Graduate Academic Programs

Master's Degree Programs

Master of Science in Kinesiology Degree (MSK), Biomechanics Major

Description of Program

When a good performance is achieved in a sport, this is due in part to the athlete's physical condition. But in part it is also due to the athlete's technique: to the amount of skill in the athlete's motions. The main goal of sport biomechanics is to understand the cause-effect mechanisms that make some sport techniques better than others, and ultimately to find the optimum technique.

New graduate Biomechanics students (both M.S. and Ph.D.) are admitted only every other year.  They start attending classes in the Fall of even-numbered years; the application process should be started during the Fall Semester of the previous year.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 35 credit hours is required for the biomechanics program.  The Master of Science in Kinesiology degree must include a minimum of 20 credits from the Department of Kinesiology.  A minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) is required for graduation. A minimum grade of C– is required in each course. All electives for completing the degree must be approved by the advisor.

Complete each of the following core courses (18 cr.):

  • SPH-E 651 Epidemiology (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 530 Mechanical Analysis of Human Performance (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 535 Physiological Basis of Human Performance (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 501 Introduction to Statistics in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-X 505 Public Health Foundations and Leadership (3 cr.)
  • SPH-X 590 Introduction to Research in Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation (3 cr.)

Complete one of the following three core courses (3 cr.):

  • SPH-K 541 Nature and Basis of Motor Skill (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 542 Neuromuscular Control of Movement (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 543 Cortical Control of Human Movement (3 cr.)

Complete a minimum of 9 credits from the following biomechanics emphasis courses:

  • SPH-K 599 Master's Thesis (5 cr.)
  • SPH-K 630 Biomechanics of Human Performance (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 631 Quantitative Mechanical Analysis of Human Motion (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 691 Readings in Physical Education (1 cr.)
  • SPH-K 693 Independent Study and Research (2 cr.)

Complete electives to reach the required minimum 35 credits.
The following courses are recommended as electives:

  • CSCI-A 592 Introduction to Software Systems (3 cr.)
  • CSCI-A 593 Computer Structures (3 cr.)
  • CSCI-A 594 Data Structures (3 cr.)
  • CSCI-A 597 Introduction to Programming I (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 524 Exercise and Physical Activity for People with Disabilities (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 533 Advanced Theories of High Level Performance (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 541 Nature and Basis of Motor Skill (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 542 Neuromuscular Control of Movement (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 543 Cortical Control of Human Movement (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 578 Cognitive Ergonomics (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 588 Ergonomics (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 636 Cardiopulmonary Assessment Lab (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 641 Topics in Motor Integration (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 651 Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 694 Seminar in Human Performance (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 705 Experimental Laboratory Techniques: 3D Filming (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 502 Intermediate Statistics in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 601 Experimental Analysis and Design (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 602 Multivariate Statistical Analysis (3 cr.)
Special Opportunities

The main research tool in sport biomechanics is motion analysis, in which the three-dimensional (3D) locations of a number of anatomical points are obtained through film, video, or other optical/electronic methods during a sports activity, and then used as input to computer programs for the calculation of other mechanical information.

At the Biomechanics Laboratory in the SPH Building, we develop new research methodologies for biomechanics, investigate the techniques used in a variety of sports, and apply the information obtained through this research to the improvement of the techniques of elite athletes.

Our work on methodology development has included 3D motion analysis methods, computer graphics, calculation of mechanical parameters of human motion, and computer simulation. We have analyzed the techniques used in running, jumping, and throwing in track and field, pitching and batting in baseball/softball, the tennis serve, and soccer kicking, among other sports activities. Our laboratory has received funding from USA Track and Field, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and the International Olympic Committee to analyze the techniques of elite track and field athletes in various events and to provide advice to their coaches. For further information, see:

How to find the Biomechanics Lab (SPH 071): Turn left as you walk out of the School of Public Health - Bloomington Library. At the end of the hallway, turn right, and walk through the green doors. SPH 071 is the next-to-last door on the left.

  • Careers for the M.S. degree—Preparation toward Ph.D. programs; coaching
  • Careers for the Ph.D. degree—University researcher/faculty member; gait analysis; sport technique consultation

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