School of Professional Development
Stony Brook University School of Professional Development Search

Personal Fitness Training (PFT) and
Advanced PFT

The Online Professional Certificate in Personal Fitness Training (PFT) is a collaboration between Stony Brook University, the College-University Partners Network™, industry experts, internship affiliates, a board of advisors, and national organizations.  This interactive, comprehensive Web-based certificate program with an optional field internship elective course will allow students from around the world to fit courses into their busy work and home schedules, go online wherever they are, and complete the certificate within five months or have up to two-years if necessary. 

Content and curriculum within each course in the program is designed to present the student with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to implement a unique medically-based fitness model for their future or current clients.  Students will learn how to apply their client’s health history, goals, and abilities integrating exercise science curriculum and practical training techniques into a systematic model that teaches students to progress their clients through different training levels and phases. 

Who Should Attend

The Certificate program is designed to supply essential educational pathways and career opportunities for:

  • Individuals who would like to begin a career in the emerging fitness/health industry
  • Established fitness professionals who desire advanced education
  • Allied health and medical professionals from all fields seeking to broaden their careers to become full or part-time personal trainers/fitness instructors 

Workplace Advantages and Benefits

  • On-going guidance, instruction, and interaction from instructors that hold either a master’s or Ph.D. degree in exercise science, biomechanics, exercise physiology, kinesiology, physical therapy, nutrition or an exercise science-related degree.  Our instructors will support their students and become valuable resources and mentors well after they graduate.
  • Optional Personal Training Internship Course:  Students have three internship options. They may elect to intern at a partnered internship site, a facility of their choice located anywhere in the U.S. or internationally (with program coordinator/instructor approval), or at a facility a student may already be working.
  • A professional certificate from an accredited institution.
  • College courses provide CECs or CEUs for personal trainers and allied health/medical professionals seeking re-certification, re-licensure, or career advancement.
  • Networking opportunities with industry experts.


The program is offered in partnership with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), American Council on Exercise® (ACE), IDEA Health & Fitness Association, Personal Fitness Professional (PFP) and the National Posture Institute (NPI). ACE, ACSM and NASM all  provide graduating certificate students a preferred discount on their respectivie Personal Training Certification Exam and study materials (when registering, please identify which organization you would prefer to become certified through).  In addition, included the certificate program registration, you will receive complimentary access to receive the National Posture Institute’s Certified Resistance Training Professional™ (RTP™) designation.

Continuing Education Credits

The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credentialing agency for the American Dietetic Association (ADA), has approved the Certificate in Personal Training program for 150 Continuing Professional Education Units (CPEUs), the Advanced Certificate program for 90 CPEUs, and the Optional Field Internship Course for 60 CPEUs for both Registered Dietitian (RDs) and Dietetic Technician-Registered (DTRs).

Program Requirements

To earn the certificate you are required to complete all five core courses.  You may also elect to take the optional field internship course.  The five core courses plus the optional field internship are offered in a three-module format; each module consists of two courses that are offered simultaneously.  You are not required to take the courses in any order; however it is highly recommended that you begin with the two courses in module 1: (Introduction to Exercise Science, Level I and Level II).  You may also register for individual courses if desired.  The three-module series is offered on a rolling basis.  The program can be completed in as little as five months but you must complete the requirements within two-years.

Students may also elect to register for the advanced certificate program courses. Students that have completed the core certificate may then register for the advanced certificate which requires three additional courses.  The advanced certificate is designed for students interested in furthering their personal training education by incorporating specialized resistance training, functional movements, and nutritional programs for their clients in partnership with RDs.

Award of Certificates:

  • Professional Certificate in Personal Fitness Training: complete all five core courses within a period of two years
  • Advanced Certificate in Personal Training: complete the Professional Certificate and all three Advanced Certificate core courses within a period of two years
  • Complete and receive a passing grade of (C- or above) in all courses, which includes quizzes, exams, written/research projects, and class assignments
  • Certificates will be mailed to students upon successful completion of the program.

Courses are offered on a rolling basis.

Register Now




Registration Information

The cost for each course is $249. The Optional Elective is $299. The cost for the entire Personal Fitness certificate is $1245 or $1544 with the optional elective. The cost to add the Advanced Certificate is $747.

Register Now

Related Links

Course Descriptions

Certificate Programs Main

© Copyright School of Professional Development at Stony Brook University.
Last modified on 10/24/14.