PhD Degree in Ergonomics and Biomechanics - FAQ

What is the ERBI Program?

The ERBI program combines the sciences of ergonomics and biomechanics. The science of ergonomics (or human factors) is concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system. Ergonomics applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. Biomechanics combines physics and engineering with human anatomy and physiology to study how movement and force affect the human body. The ERBI program is concerned with physical ergonomics and biomechanical analysis as related to physical activity.

Why do students pursue a degree in Ergonomics and Biomechanics at New York University?

The ERBI program is the only accredited degree program that combines the fields of ergonomics and biomechanics. Such training is essential for assuming effective leadership positions in the fields of injury and disability control. The program provides the analytical skills essential to understand the development and management of musculoskeletal disorders. The program trains students in basic research, study design, and the use of equipment and measurement techniques employed in ergonomic and biomechanical analysis. This multidisciplinary program integrates research findings into practical applications to prepare the student to apply these skills in future careers.

How does the program prepare graduates for a career?

The program balances theory and practice to prepare students to serve as effective and innovative professionals. The curriculum starts with basic concepts, progresses to the development of analytical skills and culminates in methods of practical application. In addition, graduates learn to communicate with different disciplines to integrate feasible solutions to problems by generating ideas, presenting proposals and facilitating project management within the scope of ergonomics and biomechanics.

What type of careers does the degree lead to?

ERBI graduates have successfully pursued or enhanced their careers in many fields including laboratory engineering, research coordinating, clinical consulting, healthcare services, and/or occupational health and safety. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of our program our students are marketable in a variety of industries such as biomedical manufacturers, product design companies, insurance companies, health care organizations, health and safety organizations, and disability management organizations, to name a few.

Who are our students?

Students attracted to the ERBI program come from all over the world with varied backgrounds such as engineering, psychology, allied health professions, medicine, occupational and environmental health, industrial design, epidemiology, exercise physiology and kinesiology, to name just a few. Our students are bright and inquisitive and demonstrate the ability to engage in creative multidisciplinary problem solving. We expect from our students to be able by the end of the program to communicate and contact different disciplines, create feasible solving situations to musculoskeletal problems, generate ideas, present proposals and facilitate project management within ergonomics and biomechanics scope.

Who are the faculty members?

The ERBI faculty is made up of a multidisciplinary group of researchers and clinicians, who are internationally recognized and participants in cutting edge research in ergonomics and biomechanics. The faculty collaborates with research facilities in the US and abroad and publishes numerous scholarly works in related areas of study. Faculty members are active researchers and may offer students research assistant opportunities.

Can I work full time and pursue this degree?

While completing your courses, whether or not you can work full time will be determined by your relationship with your current employer, the number of credits taken and your capacity to handle the load of work and study. Most of the courses begin at 5:30 p.m. and meet once a week. However, as a full time student you will be required to take 12 credits (3 courses, 3 nights a week). There is an option to pursue the MS degree as a part time student, following a very specific course schedule.

How long will it take to earn a degree?

The MS program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. All students begin the program in the Fall semester. A full-time student is expected to complete the program in a year and a half. Part time students can complete the program in 2 to 5 years depending on their individual schedules.

What are the greatest strengths of the program in Ergonomics and Biomechanics?

  • ERBI is the only degree program that combines ergonomics and biomechanics.
  • Our multidisciplinary faculty is recognized for their achievements both nationally and internationally.
  • Our program is designed to provide theory, application and train students in sound methodological research. In addition, ERBI is a participant in the New York/New Jersey NIOSH Education and Research Center (ERC), which provides our students with exposure to faculty of occupational safety and health.
  • We provide students with a favorable student to faculty ratio.
  • Our close affiliation with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Department of Environmental Medicine, Graduate School of Art and Science, New York University allows for dynamic guest lecturers and contact with other researchers and clinicians.
  • Our students can choose between full time and part time studies, and we have a high rate of graduation for both Master’s and PhD students.

Are there opportunities to participate in research while working towards my degree?

There may be opportunities for you to assist with research while pursuing your degree. This will depend on your interests, faculty needs and ongoing research projects.

Can I take courses in other schools at NYU or in other universities?

The Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC) offers eligible GSAS students the opportunity to take graduate courses at distinguished universities throughout the greater New York area to supplement their ERBI courses. The IUDC has been in existence for over 25 years and offers students an enormous array of courses and opportunities for contact with faculty and students in their fields.

For more information contact:

Ali Sheikhzadeh, PhD: 212-652-1934