New York University

Location: New York, New York
Department: Environmental Medicine, School of Medicine and Graduate School of Arts and Science

Quick links:

Program Background

Admission Requirements

Financial Assistance


Student Statistics

Application Process


Degree Requirements

Research/Teaching Opportunities


Directory of Graduate Programs



Title of program

Graduate Program of Ergonomics and Biomechanics

Year human factors/ergonomics program was established


Accredited by HFES?


Contact person for more information, including applications

Ali Sheikhzadeh, OIOC, New York University
63 Downing St, New York, NY 10014
212/255-6690, fax 212/255-6754

Catalog (free)

Ali Sheikhzadeh, OIOC/HJD, 63 Downing St., New York, NY 10014
212/255-6690, fax 212/255-6754

Web site

Academic calendar


Human factors/ergonomics graduate degrees offered

MS and PhD

Goals, objectives, and emphasis of the program

The Graduate Program of Ergonomics and Biomechanics (ERBI) is concerned with physical ergonomics and biomechanical analysis as related to physical activity. The program provides the analytical skills essential to understanding the development of musculoskeletal disorders, as well as the skills needed to manage preventive programs from initial occurrence to disability. The program trains students in basic research, study design, and the use of equipment and measurement techniques employed in ergonomic and biomechanical analysis. The curriculum starts with basic concepts, progresses to the development of analytical skills, and culminates in methods of practical application. Graduates learn to communicate with different disciplines and to integrate solutions to problems by generating ideas, presenting proposals, and facilitating management of projects within the scope of ergonomics and biomechanics. Students attracted to the ERBI program come from varied backgrounds such as medicine, physical and occupational therapy, occupational and environmental health, allied health, basic medical sciences, engineering, safety and health, industrial hygiene, industrial design, epidemiology, psychology, and kinesiology. The ERBI program is conducted at the Occupational and Industrial Orthopaedic Center (OIOC) of the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases. OIOC is an internationally recognized clinical, research, and educational center, and the faculty has both academic and practical experience.
Accreditation: Oxford Research Institute CAE. 

Number of degrees granted during last 3 years

5 PhD , 14 MS

Can students attend part-time?


Are required courses offered through distance learning?


Are required courses offered in the evening?


Does the university have an HFES student chapter?




Application deadline

April 15 (fall)

Application fees

$80 online, $90 paper copy



Minimum requirements

MS: a total mean GPA of B (3.0) or higher; undergraduate degree in health-related sciences, basic sciences, or engineering.

Acceptance into the MS program is based upon undergraduate grades, GRE scores, professional or academic experience, letters of recommendation, and an interview.

PhD: GPA: 3.0; GRE: 600 v, 600 q, 600 a; master's degree in natural or physical sciences, health sciences, or engineering

Importance of other criteria as admission factors

Research: medium (MS); high (PhD) 

Work experience: medium 

Letters: medium 

Interview: high

Tuition and fees

Resident and nonresident (estimated): $1,080 per point, nonreturnable registration and service fee; first point: $310 (fall) and $224 (spring), nonreturnable registration and service fee per point for registration after first point: $38



Number of students applying to the human factors/
ergonomics program last year

11 (MS), 3 (PhD)

Number of students accepted into the program last year

8 (MS), 2 (PhD)

Number of students entering the program last year

4 (MS), 2 (PhD)

Anticipated number of openings per year for the next two years

15 (MS); 3 (PhD)



Percentage of students in program receiving financial assistance

55% (including those with employee tuition benefits) 

Amount received per year


Types of assistance available

Fellowships, TA, RA, scholarship, loans, NIOSH ERC program offers two tuition awards for 8 credits each semester

When should students apply for financial assistance?

With application. For information on financial aid and alternative funding, visit http://gsas.
. For information on the ERC grant, contact Ali Sheikhzadeh at 212/652-1934.



Graduate degrees offered

MS and PhD

Number of units required

MS: 36 units (credits/points)

PhD: 72 units (credits/points)

Exams required

MS: none

PhD:  comprehensive exams, thesis defense

Language requirements


Research required

MS: independent study research

PhD: thesis research

Practical experience required

MS: none

PhD: none

Typical number of years required to obtain degree

MS: 1.5 full-time, 2–3 part-time years

PhD: 4–8

Is there a non-thesis option?




Required courses (units)

Biomechanics (4), Physical Biomechanics (4), Applied Biomechanics in the Analysis of Human Performance (4), Practicum in Biomechanics and Ergonomics (4), Ergonomic Issues I: Physical factors in the workplace (4), Ergonomic Issues II: Environmental factors in the workplace (4), Biostatistics (4), Research Methods in Ergonomics and Biomechanics (4) 
Electives: Independent Study (1–6)

Number of courses outside department that are required


Average or typical class size in a required course

maximum of 15



Research and support facilities available to students in the program: 

 Data Acquisition System consisting of general-purpose data acquisition software and a 32-channel, multifunction data acquisition board; Polhemus Liberty Tracker utilizing low-frequency magnetic field technology determines position and orientation of moving body segments relative to a source reference frame; 16-Channel Electromyography (EMG) System measures and analyzes electrical signals generated by muscles; Bruel & Kjaer Human Vibration Measurement Set measures vibration exposure on the human body; driving simulator.

Teaching opportunities available to students in the program:
Doctoral candidates are invited to assist the faculty in teaching.

Current research activities and projects being carried out by program faculty and/or students:
Effect of pure and combined loading on the recruitment patterns of trunk muscles; prevention of occupational low back pain; early predictors of delayed return to work in patients with low back pain; predictors of patient satisfaction; automobile instrument panel design; reach capabilities of older and younger drivers; ergonomic workplace and job analysis.



Current number of active students in program

11 (MS), 8 (PhD)

Current number of first-year students
in program


Based on current graduate students in the PhD program, the mean score on admission tests and undergraduate GPA by degree being sought are




Marco Campello, PhD 2002, NYU; CIE; disability guidelines, return to work, stay at work 

David Goldsheyder, MS 1990, NYU; CIE; biomechanics, workplace design 

Manny Halpern, PhD 1999, NYU, HFES member; CPE; ergonomics, workplace design, job analysis

Rudi Hiebert, MS 2004, Johns Hopkins U.; epidemiology, study design, injury prevention data base management, regression analysis 

Angela Lis, MA 2000, NYU; CIE; ergonomics, biomechanics, low back pain, predictors of disability

Margareta Nordin, Dr.Sci. 1982, U. Gothenburg (Sweden), HFES member; CIE; ergonomics, biomechanics, low back pain

Ali Sheikzadeh, PhD 1997, NYU; CIE; biomechanics, electromyography 

Sherri Weiser, PhD 1989 City U. of New York; biopsychosocial models, low back pain, occupational stress 

Diane Trainor, PhD 1989, NYU; environmental science, industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health

[Updated Winter 2007]