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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 

Russell Pate

Arnold School researchers produce second supplement to report findings from the Healthy Communities Study

Faculty and staff from USC’s departments of exercise science, health promotion, education, and behavior, and psychology contributed to the issue, which was published in Pediatric Obesity.

ASPH logo

UofSC tops U.S. in sport science for third straight year

The University of South Carolina’s sport science programs are making an impact around the world, and the success has earned global recognition. The programs are ranked No. 1 in the United States for the third consecutive year in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.  

Jessica Krauss

May graduate will help rebuild Columbia community impacted by 2015 flood

In high school, Jessica Krauss was an athlete who studied health sciences through her school's science, math, and technology center and became interested in careers that connected sports/exercise to scientific study/applications.

EXSC maymester

Students learn about sports culture and personal perseverance during Maymester course in Italy and Greece

This year, the department offered An Overview of Sport Culture: From Ancient World to Present (EXSC 555). Faculty Barbara Cuevas, Morgan Collins, and Sara Corwin led students throughout Italy and Greece, learning about the history of sports.

Emily Meyerl

Student selected for three athletic training scholarships

The Arnold School’s athletic training program offered Emily Meyerl the array of clinical sites (e.g., USC sports, small/large high schools, other colleges, private practice clinics) she was seeking. 


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