National Certifications for Exercise Science Students

As you know, students graduating under the Exercise Science Concentration are required to take a department approved national certification examination prior to graduation. While you are not required to pass the test to graduate, we are hopeful that everyone will take the time to prepare and pass the test. If you will be completing degree requirements, please contact your Academic Adviser to determine the appropriate deadline for test completion.  When you have completed the exam, please provide a copy of your score sheet to your Academic Adviser in the 500AC Building.

Currently, the two approved exam certifications are the American College of Sports Medicine’s Certified Exercise Physiologist (EP-C) [formerly HFS] and the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  Below is information on both of these certifications.

It is recommended that you take the time to study for whichever exam you plan on taking.  The success of students is related to preparation for the exam and not GPA or success in any one particular class. These certifications are gold standards within the field of Exercise Science and you are making a large investment for the exam to not be taken seriously.

ACSM EP-C – Information on the EP-C exam can be found at: ACSM-EP-C Certification

The following resources are recommended to help you prepare for the ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist exam:

  • ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 9th edition (used in HPEX 441)
  • ACSM’s Resources for the Exercise Physiologist (used in HPEX 480)
  • PrepU for ACSM’s Certified Exercise Physiologist Exam (used in HPEX 480)
  • ACSM’s Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 7th edition

The EP-C exam is taken at a Pearson VUE testing center. You can also contact Pearson VUE directly to register by either calling 888-883-2276 or visiting their ACSM Exam page.  There is no voucher to reduce the exam cost, but you do get a reduced rate if you are a student member of the ACSM.  The cost of the test is $239 if you are a member and $299 for non-members.

Pearson VUE ACSM-EP-C testing centers near VCU:

Test Center **Distance City State/Province
Richmond Alternative School 0.7 Richmond Virginia
GIT Services 1.5 Richmond Virginia
New Horizons Computer Learning Center 5.2 Richmond Virginia
Community College Workforce Alliance 6.0 Richmond Virginia
Henrico County Adult Education Center 7.0 Highland Springs Virginia

NSCA CSCS – Information on the CSCS exam can be found at: NSCA-CSCS Certification

The following resources are recommended to help you prepare for the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam:

The CSCS exam is taken at a Pearson VUE testing center. You can also contact Pearson VUE directly to register by either calling 800-505-7641 or visiting their NSCA Exam page.  VCU students can apply an additional discount code to reduce the exam cost; additionally, you get a reduced rate if you are a student member of the NSCA.  The CSCS exam costs $340 for NSCA members and $475 for non-members (VCU students can apply an additional discount code for this exam – see your Academic Adviser for more information)

Pearson VUE NSCA-CSCS testing centers near VCU:

Test Center **Distance City State/Province
Richmond Alternative School 0.7 Richmond Virginia
GIT Services 1.5 Richmond Virginia
New Horizons Computer Learning Center 5.2 Richmond Virginia
Pearson Professional Centers 5.7 Richmond Virginia
Community College Workforce Alliance 6.0 Richmond Virginia

National Certification for Community Health Education Students

The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC) oversees a voluntary professional certification program that establishes a national standard for individual health education practitioners. The certification process is based on responsibilities and competencies that have been verified by a job practice analysis. It differs from state and local certifications and registries in that the requirements do not vary from one locale to another. The Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) certification exam is a competency-based test that measures the possession, application and interpretation of knowledge related to the Seven Areas of Responsibility, i.e., a comprehensive set of Competencies and Sub-competencies defining the role of an entry-level health educator.

The exam is administered twice a year, in April and October. For more information on the CHES exam or eligibility requirements, please visit www.nchec.org or contact the Exam Coordinator at (888) 624-3248, extension 12.