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Arnold School of Public Health

Graduate Degree in Physical Activity and Public Health

Our Master of Public Health in Physical Activity and Public Health is the first academic program in the nation designed to prepare professionals to increase physical activity and improve health in populations.

As the sedentary lifestyle becomes the norm for an increasing number of the population, the risk of chronic disease is at an all-time high. The promotion of physical activity for people of all ages has become a top priority in public health. Are you interested in a career where you can have a direct impact on the physical activity levels and the health of those in your community, state, nation and beyond?

If this is your aspiration, then the Master of Public Health in Physical Activity and Public Health may be the degree program for you.

Application Deadline has been extended to June 1st, 2020.


Physical Activity and Public Health, MPH-PAPH

Our program will provide you with the essential knowledge, skills and experiences that will prepare you to design, implement and evaluate interventions to increase physical activity in populations. Recent graduates of the MPH-PAPH program are in mid-level positions, such as coordinator for the Safe Routes to School program in South Carolina, health educator for chronic disease prevention at the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and health educator of campus wellness programs at the University of South Carolina.

Students completing the MPH in Physical Activity and Public Health (PAPH) will be able to:

  • Explain the physiological responses to an acute bout of exercise and the physiological adaptations to chronic aerobic and resistance exercise.

  • Explain the health effects of physical activity and the scientific basis for current public health physical activity guidelines for persons in varying demographic groups.

  • Apply evidence-based strategies to develop a physical activity intervention.

  • Evaluate an evidence-based physical activity intervention.

  • Differentiate among and appropriately use measurement and surveillance techniques to assess physical activity at the population level.

Students in the PAPH MPH program will complete the public health core, described above, and take an additional 29 credit hours as follows (total 45 credit hours):

Physical Activity and Public Health Core (18 hours)
EXSC 780 (3) Physiology of Exercise
EXSC 700 (3) Physical Activity & Health: Epidemiology, Research, & Practice
EXSC 710 (3) Behavioral Aspects of Physical Activity
EXSC 754 (3) Community-based Physical Activity Interventions
HPEB 710 (3) Evaluation of Health Promotion Programs
EXSC 732 (3) Measurement of Body Composition & Associated Health Behaviors

Elective (3 hours)

Applied Practice Experience and Capstone Course (8 hours)
EXSC 796 MPH Capstone Course (2 hours)
EXSC 797 Public Health Practice (6 hours)

Learn how to apply.

In Fall 2019, the Arnold School of Public Health launched our redesigned MPH programs to meet new accreditation criteria from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).


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