Biomechanics is the branch of kinesiology, or the study of body movements, that studies how the body performs mechanical functions. Scientists working in the area determine how joints and tendons can function optimally in different situations. This science is used to improve athletes performance in sports and to help people who have suffered orthopedic and muscle injuries. Individuals who want to work in biomechanics first study and receive training while in college at most levels. Different types of biomechanics degrees available include undergraduate, master's, and special degrees in engineering offered by some colleges.
Athletics organizations such as professional sports teams and Olympic training groups may hire biomechanics engineers and scientists to ensure their athletes are moving in the best, quickest way possible. Training in biomechanics can allow a scientist to study movement and suggest subtle improvements that can safely improve total speed and performance. Biomechanics degree holders can work with therapists and orthopedic doctors to help patients recover when they have experienced injury or a debilitating illness. Engineers in biomechanics are working on improving prosthetic arms and legs to help a patient's quality of life.
Biomechanics degrees are offered at most levels of the college process. Undergraduate degrees are available at select colleges, while most people major in kinesiology and attend graduate school to further continue their careers. Degrees can be engineering focused, or they can be more geared towards research science.
Individuals interested in finding colleges that offer biomechanics degrees may want to decide if they want to attend graduate school or find a job immediately after completing their undergraduate education. Many colleges have kinesiology programs that can begin a student's education in the field before they can formally begin working towards an actual degree in biomechanics at the graduate level. Some colleges offer special biomechanics degrees that focus on engineering. These programs are typically completed at the end of a graduate degree program, and may last several semesters.
Schools that have kinesiology and biomechanics degrees can offer courses in a variety of topics including animal biomechanics and applied mechanical analysis. It also possible to earn a doctorate degree in biomechanics once a master's degree is completed. The doctorate degree may require a special research project and thesis completion and presentation before the degree can be awarded. While working towards degree completion, individuals may want to take courses in three-dimensional modeling and structures as the software is used frequently in biomechanical research. Students may also want to attempt to gain an internship or assistant position working in a engineering laboratory that focuses on studying biomechanics.