Exercise Science

Exercise Science Degree: Online Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

About the Exercise Science Program

Channel your interest in health, wellness and fitness into a top professional path.

The accredited online bachelor's degree in exercise science from PennWest California lets you study exercise science, wellness and fitness, plus build a strong foundation in business, marketing, management and more.

You will sharpen your skills in youth fitness, or study fitness for aging individuals, as well as special needs populations. You can complete this fully online bachelor's degree program in three years, without any on-campus residency requirements. And you will gain skills and certification to be job-ready.

Earn job-ready credentials

The B.S. in Exercise Science provides the skills you need to qualify for these certifications:

  • Certified Personal Trainer from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), considered the industry gold standard in wellness and fitness.
  • Certified Speed Coach from the National Association of Speed and Explosion (NASE).

Studying exercise science, wellness and fitness online is a convenient fit for people with busy schedules, while still providing close interaction with your cohort peers and expert professors in your major, using the latest learning technology.


Full focus
The online exercise science degree program is well-rounded, focusing on professional development, preventive healthcare and top-quality fitness education. This major also emphasizes leadership development and sharpening business skills.

PennWest California's close professional partnerships with industry organizations (NASM and NASE) ensure that our bachelor's degree curriculum fully meets employer demand in the exercise science, fitness and wellness profession.


PennWest California's B.S. in Exercise Science is one of only 30 wellness and fitness programs nationwide to be recognized by NASM.
100 %
  Online bachelor's degree can be completed in three years.


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Degree Benefits

Receive an excellent education in fitness and wellness in our online exercise science degree program: 

  • Study anatomy, physiology, wellness.

  • Focus on sport marketing, finance, legal issues.

  • Learn about nutrition, health and the art of motivating people to embrace fitness.

  • Evaluate research in wellness and fitness.

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Graduate Outcomes

PennWest California graduates go on to graduate education or are ready to start or advance their careers in exercise science, fitness and wellness in Pennsylvania and nationally:

  • Fitness centers and spas, including 24 Hour and Lifetime. Corporate fitness settings.
  • High-school coaching, collegiate athletics.
  • Professional sports teams, including New York Knicks, Boston Celtics.
  • Hospitals, personal training.
  • Graduate schools, including University of Alabama, Michigan State, California State University at San Diego, East Stroudsburg and PennWest California.


B.S. in Exercise Science Curriculum and Admission Requirements

100% online courses provide students with a well-rounded major in exercise science, wellness and fitness. Experienced faculty use the latest technology to create real-world activities so online students can apply new knowledge and skills in their personal and work settings.



Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
Any Oral Communication Course
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
Any Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy Course
Health and Wellness
HSC 115  Current Health Issues
Technological Literacy
Any Technological Literacy Course
Any Humanities Course
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
HSC 110  Human Anatomy and Physiology I
Social Sciences
Any Social Sciences Course
General Education Options
  • SPT 305  Ethics in Sport
  • ATE 340  Sports Nutrition  OR  HSC 250  Nutrition for Wellness
  • Any General Education Options Courses (two courses)
Required Major Courses 49
FIT 100  Intro to Fitness 3
FIT 115  Applied Anatomy and Physiology in Wellness and Fitness 4
FIT 125  Fundamentals of Speed Training 3
FIT 250  Current Topics and Strategies for Youth Fitness 3
FIT 300  Business Aspects of Fitness 3
FIT 305  Motivational Strategies in Wellness and Fitness 3
FIT 325  Integrated Personal Fitness Training 3
FIT 335  Integrated Personal Fitness Program Design 3
FIT 350  Fitness for Special Populations* 3
FIT 380  Wellness and Fitness for the Aging Population 3
FIT 401  Leadership Concepts and Actions in Wellness and Fitness 3
FIT 405  Wellness Seminar I 3
FIT 410  Wellness Seminar II* 3
FIT 420  Contemporary Issues in Fitness* 3
FIT 425  Evaluating Research in Fitness and Wellness 3
FIT 430  Application of Fitness and Wellness Research 3
Required Related Courses 12
SPT 300  Psychology of Sport 3
SPT 400  Legal Aspects of Sport 3
HSC 275  Functional Kinesiology 3
HSC 325  Physiology of Exercise 3
Free Electives 18
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): FIT 410 Wellness Seminar II
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): FIT 425 Evaluation Research in Fitness and Wellness AND FIT 430 Application of Fitness and Wellness Research
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): FIT 115 Applied Anatomy and Physiology in Wellness and Fitness

* An internship option is also available; students may substitute FIT 499 Exercise Science Internship (9 credits) for three 3-credit didactic courses (FIT 350, 410 and 420). Students may also elect to complete an internship as elective credit (SPT 499) if they wish to complete all courses in the didactic.

Program Notes:

  • Students must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher to participate in an internship and to be eligible for graduation.
  • All General Education/Elective credits, all SPT, all HSC and ATE courses can be completed on campus. 
  • All FIT prefix courses are completed online. 

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Admission Requirements

 View admission requirements for:


Online Exercise Science Degree

 Set Apart

The exercise science program is set apart from competitor schools by PennWest California's partnership with NASM and NASE, and by our dedicated faculty, many of whom have earned doctoral degrees in the field.

nasm certification

Competitive Edge

NASM selected PennWest California as its first academic partner in 2003. NASM certification is considered the premier standard in the wellness and fitness field, giving our students a competitive advantage for future jobs.

Online Exercise Science Degree

Unique skills

NASE is an international organization dedicated to assisting health and wellness professionals improve their knowledge in the area of speed training - and earn well-respected certification credentials.