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UofSC sport science programs ranked No. 1 nationally

The University of South Carolina’s sport science programs are ranked No. 1 in the United States for the second year in a row, and No. 4 in the world by ShanghaiRanking’s 2017 Global Ranking of Sport Science Schools and Departments.

ShanghaiRanking, the official publisher of the Academic Ranking of World Universities, is regarded as one of the three most influential rankings of international universities and has been cited by numerous publications including Inside Higher Ed, The Guardian and The Christian Science Monitor. The organization has been publishing academic rankings since 2009, but 2016 was the first year it included sport science schools and departments.

Carolina’s top ranking was achieved through the combined accomplishments of the Arnold School of Public Health’s exercise science and athletic training programs, the College of Education’s physical education program and the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management’s sport and entertainment management program. Leaders of the colleges say they are pleased by the recognition and working to offer students even better programs.

“Our sport and entertainment management program has record enrollment and an incredibly talented and dedicated faculty with tremendous industry expertise,” says Dean Haemoon Oh of the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management. “This ranking reflects our position as global leaders and our efforts to provide our students with exceptional experiential learning through industry engagement. We are proud of this recognition, and we will never stop working to take our programs to the next level.”

Tom Chandler, dean of the Arnold School, echoes that sentiment noting that the department of exercise science added an athletic training program to its offerings this fall. Chandler says the ShanghaiRanking falls in line with other successes of the department.

“The department of exercise science is now ranked No.1 by the National Association of Kinesiology,” Chandler says. “So, not surprisingly, Shanghai has ranked USC’s multiple sports science disciplines quite highly. Congratulations to our partners and colleagues in HRSM and the College of Education.”

To determine who was deserving of the top spot, ShanghaiRanking examined 367 universities, schools and departments that engage significantly in sport science research and based the ranking on international collaboration of publications and research output and quality.

“One of the key strengths of our physical education department is its doctoral program, which prepares future educators and researchers,” says Dean Jon Pedersen of the College of Education. “The program uses an apprenticeship model to simulate job expectations of tenure-track faculty at research universities and yields graduates with strong publication records.”

Pederson notes the doctoral program is well balanced by the department’s graduate and undergraduate programs and a unique program in physical activity instruction, taught by renowned content specialists and serves all students at the university.

All three deans agree that the ranking reflects Carolina’s push to be a global leader and offer students experiential learning through industry engagement.

“We are proud of our success and this recognition, but we will never stop striving to improve,” says Oh.

ShanghaiRanking Consultancy is a fully independent organization dedicated to research on higher education intelligence and consultation. The data used to determine the rankings is collected from the Web of Science database with a time window of five years.

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