Fitness Wellness Frequently Asked Questions

What is a hybrid program versus a hybrid course?

The Fitness Wellness major is a hybrid program. This means that some of the required courses are offered face to face and some of them are offered completely online. It is important to develop and employ a routine; good time management skills; and professional, courteous online communication skills to be successful in any academic course although oftentimes students report needing to exercise more self-discipline in those skills to be successful in a totally online environment.

A hybrid course, on the other hand, is a course that meets face to face and incorporates online assignments, discussions, readings, and various additional activities to enhance the face to face course.

Is a certification exam required in order to complete the program?

NAU's Fitness Wellness program requires students to sit for the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) Exercise Physiologist—Certified (EP-C) exam.  This is a nationally accredited certification exam for students who have completed a four-year degree in the applied or clinical exercise sciences through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCAA).  It is also the program-approved certification.  Students are required to sit for this exam to complete the program.  Students are not required to pass this exam in order to graduate, although they are certainly prepared and encouraged to do so.


How does the program prepare me for this and similar exams?

The NAU Fitness Wellness program is aligned with the standards and guidelines for the accreditation of educational programs for personal fitness training put forward by the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (CoAES). The CoAES is made up of members representing the following organizations:


  • American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • American Council on Exercise
  • American Kinesiotherapy Association
  • Medical Fitness Association
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association
  • The Cooper Institute
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs


The NAU Fitness Wellness program incorporates information from all of the organizations listed above in the delivery of course content, texts, lectures, and labs.

Am I required to do an internship to complete this program?  If so, what are my options?

Yes, all students must complete a 9-credit internship during the last semester of the program.  The great majority of our existing internship sites are with local fitness facilities, but there are also sites providing wellness and health promotion services.  Additionally, we have placed numerous students in the Phoenix metropolitan area and in sites nationwide.  New sites are added every semester, both locally and remotely.  The purpose of the internship experience is to reinforce the learning outcome concepts, experiences, and skills from the Fitness Wellness academic coursework.