Personal Fitness Trainer Certificate

personal fitness trainer

Improve your career options with a Personal Fitness Trainer Certifiate

Upon completion of the Personal Fitness Trainer certificate program, you will receive a University of Utah Personal Fitness Trainer Certificate and will be prepared to pass one of the following National Certification Exams: American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), or American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

Over six million people work out with a personal trainer every year. If you love fitness, technique, instruction and all kinds of people, Personal Fitness Training might be the career for you! Our flexible, online program will give you the knowledge needed to begin a meaningful career in fitness. This program is created and taught by instructors that hold either a Master's or Ph.D Degree in Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, Biomechanics, Physical Therapy, Nutrition, or other exercise science related field, and will prepare you for a career at medically-based fitness facilities, community wellness programs, personal training studios, physical therapy clinics, corporate fitness centers, YMCAs/JCCs, and private and commercial health clubs.

Program Cost - Tuition for the full certificate is $1495. Students may also register for classes individually rather than the full certificate program.

Upcoming Classes

Class Title Next Start Date
Introduction to Exercise Science - Level 2 (Exercise Physiology) - Online Online
Business Administration and Management Aspects for Personal Trainers - Online Online
Introduction to Exercise Science - Level 1 (Anatomy & Kinesiology) - Online Online
Health Risk Profiles and Fitness Assessment Techniques - Online Online
Designing Exercise Prescriptions for Normal/Special Populations - Online Online

Who should take this certificate?

  • Individuals from any functional area who want to gain exposure to professional management principles to assist them in adding value and impact in their current role
  • The principles presented are valuable for entry‐level and experienced personal trainers
  • Classes are also opened to certified fitness professionals looking for CECs or CEUs Click here to view National Organizations/Associations Approval of Continuing Education Credits/Units.

Required courses:   5

Total hours of instruction:   250

  • Participate in online lectures (160 hours)
  • Complete all course reading and exercises (48 hours)
  • Study and memorize exercise science/anatomical terminology (16 hours)
  • Maintain a learning journal to document key concepts, insights and applications (10 hours)
  • Study/Prepare to take the Certified Personal Fitness Trainer Exam (16 hours)
Required courses Held in: Fall Spring Summer
Introduction to Exercise Science - Level 1 (Anatomy & Kinesiology) (PROEA 206)
Introduction to Exercise Science - Level 2 (Exercise Physiology) (PROEA 207)
Health Risk Profiles and Fitness Assessment Techniques (PROEA 208)
Business Administration and Management Aspects for Personal Trainers (PROEA 209)
Designing Exercise Prescriptions for Normal/Special Populations (PROEA 210)


Courses are online. You can enroll and begin anytime! Courses can be as part of the full certificate program or individually.

Log-in information and other important details, will be sent within 3-4 business days of enrollment, from, our partner, Educational Fitness Solutions (EFS). Average time to complete: Once you log in to an individual course, you have eight (8) weeks to complete that course. You will have one year (12 months) to complete all courses within the certificate program. Most of the courses require about 5 to 10 hours of effort per week. You should expect to log in early in the week when the weekly module is released and spend 45 minutes to one-hour with the new material. Then, log in 4 or 5 more times per week for 30 minutes or so to keep up with the discussions and make your contributions.

Other certificate details

  • Sequencing requirements – it is required to complete the courses in the order outlined above.
  • Pre-requisites – None.
  • Computer access– access to a computer with reliable high speed internet.

Certificate Completion Requirements

  • Satisfactory grade in all required courses.
  • Individual classes may have projects to complete during the class to earn a satisfactory grade which will be communicated in the class syllabus.


  • Students are required to fulfill the same expectations and requirements as matriculated students including exams, projects and participation.
  • Certificate students will receive an “S-Satisfactory” or “U-Unsatisfactory” assessment for each course. “S-Satisfactory” will indicate that the student has earned a 70% or better.
  • Students must receive an “S-Satisfactory" grade in all courses for successful completion.
  • Each fitness course includes the following:
    • Quizzes - 100 Points
    • Class Discussions - 100 Points
    • Written Project 100 Points
    • Final Exam 100 Points
    • Total 400 Points

Attendance Policy

Students are expected to be engaged for the full length of each class.

More information including drop policy here.

Introduction to Exercise Science - Level 1 (Anatomy & Kinesiology) (PROEA 206)

In this online, self-paced course, students gain an understanding of musculoskeletal and functional anatomy and the effects of exercise placed on joint structures during exercise movements.

