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Associate Degree in Applied Exercise and Fitness

Advance Your Personal Training, Exercise, & Fitness Skills

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Associate Degree in Exercise and Fitness

Career Outlook and Growth

Looking for a career where you can stay fit and change lives? A professional fitness and personal training career provides both. It all starts with the right skills, knowledge and credentials, which Bryan University’s programs give you. We fast track you to success – so you can launch your career and start making a difference sooner.

Careers for health and fitness professionals, instructors, and personal trainers are projected to grow faster than average through the year 2030 at a rate of 15% or higher with projected job openings of 69,100 in the US.1

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2021-22 Edition, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm. Also see https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/39-9031.00. Sites visited 10/15/2022. Also, job market conditions are dynamic and can change. This data is not intended to predict the market conditions that will be present when you graduate from your program and may differ based on your geographic location and other factors.

Attractive Career Opportunities

In this growing industry, an Associate Degree in Applied Exercise and Fitness can put you on the path to a fulfilling career opportunities2 including:

  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • Gym Staff Member
  • Independent Trainer/Contractor
  • Nutrition/Supplement Store Associate
  • Fitness/Wellness Coordinator
  • Certified Group Exercise Instructor

2 Example occupations shown herein do not imply a guarantee of employment. Students are responsible for conducting occupational research for their chosen program. Employers have unique hiring practices and job-specific requirements, which may include years of experience for manager positions. Graduates with little to no prior experience should expect an entry-level position.

Diverse Employers

Health and fitness professionals have a range of opportunities for employment such as:

  • Gyms and fitness facilities
  • Corporate fitness centers
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Self-employment
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Career & Job Search Services for Students & Grads

You’ll receive a dedicated career services advisor that provides job search assistance, job networking best practices, interview preparation, and helps you create an eye-catching resume.

Employers Who Have Hired BU Grads

Program Highlights

60
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Total Credits
100%
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Online
2
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Courses at a Time
8
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Weeks per Course

Get the Skills Employers Want

Bryan U programs are aligned with employers’ needs to ensure you get the most current and relevant skills, including:

Certificate

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Kinesiology
  • Nutrition
  • Sales fundamentals & client retention
  • Behavior change
  • Motivation & goal setting
  • Sustainability of health habits
  • Client intake & fitness screenings
  • Design of personal fitness programs
  • Preparation for NASM CPT cert - one exam attempt included in tuition

Associate Degree

  • Group exercise instruction
  • Weight management, diet and nutrition
  • Body sciences
  • Cardio-respiratory and flexibility programming
  • Gym operations
  • Building a fitness business
  • Speaking and presenting
  • Writing and communications
  • Preparation for NASM & ACSM group exercise cert - one exam attempt included in tuition

Gain Valuable Experience

Bryan University’s Applied Exercise and  Fitness Associate Degree is aligned with competencies by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and developed  in collaboration with industry experts. You’ll gain valuable practice experience online combined with assignments that simulate job tasks to ensure you’re job-ready upon graduation.

Get targeted practice using NASM’s test prep study modules to prepare for certification exams such as Certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise. Track your progress and get feedback for improvement.

Practice & demonstrate your skills to your instructors from home using a mobile-compatible video platform integrated into your learning assignments. Role-play trainer-client conversations & fitness consultations.

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Upgrade Your Skills & Career Options: Stackable Programs with Dual Enrollment

Once you complete your AFIT associate degree, you may consider continuing your education at the bachelor's degree level. Bryan University offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science, Fitness, and Nutrition Management developed in partnership with industry experts. All credits earned in the PTUC and AFIT programs fully transfer into the bachelor's degree.

Hear from Our Successful Graduates

"Bryan University prepared me for the workforce, especially owning my own business.”
–Jordan Otis, BU Graduate

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Meet Your Program Faculty

Chestiny Fair
Chestiny Fair
Instructor, Bryan University

Degree(s) earned:

  • D. Health and Human Performance from Concordia University (expected completion 2022)
  • Master of Kinesiology from A.T. Still University, Mesa Arizona
  • Bachelor’s of Science, Health, and Wellness from Arizona State University
  • Associates of Applied Science, Dietetics from Chandler-Gilbert Community College

Certification(s):

  • Weightlifting Sports performance (USAW)
  • Personal Training (ACSM)
  • CPR-AED (AHA)

Contributions to the fitness field:

  • Educated over 150 volunteers that have worked for the food bank on the importance of food safety and low-income families in apache junction in the elementary schools about healthy eating and daily physical activities.

Areas of interest/specialties within the fitness industry:

  • Coaching Cardio, Strength, and Flexibility Training
  • Weight Management Injury Prevention
  • Corporate Wellness
  • Nutrition
  • Olympic lifting
  • Working with youth athletes

Personal interests outside of fitness:

  • Spending time with my daughter and friends, running, reading, weightlifting, playing sports, coaching, painting, and teaching.

