About the Program

Why This Major Is Relevant

Fitness and overall personal health are a critical concern in a society where we are living longer, but not necessarily better. Childhood obesity is on the rise, and sedentary lifestyles into adulthood and old age contribute to increased, unnecessary strain on our medical system and our families. As a result, the fitness and health services fields are growing exponentially. Wellness programs; public and private fitness facilities; high school, intercollegiate, and professional sports programs; rehabilitative sports clinics; and hospitals call for professionals with the expertise necessary to formulate exercise plans that improve quality of life and enhance performance.

APU’s applied exercise science major uniquely qualifies graduates to meet this demand, and upon completion of the degree they are eligible to sit for professional certification through organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and other nationally recognized certifications.

Gain In-depth Learning Experience

All applied exercise science majors take part in two semester-long internships under the direction of an exercise science professional at one of several APU-approved practicum sites. Students receive invaluable hands-on learning that can then be applied back to coursework. These internship opportunities provide contacts in the field and ensure that exercise science majors graduate with significant, relevant experience on their résumés.

Mission Statement

The mission of the applied exercise science (AES) program is to prepare students through Christ-centered values to assess, design, and implement fitness programs for clients based on scientific evidence to achieve optimal health and performance across a variety of settings. Through a dynamic academic and applied background, students are expertly prepared for professional certifications and to enter postprofessional degrees in exercise science and other allied health professions.

Academic Partnership

In 2010, Azusa Pacific University joined with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) to offer courses designed to prepare students to sit specifically for their certification exams.


The exercise science profession has multiple certifying organizations that support a student's employment potential and professional development. Students seeking certification in the field are subject to each organization's guidelines and standards to be eligible to sit for a certification. The faculty for the applied exercise science program will help the student explore which certification is appropriate for their professional goals. Students are encouraged to sit for the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)-Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) examination after completing their sophomore year. In addition, students will be prepared to sit for the NASM-Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) and/or Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) examinations at the end of completing the applied exercise science major. Students are also responsible for all the associated fees and costs of the desired certifications.

Note: This information is current for the 2016-17 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.