Kelsey Graham
Office: ES 203-J


Personal Trainer Certificate Program


How do I apply for this program?

There is no specific application for the personal trainer program. All you need to do is apply for admission to San Diego Mesa College and, once admitted, select the appropriate classes in mySDCCD and pay for your classes.

When are the classes offered?

Currently, we offer half of the classes for the program in the fall and half of the classes for the program in the spring semester.

Our fall classes include: (2 units each)

  • EXSC 280 Applied Exercise Physiology
  • EXSC 281 Applied Kinesiology
  • EXSC 284 Fitness and Sports Nutrition
  • EXSC 283 Exercise and Fitness Assessment

Our spring classes include: (2 units each)

  • EXSC 285 Exercise for Special Populations
  • EXSC 282 Techniques of Weight Training
  • EXSC 286 Techniques of Exercise Leadership
  • EXSC 288 Fitness Specialist Internship Lecture (1 unit)

Our classes offered both semesters:

  • EXSC 270 Work Experience (1 unit)
  • EXSC 242B Care and Prevention of Injuries (3 units)

What day/time are the classes offered?

Most of our classes are offered Tuesday/Thursday afternoons from 2:00-5:00 PM. To see a list of the current class offerings, Visit: Select Mesa College and the specific class numbers listed above.

How long does the program take to complete?

The program is designed to be completed in one year. Some students taking additional course load or working full-time choose to take the program over two years.

Do I have to join the program in the fall semester?

No, you can join the program in the fall or spring semester.

Are there any prerequisites to the program?

No, there are no prerequisites to join the program.

How does this program differ from studying for and taking a personal training certification exam on my own?

This program gives you the hands on training and tools to successfully step into a career as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor or other fitness professional. All classes involve active participation and experiential learning through exercise program development, fitness assessment, and exercise program delivery.

What do I get at the end of the program?

You get a Certificate of Achievement in Personal Training from San Diego Mesa College. This shows that you completed an in person personal training program, rather than completing only a selfstudy. You are also prepared to sit for the American Council on Exercise’s Personal Trainer Exam and are eligible to receive a discounted exam voucher for participating in our program. 

Can I use the G.I. Bill for tuition?

You may use the G.I. Bill for tuition. Please see counseling for assistance. 

How much does the program cost?

The current cost of a unit is $46.00. Each class is 2 units. The program is 19 units in total, which works out to $874.00.

Do I need to have workout experience to join the program?

No! The hallmark of a good trainer is that they can provide exercises that are appropriate and suitable for individuals of all levels and abilities. Our program strives to do the same. We have students with a wide range of experience, fitness, and ability levels.

What materials do I need for the program?

You will need the American Council on Exercise’s Personal Trainer Manual, ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals (both can be purchased with a student discount here). You will also need comfortable and appropriate fitness attire and shoes.