Exercise Science is an interdisciplinary field with a foundation in traditional sciences including biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, statistics, anatomy, physiology, psychology, and nutrition. This foundation facilitates an understanding of systemic cellular, molecular, metabolic, and physiological (including musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, nervous, digestive, and renal systems) responses and adaptations to physical activity and how it relates to physical fitness, chronic disease prevention and treatment, and injury prevention and treatment. Additional topics include the neurophysiology of motor mechanics, effects of nutrition, environmental conditions, and sociological factors on physical activity, exercise participation, and performance.
An essential part of the curriculum involves the development of skills for the assessment of vital signs, health risk factors, physical activity, and physical fitness for the prescription of activity and exercise to meet specific health and performance goals for healthy people, those with chronic disease and disability, and athletes.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science and Sports Science is a challenging major with concentration options in fitness management, basic sciences, and allied health. In fitness management, a six credit hour internship is required and upon completion of the major degree requirements a minor degree in business administration is also awarded. In basic sciences, instruction in research methods is provided and research experiences are available. In allied health, a three credit hour field experience or certification preparation is required. For each concentration, along with classroom instruction, the student is provided with learning opportunities in the Exercise Physiology Laboratory, the USC Aiken Wellness Center, Athletics, and off-campus sites.
Upon completion of the Bachelor of Science degree, the graduate is prepared to seek a career in, exercise, health, wellness, rehabilitation, or to continue their education in specialized certification programs or graduate school programs such as physical therapy.