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 2029 at a rate of 8% or higher with projected job openings of 66,400 in the US.1
Preparing now means you’ll be ready for the jobs of the future.
Health and fitness professionals have a range of opportunities for employment such as:
In this growing industry, an Associate Degree in Applied Exercise and Fitness can put you on the path to a fulfilling career field, including:
The associate degree program at Bryan University in Applied Exercise and Fitness (AFIT) offers you a broad range of learning competencies. You'll receive interactive learning experiences, live coaching and feedback, and in-depth health and fitness expertise.
The AFIT program was designed based on current competencies outlined by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) so you learn the skills employers demand.
As a student at Bryan University, you’ll gain extensive knowledge in our interactive classrooms from faculty who have real-world industry experience. Your AFIT courses will provide all of the skills and competencies contained in the Personal Trainer Undergraduate Certificate program, including body sciences, nutrition, personal trainer cert preparation, design of fitness programs, motivational techniques, and sales fundamentals. In addition, AFIT provides:
When you receive an accredited degree from Bryan University coupled with the credibility of a personal trainer certification, you’re immediately prepared for the job market.
Your investment in a Bryan University education will open doors to new career opportunities and provide you the following benefits:
At Bryan University, we believe that success in the field of health and fitness training demands a different approach to education. That’s why we’re dedicated to building a more innovative, interactive learning environment that adapts to your unique needs and provides you with individual coaching and feedback.
For students choosing the Online learning option, you’ll receive:
For students living in Phoenix or the surrounding area, you'll have the option to attend our modern campus located in Tempe, Arizona. We invite you to visit our campus for a tour of the facilities, plus you'll have the opportunity to meet and speak with instructors. Please complete the Request Information form or call 888-768-6861 to learn more.
Continue to the Bachelor's Degree Level
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.
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.
For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important information, please visit our consumer information page.
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2020-21 Edition, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm. Also see http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/39-9031.00.
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.
The Associate Degree in Applied Exercise and Fitness prepares students to become well-rounded and specialized in their exercise, fitness, and personal training knowledge. Graduates of the program build on their fundamental personal training knowledge by learning about the business elements of being a personal trainer and gaining specialized knowledge in group training theory, small group training, and weight management. Following the completion of this program, students will be able to:
UNV-101S—Student Success and Technology Foundations—3.0 credits
A course covering the information and skills needed to succeed in academic studies, including study skills, setting academic goals, managing time, and technology skills such as word processing and presentations.
PTD-100—Personal Training and Sales Fundamentals—3.0 credits
This course provides an introduction to the field of personal training along with the fundamental skills necessary to be an effective salesperson in the field. The history of personal training, professional organizations, certifications, and career tracks in the field are discussed. Students learn about communication skills, interviewing, steps of the sale, and fundamentals of professional conduct and ethics. Additionally, students learn the primal movement patterns and gain practical experience performing many common exercises and movement patterns that will be utilized with their clients.
PTD-101—Body Sciences I—3.0 credits
This course will provide an in-depth look at basics principles of kinesiology, including planes of motion, joints of movement, and joint actions.
PTD-102—Body Sciences II—3.0 credits
This course will provide an in-depth look at how the human body systems interact and function in relation to exercise and movement. Students will learn the various parts and functions of the nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems.
PTD-103—Client Intake and Assessment—3.0 credits
This course covers the fundamentals of conducting health screenings and risk stratifications, as well as tests such as body fat, cardiovascular condition, and various performance tests.
PTD-104— Programming Basics I—3.0 credits
This course covers the fundamentals of designing resistance training, cardiorespiratory training, and flexibility programs. The course focuses on training session components and appropriate exercise selection, progression, and program design variables for resistance and cardiorespiratory training.
PTD-105—Programming Basics II—3.0 credits
This course covers the fundamentals of advanced training programs. The course focuses on appropriate exercise selection, progression, and program design variables for advanced programs and special populations.
PTD-106— Nutrition Fundamentals—3.0 credits
This course covers the fundamentals of nutrition and how food is used by the human body. Students will be able to identify healthy food sources for the various nutrients and decipher reliable and unreliable nutritional information.
PTD-107—Behavior Management—3.0 credits
This course is an introduction to the motivation behind behavior change as it relates to physical activity behaviors. Topics include goal setting, motivating clients, developing an action plan, and communication strategies needed to inspire and sustain long-term healthy habits.
PTD-110—Exam and Career Preparation—3.0 credits
This course prepares students to take the NASM certification exam, paying particular attention to test-taking skills and improvement of weak areas of knowledge, skill, and ability. Students also prepare for their career through resume building activities and interview roleplays.
EXE-200—Fitness Management—3.0 credits
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.
EXE-205—Group Training Theory—3.0 credits
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.
EXE-210—Applied Group Training—3.0 credits
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.
EXE-215—Weight Management—3.0 credits
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.
EXE-220—Cardiorespiratory and Flexibility Programming—3.0 credits
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.
CRT-110S—Critical Thinking—3.0 credits
This course provides foundational topics related to logic and critical thinking including, informal logic, formal logic, and fallacies.
COM-210S—Speaking and Presenting—3.0 credits
This course covers the fundamentals of public speaking in today’s society. Topics include how to write a quality speech and how to clearly and confidently speak in public forums, including social media and blogs.
ENG-110S—English Composition I—3.0 credits
This course covers written communication skills with an emphasis on understanding the writing process, analyzing readings, and practicing writing for personal and professional applications.
ENG-112S—English Composition II—3.0 credits
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.
MAT-110S—Algebra I—3.0 credits
This course begins with a review of real numbers and algebraic expressions before covering algebra topics including linear equations and inequalities, lines and functions, systems, exponents, polynomials, and factoring.
Note that courses are subject to change based upon employer needs and marketplace requirements. The most up-to-date course descriptions and textbook information can be found in the Bryan University Course Catalog.
Program offered 100% online.
To complete the program, students must earn a minimum of 60 semester credits, 30 of which include the Personal Trainer Undergraduate Certificate (PTUC) program.
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 transferable to a higher degree, such as a bachelor’s degree.
Lead Faculty, Bryan University
Areas of experience/interest within the fitness industry:
Instructor, Bryan University
Contributions to the fitness field:
Areas of interest/specialties within the fitness industry:
Personal interests outside of fitness:
Faculty, Bryan University
Instructor, Bryan University
Master of Arts in English/Professional Writing, Northern Arizona University; Master of Communication, Grand Canyon University; Bachelor of Interdisciplinary/Organizational Studies, Arizona State University
Instructor, Bryan University
MA in International Affairs from George Washington University
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
Instructor, Bryan University
MA in Mathematics, The University of Texas at Arlington; BS in Mathematics, Dallas Baptist University
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.
Tuition Goes Down the Longer You're in School
We understand the importance of helping you stay in school and graduate successfully. To help motivate you, we provide tuition discounts the longer you're in school.
Financing Options Available
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 more, please visit our financial aid page.
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.