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.

Overview for Exercise Science Certificate

A certificate in exercise science prepares you to sit for a range of fitness and training exams, including the exams to become a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, health coach, and more. 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.

RIT’s Certificate in Exercise Science

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, wellness center, or sports medicine facility. Knowledge of, and professional certification in, personal training, fitness instruction, and related programming also are of increasing value to allied health professionals who wish to augment their level of care with the ability to prescribe exercise and wellness programs that address special medical needs.

Exercise Science Courses

In just three classes, RIT’s exercise science certificate can open the door to a range of exciting opportunities. The exercise science certificate enables you to:

  • Bolster your knowledge of exercise, in particular, strength and conditioning.
  • Qualify you to sit for a range of fitness and training exams, including the exams to become a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, health coach, and more.
  • Boost your professional options.
    • For students majoring in biomedical sciences or nutritional sciences the certificate can enhance your professional opportunities.
    • For students in other majors the certificate is a way to continue your involvement in fitness, wellness, and health regardless of your career path.

Exercise Science Certification

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.


Curriculum for 2023-2024 for Exercise Science Certificate

Current Students: See Curriculum Requirements

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 Program Design
This course provides instruction to prepare participants for certification as a Personal Trainer. Students will learn to competently assist others in developing, practicing, and maintaining fitness enhancing exercise programs. Students will gain the knowledge, skills and abilities to properly assess physical fitness, assist participants in setting fitness goals, develop appropriate exercise programs, and enhance participant exercise adherence. (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

Admissions and Financial Aid

Applicants for the Exercise Science Certificate must be students in good standing in an undergraduate program at RIT, or hold an undergraduate degree from RIT. Contact your academic advisor or the program contact for more details.

Learn How to Apply


  • Student engaged in virtual reality boxing.
    Human Movement Lab

    The Human Movement Lab houses state-of-the-art equipment utilized by exercise science students to gain hands-on experience conducting fitness assessments and testing.

  • 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.