Wellness and Fitness

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

About Wellness and Fitness

Explore the design of top fitness and wellness programs.

In the master's degree in exercise science and health promotion from PennWest California, the wellness and fitness concentration delves into the effective design of online fitness programs and wellness programs for the general population.

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.

Courses prepare you to take the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) exam to earn accredited certification as a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT). Complete PennWest California's online degree program in 12 months full time or 17 months part time.

Learn to integrate fitness and wellness.

PennWest California offers an integrated approach to fitness and wellness, enabling you to: 

  • Learn about NASM's Optimum Performance Training (OPT™) model, one of the industry's first comprehensive training systems based on scientific, evidence-based research.
  • Study a range of course topics, including nutrition for peak performance, exercise physiology, leadership in fitness, business and entrepreneurship in the fitness industry, and more.


Latest skills: PennWest California's affordable, online master's degree program in exercise science and health promotion offers students the most up-to-date skills and strategies in the industry, taught by top faculty who are experts in the field.

Build a Personalized Program: Customize your exercise science degree by selecting areas of focus that propel your career to the next level. Choose the wellness and fitness concentration alone for a 36-credit degree, or combine it with one of these programs to create a 48-credit dual concentration:

Certificate Option: Looking for a professional credential instead of a master’s degree? Then select the 12-credit, post-bachelor’s wellness and fitness certificate. In fact, PennWest California offers graduate-level certificates in a variety of exercise science specialties.

NASM CPT: Personal trainers with certification are employer-preferred. Your PennWest California degree program will prepare you for the Certified Personal Trainer examination. The CPT is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

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of fitness trainers and instructors in the United States are hired by fitness and recreational sports centers.
 The National Academy of Sports Medicine selected PennWest California as its first partner school, in 2003.
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Degree Benefits

To meet strong industry demand, the wellness and fitness track at PennWest California is designed for a wide range of professionals:

  • Health and fitness professionals.
  • Personal trainers.
  • Educators.
  • Military professionals.
  • Coaches.
  • Others who want to learn about fitness training program design and wellness programs for the general population.
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 Graduate Outcomes

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for fitness workers are expected to increase 13% over the next decade. The reason: Businesses, government and insurance organizations recognize the benefits of health and fitness programs for employees.


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 711  An Integrated Approach to Fitness and Wellness 3
PRF 715  Business and Entrepreneurship in the Fitness Industry 3
PRF 720  Essentials of Human Movement Science 3
PRF 751  Program Design in Wellness and Fitness 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 781  Current Topics in Fitness and Wellness 3
PRF 800  Research in Wellness and Fitness 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:
    • Resume
    • Two professional letters of recommendation
    • 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:

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
Wellness and fitness

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.


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, rehabilitation science, sport psychology, and wellness coaching.


#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.


Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Degree

(3+1 option) for B.S., Sport Management, Wellness and Fitness and Exercise Science and Health Promotions Concentrations


With PennWest California's 3+1 accelerated program, transfers into the wellness and fitness bachelor's degree program can transition directly into one of five concentrations in the Master of Science in Exercise Science and Health Promotions program with the potential to graduate with both degrees in just 4 years, or less. 

Wellness and Fitness Concentration Faculty

Wendy Batts
Adjunct Professor


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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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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