Raising the bar for exercise science education

About Us


The Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences was established in April 2004 under the auspices of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

The primary role of the CoAES is to establish standards and guidelines for academic programs that facilitate the preparation of students seeking employment in the health, fitness, and exercise industry. The secondary role of the CoAES is to establish and implement a process of self-study, review, and recommendation for all programs seeking CAAHEP accreditation.

Programmatic accreditation through CAAHEP is specifically intended for Exercise Science or related departments (Physical Education, Kinesiology, etc.) with a professional preparation tract designed for students seeking employment opportunities in the health, fitness, and exercise industry.

  • Exercise Physiology

    13 Accredited Masters Programs

  • Exercise Science

    54 Accredited Bachelors Degree Programs

  • Personal Fitness Training

    3 Associates Degree Programs


It provides additional layers of approval to an existing exercise science program. It also makes it easier for prospective students and parents to choose the right program for them as the CoAES accreditation is outcomes based.

The Accreditation Process

Everything you need to know to get started.


To begin the process of accreditation for your program, simply complete the Request for Accreditation Services application on the CAAHEP website. Click here to go to the CAAHEP Request for Accreditation Services page, then select the profession from the drop down list that corresponds to your program (Personal Fitness Trainer, Exercise Science, or Exercise Physiology.)

This application allows the CoAES to formalize your intention and send you the complete set of self-study application materials. There is no obligation or cost associated with submitting these request forms.

A complimentary CD containing the complete set of self-study application materials will be sent to the program director listed on the "Request for Accreditation Services" application once it is received by the CoAES.


Click the links below to download the guidelines for your program.

Personal Fitness Trainer Standards & Guidelines

Exercise Science Standards & Guidelines

Exercise Physiology Standards & Guidelines


What is Accreditation ... and Why is it Important?
What is CAAHEP?
How is CAAHEP structured?
How do we know if we are ready for CAAHEP accreditation?
Who are the Committees on Accreditation?
What types of fees are associated with CAAHEP accreditation?
What are the benefits of CAAHEP accreditation to our program?
How does an educational program become CAAHEP accredited?
What is the process for a program to become accredited?
How often does the CAAHEP Board of Directors meet to review accreditation recommendations?
How will we be notified of our accreditation status?
Does CAAHEP accreditation expire?
How long does the accreditation process take?
Will we need to change the name of our program?
Will we need to change the name of our department?
Will we need to change the name of the degrees we award to graduates of our program?
Will we need to change our curriculum?
Will we need to hire additional faculty?
Is program accreditation through CAAHEP mandatory?


If your program is currently accredited, an annual report is due to the CoAES one year from the date of initial accreditation on the original letter from CAAHEP.

There are two sets of fees due annually to start and maintain accreditation. An Annual Institutional fee of $450 is due to CAAHEP each year. The invoice will be sent from CAAHEP and this fee should be paid directly to CAAHEP. In addition, an Annual Fee of $500 per accredited progam is due to the CoAES each year. An invoice can be requested from the CoAES Administrative Officer.

For questions about the annual report, annual fees, or to request an invoice, please email the Director of CoAES.

The Annual Report Instructions and Annual Report forms can be downloaded below:

CoAES Annual Report Instructions & Forms

To find a complete list of Personal Fitness Trainer, Exercise Science, and Clinical or Applied Exercise Physiology programs that have completed the accreditation process through CoAES and are CAAHEP Accredited, please click the button below to go to the CAAHEP website.

CoAES Board

Walter R. Thompson PhD, FACSM
Walter R. Thompson PhD, FACSM
At-Large Member
ACSM Fellow
Georgia State University
Dept of Kinesiology & Health
Susan Muller, PhD
Susan Muller, PhD
CoAES Chair
Dean, Stephens College
Brian Biagioli, EdD
Brian Biagioli, EdD
National Council on Strength & Fitness (Sponsoring Organization)
Francis Neric
Francis Neric
American College of Sport Medicine (Sponsoring Organization)
Senior Director of Certification
Carol Cole, MS, ACSM HFD
Carol Cole, MS, ACSM HFD
At-Large Member
Sinclair Community College
Exercise, Nutrition & Sport Sciences
Jerry Purvis, MS, RKT
Jerry Purvis, MS, RKT
American Kinesiotherapy Association (Sponsoring Organization)
Ben C. Thompson, PhD, FACSM, ACSM EP-C
Ben C. Thompson, PhD, FACSM, ACSM EP-C
At-Large Member
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Dept. of Human Performance and Sport
Gina Cortese-Shipley
Gina Cortese-Shipley
The Cooper Institute (Sponsoring Organization)
Associate Director
Graham Melstrand
Graham Melstrand
American Council on Exercise (Sponsoring Organization)
Vice President of Operations
NASM Representative TBD
NASM Representative TBD
National Academy of Sports Medicine (Sponsoring Organization)
Gregory Ferenchak, PhD, EdD
Gregory Ferenchak, PhD, EdD
Non voting/CAAHEP/CoAES Liaison
Broward College
Dean, Health Sciences
William Coale
William Coale
Director of CoAES

Get in touch

You can contact the CoAES Program Coordinator with any questions you have about the accreditation process.

Our Sponsors

Presently, CoAES participating organizations include the following: