Lisa McDonnell is a fellow PhD student here at AUT. She’s very bright, and she credits much of her success to her former college. She attended Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. I was very intrigued by her master’s program, and I wanted to let my readers know about this university. If I could do it all over again I would have attended a school like Barry University.
1. Lisa, when you were searching for a master’s program, what sort of things were you looking for?
I wanted a sport-applied biomechanics program that allowed me to apply sport injury and performance perspectives in research. A graduate assistant position that provided work experience in the field of my interest was also an important factor. At the time, I was looking specifically for rowing coach positions. Barry University was the only institution that provided everything to me, so the decision was easy to make. I did not bother applying any place else.
2. Great list! What aspects about Barry University did you find enticing?
The University was very well equipped with top of the line 3D motion analysis systems, qualitative analysis software, electromyography, and force plates. Graduate level courses were scheduled for the evenings, so it supported students that worked throughout the day. The majority of graduate students worked on campus, so during the day we were able to collaborate in the field as well as ask questions related to assignments and projects. The small supportive community created at Barry University within a large vibrant cosmopolitan city also provided great balance. White sandy beaches, year-round warm weather, and being close to the Florida Keys and Bahamas provided a vacation-like feel which is what I really needed as I entered straight from a Bachelor of Science degree.
3. Sounds like an amazing school. Moving forward, what classes did you take for your master’s program?
Biomechanics Instrumentation: Videography, Force, EMG
Ethics and Social Issues in Sport
Motor Learning and Control
Scientific Programming in Movement Science
Advanced Studies in Applied Statistics
Advanced Exercise Physiology*
Advanced Exercise Physiology Lab*
*Biomechanics specialists were urged to take Gross Anatomy, but I had already studied Anatomy intensively throughout my Bachelor’s degree. My supervisor supported my desire to take Advanced Exercise Physiology even though it was only intended for Exercise Physiology majors. Other relevant coursework offered include: Injury Biomechanics and Applied Strength and Conditioning.
4. That’s a very comprehensive program! Why are these classes so important for a future strength & conditioning coach, therapist, or researcher?
The master’s program at Barry University focuses on critical review of research and practical skill development. It is the repetitive hands on skill development that is so important for future strength and conditioning coaches, therapists, and researchers. The Faculty have been very successful with grant writing and consequently Barry University has a vast array of equipment, so you will be exposed to far more equipment than you will need for the majority of your career. The work load was high but now I am aware of the technology available, and I have experience using it for immediate feedback, delayed feedback, performance monitoring, and measuring variables. I have also acquired practical sport industry experience, and teaching skills within the curriculum. As a result, numerous career opportunities are available to me now.
5. I agree! What other caveats did you find about the program along the way?
There were a lot of social events among the staff (including graduate assistant positions), so it creates a fun atmosphere and great networking opportunities. Though I was a rowing coach, I also earned additional funding providing per diem sport medical coverage as a Certified Athletic Trainer, lectured classes when Professors were unavailable, and was sought out to teach an indoor fitness class for the general student population. It is a great place for growing opportunities.
6. Do you feel that Barry University was the best choice out of all of the schools in the United States based on what you were looking for?
I am certain Barry University was the best choice for a Master of Science degree in Biomechanics for someone seeking an environment that supports applied sport performance research. There are a few comparable programs with regard to curriculum, but Barry University was the only place that offered a location near the beach not to mention everything else I was looking for.
7. Thank you for your time Lisa! Last question. Where can my readers go to find out more about Barry University and its Movement Science Program?
General information: http://www.barry.edu/movementsciencems/default.asp
Injury and sport biomechanics: http://www.barry.edu/hpls/MS/biomechanics/getAnEdge.htm
Exercise physiology: http://www.barry.edu/hpls/MS/exerciseScience/default.htm