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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 

Michael Beets

Exercise science professor Michael Beets uses NIH grant to understand causes of accelerated weight gain among children during summer vacation

Michael Beets, a children’s health researcher in the Department of Exercise Science, has been awarded a five-year grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. He will use the grant to study the etiology of accelerated weight gain during summer versus the school year.

Brainard Cooper

Fellowship honors impact of longtime athletic trainer Brainard Cooper

The fellowship will include support for students and faculty in addition to equipment and other needs. Having his name on the award is fitting after years of work by Cooper to impact the athletic training programs and countless future athletic trainers he helped mold while they were at South Carolina.

Abbi Lane-Cordova

Abbi Lane-Cordova publishes paper on connection between adverse pregnancy outcomes and long-term cardiovascular risks

The paper, which synthesizes the current information and knowledge gaps regarding the progression of adverse pregnancy outcomes to cardiovascular disease in women, was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology as the journal's review topic of the week.

EXSC Award Winners

Three graduating seniors receive 2019 Outstanding Exercise Science Awards

Three graduating seniors, from among those nominated by faculty members, have been chosen to receive the 2019 Outstanding Exercise Science Student Awards. This year’s winners are Emanuel Ayala, William Cosby and Makenzie Myers. 

Michael Byrnes

EXSC grad receives Outstanding Senior Award, preps for career in medicine

Michael Byrnes hails from a long line of Gamecocks. He was intrigued by the Arnold School’s exercise science program and the overall fun atmosphere that UofSC offered. To top it off, he received a great scholarship offer—cementing his decision to attend Carolina. 


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