Exercise Science & Personal Training
Since 1985, fitness professionals have received comprehensive training and certification at GCC.
We are one of the first colleges in the U.S. to offer a Personal Trainer certification. Our program, which combines lectures and hands-on lessons, is taught by instructors with master’s and doctorate degrees and years of industry experience.
Fitness professionals can earn continuing education (C.E.) credits in many of our personal training and nutrition courses.
Check out the degrees and certificates available for fitness professionals:
Associate in Arts, Emphasis in Exercise Science
Exercise Science: Health, Fitness and Sports Performance
Personal Trainer: Advanced
Sports Medicine and Health Sciences
GCC accepts dual enrollment courses in Sports Medicine from partnered high schools. GCC offers courses that lead to degrees in Athletic Training, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Health & Wellness Coaching and other Health Science programs.
Former Student Testimonial:
“I have always looked at my GCC experience as some of the best learning and most committed professors I have ever had and it is because of the love that they have for the topic.”
Transfer and Continue Your Fitness Education
Start at GCC, then build on AAS degree coursework to complete a degree in Recreation and Wellness, Kinesiology, Health Science, Physical Education, Exercise Science or Athletic Training.
Maricopa's university transfer partners will accept your credits to get you closer to your bachelor’s degree upon transferring.
Northern Arizona University (NAU)
Northern Arizona University and the Maricopa Community Colleges have a unique partnership that provides students with the opportunity to complete a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences – Fitness Wellness on the Glendale Community College campus. You can finish your AAS or AA in Exercise Science, then transfer to NAU. You will continue to attend classes on the GCC campus to finish your NAU degree
The benefits of completing your NAU degree on the GCC campus include:
- Convenient location
- Free parking
- Small class sizes with a cohort
- Pre-planned course schedule
- Complete your bachelor's degree within two years
- Transfer up to 75 credits from MCCCD
- Many discounts and scholarships are available
If you are interested in a career in the fitness, health and wellness industry, this is an ideal program for you. This program also helps prepare students for NAU’s Master of Science in Athletic Training or Doctor of Physical Therapy.
To learn more about how the program works, please visit this informational slideshow.
Arizona State University (ASU)
MyPath2ASU® (complete prerequisites for ASU & achieve your associate's degree at GCC):
- Clinical Exercise Science leads to cardiac rehabilitation, Downtown Phoenix
- Kinesiology - keep your GPA up to be competitive for PT, PA and med school.
- Sports Science & Performance Program leads to strength and conditioning coaching, Downtown Phoenix
- Healthy Lifestyles and Fitness Science leads to two credentials: health coach and personal trainer, West, Online, Downtown Phoenix and Polytechnic
- Dietetics leads to becoming a registered dietitian, Downtown Phoenix
- Population Health leads to working with large groups of people in healthcare, West & Downtown Phoenix
Grand Canyon University (GCU)
GCU offers bachelor's degrees in Exercise Science and Athletic Training.
What Skills Do I Need To Succeed in Personal Fitness?
- Communication: deliver a message that’s well-received
- Leadership: be an ethical role model who’s able to instruct
- Knowledge of the human body: understand physiology, anatomy, nutrition, weight management, and general strength and fitness principles
- Knowledge of legal issues, emergency procedures, CPR certification, fitness equipment
- Ability to perform health screenings and program development for all ages and fitness levels
What Do Fitness Professionals Do on the Job?
Fitness professionals design fitness programs and supervise workouts for clients who want to improve their fitness level in a safe, motivated and effective manner. Opportunities include Personal Training, Strength and Conditioning, Youth and Senior Fitness, Group Exercise, Weight Management, Health Coaching, Corporate Wellness and Club Management.
Support Exercise Science Students
Donate to the GCC Exercise Science Fund and assist students in preparing to become fitness professionals. You can make a difference by donating online or by check. Please find GCC Exercise Science designation in the drop-down menu provided.