Tactical Strength and Conditioning

Tactical Strength and Conditioning Online Master of Science (M.S.) in Exercise Science and Health Promotion - Tactical Strength and Conditioning Concentration

About Tactical Strength and Conditioning

Military service members, law enforcement professionals, emergency responders and other front-line personnel face physical challenges as extreme as any sport.

Graduates of PennWest California’s tactical strength and conditioning program are at their side, helping these men and women build strength, improve physical performance and decrease the risk of injuries.

The advanced tactical strength and conditioning program at PennWest California combines theory and practical application. Students learn to use evidence-based practice to physically train and educate military, fire and rescue, law enforcement, protective services, and other emergency personnel.

Prepare to sit for NSCA TSAC-F certification

PennWest California is the first 100% online degree program to offer the tactical strength and conditioning (TSAC) program as a concentration in PennWest California’s M.S. in Exercise Science and Health Promotion curriculum.

Graduates who complete the master’s degree program and meet NSCA criteria will be eligible to sit for the certification exam for NSCA Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitators.

New safety guidelines in emergency fields require all coaching personnel to have certifications and advanced education. The prestigious NSCA TSAC-F certification addresses those standards and will meet certification requirements for coaches once the NSCA’s quality initiative takes effect in 2030.


Create a Custom Program: Personalize your exercise science master’s degree by choosing areas of focus that give you a competitive edge or enhance your career. Select the rehabilitation science concentration alone, or add one of these programs to create a 48-credit dual concentration: 

Certificate Option: Students seeking a professional credential instead of a master’s degree can select the 12-credit post-bachelor’s Tactical Strength and Conditioning Certificate as a stand-alone credential. In fact, PennWest California offers certificates in all of the program areas listed above.

Learn more

1 st
First university to create a tactical strength and conditioning degree program offered entirely online.
Complete the exercise science master’s degree and prepare for NSCA certification in just 12 months – faster than most other graduate programs.
icon undergrad for degree

Degree Benefits

Gain the knowledge and skills to consult, physically train and create safe and effective strength and conditioning programs for men and women in the military and service fields including emergency response, fire and rescue, law enforcement and protective services. Your expertise can help these front-line individuals improve performance, maintain wellness and decrease the risk of injury.

icon undergrad for degree

Graduate Outcomes

Strength and conditioning jobs exist with service providers including EMS units, law enforcement agencies, fire and rescue operations, protective services and private training facilities, as well as the U.S. military. In the civilian sector, graduates may hold job titles such as police officer, firefighter, wellness coach, collegiate strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer, emergency responder, presenter/educator or performance enhancement coach.


Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs



Course Credits
PRF 700  Orientation to Exercise Science and Wellness  3
PRF 701  Advanced Topics in Speed, Agility, and Quickness and Endurance Training 3
PRF 705  Industrial, Clinical and Corporate Wellness 3
PRF 715  Business and Entrepreneurship in the Fitness Industry 3
PRF 719  Advanced Techniques in Tactical Strength and Conditioning  3
PRF 720  Essentials of Human Movement Science 3
PRF 759  Tactical Strength and Conditioning Program Design  3
PRF 760  Leadership and Professional Development 3
PRF 765  Nutrition for Peak Performance 3
PRF 770  Exercise Physiology: Assessment and Exercise Prescription 3
PRF 789  Current Topics in Tactical Strength and Conditioning  3
PRF 810  Research in Performance Enhancement 3
Total 36



Admission Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements

  • Regionally Accredited Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Official transcripts from a regionally accredited undergraduate institution

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Regionally accredited Bachelor’s degree with a GPA of a 2.99-2.50 will be conditionally admitted with the stipulation of earning a 3.0 GPA in the first term
    • Regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.49 and below will be reviewed for a decision once the following documentation has been received:
      • Resume
      • Two professional letters of recommendation

An interview may be required by the Program Coordinator to determine potential success in the program.

Provisional Admission:
Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

How to Apply:

  • Submit official transcripts by mail or email to:
    • School of Graduate Studies and Research
      PennWest California
      Box 91
      250 University Ave. 
      California, PA 15419
    • EmailGRADadmissions@pennwest.edu
    • Phone: 724-938-4187

For additional information:
Email: calugo@pennwest.edu
Phone: 1.866.595.6348



Select a single concentration as the focus of your degree or add a second approved area of focus to create a dual concentration. Post-bachelor’s certificates are available in these areas as well.

Tactical Strength and Conditioning Certifications

  • NSCA Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitators
  • Certified Specialist in Speed and Explosion

Other Exercise Science Certifications

  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • Performance Enhancement Specialist
  • Corrective Exercise Specialist
  • Certified Specialist in Speed and Explosion
  • Certified Wellcoach
  • Fusionetics®
  • Les MillsTM
Tactical Strength and Conditioing wall climb.

Real-Life Learning


Students in the tactical strength and conditioning program put theory into practice. They assess and analyze job demands from biomechanical and metabolic perspectives, then apply that knowledge to guide front-line personnel and develop safe and effective physical training programs.

A military student in in grass.

Military Tuition Discount

PennWest California's exercise science degree programs attract students from every state and more than 20 countries. Active-duty service members and veterans of all U.S. military branches, as well as their spouses and eligible dependents, receive a military tuition discount when they enroll through PennWest California’s Global Online division.

Faculty members.

Expert Faculty

Faculty in the tactical strength and conditioning program excel at teaching in an online environment and are recognized experts in the field of exercise science. In fact, three faculty members – Dr. Barry McGlumphy, Dr. Linda Platt Meyer and Professor Julie Ramsey Emrhein – are in the Hall of Fame for the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers' Society.

Tactical Strength and Conditioning Faculty

Wendy Batts
Adjunct Professor


View profile
Julie Ramsey Emrhein
Part-Time Assistant Professor


View profile
Dr. Marc S. Federico


View profile
Dr. Jeffrey R. Hatton


View profile
Melissa Hatton
Adjunct Professor


View profile
Dr. Rebecca A. Hess


View profile
Christina Lombardo


View profile
Dr. Barry E. McGlumphy


View profile
Dr. Brian Oddi
Assistant Professor


View profile
Dr. Benjamin Reuter
Associate Professor


View profile
Dr. Christine Romani-Ruby


View profile
James Thornton, MA, ATC, PES, CES
Adjunct Professor
View profile
Dr. Ronald Wagner
Associate Professor


View profile
Dr. Ellen J. West


View profile
Dr. Tom West


View profile

Additional Resources

Exercise Science Overview

Top 10 Reasons To Get An Exercise Science Master Degree

What Can You Do With An Exercise Science Master Degree/Careers

How To Choose An Exercise Science Concentration