Shawn M. Arent, Ph.D., Chair
The mission of the Department of Exercise Science is to expand and disseminate the body of knowledge concerning the relationship between physical activity and human health. A key objective of the Department of Exercise Science is to expand the body of knowledge in the exercise sciences by conducting and publishing research that contributes to an understanding of the following:
- effects of acute and chronic exercise on human function and health
- physiologic and biochemical mechanisms that underlie responses and adaptations to exercise
- physiologic responses to acute and chronic exercise in special populations including children, females, the elderly, chronic disease patients, and those with neurological and/or orthopedic impairments
- neuromuscular and neurophysiological processes associated with motor skill development
- developmental and aging aspects of motor function
- appropriate methods of designing and delivering physical activity programs for purposes of health enhancement, neuromuscular rehabilitation, and perceptual-motor functioning
- behavioral and psychosocial aspects of physical activity.
The Department of Exercise Science offers the following degrees: Master of Science in Athletic Training, Master of Science in Advanced Athletic Training, Master of Public Health, Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, and Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Master of Science in Athletic Training/Advanced Athletic Training
The UofSC AT Program is housed in the Department of Exercise Science in the Arnold School of Public Health. The UofSC AT Program has maintained its accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) since 1996.
The UofSC AT Program provides students with the theoretical knowledge and understanding of the athletic training profession in the context of the larger health care system as well as its current procedures and techniques in sport injury management. Students gain this knowledge through required coursework and clinical experiences as they prepare to make successful contributions to the athletic training profession. The program combines formal classroom instruction and clinical experiences in a process that culminates in the student graduating with eligibility to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) examination. Students who graduate from the program and subsequently pass the BOC examination will be qualified to be employed as an athletic trainer in a variety of settings, including NFL, MLB, NBA, professional soccer, Division 1 (FBS) colleges, secondary schools, youth sports, orthopedic clinics, hospitals, wellness centers, industry, NASCAR, Cirque du Soleil, US Military, performing arts, and many other places/settings.
Master of Public Health in Physical Activity and Public Health ( MPH-PAPH )
The 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. The MPH-PAPH program provides students with the essential knowledge, skills and experiences to design, implement and evaluate physical activity interventions. With the MPH-PAPH degree, there are many career opportunities in the areas of: health and wellness, active transportation to school, corporate wellness, transportation and community design, parks and recreation, chronic disease prevention, community-based physical activity interventions, policy and environmental change, and preparation for working in local and state health departments.
Master of Science (M.S.)
The Master of Science [JO1] (MS) degree in Exercise Science provides students with foundational content in exercise physiology, research methods and statistics and offers flexibility to select coursework in specific areas of interest, including: applied physiology, neuro-rehabilitation, and sports performance. With the MS in Exercise Science, there are many career opportunities in the areas of: strength and conditioning, sport science, performance nutrition, clinical exercise physiology, cardiac rehabilitation, physical rehabilitation, corporate fitness, health and wellness, research and preparation for additional graduate training (e.g., PhD, DPT, MD, PA). There are many opportunities to participate in ongoing research through assistantships and independent study courses. Students have the option of completing a thesis (focus on research training) or a project (focus on clinical or applied skills training).
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
The Ph.D. program in exercise science is designed to prepare students for research careers in the exercise sciences; graduates are trained for entry into positions in universities, colleges, research institutes and research-oriented clinical settings. Areas of research emphasis correspond to those of the departmental faculty. The Ph.D. degree requires an approved program of up to 60 hours beyond the baccalaureate degree. Students with a master’s or DPT degree admitted to the PhD program in Exercise Science, may complete the PhD program in Exercise Science by completing a minimum of 30 additional credit hours (including 12 credit hours of dissertation preparation). Students completing the PhD must meet minimum core requirements including at least 6 hours in Department of Exercise Science or specific area of emphasis, 6 hours in statistics and research design and 12 hours of dissertation preparation. Programs of study are developed by the student’s advisory committee and must conform to requirements described in the Graduate Studies Bulletin. Additional information may be found in the Handbook for Graduate Students in Exercise Science.
Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)
The Physical Therapy Program at the University of South Carolina offers students a unique opportunity to develop clinical physical therapy skills in an intimate learning environment. The 3 year Clinical Doctoral program starts in August of each year and admits a small class size that allows students an opportunity to get individualized instruction and closely interact with instructors. Students complete a research project focused on clinical practice and learn the value of evidence-based practice. Following completion of the DPT, students are eligible to sit for the national physical therapy licensure exam.
