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Graduate study at The Pennsylvania State University

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  • Graduate study at The Pennsylvania State University

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    Graduate study in Biomechanics at The Pennsylvania State University

    The Department of Kinesiology and the Biomechanics Laboratory at The Pennsylvania State University offer comprehensive advanced training in the biomechanics of human motion. Applications for Fall 2002 admissions and financial aid are now being accepted for the Ph.D. degree program.


    This unique and rigorous program includes advanced coursework in biomechanics and neighboring fields of science, weekly colloquia and seminars, apprenticeship in the biomechanics laboratory and instructional mentoring. Students develop a coherent area of expertise by designing an academic program that includes introductory and advanced graduate courses in classes such as Experimental Methods in Biomechanics and Motor Control, Advanced Biomechanics of Human Movement, Modeling in Biomechanics, Sports Biomechanics, Locomotion Studies, Musculoskeletal Mechanics, Forensic Biomechanics, Motor Control, Motor Learning, Neurophysiological Basis of Movement, Psychophysiology of Movement, Applied Muscle Physiology, Skeletal Physiology, Advanced Exercise Physiology, Engineering of Human Work, and others. In addition to the courses offered by the Department of Kinesiology, students take classes in other areas, such as Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, and Psychology. Additional advanced courses, including research seminars, are also offered. Some background in the biological sciences is desirable for this curriculum; a good aptitude for math/mechanics is crucial. Fluent English is required.


    The Biomechanics Laboratory is well equipped to do research in various fields of human movement biomechanics. The Laboratory occupies approximately 2200 square feet of space divided into 7 rooms.

    Areas of research currently being conducted are: finger coordination in dexteral tasks involving several digits, force sharing among fingers as a model of the redundancy problem,, biomechanics and control of manipulation in carpal tunnel patients, hand biomechanics and biomechanics of standing posture and balance maintenance. A continuing focus for many of the research projects will be analyzing the biomechanical aspects of motor control problems especially manipulation of the hand-held objects. This direction of research combines biomechanics, motor control, robotics and clinical disciplines. The Laboratory has unique equipment to perform this research.


    Applications for admission and financial aid should be received by

    the Graduate School Admissions Office no later than January 20, 2002. The available assistantships are for approximately $11,000/year and include a tuition remission. For admission of a student into the Biomechanics Program, the main considerations are: (a) the course background of the student (science courses, including Physics, Mechanics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Anatomy, Physiology, etc.); (b) the student's mathematics ("quantitative") GRE score, which should be at least in the high 600's, and preferably in the 700's (the verbal and analytical GRE scores are less important, although the University requires combined scores in two of the three measures (verbal, quantitative, analytical) above 1000; and (c) the student's record of interest and

    academic performance in the biomechanics of human movement. Outstanding students from the biological and engineering sciences are encouraged to apply. For more information about the program, please visit our lab homepage at the address "".

    Candidates should send a letter of interest to: Prof. Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, Director, Biomechanics Laboratory, 39 Recreation Hall, University Park, PA

    16802, Phone: (814) 865-3445, Fax: (814) 865-2440, E-mail:

    If you are seriously considering Graduate Work at Penn State, please request Department and University information from:

    Jennifer Parkes

    Penn State University

    Kinesiology Department

    146 Recreation Building

    University Park, PA 16802


    (814) 863-0847

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