Associate Degree In Exercise Science

The purpose of an Associate Degree in Exercise Science with an Emphasis in Personal Training is to prepare students for entry-level positions as personal trainers with the ability to pursue a Bachelor’s or Advanced Degree in Exercise Science, Medical Exercise, Sports Medicine, Kinesiology, Physical Education, Athletic Training, Physical Therapy, or Chiropractic. 

 Our program is designed specifically for students who seek to acquire a comprehensive framework in personal training concepts and skills in order to contribute and create solutions for the widest variety of clients. Many students also find these skills essential to improving their own health.

Upon successful completion of the program requirements, students will acquire the knowledge and skills to apply exercise science, business, management, communication, and psychology to meet the needs of their clients as well as support their own professional and entrepreneurial efforts.

Graduates with an associate degree work as:

  • Trainers and Strength Coaches
  • Corporate Health and Wellness Managers
  • Nutrition Specialists
  • Sports Managers

Is an Associate’s Degree in Exercise Science Right for You?

Take the Lionel University “Associate of Science in Exercise Science Training Readiness Quiz”

This fun, online quiz takes 3 minutes to complete and you’ll get a personalized report. Identify your strengths and social style plus the training and positions you’re best suited for. Get Your Fitness Training Readiness score now >>



Earn Fitness Certifications as You Progress.

Jumpstart your personal training career with our Associate of Science in Exercise Science. Our coursework includes 6 individual certification courses, powered by ISSA and complemented by industry-relevant education topics and elective classes. With our prescribed schedule, you will earn your first of many certifications as early as 10 weeks in - aiding further successful progression through the program while enabling higher pay grades & increased clientele opportunities along the way!

*Certifications are issued by ISSA, LLC (an affiliated third-party). Lionel University provides a list to ISSA, LLC. of students who pass PTR251-PTR261 courses at the end of each quarter. ISSA, LLC. then issues the certifications via mail to these students. Lionel University does not own or operate ISSA, LLC., and is not responsible for the issuing of the certifications.

Certified Fitness Trainer
Certified Fitness Trainer
Specialist In Fitness Nutrition
Specialist in Fitness Nutrition
Transformation Specialist
Transformation Specialist
Bodybuilding Specialist
Bodybuilding Specialist
Corrective Exercise Specialist
Corrective Exercise Specialist
Specialist In Exercise Therapy
Specialist in Exercise Therapy
Specialist In Group Fitness
Specialist in Group Fitness
Specialist In Strength And Conditioning
Specialist in Strength and Conditioning
Specialist In Senior Fitness
Specialist in Senior Fitness
Youth Fitness Trainer
Youth Fitness Trainer
Certifications Earned From ISSA

No hidden costs or fees.




Associate degree graduates will be able to:

  • 01 Demonstrate analytical, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills applicable to real-world situations.
  • 02 Develop the foundation of exercise science knowledge and technical skills to support and facilitate lifelong professional development.
  • 03 Develop an academic foundation to go beyond an Associate’s Degree into higher education.
  • 04 Build a foundation of knowledge and technical skills to support and facilitate lifelong professional development
  • 05 Pursue a bachelor's or other advanced degree



A University Education You Can Trust

Lionel is in the top 8% of Military Friendly® schools nationwide and 70% of our students are affiliated with the military.
Lionel is proud to be accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
Lionel is recognized by the IHRSA, and independent and nationally recognized accreditation for personal training certification programs.
Lionel was rated as one of the best nationally accredited online colleges by EdSmart.




You’ll need 90 credits to complete your Associate of Science in Exercise Science. Your course schedule may vary based on transferable credits. Your academic counselor will help schedule your courses after you apply.

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Download the Lionel course catalog

Uncover the facts needed to decide if Lionel is your ideal fit!

General Education: 30 Credits

Core: 30 Credits

Elective: 30 Credits

Faculty & Staff


Faculty & Staff

At Lionel, our instructors are the epitome of Exercise Science Professionals. With extensive expertise in their chosen field, they provide you with insight that only real-world experience can offer - teaching you exactly what it takes to thrive in your career journey!


Of faculty are working professionals in the field of exercise science

15+ years

Average professional experience


Of faculty have advanced degrees


Faculty to student ratio


Of faculty hold doctorates


Of students would recommend their instructors

Career Services


Career Services

At Lionel University, we are dedicated to ensuring the success of our students and alumni by providing them with unparalleled access to career opportunities.

Our Career Connect For Life Program has partnered with leading companies in Exercise Science – enabling both current students and alumni alike to take advantage of job postings as well as receive top-quality coaching services for their professional journey into the future.

  • Career Coaching 
  • Resume & Cover Letter Critiques  
  • Interview Prep 
  • Job & Internship Searching 
  • Professional Etiquette & Networking 
  • Career Fair Prep 
  • Evaluating Career Opportunities
  • Career blogs and video content
  • Networking and mentorships
  • Personal brand development
  • Entrepreneurship Development

Job Prospects & Salary


Job prospects & salary

Your studies at Lionel will immerse you in science-backed principles of fitness, health and wellness for you, your family, your neighbors, and your community. Your degree in Exercise Science will give you the knowledge and skills needed to meet the country in the areas of its greatest need.

  • 50% of the adult US population is predicted to be clinically obese by 2030.*
  • The U.S. fitness and wellness industry is worth $30 billion annually, and it grows every year.**
  • 67,600 Projected job openings for fitness trainers and instructors through the year 2028.***

On average, trainers with an exercise science degree earn $65,640/year*

Lionel sets you up for success

Lionel has Career Connect partnerships with many of the largest fitness organizations in the country. 

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Impact opportunities for graduates

  • Business Owner
  • Health club/Gym Manager
  • Community Wellness Advocate
  • Nutrition Coach
  • Health Coach
  • Master Trainer
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Corporate Wellness Expert
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Clinical Exercise Specialist
  • Community Wellness Advocate

Tuition & Fees


Tuition & Fees

Pursue your passion without drowning in debt.

Specialist In Group Fitness-3 1

Questions about Financial Aid?

Connect with a Lionel enrollment advisor!

Undergraduate Credits

Students residing in the U.S. (regardless of citizenship) and U.S. citizens residing abroad

$333 / credit

International students

$440 / credit

Certification Fee

Paid per certification


Technology Fee

Paid once per quarter


Proctor Fee

Exam Proctor


Textbook Costs

Digital textbooks are embedded into each course at no additional cost. Unrestricted access is available seven days prior to the start of class and throughout the quarter.


Admissions & Registration Fees

Apply at any time at no cost.


Transfer Credit Evaluation

Our staff will review your transfer documentation at no cost.




Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

Is Lionel accredited?

Will I have support during my education?

What types of financial aid do you accept?

When do courses start?

How many hours of study time should I expect each week?

Do I need to pay for textbooks?

Do I have to take a minimum number of credits each quarter?

How do I transfer my prior college credits?