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Arnold School of Public Health

Exercise Science

Exercise scientists study the relationship between exercise participation and human health, and research focuses on understanding why regular physical activity prevents disease and promotes health.

The mission of the Department of Exercise Science (EXSC) is to expand and disseminate the body of knowledge concerning the relationship between physical activity and human health.

Career opportunities exist in academic institutions, hospitals, medical clinics, research laboratories, physical therapy facilities, rehabilitation facilities, perceptual-motor development clinics, health and fitness centers, and public health agencies. Jobs in the field include clinical exercise physiologist, motor rehabilitation specialist, health fitness instructor, professor of exercise science, research scientist, physical therapist and cardiac rehabilitation program director.

The department’s Ph.D. program, which is ranked #1 in the United States by the National Academy of Kinesiology, prepares graduates for entry into positions in universities, colleges, research institutes and research oriented clinical settings. Areas of specialization are applied physiology, health aspects of physical activity, and motor behavior/rehabilitation. Specific research emphases correspond to those listed for the departmental faculty. The M.S. program allows students to emphasize expansion of research competence (for those who plan on pursuing a Ph.D. degree or further graduate study) or to focus on professional and clinical aspects of the field with concentrations in cardiac rehabilitation corporate wellness, and motor control/development.

The goal of the department’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program is to produce graduates who possess the skills necessary to be reflective practitioners and who can conduct clinical research and scholarly activity necessary for the advancement of physical therapy as an evidence-based profession.

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 

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2019-2020 SPARC Graduate Research Grants awarded to 12 Arnold School graduate students

Graduate students from across the Arnold School have earned 2019-2020 SPARC Graduate Research Grants from the UofSC Office of the Vice President for Research to fund individual scholarship initiatives.

Michael Beets

Researchers win $11.16 Million Grant to Launch a Research Center on Children’s Well-Being

Professor Ron Prinz (College of Arts and Sciences) landed an $11.16 million grant to establish the NIH Research Center for Child Well-Being with Exercise Science Professor Michael Beets and 15 other UofSC collaborators. 

Davis Moore

Research finds athletes with ADHD or learning disabilities at greater risk for incurring concussions, face harder recoveries

Members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association – Department of Defense Concussion Consortium have been presenting and publishing findings from a series of studies on concussions among athletes who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

Allison Lewis

Doctoral student awarded predoctoral fellowship from American Heart Association

After a few years as a physical therapist, Allison Lewis began looking at doctoral programs to better understand how to optimize clinical interventions and found her way to the Arnold School's Ph.D. in Exercise Science program (ranked No. 1 in the nation). 

Brooks Herring

Physical therapy student wins scholarship from National Strength and Conditioning Association Foundation

Brooks Herring, a 2018 graduate of the B.S. in Exercise Science program and a current student in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, has been awarded the 2019 Challenge Scholarship from the National Strength and Conditioning Association Foundation. 


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