Univ of SC Arnold School of Public Health  

Columbia,  SC 
United States
  • Booth: 203

Welcome to the Arnold School of Public Health virtual booth!

Established in 1975, the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina continues to experience major growth in student enrollment and faculty research funding. We have a broad range of academic programs, world-renowned areas of research expertise and far-reaching centers and community programs. The Arnold School of Public Health is improving public health by preparing future scholars and the public health work force as well as conducting, translating and disseminating groundbreaking research. Our six departments are home to nationally recognized faculty, award-winning students, and impactful research and community engagement activities.

The Arnold School of Public Health has been fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) since 1977 and remains the only accredited School of Public Health in South Carolina. In addition to our CEPH accreditation, many of our programs hold program-specific accreditation.  Visit our accreditation page for more details.

Prospective graduate students apply to the Arnold School of Public Health using different application methods depending on the graduate degree program. Before you apply, review the application process and requirements carefully.  If you have questions or require additional support, please contact our Office of Graduate Student Services or the departmental graduate director for your chosen area of study.

View Arnold School faculty and staff opportunities by visiting the USC Jobs Website and then choosing "Arnold School of Public Health" in the department menu. From the great city of Columbia to our comprehensive benefits, we also invite you to learn some of the many reasons for working at USC.


Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina

 Press Releases


  • Athletic Training
    Learn more about the Master of Science in Athletic Training and Master of Science in Advanced Athletic Training at the Arnold School of Public Health....

  • Degrees Offered

    We currently offer both a Professional Athletic Training Program and a Master of Science in Advanced AT. 

    Professional Athletic Training Program (CAATE-Accredited)

    The Professional AT Program at USC is currently transitioning from the Bachelor's level to the Master's level. This program is for students interested in becoming a certified athletic trainer. If you are interested in becoming a certified athletic trainer, please click on our New MS in Athletic Training link below:

    Post-Professional Program

    This is an advanced degree for practicing athletic trainers. Students applying for this degree must already be a certified athletic trainer by the BOC. 

  • Communication Sciences and Disorders
    Learn more about graduate programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the Arnold School of Public Health....

  • Master's Degree Program

    The COMD master's degree program has been continuously accredited for 30 plus years by the Council of Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and has two versions of the Master’s degree: Master of Science (residential/on-campus; full-time) and Master of Science (distance education). The degree is designed to prepare students for the clinical practice of speech-language pathology. Graduates are eligible for national certificationstate licensure, and South Carolina teacher certification.

    Master of Science (residential/on-campus; full-time)

    The residential, full-time MS degree is offered via the traditional, on-campus modality. Students admitted to the residential program must be continuously enrolled on a full-time basis for two calendar years. While a student's undergraduate major, and post baccalaureate courses, are not a consideration for admission, the point of entry into the MS (residential/on-campus) program [pdf] is dependent upon previous coursework, clinical observation, and practica completed. Students begin the program during fall semester, provided they have completed a minimum of 25 clock hours of supervised observation plus three semester hours of coursework with a grade of B or higher in each of the following:

    • anatomy & physiology of the speech & hearing mechanism
    • phonetics
    • language development
    • articulation disorders

    All other students enter the program in the summer to complete the above courses.

    A limited number of graduate assistantships and/or stipends are available on a competitive basis. These may provide out-of-state students with lower in-state tuition rates.

    In addition to a broad-based training in communication sciences and disorders (infants through adults), the Department offers opportunities for students to pursue additional course work and practicum in several areas. These include, but are not limited to: 1) long-term rehabilitation of neurogenic speech-language disorders (with particular emphasis on traumatic brain injury) and 2) habilitation of individuals with cochlear implants. Applicants should indicate their specific interests in either of these areas in their applications.

    Master of Science (distance education; part-time)

    The Master of Science (distance education) degree is offered only as a part-time three- or four-year curriculum (depending on undergraduate background) through distance learning. This particularly modality is an alternative to the residential/on-campus modality and is intended for individuals who, due to geographic and/or financial circumstances, are unable to attend the full-time program in Columbia, SC. Courses are taken on a part-time basis (generally two courses each fall and spring semester) with summers being reserved for clinical practicum experiences. As is the case with the residential/on-campus modality, the exact point of entry into the distance education modality is dependent on a student’s previous coursework and clinical practicum (see course sequence). For applicants with undergraduate majors in speech-language pathology (that include a minimum of 25 hours of clinical observation and 50 hours of supervised practicum), the course sequence begins in the summer and continues for three calendar years plus a summer internship. Students with undergraduate majors in other disciplines take background coursework during fall and spring semesters prior to entry into the regular MS (distance education) curriculum that begins in the summer. Financial assistance is available for students who agree to work in the South Carolina public schools for a specified period of time upon completion of the degree program.

