Program Curriculum

What You'll Become

The purpose of an Associate's Degree in Exercise Science with an Emphasis in Personal Training is to prepare students for entry-level positions as personal trainers with the ability to pursue a Bachelor's or Advanced Degree in Exercise Science, Kinesiology, Health and Wellness, Physical Education, Athletic Training, Nutritional Science, or Sports Management.

Our program is designed specifically for students who seek to acquire a comprehensive framework in personal training concepts and skills in order to contribute and create solutions for the widest variety of clients. Many students also find these skills essential to improving their own health.

Upon successful completion of the program requirements, students will acquire the knowledge and skills to apply exercise science, business, management, communication, and psychology to meet the needs of their clients as well as support their own professional and entrepreneurial efforts.

Skills and Knowledge You'll Acquire

  • Analytical, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills applicable to real-world situations
  • The foundation of exercise science knowledge and technical skills to support and facilitate lifelong professional development
  • The ability to use critical thinking, creativity, logic, and analysis to meet client needs
  • The competence to implement and apply current exercise and nutrition strategies to allow clients to effectively meet their goals
  • The aptitude to apply sound scientific and communication principles to the functions of assessment, program design, motivation, and coaching
  • An academic foundation to pursue a Bachelor's or other Advanced Degree

Credit Requirements

  • 30 Core (must be completed through ISSA)
  • 30 General Education (can be transferred)
  • 30 Electives (can be transferred)

At least 30 credits must be earned as structured undergraduate coursework (not self-paced) specifically through ISSA College of Exercise Science (CES).

A maximum of 2 self-paced ISSA certification courses will be accepted in transfer towards the AS in Exercise Science degree program, upon passing a competency exam.

Your coursework includes six individual personal training certification programs (Core requirements). After successfully completing the coursework for your first personal training course, you'll be qualified to begin training. And as you progress in the degree program, your fitness qualifications grow, positioning you for pay raises and increased clientele. Imagine working your way through school doing what you love!

The Strategy to Get You There


NOTE: New students may only take one course (or PD102 and HIT135) their first quarter. Students who complete their first quarter with a term GPA of at least 2.0 may take up to 18 credits per quarter during subsequent terms.