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

I have no doubt that I have been fully prepared to pursue my career choice thanks to the ISSA.

Scott Farr

I had the chance to discover the ISSA team, which made my dream possible, to become a certified trainer. With their outstanding vision, support and professionalism they guided me to reach the goal.

Mihnea Niculae Paraschivescu

Hear how ISSA has helped students like you

I really loved the knowledge and accessibility of ISSA certification.

Stefan Ras

The book is well illustrated and supported with diagrams and photos helping to clarify the information in each unit.

Eva Ebersole

The ISSA gave me a great knowledge of fitness programming, movement screening and nutrition.

Scott Losche

The education I received will put me above my competition and has provided me to the tools to helps other meet their personal fitness goals.

Pilar Roberts

Between all the courses I looked for, I chose ISSA for its reputation and course content and I could not been happier.

Adriana Aparicio Leon

My ISSA certifications as a Fitness Trainer, Sports Nutrition Specialist and Strength and Conditioning Specialist has really propelled my career to where it is today.

Noy Alexander

For all those people who are looking for an online certification, I can assure you that ISSA is the best out there

Farwan Zubedi

ISSA was the best choice for my certification. It's self paced and has really good material to enhance you knowledge.

Nathan Breker

I have to say, the entire experience of getting certified was both challenging and enjoyable. I was not looking for an

Barry Brandt

Thank you ISSA for giving me this opportunity, I learned a lot, your course is amazing and I will work hard to be a great trainer!

Beata Salwoitis

After completing my CPT successfully, I can say only one thing that ISSA is really good in providing you the knowledge which is required in the fitness industry. It makes you fitness industry ready in every aspect.

Mohit Garg

The amount of knowledge in the textbook is really satisfying for someone who’s interested in both fitness and the sciences of the human body, and who’s willing to learn about the relationships between them.

Jehad Refaat Abdel Hamid

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