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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 

Bridget Armstrong

Assistant professor Bridget Armstrong looks for unique behavioral patterns to help address childhood obesity

Armstrong joined the Arnold School’s Department of Exercise Science as an assistant professor this fall, where she will continue her research into how heath behaviors unfold over time in increments that range from minute-to-minute/hour-to-hour to days, weeks or even years.

Marching Band Study

Athletic training researchers investigate heat-related health effects on university marching band musicians

Researchers at the Arnold School and the University of Kansas have completed the first phase of a study examining the health effects of practicing or performing in high environmental temperatures among university marching band musicians. 

Sara Wilcox

Prevention Research Center awarded CDC funding to re-up for another five years

The CDC has announced recipients of the 2019-2024 funding cycle for the Prevention Research Center network. UofSC was among the 25 academic institutions to receive the grants, which provide funding support to conduct applied public health prevention research.  

Patrick Magee

Exercise science alumnus and SC Army National Guard pursues career as physician assistant to protect health of South Carolinians

South Carolina native Patrick Magee joined the South Carolina Army National Guard shortly after graduating from high school in Camden where he grew up. In the eight years since then, he’s been on one deployment and two activations for state emergencies. 

Toni Torres-McGehee

Toni Torres-McGehee receives Academic Leadership Development Program Alumni Fellowship from the SEC

The SEC has selected Toni Torres-McGehee, associate professor of exercise science and director of athletic training programs for the athletic training program, to receive one of the conference’s two Academic Leadership Development Program Fellowships. 


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