Exercise Science Certificate

Immediately join the workforce as a fitness professional while giving yourself a deeper understanding of the human body and its respective functions.


A certificate in exercise science prepares you for employment as an entry-level service provider in a fitness facility. It can also complement other programs such as the biomedical sciences, nutritional sciences, or dietetics and nutrition, as it bolsters your knowledge of exercise, in particular, strength and conditioning.

College-level knowledge and professional certification are increasingly required for those who wish to work in the fitness industry, whether full- or part-time, in an athletic club, or sports medicine facility. Knowledge of and professional certification in fitness instruction and programming also are of increasing value to allied health professionals who wish to augment their care or practice with the ability to prescribe exercise programs that address special medical needs.

The certificate in exercise science covers the basic principles of exercise physiology, fitness assessment, the preparation of fitness programs and prescriptions, and the development of exercise prescriptions for individuals with medical or other significant limitations. Students who successfully complete all three courses are prepared to sit for professional certification examinations from the American College of Sports Medicine, American Council on Exercise, and the American Academy of Health and Fitness Professionals, as well as for certifications from the Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a number of other recognized organizations.



  • Health Care

  • Sports and Leisure

  • Health, Wellness, and Fitness

  • Non-Profit

Curriculum for Exercise Science Certificate

Exercise Science, certificate, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
Sports Physiology & Life Fitness
This course goes inside the science of physical fitness providing the student with an in depth physiological understanding of how the body adapts and improves through exercise activity. Students actively perform a series of self-assessments which they must analyze in order to determine their current state of fitness. With this data students develop exercise programs tailored to their needs and interests. Stress management and nutrition are examined allowing students to incorporate these two important areas into their plans to be fit for life. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Fitness Prescription
This course is designed to provide instruction to prepare students for certification as a Personal Trainer. It examines the role exercise plays in both the enhancement of health and fitness as well as the improvement of athletic performance. Students will develop a basic understanding of how the human body functions while physically active. Case studies are utilized to assist in the development of practical skills. (Prerequisites: (MEDG-101 and MEDG-103) or (MEDG-102 and MEDG-104) or BIOL-101 or BIOL-121 or (BIOL-123 and BIOL-125) or (BIOL-124 and BIOL-126) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Exercise for Special Populations
This course is designed for those who are interested in the science of exercise and fitness for individuals with diagnosed disease states, or high performance requirements. The theoretical and diagnostic value of exercise testing will be reviewed. This information will then be used to create exercise prescriptions and understand the therapeutic benefit that exercise will have on specific conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and obesity. High performance individuals functioning in challenging environments such as, astronauts, high altitude climbers, and ultramarathoners will also be considered. (Prerequisites: EXSC-205 or EXSC-206 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Total Semester Credit Hours


  • 3 students using a stethoscope on a dummy patient and a monitor with data readouts
    Simulation Lab

    The Simulation Laboratory consists of three parts a patient room that contains a simulation mannequin, a control room where operation of the mannequin occurs, and a debriefing room where faculty interact with students after simulated medical scenarios end.

  • Student engaged in virtual reality boxing.
    The Fitness Lab

    The Fitness Lab houses state-of-the-art equipment utilized by exercise science students to gain hands-on experience conducting fitness assessments and testing. Fitness services, such as fitness assessments, are also provided by exercise science students to the RIT community.