The Associate of Science in Exercise Science degree program grounds you in the fundamentals of personal training by exposing you to both the theories and practices of this dynamic field. The program features courses on trainer-relevant topics, including anatomy and physiology, assessment, program design, special populations, entrepreneurship, management, interpersonal relations, and communication.
Graduates with an AS in Exercise Science work as Master Trainers in health clubs and fitness centers, run their own training businesses, or pursue bachelor's or other advanced degrees in Exercise Science, Kinesiology, Health and Wellness, Physical Education, Athletic Training, Nutritional Science, or Sports Management.
Sessions are 15 minutes or less and held online with one of our friendly enrollment advisors.
Our institution is proud to be accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). DEAC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
The College of Exercise Science has been a life-changing experience. I recommend it to all my co-workers, friends, and family members who have a passion for fitness and want to continue their educational journey.
I currently serve on active duty in the United States Marine Corps. I originally began my journey with CES pursuing the Master Trainer certificate. Upon completion, I decided to continue my education and earned my associates in exercise science through CES. Now I instruct at the Force Fitness Readiness Center where we train new Force Fitness Instructors for the Marine Corps. I couldn’t have done it without the College of Exercise Science.
My experience with ISSA has been life changing in the best way. Not only have I learned so many new skills, but my resume is quite long due to all of the Special Certifications I have received. I was recently contacted by another “women-only” trainer with her own business who was looking to expand. She almost immediately offered me a job as her first hire, almost sight-unseen! Now, I work at two gyms and can offer training to different types of populations. I have no doubt my educational qualifications had something to do with the ease of which I have been able to stay successful in this rapidly emerging profession.
Your coursework includes a minimum of 6 individual personal training certification* courses supported by industry-relevant general education and elective classes. After successfully completing the coursework for your first personal training course, you'll be qualified to begin training. As you progress in the degree program, your fitness qualifications grow, positioning you for pay raises and increased clientele.
*Certification is issued by ISSA LLC. ISSA LLC is a separate professional certifying organization and is not owned or operated by the ISSA College of Exercise Science.
The ISSA College of Exercise Science is a Title IV school, and our bachelor’s degree program, associate degree program, and Master Trainer certificate program are all eligible for federal student aid.
Our bachelor’s degree, associate degree, and Master Trainer certificate programs are eligible for federal student aid. Federal student aid eligibility for our master’s degree program is awaiting approval by the US Department of Education.
Active duty military, military spouses, and veterans can use their TA, MyCAA, and GI Bill® benefits for program tuition. Program eligibility varies by benefit.
A good rule of thumb is 10-15 hours of study time per course, per week. Full-time students spend about 40 hours studying each week when taking a full course load.
The College of Exercise Science completes transfer credit evaluations free of charge. Once you complete your application, simply request that your past schools send your official transcripts to our Registrar. The application will provide information on what to request and where to have it sent, and an assigned admissions advisor will be standing by to assist you with any questions you have along the way.
No, there is no required credit minimum. A full-time course load is 12-15 credits per quarter, but many of our students work as well as attend school. Our program is flexible to meet your needs.
ISSA College of Exercise Science and ISSA LLC are two separate organizations. ISSA College of Exercise Science is an institution of higher learning and an education provider. ISSA LLC is a professional certifying organization. ISSA LLC is neither owned nor operated by the ISSA College of Exercise Science.
Upon successful completion of College of Exercise Science coursework and submission of Basic Adult CPR/AED/First Aid card, ISSA LLC awards, monitors, and renews professional certification.
Professional certification earned as part of ISSA College of Exercise Science curriculum and awarded by ISSA, LLC is not accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). DEAC accredits institutions, including its academic programs, and does not accredit certifications.
Currently through Dec 2021:
Upon successful completion of College of Exercise Science undergraduate certification coursework and submission of Basic Adult CPR/AED/First Aid card, professional certification is awarded by ISSA LLC. ISSA LLC is a separate professional certifying body that awards, monitors, and renews professional certification. ISSA LLC is neither owned nor operated by the ISSA College of Exercise Science.
ISSA LLC verifies and awards professional certification approximately 6-8 weeks following the end of the course. The terms of professional certification -- including duration, required continuing education, and renewal -- are determined by ISSA LLC.
In 2022, the certification process will be a 2-step process by which students register for and complete the certification exam separately through ISSA LLC. The ISSA LLC certification exam will be included at no additional cost. Assignments will guide the process, and time will be built into the final week of class to accommodate the exam. Proof of basic adult CPR/AED/First Aid certification will be required at the time of the exam -- uploaded to the ISSA LLC portal.
The terms of professional certification -- including award, duration, required continuing education, and renewal -- are determined by ISSA LLC.
Note: certification coursework is a part of undergraduate coursework only.
We are so excited to transform the ISSA College of Exercise Science into Lionel University.
While our name is changing, the core of who we are will remain the same:
Learn more about our transformation and access the Lionel University FAQs here.
Designated as a Military Friendly School, the ISSA College of Exercise Science works hard to help both active duty service members and veterans achieve their education goals. Our programs are specifically designed to be flexible so you can easily manage your coursework during your service.
Typical students divide their studies into 9 quarters. For the most part, each quarter focuses on one certification course and a supporting gen ed or elective. You can accelerate your studies and complete the program in as few as 6 quarters (18 months) or progress at a slower pace to fit your schedule. For a full list of course descriptions, click here.
There is absolutely no commitment and no credit card required. The application is designed as an investment in you — to help you name what you truly want, evaluate all that you juggle, and design your future. Stop and start as needed. Your work is saved as you go. Once you submit your application, a dedicated advisor will be in touch to speak with you about next steps.