Skip to Content

Arnold School of Public Health

  • Climbing a wall, tug of war, and barbell squats

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 

Jason Yang

Arnold Institute on Aging, Office for the Study of Aging awards inaugural Research Fellowship to Jason Yang

Chih-Hsiang (Jason) Yang has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Office for the Study of Aging Research Fellowship, which is designed to support Arnold School faculty and professional staff to conduct research in the multidisciplinary field of aging. Samaneh Nemati and Katherine DeVivo were named Graduate Scholars in Aging.

Stacy Fritz

UofSC researchers to acquire instrument for measurement of ground truth

Stacy Fritz, professor of exercise science and director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, is a co-investigator on a $500K National Science Foundation grant to bring and Omnipercipient Chamber to UofSC. 

Kelly Shepherd

December graduate makes UofSC and Doctor of Physical Therapy program a family tradition

Physical therapy appealed to Kelly Shepherd, who had always been physically active and appreciated the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. She also liked getting to know patients as individuals with specific goals.

Reed Handlery

Two-time Arnold School graduate (DPT, Ph.D. in Exercise Science) lands position as physical therapy assistant professor

After seven years at the Arnold School, Reed Handlery is leaving UofSC with the two highest degrees offered by the Department of Exercise Science: a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Ph.D. in Exercise Science. 

Steven Blair

Clarivate Analytics’ names Jamie Lead and Steven Blair to Highly Cited Researchers List once again

 SmartState Endowed Chair Jamie Lead (ENHS; CENR) and Distinguished Professor Emeritus Steven Blair (Epidemiology and Biostatistics; EXSC) have once again been included in the Clarivate Analytics’ Highly Cited Researchers List. 


More Arnold School News

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.