    Please note: Courses offered through distance education are not self-paced. Instead, they follow the university’s academic calendar and semester schedule. Course content is provided through streaming video as well as with internet support (e.g., interactive online chat, discussion boards, and Blackboard). Students considering the Master of Science (distance education; part-time) program will want to be aware of the licensing requirements in their particular state. Further information about licensing can be found here.

    Before You Apply

    Learn more about the prerequisites required to be admitted to our degree programs and how we maintain our accreditation.

    Ready to Apply?

    Apply to one of our master's degree programs.

    Ph.D. Program

    The Ph.D. degree prepares professionals for academic careers, and therefore its emphasis is on research and the scholarly study of the science of human communication and its disorders. Doctoral students, under the director of a mentor, regularly participate in laboratory activities and pursue a program of scholarly research leading to publication in scientific journals.

    Academic coursework consists of 12 credit hours of statistics and experimental design, 9 hours in speech and hearing science, and 24 hours in a concentration area, followed by written and oral comprehensive examinations. The degree culminates in the successful defense of a dissertation (12 credit hours). 

    Students may enter the doctoral program following the bachelor or master degree, depending on their professional goals and interest in clinical certification. Applications are invited from students with majors in a variety of disciplines, including (but not limited to), audiology, engineering, linguistics, psychology, physics, physiology, and speech-language pathology. Research assistantships are available for qualified applicants.

    Apply to the Ph.D. program.

  • Environmental Health Sciences
    Learn more about graduate programs in Environmental Health Sciences at the Arnold School of Public Health....

  • Degrees Offered

    We offer four advanced degrees in environmental health sciences. Find the degree option that works best for you then explore the application deadlines and requirements for each degree.

  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics
    Learn more about graduate programs in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Arnold School of Public Health....

  • Degrees Offered

    We offer eight advanced degrees in epidemiology and biostatistics. Each graduate degree has specific application deadlines and requirements.

  • Exercise Science
    Learn more about graduate programs in Exercise Science at the Arnold School of Public Health....

  • Degrees Offered

    Each graduate degree has specific application deadlines and requirements

    Master of Science in Exercise Science (MS)

    The Master of Science (MS) degree in Exercise Science prepares students for careers in academia and multiple health-related specialties and professions within the broad scope of Exercise Physiology, such as exercise physiologist, fitness coordinator, rehabilitation coordinator, and many more.  Additionally, the curriculum and related research opportunities prepare students for pursuing additional graduate work (e.g., PhD, MD, DPT).  The curriculum includes coursework in exercise physiology, clinical exercise testing, research methods and statistics, physical activity and health, and motor control and development. Elective coursework is also embedded within this framework to allow for individual interests, examples include skeletal muscle physiology, endocrinology in exercise and health, neural repair and rehabilitation, and community-based interventions for physical activity. There are countless 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). For more information, view the Master of Science in Exercise Science Curriculum [pdf].

    Ph.D. in Exercise Science

    The purpose of the doctoral program is to prepare students for research and academic careers in the area of Applied Physiology. The Ph.D. 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 areas, such as biology, physiology, immunology and biochemistry as well as independent study and dissertation hours. For more information, view the Applied Physiology Program of Study [pdf].

    Division Coordinator: Xuewen Wang, xwang@mailbox.sc.edu

    Are you interested in a research and an academic career in the area of physical activity and health?  If this is your aspiration, then the Ph.D. degree in Exercise Science with an emphasis in Health Aspects of Physical Activity may be the degree program for you. Our flexible curriculum will be tailored to individual students, with courses selected from exercise physiology, exercise psychology, biostatistics, epidemiology and population health, nutrition, or other areas deemed to provide a solid foundation sufficient to understand and conduct research in this area. This approach will provide you with the essential knowledge, skills and experiences that will prepare you for scholarly research and teaching in this area.  

    Our most recent graduates are in assistant professor positions either at a teaching-based university (e.g., Citadel) or at a research-based university (e.g., Iowa State University, Tennessee State University, Kentucky State University). Others continue on for post-doctoral work prior to establishing independent research programs at domestic and international institutions, such as Brown University and Curtin University. Still others have opportunities for employment in adult fitness, corporate fitness, military fitness, or sales and management in corporate fields (e.g., sports nutrition, athletic footwear, fitness equipment, sports clothing weight control programs). If you desire to be among those who are well prepared for research-focused careers in these areas, come join us. For more information, view the Health Aspects of Physical Activity Program of Study [pdf].

