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Arnold School of Public Health

  • Students taking measurements while another student works out in a gym

Exercise Science

Exercise Science is an interdisciplinary field tying together traditional disciplines as biology, physiology, psychology, chemistry, physics, neuroscience, genetics, nutrition, and sociology to facilitate an understanding of the links between physical activity, exercise, fitness, performance, diet, and health.

Exercise Science has become an increasingly valued discipline within public health, the medical community, and even high-performance environments. Exercise has even been acknowledged for its role in the treatment of heart disease, hypertension, obesity, type II diabetes, cancer, depression, anxiety, and other chronic diseases & stress related disorders.

The mission of the Department of Exercise Science (EXSC) is to promote an environment of excellence and achievement in human health and performance. As part of our forward-thinking vision, EXSC is used as a resource to train the next generation of scientists and practitioners in the latest techniques and technologies in the field. In addition to advancing the science, we emphasize translation of this research for greater integration into practice and application.

The department’s Ph.D. program has consistently been ranked as one of the top 5 programs in the United States by the National Academy of Kinesiology. Our program prepares graduates for entry into positions in universities, colleges, research oriented settings, and industry. Specific areas of research specialties correspond to those listed for the departmental faculty.

Degrees Offered

In addition to the bachelor degree in exercise science, we offer four advanced degrees. Each graduate degree has specific application deadlines and requirements

Exercise Science News 

Faculty Awards

Faculty Award Winners recognized at annual Hooding Ceremony

The Arnold School is proud to announce the recipients of the 2024 Faculty Awards: James A. Keith Excellence in Teaching Award (Sheri Silfies), Faculty Research Award (Melissa Nolan), and Faculty Service Award (Toni Torres-McGehee).

EXSC award list

Exercise science recognizes seven students with department awards

The Department of Exercise Science has selected seven students from among those nominated by faculty members, to receive the 2024 Outstanding Exercise Science Student Awards.

Toni Torres-McGehee

USC Educational Foundation names Toni Torres-McGehee as winner of Outstanding Service Award

Just one year after receiving the top service award from the National Association of Athletic Trainers, Toni Torres-McGehee has been selected as the winner of the 2024 USC Educational Foundation Outstanding Service Award.

Tom Chandler

Tom Chandler returns to faculty role after 17 years as Dean of the Arnold School

A nationwide search is underway for the next dean of the Arnold School, and Chandler is prepared to hand over the reins after 17 years as its leader. His office is packed, and, here, he unpacks his reflections on his tenure as dean.

Kimberly Nardi

Athletic training graduate to work with professional, pre-professional athletes

After graduating in May, Professional Athletic Training Student Above and Beyond Award winner Kimberly Nardi will begin working with professional and collegiate athletes at a performance-based sports complex in Georgia.

kids with blocks

Does a USC-designed wearable device accurately measure daily activity and sleep for children? A new series of studies will tell

Exercise science assistant professor Bridget Armstrong has been awarded $3.5 million from the National Institutes of Health to test the effectiveness of PATCH, a wearable device designed to measure children's routine activities.


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