Favorite quotes:

  • “Sometimes, words get in the way of action and thinking gets in the way of doing.” - Unknown
  • “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” - Fred DeVito
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Chestiny Fair
Chestiny Fair Instructor, Bryan University

Degree(s) earned:

  • D. Health and Human Performance from Concordia University (expected completion 2022)
  • Master of Kinesiology from A.T. Still University, Mesa Arizona
  • Bachelor’s of Science, Health, and Wellness from Arizona State University
  • Associates of Applied Science, Dietetics from Chandler-Gilbert Community College

Certification(s):

  • Weightlifting Sports performance (USAW)
  • Personal Training (ACSM)
  • CPR-AED (AHA)

Contributions to the fitness field:

  • Educated over 150 volunteers that have worked for the food bank on the importance of food safety and low-income families in apache junction in the elementary schools about healthy eating and daily physical activities.

Areas of interest/specialties within the fitness industry:

  • Coaching Cardio, Strength, and Flexibility Training
  • Weight Management Injury Prevention
  • Corporate Wellness
  • Nutrition
  • Olympic lifting
  • Working with youth athletes

Personal interests outside of fitness:

  • Spending time with my daughter and friends, running, reading, weightlifting, playing sports, coaching, painting, and teaching.

Favorite quotes:

  • “Sometimes, words get in the way of action and thinking gets in the way of doing.” - Unknown
  • “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” - Fred DeVito
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Cheri Fisher
Faculty, Bryan University

Degree(s) earned: 

  • Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from University of Toledo
  • MS in Exercise Science from University of Toledo

Certification(s):

  • AFAA-PGEC
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Cheri Fisher Faculty, Bryan University

Degree(s) earned: 

  • Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from University of Toledo
  • MS in Exercise Science from University of Toledo

Certification(s):

  • AFAA-PGEC
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Daniel Hartmann
Faculty, Bryan University

Degree(s) earned: 

  • BS in Exercise Science, Western Michigan University

Certification(s):

  • NASM-CPT
read more
bu seal placeholder
Daniel Hartmann Faculty, Bryan University

Degree(s) earned: 

  • BS in Exercise Science, Western Michigan University

Certification(s):

  • NASM-CPT

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Meet Your General Education Faculty

Kelsey Lunsford portrait
Kelsey Lunsford Instructor, Bryan University

MA, Communication, University of Central Florida; BA, Human Communication, University of Central Florida

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Kelsey Lunsford portrait
Kelsey Lunsford Instructor, Bryan University

MA, Communication, University of Central Florida; BA, Human Communication, University of Central Florida

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Shannon McCarty Instructor, Bryan University

PhD in Professional Studies from Capella University; Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Arizona State University; Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry from University of Arizona

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Shannon McCarty portrait
Shannon McCarty Instructor, Bryan University

PhD in Professional Studies from Capella University; Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Arizona State University; Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry from University of Arizona

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Evangeline McDonald Instructor, Bryan University

MA in Mathematics, The University of Texas at Arlington; BS in Mathematics, Dallas Baptist University

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Evangeline McDonald portrait
Evangeline McDonald Instructor, Bryan University

MA in Mathematics, The University of Texas at Arlington; BS in Mathematics, Dallas Baptist University

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Explore Exercise and Fitness Courses

  • EXE-220, 3.0 credits
    Cardiorespiratory and Flexibility Programming
    This course covers the foundations of cardiovascular programming and flexibility programming. Cardiovascular programming centers on creating and progressing programs for individuals looking to improve health, athletic performance, and body composition. Flexibility topics are focused on observing limitations or deficiencies and designing flexibility and stretching programs for various populations.
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  • EXE-215, 3.0 credits
    Weight Management
    This course focuses on making dietary recommendations to address common health concerns and achieve effective and permanent changes in weight. Students practice calorie balancing and learn about weight loss planning, answering common client question, the roles of exercise and sleep on weight maintenance, and weight plateaus.
    expand details
  • EXE-210, 3.0 credits
    Applied Group Training
    This practical, applied class provides students the opportunity to demonstrate what they learned in Group Training Theory. Students will apply best practices as a group exercise instructor, including class design, communication skills, coaching and cueing, and progression and regression.
    expand details
  • EXE-205, 3.0 credits
    Group Training Theory
    This course provides students with the basic theory and skills needed to be an effective group training professional. Students learn how to set up programs and instruct sessions for group training in a variety of settings and with a variety of group training modalities.
    expand details
  • EXE-200, 3.0 credits
    Fitness Management
    This course covers the fundamentals of operating a small fitness business. Course topics include strategy and mission development, financial fitness, laws and regulations, operations, and building the future of the business.
    expand details
  • ENG-112S, 3.0 credits
    English Composition II
    A course building on lessons learned in English Composition I. In addition to reviewing the writing process, topics include research techniques, citation techniques, documentation formats, and critical analysis of written topics.
    expand details

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A legacy of graduate success since 1940.

Accreditation & Approvals

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Benefits for You

Included in Tuition

As a Bryan University student, you’ll receive these benefits and services included in tuition at no extra cost.

