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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, which is ranked #1 in the United States by the National Academy of Kinesiology, 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 

alex medina & bot

Alumnus' donation of blood gives new life to USC Board of Trustees member

USC's Megan Sexton tells the story of how Arnold School alumnus Alex Medina (M.S. in Advanced Athletic Training, 2015) saved the life of fellow Gamecock and Board of Trustees Member J. Egerton Burroughs through a blood cell transplant.

Toni Torres-McGehee

Toni Torres-McGehee named president-elect for Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education

The director of athletic training programs and associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion has been chosen to lead the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education's Board of Commissioners as president-elect and then president.

Michael Beets

Health behaviors of children negatively impacted when learning virtually during pandemic

Exercise science researchers have completed a study comparing the health behaviors of children learning virtually vs in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic, finding worsening trends in physical activity, screen time and sleep among children when learning from home.

Sara Wilcox

Behavioral intervention helps women reduce weight retention when offered during pregnancy and postpartum

Researchers have shown that their theory-based lifestyle intervention is effective in helping women with elevated weight reduce the amount of gestational weight gain they retain after birth. This research was a part of the Health in Pregnancy Postpartum (HIPP) Study and was published in Obesity.

Jacob Turner

From patient to practitioner: physical therapy graduate completes degree to serve others

Jacob Turner’s path to becoming a physical therapist has been a personal one. Diagnosed at an early age with mild spastic diplegia, the Starr, South Carolina spent more than a decade of his life in the care of physical therapists.

Ciaran Fairman

Two Arnold School faculty members awarded Two Thumbs Up Awards from Student Disability Resource Center

Jim Mensch and Ciaran Fairman, both faculty members in the Department of Exercise Science, have been recognized by the Student Disability Resource Center for going above and beyond to support students with disabilities.


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