About PT / ISSA

The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) is a distance education institution and certifying agency committed to our students’ fitness education and professional goals. Our highly acclaimed online Personal Trainer Certification program has been designed so that our students can turn their passion for fitness into a paycheck. ISSA’s personal trainer education approach is backed by top fitness industry professionals throughout North America. The International Sports Sciences Association’s Personal Trainer Certification advisors and authors are some of the most prestigious and respected names in the fitness industry. The years of scientific research they have conducted, in conjunction with the hundreds of professional publications and college textbooks they have authored, form the basis of virtually all exercise, physiology, nutrition, and fitness courses taught around the world.

While others talk about their “experts” we urge you to see for yourself and take an in depth look at their biographies, publications, and accomplishments. We’re confident you’ll see why ISSA is truly the World Leader in Fitness Education.


The International Sports Sciences Association believes that the health and fitness of our society can be significantly improved by our students’ success as health, sports and fitness professionals. Our efforts to stem the tide of poor health and physical decline are multiplied exponentially as our graduates and members disseminate the ISSA principles and methods to their clients, peers and associates. Our mission is to inspire each and every student to positively impact the quality of life of each individual with whom they come in contact. As a distance education institution and certifying agency, ISSA is unconditionally committed to providing the highest quality distance education programs available, advancing our industry as a


ISSA seeks to be recognized as the world leader… … in providing accessible, quality, advanced fitness education and personal training certification to the motivated, non-traditional learner/professional who seeks to be a leader in the emerging fitness industry-a fast-growing market sector of the global economy… … for providing new levels of access to motivated, non-traditional students who have not had the opportunity for advanced fitness education and personal trainer certification for reasons of time, money, or geography… … for innovative use of technology that creates new standards in assessment and achievement of academic excellence… … for understanding and meeting the changing needs of its students, their clients, and their communities… … for excellence in student and alumni services and support. After more than two decades of successfully fulfilling our initial mission of setting and developing standards within the fitness industry, our goals currently focus on providing expanded access to the highest quality fitness education programs available. Currently our industry is not regulated on a city, state or federal level; however we want to expand the vision of our industry and give students access not only to vocational certificates but the ability to earn a degree. As the world’s leader in fitness education, the ISSA delivers comprehensive cognitive and practical distance education for fitness professionals, grounded in industry research, using both traditional and innovative modalities. ISSA upholds Basic Exercise Standards and Guidelines for safe fitness practices. In view of our leadership role as fitness educators, we are also unconditionally committed to advancing our industry as a whole and to developing greater access to career opportunities for those who share our vision of helping others live a healthier life. Our overall objective is to provide a continuum of education from certificate to associate degree and beyond in order to bring legitimacy to our profession as a whole.


Public Division
Education Division
Professional Division

Fast Facts

Established in 1988
9 fitness certification courses with no residency requirements (also available online!)
200,000 students and alumni
Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency, and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).