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Arnold School of Public Health

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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

Do you need help getting your kids to be more active?

Exercise science professor Russell Pate and student Aliyah Abrams talk to WIS TV about parent/caregiver resources for helping kids be physically active, compiled by the Children's Physical Activity Research Group. 

ASPH logo

Arnold School scholars to serve as principal investigators on 14 projects supported by 2021 ASPIRE grants

Faculty and postdoctoral scholars from across the Arnold School received funding through the Office of the Vice President for Research's Advanced Support for Innovative Research Excellence (ASPIRE) program.

Maddison Hauge

May graduate bringing athletic training expertise, public health focus to residency position at The Steadman Clinic

As an athletic trainer, Madison Hauge has developed expertise in examination, diagnosis and treatment. She has also learned the power of prevention and the need to focus on public health overall. 

Allison Smith

Ph.D. in Exercise Science graduate to pursue academic career focusing on female athlete triad, eating disorder risk, and body image dissatisfaction

During her program, Norman J. Arnold Doctoral Fellow Allison Smith developed research expertise in the female athlete triad, eating disorder risk in understudied populations and body image dissatisfaction. 

Ciaran Fairman

Ciaran Fairman brings exercise oncology expertise to Department of Exercise Science as assistant professor

Originally from Ireland, Fairman has studied in the United States and Australia. He is applying his resulting expertise to his work at the Arnold School, researching how exercise and nutritional interventions can target the side effects of cancer/treatment for individuals diagnosed with cancer.


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