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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 Motor Control and Rehabilitation

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)

 

Motor Control and Rehabilitation Emphasis

The purpose of this specialization is to prepare students for research and academic careers in the area of Motor Control and Rehabilitation. Closely aligned with the focus of the PhD in Motor Control and Rehabilitation is a four year Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT); this offers students a wealth of both clinical and laboratory research experiences and involvement in DPT courses that provide a rich, interdisciplinary environment for doctoral level study. Students take courses and engage in research that addresses different aspects of the following issues:

  • Evidence-based practice and outcomes in physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Musculo-skeletal pain syndromes and lumbar magnetic resonance imaging
  • Mechanisms underlying balance, gait and mobility in older adults, young children and special populations
  • Physical activity and its role in recovery of function after trauma
  • Physical activity and its role in cognitive and physical function in children and older adults
  • Perceptual-motor development, self image and psychological health in young children with/without developmental needs
  • Recovery of function following neurological insults: stroke, incomplete spinal cord injury, and children with hemispherectomy.

Upon entrance into the program, students meet with their primary advisor in the Division of Physical Therapy and Motor Control to outline their plan of study, research interests, and professional goals. Students complete a yearly progress report and meet with the primary advisor and/or division faculty to review progress and set academic, research and professional goals. Students are required to be involved in ongoing research in the division upon entering the doctoral program. Opportunities to present research or ideas for research and to become aware of ongoing research are provided through (a) a weekly Seminar Series in the Department of Exercise Science and (b) a bi-weekly informal seminar series organized through the Division of Physical Therapy and Motor Control. The PhD curriculum includes coursework in exercise science, research design and statistics, motor control, independent study and dissertation hours. Electives from areas such as physical therapy, medicine, psychology, health promotion epidemiology are encouraged.

Curriculum (PDF)

 

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