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Degree requirements for the ACSM Clinical Exercise Physiologist Certification (ACSM CEP)

The academic eligibility requirement to take the CEP exam is a baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited college or university with a major in exercise science, or equivalent (candidates are eligible to take the examination in the last semester of their degree program).

An equivalent major refers to the completion of a degree which includes, at minimum, the following:

A minimum of 21 semester or 28 quarter hours of exercise science courses that clearly identifies the following content:

• Exercise Physiology (this should be, at minimum, a 3.0 credit stand-alone course, or equivalent)

• Strength and Conditioning (course[s] should include principles of strength and conditioning, not simply 
a 1 credit hour activity course on strength training.)

• Applied Kinesiology or Biomechanics

• Anatomy and Physiology (this could be either a combined course or separate courses)

• Exercise Testing and Prescription (course[s] should include exercise testing and prescription 
for healthy populations and special considerations such as children, older adults, pregnancy, 
diseased populations, etc.)

• Special populations (course[s] should include pathophysiology on a range of conditions,
including CVD, pulmonary, metabolic, older adults, pregnancy, etc.)

• Health Risk Appraisal (course[s] should include information on risk stratification or classification 
given a variety of health conditions.)

*There is no petitioning process for non-exercise science based degree programs nor consideration made for past experience. You must meet the above criteria.