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Horseshoe

Degree | Doctoral in Exercise Science

The PhD program is designed to prepare students for research careers in the exercise sciences. Graduates are trained for entry into positions in universities, colleges, research institutes, research-oriented governmental settings, and research-oriented clinical settings.

Upon entrance into the program, students meet with their primary advisor and the Division faculty to outline their academic, research, and professional goals and interests. Students will complete a progress report and meet with the Division faculty on a yearly basis to review progress and set academic, research, and professional goals.

Students are expected to become involved in research upon starting the doctoral program. The Department of Exercise Science holds a weekly Seminar Series where students have the opportunity to present their research to other MS and PhD students and faculty in the department.

The three areas of emphasis for the PhD Degree in Exercise Science include: Applied Physiology, Health Aspects of Physical Activity, and Rehabilitation Sciences.

Applied Physiology Emphasis

The purpose of this specialization is to prepare students for research and academic careers in the area of Applied Physiology. Students take courses and engage in research that addresses the following questions:

  • What are the physiological mechanisms that are induced by diet and exercise at the systemic and tissue level that lead to improved health?
  • What are the physiological mechanisms by which exercise and diet can reduce co-morbidities and improve survival in patients already diagnosed with an underlying disease?
  • What are the biological mechanisms induced by diet and exercise that mediate improvements in physical and mental performance?

Upon entrance into the program, students meet with their primary advisor in the Division of Applied Physiology to outline their plan of study, research interests, and professional goals. Students will complete a yearly progress report. The student’s primary advisor and division faculty will determine if satisfactory progress towards their degree and goals is being accomplished. Students are expected to become involved in on going research projects in the division upon entering the doctoral program.

The PhD curriculum includes coursework in advanced exercise science, statistics, research design, and research seminar. The student will also be required to form a cognate of specialization which can include electives from such areas as biology, physiology, immunology, and biochemistry, as well as, independent study and dissertation hours.

Curriculum (PDF)

 

Health Aspects of Physical Activity Emphasis

The purpose of this specialization is to prepare students for research and academic careers in the area of physical activity and health. Students take courses and engage in research that addresses the following types of questions:

  • How does physical activity impact physical and mental health?
  • What is the epidemiology of physical activity, physical inactivity, and associated conditions in diverse populations?
  • What are the factors, ranging from individual to environmental and policy levels, that influence physical activity participation in diverse populations of children, adolescents, and adults? and
  • What strategies and approaches are most effective in increasing physical activity in diverse populations of children, adolescents, and adults?

Upon entrance into the program, students meet with their primary advisor and the Division of Health Aspects of Physical Activity faculty to outline their academic, research, and professional goals and interests. Students will complete a progress report and meet with the Division faculty on a yearly basis to review progress and set academic, research, and professional goals. Students are expected to become involved in research upon starting the doctoral program.

The PhD curriculum includes coursework in exercise science, research methods and statistics, electives from such areas as epidemiology, health promotion, and psychology, and dissertation hours.

Curriculum (PDF)

 

Rehabilitation Sciences Emphasis

The Ph.D. program is designed to prepare students for research careers in the study of Rehabilitation Sciences. Graduates are trained for entry into positions for universities, colleges, research institutes, research-oriented governmental settings, and research-oriented clinical settings.

Upon successful completion of this program, the graduate will be able to function as an independent researcher competent in designing, implementing, analyzing, and disseminating original research.  In addition, the graduate will be prepared to teach as a productive faculty member at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional level.

The faculty of the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences includes individuals with a wide variety of research expertise, teaching experience, and clinical backgrounds in rehabilitation and motor behavior.  The research programs in the division address many areas of scientific inquiry including:

  • Evidence-based practice and outcomes in physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Optimization of rehabilitation after stroke and brain injury
  • Neural and behavioral basis of motor control and motor learning
  • Posture-balance-gait-mobility in older adults and special populations
  • Epidemiology, assessment, and treatment of  musculoskeletal pain syndromes
  • Biologic basis for musculoskeletal pain
  • Development of quantitative assessment tools for gaze-motor control, eye-hand coordination, and visual cognition
  • Robotic assessment of sensorimotor development in children, adolescents, athletes and individuals with neurological insult
  • Enhancing neurorehabilitation using non-invasive brain stimulation
  • Physical activity and its role in recovery of function after disease and trauma in older adults
  • Patient satisfaction with care
  • Health services utilization

Upon entrance into the program, students meet with their primary advisor in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences to outline a plan of study, research interests, and professional goals. Students complete a yearly updated plan of study and meet with the primary advisor to review progress regarding academic, research and professional goals. Students are required to be involved in ongoing research in the division upon entering the doctoral program.

Curriculum (PDF)

 

Columbia, SC 29208 • 803-777-5267 • sphweb@mailbox.sc.edu