    Division Coordinator: Mei Sui, msui@mailbox.sc.edu

    As the rates of chronic disability increase across the globe, the need to develop novel rehabilitation treatments that can reduce disability and increase engagement in physical activity is vital for improving the health and wellness of individuals with chronic disabilities. The Rehabilitation Sciences emphasis prepares students to examine how the development and delivery of rehabilitation therapies can be used to reduce disability, promote health and prevent further disease. A Ph.D. degree in Exercise Science with an emphasis on Rehabilitation Sciences will lead to careers in academia, research, clinical settings, rehabilitation/therapy facilities, and more. For more information, view the Rehabilitation Sciences Ph.D. Program of Study [pdf].

    Division Coordinator: Jill Stewart, jcstewar@mailbox.sc.edu

  • Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
    Learn more about graduate programs in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the Arnold School of Public Health....

  • The HPEB department offers graduate programs at the certificate, master’s, and doctoral levels.

    Interested in a career working with our growing aging population? This 18-hour post-bachelor's certificate will provide training in the (1) planning, administration, and provision of health programs and interventions, (2) sociocultural issues surrounding health, behavior, and aging, (3) health care services and community resources, and (4) long-term care policies. Students earning master's or doctoral degrees in related disciplines are offered the opportunity to obtain specialized preparation for career paths in the interdisciplinary field of aging. The Certificate provides opportunities to learn from educators within several USC academic units. You may enroll in the program on a stand-alone basis or while concurrently enrolled in another USC graduate program.

    Modern society operates in a global environment with an increased need for clinical and public health professionals who understand health environments and policy that extend beyond local borders. The Certificate of Graduate Study in Global Health prepares students with the knowledge and skills that are necessary to conduct international work, by focusing on topics such as comparative health systems and policies; health care administration, finance and services; sociocultural perspectives on health; and development and evaluation of health promotion programs that are sensitive to local context.

    Requirements for the Certificate of Graduate Study in Global Health are a total of 18 credit hours (i.e., six 3-hour courses), 9 credit hours in a required core and 9 credit hours as electives from one of four tracks: Population Health, Environmental Health, Food and Nutrition, and Health Care Policy and Systems. Students enrolled in both the certificate program and a USC graduate degree program can use up to 9 of the credit hours required for the certificate towards their degree program.

    Interested in a career in health communication? This 18-hour post-bachelor’s certificate, offered in collaboration with the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and the School of Library and Information Science, will broaden your skills and expertise in health communication activities while strengthening your understanding of the research the public needs to make healthy life decisions. Certificate graduates utilize their skills in social marketing, health behavior campaigns and creation of health education programming in diverse settings, such as non-profit organizations, health departments, hospitals, worksite wellness and governmental agencies. You may enroll in the program on a stand-alone basis or while concurrently enrolled in another USC graduate program.

    The Master of Public Health (MPH) program prepares graduates for professional careers in planning, implementing and evaluating health promotion and education programs in a variety of practice settings. The program is offered in a traditional campus-based format.

    Our graduates work as health educators, wellness specialists, health programs managers, health consultants and evaluation coordinators in settings, such as health-related non-profit organizations, consulting firms, local and state health departments and worksite wellness.

    Visit the MPH curriculum page for more information.

    The HPEB MPH Professional Online Program is offered in a completely online, asynchronous format for current practitioners in health-related professional occupations. This program allows working professionals to earn the MPH with 24-26 months of continuous study.

    The online degree program provides training in:

    • Leadership and advocacy for change in organizations and in the environment to facilitate healthful practices
    • Program development aimed at promoting good health at personal, organizational and public policy levels
    • Evaluation of health programs to ensure they are meeting program and societal objectives
    • Development and dissemination of knowledge through systematic research and evaluation.

    Learn more about the online program in our Frequently Asked Questions [pdf].

    The combination MSW/MPH degree program allows students to earn two complementary and distinct graduate degrees in a more streamlined time frame than if both degrees were pursued separately. This combination of degrees provides graduates with skills both in individual/family case management and program planning, implementation and evaluation. Students are allowed to utilize electives taken in one program as degree-filling requirements in the other.

    The Ph.D. program prepares graduates for leadership and skills in research, teaching and professional service. The Ph.D. prepares graduates to assume leadership roles that emphasize research and teaching activities; these positions are often located in academic or other research settings.

  • Health Services Policy and Management
    Learn more about graduate programs in Health Services Policy and Management at the Arnold School of Public Health....

  • Students interested in improving and strengthening health care systems with strong quantitative skills are ideal for our graduate programs. Through our two master's (Master of Public Health, Master of Health Administration) and doctoral (Doctor of Philosophy) program, the department produces well-trained graduates ready to assume or progress to leadership positions in different health sector entities.

