About the ISSA

The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) is the world leader in fitness education and delivers comprehensive, cognitive and practical distance education for fitness professionals, grounded in industry research, using both traditional and innovative modalities. Founded in 1988 by Dr. Sal Arria and Dr. Frederick Hatfield, the ISSA now offers 12 fitness certifications, as well as an associate's degree, and has certified over 200,000 trainers in 91 countries.

Mission

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, the ISSA is unconditionally committed to providing the highest quality distance education programs available, advancing our industry as a whole, and developing greater access to career opportunities for those who share our vision of Creating a Stronger, Healthier World.

Click here to view Core Values and Institutional Goals, Objectives, and Outcomes

Accreditations and Affiliations

The ISSA is proud to be accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Accrediting Commission is:

  • Listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency.
  • Recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Our accreditation assures our students, the fitness industry, and the general public that we, as a distance-education provider and certification body:

  • Have met certain standards of the U.S. Department of Education and CHEA
  • Provide the quality of education we claim
  • Operate on a sound financial basis
  • Have approved programs of study, qualified instructors, adequate facilities and equipment
  • Use effective recruitment and admission policies
  • Advertise our courses truthfully.

The Bureau protects students and consumers though the oversight of California's private postsecondary educational institutions by conducting qualitative reviews of educational programs and operating standards, proactively combating unlicensed activity, impartially resolving student and consumer complaints, and conducting outreach.

Visit CABPPE


The IHRSA is a trade association serving the global health club and fitness industry. The mission of IHRSA is to grow, protect and promote the health and fitness industry, and to provide its members with benefits that will help them be more successful. The IHRSA is dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and activity promotion.


The European Register of Exercise Professionals (EREPS) is an independent register of instructors, trainers and teachers working in the European health, fitness and physical activity sector.

EREPS recognises the qualifications and skills of exercise professionals and is an important assurance for the public and employers that their instructor or employee holds the appropriate qualifications to perform their role safely and effectively.

View our Certificate of Accreditation


A national advocate and institutional voice for promoting academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations.


The National Board of Fitness Examiners (NBFE) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure to the public that qualified fitness professionals who have successfully passed the National Board examination have achieved an approved level of competency in the health and fitness industry. The NBFE promotes the services of qualified fitness professionals as a viable means of improving public health.


Since 1985 the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools has worked with the State's Governors, Legislature, elected officials and the numerous regulatory agencies to promote high quality education.


The New York Chiropractic College assists future doctors of chiropractic achieve their career goals, New York Chiropractic College offers a unique educational program that gives students access to many career possibilities. The mission of New York Chiropractic College is to provide leadership and academic excellence in all our degree granting programs through a commitment to quality education and patient care, research excellence, professional service, and the fostering of lifelong learning for all members of our community. ISSA is approved for continuing education credits for chiropractors through the New York Chiropractic College.


The Better Business Bureau's mission is to promote and foster the highest ethical relationship between businesses and the public through voluntary self-regulation, consumer and business education, and service excellence. ISSA maintains a A+ rating with the BBB--the highest possible rating.

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Hear how ISSA has helped students like you

Not only are the certifications able to teach me high quality content but they also teach me real world applications.

Mario Medina

I am so proud to be part of the ISSA family. When I became certified back in 2011, I never knew how quickly my business would become so successful.

Moji Oluwa

Hear how ISSA has helped students like you

The exam was very comprehensive and the fact that it was self-paced made it very easy for a full time father like myself.

Brody McMurrian

Being apart of ISSA has brought me so many opportunities and will continue to do so.

Lauren Hoffmann

ISSA has brought a strong root into my life that keeps leading me towards success.

Lindley Zama

I am more to thank the ISSA for giving me the opportunity to live my dreamed passion in a extraordinary fashion.

Gabriel Garcia

My experience with ISSA was amazing. I was so impressed with the online self-study program and how it was organized. I was equally impressed with the staff support, knowledge and integrity!

Yvonne Roth

ISSA has given me new knowledge and helped me become a more confident and skilled instructor for seniors.

Pehr Torells

This is something I am proud of, not only in my personal accomplishments, but in being able to help others do the same.

Larry Wassinger

...it was the most comprehensive program with a solid foundation in all the aspects of nutrition that I needed for my practice.

Molly Edwards

I am a certified personal trainer. Now I am free to make money doing what I love more than anything, helping others reach the happy, healthy state that I have.

Nickolas Lollar

I'm so happy and proud that I chose this institute for my study to the CFT because their material gave me a lot of information and experience that I didn't know it before.

Ali Al-Noori

As the coursework progressed I began seeing my clients through a different perspective and i firmly believe that ISSA is responsible to give me this sense of professionalism and belonging!

Danees Kazi

First impressions that I received from ISSA compared to other institutions I viewed, could not even be compared.

Byron Funck

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