Welcome to the Northern Virginia Community College Website

Accessibility Navigation:

Personal Training Career Studies Certificate


This program is based on the standards of the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and prepares you to become a knowledgeable fitness professional in health clubs, recreation departments, and fitness facilities in private, commercial, corporate or government settings. The program will prepare you to sit for a nationally recognized certification exam in Personal Training.

Recommended Preparation

You are expected to attain high levels of fitness during this program and you should be in good health to participate in the vigorous workouts.

Special Admission Information

No classes will be waived without permission of a Fitness Certificate Advisor.

Course Requirements

Completion Requirements: 

The following must be met to obtain the Fitness Career Studies Certificate:

Achieve a grade of “C” or better in all certificate courses.

Score 80% or higher on the exit exam.

Hold a current CPR certification.

Recommended Preparation: You are expected to attain high levels of fitness during this program and should be in good health to participate in the vigorous workouts.

One YearCredits
1st Semester
1BIO 141 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4
CST 110 Intro to Communication or 3
CST 126  Interpersonal Communication  
2HLT 105 Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or a current CPR card 1
PED 111 Weight Training I 1
3PED 116 Lifetime Fitness & Wellness or 2-3

110  Concepts of Personal & Community Health

4 BUS, FIN or MKT Elective 3
Total   14-15
2nd Semester
DIT 121 Nutrition I 3
HLT 206 Exercise Science 3
PED 168 Basic Personal Trainer Preparation 3
5PED 220 Adult Health and Development 2-3
6PED ___ Elective 1
Total   12-13
Total credits for the Fitness Career Studies Certificate = 26-28

1 BIO 142 is recommended in addition to BIO 141 for transfer into a four-year program and for students interested in a more thorough understanding of the systems of the human body.

2 HLT 105 requirement may be met with proof of current certification in CPR through a recognized organization such as the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross.

3 HLT 110 is recommended for transfer to George Mason.

4 Approved Courses: BUS 100, BUS 116, BUS 165, BUS 201, FIN 107, MKT 215

5 PED 190 Coordinated Internship (2 cr.) may be substituted with approval of a fitness advisor.

6 Approved PED Electives: PED 100, PED 103, PED 109

Fitness Facilities

All NOVA Fitness Centers are open to all current faculty, staff and students. A valid NOVACard is required to enter. All persons wishing to use the Center must complete an orientation session and sign a waiver.

Fitness Centers are for workouts, intramurals and college athletic events only.

Loitering is not permitted at any Fitness Center.