    In addition to the three degree programs indicated above, the department also offers a number of combination degrees. Students can also apply for admission to Juris Doctor (law)/Master of Health Administration, Master of Public Administration / Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health dual degree programs. The Master of Health Information Technology (MHIT) degree program is offered in collaboration with the Integrated Information Technology program of the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sports Management. 

    For admissions information by degree go to: https://www.sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/public_health/apply/graduate_applicants/application_requirements/hspm_app_requirements/index.php and https://www.sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/public_health/study/graduate_degrees/health_services_policy_and_management/index.php.

  • Physical Activity and Public Health
    Learn more about the Master of Public Health degree in Physical Activity and Public Health at the Arnold School of Public Health....

  • The PAPH MPH program will provide you with the essential knowledge, skills and experiences that will prepare you to design, implement and evaluate interventions to increase physical activity in populations.

    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
    • Preparation for working in local and state health departments

    Students completing the MPH in Physical Activity and Public Health (PAPH) will be able to:

    • Explain the physiological responses to an acute bout of exercise and the physiological adaptations to chronic aerobic and resistance exercise.
    • Explain the health effects of physical activity and the scientific basis for current public health physical activity guidelines for persons in varying demographic groups.
    • Apply evidence-based strategies to develop a physical activity intervention.
    • Evaluate an evidence-based physical activity intervention.
    • Differentiate among and appropriately use measurement and surveillance techniques to assess physical activity at the population level.

    Students in the PAPH MPH program will complete the public health core, described above, and take an additional 29 credit hours as follows (total 45 credit hours):

    Admission Requirements

    • Bachelor’s degree in exercise science or related discipline from an accredited institution
    • Academic prerequisites: Human Anatomy & Physiology
    • GPA of 3.00 or higher
    • GRE optional
    • 3 letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional sources
    • Resume and statement of purpose, including potential faculty mentors

    Physical Activity and Public Health Core (18 hours)
    EXSC 780 (3) Physiology of Exercise
    EXSC 700 (3) Physical Activity & Health: Epidemiology, Research, & Practice
    EXSC 710 (3) Behavioral Aspects of Physical Activity
    EXSC 754 (3) Community-based Physical Activity Interventions
    HPEB 710 (3) Evaluation of Health Promotion Programs
    EXSC 732 (3) Measurement of Body Composition & Associated Health Behaviors

    Elective (3 hours)

    Applied Practice Experience and Capstone Course (8 hours)
    EXSC 796 MPH Capstone Course (2 hours)
    EXSC 797 Public Health Practice (6 hours)

    Learn how to apply.

    In Fall 2019, the Arnold School of Public Health launched our redesigned MPH programs to meet new accreditation criteria from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

  • Physical Therapy
    Learn more about the Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the Arnold School of Public Health....

  • If you are interested in applying to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at the University of South Carolina, you will apply online using the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). 

    • Students applying to the program must have an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
    • Overall undergraduate GPA and GPA for prerequisite courses are considered in the admissions decision.
    • In addition, the program requires GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, and writing), two letters of reference from individuals familiar with the applicant’s clinical and/or academic skills, and a writing sample (see PTCAS application).
    • Admissions interviews are not required.
    • Volunteer hours are not required but are encouraged. Fifty (50) hours are recommended.

    Our minimum requirements are a: 1) 3.0 GPA (prerequisite), 2) 3.0 GPA (undergraduate or approved relevant masters), 3) combined GRE of 300 (with no less than 146 each section) with a 3.5 or greater on the writing score. If you apply with scores below this, your file will not be reviewed for admission.  Note that this is our minimal requirements, please see the program summary for our average admission scores.

    Application Deadlines

    The deadline for all application materials is November 1 of the Fall preceding enrollment. When November 1 falls on a weekend, applications are due on the Monday immediately following November 1. Applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed.

    Learn more about the PTCAS application process and admissions requirements.


    The program’s admissions process ensures that admitted students have the background to succeed. Admission to the DPT program requires that students have obtained a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education.

    In addition, all students enrolled in the program are required to have successfully completed selected prerequisite coursework prior to enrollment, including those listed below. An in-depth list of prerequisites is available on the PTCAS site.

    Prerequisite Credit hours Notes
    Biology Must include lab, one must be a general biology 
    Chemistry Must include lab
    Human Anatomy and Physiology 8 hours of Anatomy and Physiology; can be 8 hours of combined Anatomy and Physiology or 4 hours of Anatomy and 4 hours of Physiology
    Physics 8 Must include lab
    Psychology 3
    Statistics 3  

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