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    Industry Certifications & Credentials

    Prepare for third-party certifications – one certification exam attempt paid for by the university.

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    Electronic Books & Courseware

    We give you easy access to your e-textbooks and software.

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    Tutoring & Academic Support

    Our tutors and academic staff provide personalized support whenever you need it.

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    School Starter Kit

    You’ll receive a starter package to ensure you’re ready to succeed in your program.

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    Accelerated Programs & No Waiting Lists

    Finish in the shortest time possible and never get wait-listed for course registration.

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    Refresher Classes

    As a graduate, audit previously completed courses free to keep your skills sharp.

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    Personal Success Coach

    You'll receive dedicated support to help you succeed in and out of the classroom.

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    Career Services

    Get expert help to ensure you're job-ready and connect with employers.

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    Mentoring from Expert Faculty

    Learn from faculty with real-world experience in their field.

Highly Recommended by Students & Grads

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Why Learn Online

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Flexible & Convenient

We recognize that life can be busy and complex, so we’ve designed the learning experience around you. You have the option to complete your homework assignments online each week at days and times convenient to you. You have the flexibility to resubmit homework to improve your grades and gain greater mastery of the course content.

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Learn Faster & Retain More

We provide you with user-friendly learning technology such as adaptive digital textbooks and simulated job tasks to help you learn faster, easier, and retain more knowledge. All your efforts are recorded so you can track your progress and plan your time more effectively.

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Live Classes & Academic Support

Studying online with Bryan lets you learn from the comfort of home while connecting you in live events with peers, teachers, industry professionals, and mentors. If you happen to miss the event, we record them so can you watch them later and not miss a beat. Whenever you need help with an assignment, you can schedule a tutor at any time online with the click of a button.

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Connect with Peers, Faculty & Industry Experts

At Bryan, we don’t think learning online means learning alone. Connect with faculty, peers, and student support conveniently from your smartphone, tablet, or computer using Zoom, a user-friendly video app. You’ll join a vibrant community that includes industry experts who will provide support, expand your professional network, and celebrate your success along the way.

How You Learn Online

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Live Classes on Zoom

Most programs provide live classes that are also recorded in case you miss them and need to watch them later - click here for a list of live classes by program.

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Re-submit Homework for Mastery

Didn't get the grade you wanted? At Bryan U, you can resubmit your homework to improve your grades.

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User-Friendly Learning Technology

You'll learn using a program that adapts to your knowledge level while helping you learn faster and retain more.

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Share Your Interests

Engage with others in class using a social platform to share your thoughts on topics you're interested in.

BU Student Experience

Affording College

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Tuition Lock Guarantee

Bryan offers affordable tuition rates for all students, no matter where they reside. We don't differentiate between residents or non-residents. We also lock-in your tuition rate when you enroll, so you can rest assured that your tuition will never increase over the length of your program.

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Transfer Credits

If you apply to Bryan University with prior college credits and/or a degree, we’ll accept as many credits as possible to validate the hard work you’ve already completed. If you complete a Bryan U associate degree or undergraduate certificate, these credits are transferrable to a higher degree, such as a bachelor’s degree.

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Financial Aid if You Qualify

As an accredited institution, students of Bryan University who are residents of the United States may qualify for federal financial aid. Our team of dedicated financial advisors can also help you understand what other options are available to you. To learn about those who qualify, please visit our financial aid page.

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Active-Duty Military & Veterans

For students who are veterans or active-duty members of the U.S. military, you may also use your military educational benefits, if qualified. Please see our military benefits page for more details. You may also complete the Request Information form or call us at 888-721-9773 to receive immediate assistance.

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Tuition Rates Go Down the Longer You're in School

As you progress through each credential level (e.g., certificate to associate degree, or associate degree to bachelor's degree), your tuition decreases. Plus, your tuition is locked in once you enroll so that it never goes up as long as you remain continuously enrolled in good academic standing. For a current listing of Bryan University's tuition rates by program, please visit our tuition rates page.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to Bryan University, prospective students must complete the following requirements:

  • Earn a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Be at least 17 years of age. If a student is under the age of 18, they will be required to have a parent or legal guardian counter-sign enrollment forms.
  • Fill out the University’s Application and pay a $25 registration fee.
  • Complete an interview with an Admissions Representative. Please call 888-768-6861 or complete the Request Information form to schedule this.
  • Pass a computer and internet speed assessment to ensure technology minimums are met. Please see the university’s course catalog to see detailed technology requirements.
  • Complete all required forms for admission.
  • For transfer credit evaluation, submit official transcripts from past colleges and universities attended.
  • Complete an online introductory course – “LaunchPad” – to demonstrate the ability to navigate online coursework.
  • Attend online orientation to meet your faculty and classmates.
  • For all healthcare and paralegal programs, applicants must complete and pass a required criminal background check, which is provided by the university.
  • Note that students applying to healthcare programs may need to identify a practicum site. The university provides a list of approved practicum sites and will support students in site selection.

To begin this process, we invite you to contact a member of our admissions team at 888-768-6861 or complete the Request Information form.

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