gait analysis (e.g., walking, running) is a common area of interest for biomechanics, although all aspects of human movement are investigated. Biomechanists work with physicians, physical therapists, athletic trainers, coaches, and athletes in determining the efficiency of movement for preventing injuries and improving performance. These affiliations along with access to the latest technology in research equipment and software make for a perfect environment for this major.

Students who choose to specialize in Biomechanics at the masters, typically, these students come from areas such as Athletic Training, Physical Therapy, or Exercise Science, and many have specialized in biomechanics at the master’s level. They complete courses on topics such as:  Human Biomechanics, Biomechanical Instrumentation, Human Locomotion, Kinesiology, Electromyography, Exercise Physiology, and Research and Statistics. Our research focus is on the application of biomechanics to the solution of applied problems. Thus, the student’s research is often an extension of a problem that they may have encountered through their own professional and clinical experience. All students have the chance to work within our Marshall University Biomechanics Lab, which is home to state-of-the-art motion sensors and equipment necessary for any biomechanist.