Wellness Coaching

Wellness Coaching Online Master of Science (M.S.) in Exercise Science and Health Promotion - Wellness Coaching Concentration

About Wellness Coaching

Build expertise in promoting healthy lifestyles through behavioral changes.

Earn your accredited master's degree in exercise science and health promotion from PennWest California with a concentration in wellness coaching. This is an online graduate degree program, with two wellness coaching courses offered in a synchronous component via telephone. Complete this online master's degree program in 12 months full time or 17 months part time. 

PennWest California's exercise science and health promotion program is nationally ranked and recognized as a leader in offering high-quality education from a historic state university.

Explore the latest research to advance well-being.

Study current topics in wellness coaching, review research and develop the competencies to foster well-being and prevent or treat diseases.

  • PennWest California's specialized wellness coaching program was developed in partnership with Wellcoaches®, a recognized international provider of wellness coaching education. 
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  • Students prepare to earn the health and wellness coach certification, endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).


Evidence-based: PennWest California's affordable, online master's degree programs in exercise science and health promotion, in partnership Wellcoaches®, promote an evidence-based protocol that generates positive outcomes, as reported in peer-reviewed journals. 

ACSM: A PennWest California degree, plus a health and wellness coach certification endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), means you'll achieve the gold standard in coach certifications in the healthcare field.

Personalized Education: Create a customized exercise science degree program that’s the perfect fit for you. Choose the wellness coaching concentration alone for a 36-credit degree, or combine it with one of these programs to create a 48-credit dual concentration. Graduate-level certificate programs also are available in these areas:


Top 20 
Since 2010, wellness coaching has ranked in the top 20 most important fitness trends worldwide, according to ACSM's annual survey.
Nearly 100% of PennWest California graduates in exercise science are hired for in-demand jobs in the fitness industry.
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Degree Benefits

The wellness coaching concentration at PennWest California prepares professionals to excel with courses that:

  • Help clients develop the right mindsets to make lasting lifestyle changes.

  • Teach evidence-based wellness coaching competencies, grounded in positive psychology.

  • Identify various research sources, creating skills for future study in the field.

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Graduate Outcomes

Demand continues to grow for fitness training and wellness coaching programs. ACSM's 2016 trend survey says personal trainers and other health and fitness professionals are adopting wellness coaching and techniques of behavior change to enhance career skillsets.


Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs



Course Credits
PRF 700  Orientation to Exercise Science and Wellness 3
PRF 701  Advanced Topics in SAQ and Endurance Training 3
PRF 705  Industrial, Clinical and Corporate Wellness 3
PRF 714  Health and Wellness Coaching Competencies 3
PRF 715  Business and Entrepreneurship in the Fitness Industry 3
PRF 720  Essentials of Human Movement Science 3
PRF 754  Health and Wellness Coaching – Facilitating Change 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 784  Current Topics in Wellness Coaching 3
PRF 840  Leadership and Professional Development 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.


  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • Performance Enhancement Specialist
  • Corrective Exercise Specialist
  • Certified Specialist in Speed and Explosion
  • Certified Wellcoach
  • Fusionetics®
  • Les MillsTM
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Global Interest


PennWest California's online master's degree in exercise science draws students from all 50 states and more than 20 countries, plus full-time military personnel deployed around the world, including active duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Pakistan.

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Dual Focus

At PennWest California, wellness coaching can be paired with other disciplines in exercise science for a dual concentration: applied sport science, group fitness leadership, nutrition, performance enhancement and injury prevention, rehabilitation science, wellness and fitness, or sport psychology.

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#1 Trend

The ever-increasing focus on health, wellness and fitness - and uptick in related professional jobs and careers - are further confirmed by ACSM's 2016 survey: The #1 fitness trend worldwide is wearable technology, with sales reaching $6 billion in 2016.

Wellness Coaching Concentration Faculty

Dr. Carol Biddington


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Dr. Marc S. Federico


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Dr. Jeffrey R. Hatton


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Dr. Rebecca A. Hess


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Christina Lombardo


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Dr. Barry E. McGlumphy


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Dr. Benjamin Reuter
Associate Professor


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Dr. Christine Romani-Ruby


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Dr. Ronald Wagner
Associate Professor


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Dr. Ellen J. West


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Dr. Tom West


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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