The methodology of the optimal design for the 6-UPU parallel mechanism (PM) is presented based on genetic algorithms. The optimal index which expressed by Jacobian matrix of the PM is first deduced. An optimal model is established, in which the kinematic dexterity of a parallel mechanism is considered as the objective function. The design space, the limiting length of the electric actuators and the limit angles of universal joints are taken as constraints. The real-encoding genetic algorithm is applied to the optimal design of a parallel mechanism, which is proved the validity and advantage for the optimal design of a similar mechanism.