Program Requirements for Exercise Science Degree Programs
A listing of specific courses needed to meet these requirements is available in the department’s Handbook for Graduate Students in Exercise Science. Areas of research emphasis in all degree programs correspond to those of the departmental faculty.
Department Admission Requirements
Admission to the MS in AT program must be completed through ATCAS: http://atcas.liaisoncas.org/
Application forms for admission to the M.S. and Ph.D. graduate programs in Exercise Science may be obtained at http://gradschool.sc.edu/gap.
Applicants to the D.P.T. Program should submit an application through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (http://www.ptcas.org).
Applicants to the MPH program should submit an application packet through the School of Public Health Application Service (http://www.sophas.org).
Graduate assistantships are not ordinarily available to students enrolled in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. In some instances students may be offered a graduate assistantship during their final two years of study. All graduate assistantships must be related to the student’s research and approved by the program director.
Master of Public Health (MPH) in Physical Activity and Public Health
Applicants to the MPH-PAPH must meet the general requirements of the University of South Carolina Graduate School. Applicants must also have completed an undergraduate program with appropriate preparation in the field in which graduate work is to be undertaken. A demonstration of a broad educational background reinforced with public health interests and experiences in physical activity must be included.
International applicants to the Master of Public Health in Physical Activity program are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in order to meet admission requirements. Applicants whose native language is not English are also required to submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 230 (computer-based) or 570 (paper-based). The minimum acceptable overall band score on the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam is 6.5.
Applicants must include an official transcript from each school or college previously attended (all prior postsecondary school study must be represented). In addition, there must be at least three letters of recommendation and a detailed written statement indicating the applicant’s area of interest and career goals, along with a current and complete resume.
Other requirements include:
- graduated with a rank in the upper half of the class (GPA>3.00)
- acceptable GRE score of at least 900, combined verbal and quantitative sections (the 2004-05 incoming class averaged 460 on the verbal section and 562 on the quantitative section)
- an official transcript from each school or college previously attended (all prior postsecondary school study must be represented)
- a minimum of three letters of recommendation
- a detailed written statement describing the area of interest and specific career goals.
Master of Science (M.S.)
A four-year baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in exercise science, kinesiology, biology, chemistry, pre-med, nutrition, health sciences, physiology, psychology, public health, physical therapy, medical doctor, from an accredited institution
- Academic prerequisites: Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Grade point average of 3.00/4.00 or higher
- Satisfactory GRE scores
- For international applicants, a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - minimum score of 80 internet-based, 230 computer-based, or 570 paper-based or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Course Type 2 exam - minimum overall band score of 6.5. This requirement may be waived for applicants that have earned a prior degree from a US institution.
Resume or CV
- Statement of Purpose and Objectives describing your academic and research interests, relevant work experiences, academic/professional goals and objectives
- At least three letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional sources (at least one of these letters must be from an academic source)
- Official transcripts from all schools or colleges previously attended
- Non-US institution transcripts must be verified by World Education Services (WES) or equivalent evaluation service. Please submit a comprehensive course-by-course evaluation (WES ICAP)
- GRE scores
- TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for those whose native language is not English
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Applicants for the Ph.D. program in exercise science must have an earned baccalaureate degree in exercise science or related discipline from an accredited institution and should participate in a personal interview with the departmental admissions committee. A comprehensive academic profile is used in arriving at admission decisions. The following materials and standards are required:
- Graduate School application with stated desired area of research emphasis with the required, nonrefundable application fee
- Graduate Record Examination scores of 50th percentile or better on all three sections are preferred
- transcripts of all previous college/university work
- letters of recommendation from at least three professors with knowledge of the applicant’s academic performance
- a writing sample addressing future professional goals and specific research interests
- current curriculum vitae.
Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)
Applicants for the D.P.T. degree in the Department of Exercise Science must have an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. Applicants are reviewed for admission by a faculty committee and are formally approved by the Graduate School. The following materials and standards are required:
- Completed PTCAS Application
- Graduate Record Examination scores of 300 or better required on combined verbal and quantitative sections, and 3.5 on the writing section.
- Two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic and/or clinical skills
- Official transcripts from all previous college/university work (upon acceptance to the DPT Program)
- $80 supplemental application fee paid through the USC Marketplace
The applicant’s transcripts, regardless of major, must demonstrate successful completion or enrollment in the following prerequisites:
|General Physics 1||8|
|Anatomy and Physiology 1||8|
|Total Credit Hours||35|
Courses must include a laboratory.