Introduction to Exercise Science - Level 2 (Exercise Physiology) (PROEA 207)

This online, self-paced course is designed to teach the personal trainer how the muscular, skeletal, and cardiorespiratory systems function with and without exercise conditioning. Additional topics include energy metabolism, neuromuscular function, and the physiology of exercise in relation to training programs and environmental considerations.

Health Risk Profiles and Fitness Assessment Techniques (PROEA 208)

This online, self-paced course teaches students how to assess and evaluate cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular testing techniques, joint ROM, flexibility, body-fat analysis, blood pressure, and body measurements based on ACSM guidelines. Topics include client screening procedures, medical and health history intake forms, identifying high-risk clients, determining the appropriate test, conducting the test, and evaluating the results.

Business Administration and Management Aspects for Personal Trainers (PROEA 209)

This online, self-paced course gives personal trainers a solid background in developing or starting a personal training business, and prepares them for financial management, marketing strategies, and business plan development.

Designing Exercise Prescriptions for Normal/Special Populations (PROEA 210)

This online, self-paced course teaches how to develop an exercise prescription in relation to health implications for normal/special populations related to age, medical condition, and fitness level. Topics include cardiac conditions, diabetes, physical disabilities, HIV and AIDS, asthma, sensory impairments, pregnancy, and program design for children to senior populations.

Elective Course:

Optional Field Internship in Personal Training. (Student completes 60 hours of internship to gain hands-on experience. Please contact Professional Education regarding the details for this optional internship.

Certificate Instructors

Instructors for this certificate have been selected based on their professional experience, education, and ability to teach in a dynamic and engaging manner.

Program Cost - Tuition for the full certificate is $1495.

Tuition for individual courses - $299

  • Tuition listed above is for the 2018-2019 academic year and subject to change without advance notice.
  • Financial aid is not available for this noncredit certificate. Students are encouraged to inquire with their employers to determine if tuition assistance is available.
  • Professional Education Tuition Installment Plan and other payment options can be found here:
  • This certificate is eligible for Veterans Administration GI Bill® Funding.
  • This certificate is not eligible for the University of Utah employee tuition discount benefit.

  • Additional Costs
    • Students choose one of the three certification testing options below. Each course (ACE, NASM, or ACSM) has required materials and testing fees.
      • ACE Required Materials: $285; certification testing fee $280
      • ACSM Required Materials: $285; certification testing fee $280
      • NASM Required Materials: $899 (includes certification testing fee)
    • Recommended testing fitness equipment for the course and for future use when assessing clients:
      • Slim Guide Calipers
      • Blood Pressure Cuff and Stethoscope
      • Goniometer
      • Spring loaded Tape measure

Why choose the University of Utah?

We understand that you have a choice when it comes to taking professional development courses and we work hard to earn your trust with each and every class!

By selecting the University of Utah, you’ll enjoy the following benefits whether you’re coming to us as someone new to the job market, a career changer, a seasoned professional or a lifelong learner.

Resume Power - Benefit from the University of Utah reputation for credibility and quality. Choosing the University of Utah for your certificate program makes a clear statement about your commitment to excellence.

Instructor Excellence - Learn from instructors with real world experience and professional credentials.

The Power of the U Network – Students have access to a valuable University of Utah peer and faculty network.

Networking – Meet and network with other students pursuing or working in the industry.

Student Support – Count on the ongoing support of a dedicated student services staff that will assist you every step of the way.

Certificate Completion Requirements

  • Students must receive an “S-Satisfactory" grade in all classes for successful completion.
  • Completion of all required courses (250 hours) within one year (12 months)

How is my accomplishment recognized?

  • The certificate program will appear on University of Utah official transcripts.
  • An official University of Utah certificate of completion will be mailed within a few weeks.
  • EFS will send you information about how/where to take the national credentialing exam that this course prepared you for.

Are there exams? Am I graded?

Yes. There will be quizzes and exams in each course. Following is the course breakdown:

  • Quizzes 100 Points
  • Class Discussions 100 Points
  • Written Project 100 Points
  • Final Exam 100 Points
    • Total 400 Points

Can I apply these classes to a degree at the University of Utah?

This certificate is noncredit and cannot be applied to any for-credit degree.

Are these classes eligible for federal financial aid?

Students pursuing a certificate are considered "non-degree seeking," a status that is not eligible for federal student aid loan programs.

Professional Education / University of Utah

Rori Douros
Phone: 801-585-1780
Online contact form

For more information about our Veterans/Military Programs, please contact us at or 801-585-1780.