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Arnold School of Public Health

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

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 

DEI 2023 Awards

2023 DEI Awards announced

The Arnold School is pleased to announce the 2023 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards, which are designed to recognize alumni, faculty, staff and students who have made exceptional contributions to advancing DEI.

Sara Wilcox

A pound of cure

USC features the Prevention Research Center, which marked its 30th anniversary this year. The PRC partners with communities and churches to promote physical activity and healthy eating.


Propel mentorship makes grant writing tools accessible to early career faculty across the USC system

The USC Office of the Vice President for Research digs deep into the early-career grant proposal training program, Propel, including its origins in the Arnold School and the key faculty members who are making it happen. 

Dianne Ward

Former faculty member leaves legacy through research and founding exercise department, DSAC

It has been 25 years since Dianne Ward held a full-time appointment with the University of South Carolina, but the imprint she made during her time at the Arnold School and the continued collaborations in the decades since have only grown.

EXSC list

USC researchers demonstrate a commitment to fitness in S.C. and beyond

Exercise science faculty Russ Pate, Sarah Burkart, Glenn Weaver and Shawn Arent are featured for their work to advance physical fitness and combat obesity in this package of stories from USC.

Alicia Flach

Learning as you go

As both a clinician and an educator, Alicia Flach uses evidence-based learning in each of these roles. USC digs into the physical therapist/clinical associate professor/Galen Health Fellows faculty principal's approach. 

Sarah Burkart

Lullaby and good night

USC features the work of exercise science assistant professor Sarah Burkart, whose pilot project helps parents develop better sleep routines for school-age children.

Barbara Reager

Staff Spotlight: Barbara Reager

As the administrative coordinator tor the Department of Exercise Science, Barbara Reager serves as office manager - supporting the chair, faculty, staff and graduate students, and she coordinates the two exercise science master's programs.


More Arnold School News

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