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Physical Activity and Public Health, M.P.H.

Arnold School of Public Health

Gain the essential knowledge, skills and experiences to design, implement and evaluate interventions to increase physical activity in populations, directly impacting physical activity levels and health of communities.

Join a master's program designed for students who are ready to make a difference in the health of a local community, state, nation and beyond and have career options in health and wellness, parks and recreation, policy and environmental change or disease prevention. You'll apply science-proven techniques to a variety of careers around health and performance of individuals through exercise.

Program Highlights

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    Accredited Degree

    Earn a degree that fully meets the requirements for accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health.

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    Innovative Program

    Become part of the first masters of public health program to promote physical activity to improve the health of populations.

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    Interdisciplinary Studies

    Work with other public health students in the Arnold School through our multidisciplinary core courses.

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    Expert Faculty

    Learn from national and international faculty leaders in the field of physical activity and public health.

What You’ll Study

Study physiological adaptations to aerobic and resistance exercise, the health effects of physical activity, how to measure physical activity, and how to develop, implement, and evaluate community policy and environmental interventions. Complete a practice experience in a physical activity organization.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Advocacy

    Promoting or defending a cause or issue often using awareness, education and policy change

    Examine Evidence

    Gathering and analyzing information for decision-making or problem-solving purposes


    Working with others to achieve a common goal or objective

  • Evaluate Policies

    Examining their impact and effectiveness in achieving specific goals or objectives


    Exchanging information and ideas through speaking, writing or other means of expression

    Listening Skills

    Understanding what others are saying to facilitate effective communication

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Learn how alumni use degrees with outcome data from Gamecock GradStats, a service of the University of South Carolina Career Center.

Potential Careers

  • Physical Activity Program Evaluator
  • Policy Advocate
  • Health Educator
  • Corporate Wellness Trainer
  • Active Transportation Consultant

Job Titles of Alumni

  • Project Coordinator
  • Program Director
  • Health Promotions Coordinator
  • Wellness Coordinator
  • Health and Fitness Specialist

Average Alumni Salary

Five to 10 years after graduation without additional education $55,940

Workplace Settings

  • Health and Wellness
  • Transportation and Community Design
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Chronic Disease Prevention
  • Policy and Environmental Change
  • Health Departments

Employers of Alumni

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • University of South Carolina
  • Greenville Health System
  • National Cancer Institute
  • SC Department of Health and Environmental Control
  • Journal of Sports Medicine and Health Science

Each semester here, the opportunities and experiences are helping to shape my direction and plans for the future. With my MPH degree, I would like to work in a project management role within a government agency or nonprofit dedicated to increasing physical activity in older adulthood.

Katharine Olscamp
Portrait of Katharine Olscamp

Is USC Right For You?

There are many reasons we could be your ideal university. There's the award-winning academics, the globally modeled student life, and abundance of study abroad and experiential learning options. Take a closer look at what USC could mean for you.

Degree content is provided for informational purposes only. The Academic Bulletin is the source of record for all degree information.