Professional and Continuing Education

Pawley Hall, Room 440G
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-3177
[email protected]

trainer working with a client on an exercise bike in a fitness center

Personal Trainer Certification

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Join the rapidly expanding field of Personal Training, with opportunities expected to grow 13% from 2018-2028!*

Oakland University PACE is proud to partner with World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.) to offer a Personal Trainer Certification. Through this program, students complete coursework that prepares them to take the W.I.T.S. written and practical examinations that are necessary to obtain Certified Personal Trainer - Level 1 (CPT - Level I) status. Topics covered include biometrics, exercise physiology, fitness testing, equipment usage, and health assessments. Hands-on, gym-based learning and the option to complete a 30-hour internship allow students real-world practice of course concepts.

The program is perfect for individuals looking to gain the solid reputation, credibility, and confidence to do the job successfully. Students must be willing to dedicate time to studying and practicing new skills outside of class, as the difficulty is comparable to that of a college-level course.  


  • 15 hours of lecture and instruction from an experienced, certified personal trainer
  • 15 hours of gym-based, hands-on learning
  • 6 hour exam review session
  • Optional 30-hour internship (included)
  • Presentations by local fitness organizations

Certification as a W.I.T.S. Certified Personal Trainer — Level I demonstrates entry-level fitness specific competency and a commitment to consumer safety by individuals who help to improve the health and fitness for clients ranging in age, health, and fitness status through the development and implementation of fitness programs required for practice in the service industry in the United States. Individuals who earn the CPT – Level I designation are qualified to implement personalized exercise programs to clients that have no special medical conditions nor specialized physical limitations that would require advanced knowledge or skills. 

Eligibility Requirements

Age: Minimum of 18 years
Education: Minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. GED)
Training: Valid Adult CPR/AED Certification*
Ethics: Agree to adhere to the W.I.T.S. Code of Ethics.

*A live, hands-on skills assessment verified by a qualified CPR instructor is required in order for you to receive your certification upon passage of the W.I.T.S. exams. You do not have to have your CPR/AED prior to beginning the course. CPR/AED courses are offered at Oakland University. Please email [email protected] if you would like to complete this requirement at OU.


Initial exam fees are included in the course price and are administered by Oakland University after the conclusion of the course. In order to receive a CPT - Level 1 certification from W.I.T.S., students must pass both their written and practical examinations. The examinations cover a wide range of topics, broken down as follows:

Written Examination
Domain 1: Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics — 38%
Domain 2: Client Assessment — 16%
Domain 3: Exercise Prescription —11%
Domain 4: Muscular Fitness — 4%
Domain 5: Cardio Respiratory 4%
Domain 6: Flexibility — 3%
Domain 7: Business of Personal Training —24%

Practical Examination
Part I: Assessments — 21%
Part 2: Warm Up — 8%
Part 3: Flexibility — 39%
Part 4: Upper & Lower Body Exercises — 32%

Participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance from OU upon completion of the course. Oakland University will administer the W.I.T.S. examinations, but does not design, grade, or otherwise participate in the examination process. Any questions about exam results should be directed to World Instructor Training Schools. Students who successfully pass both exams will receive their CPT - Level I certification from W.I.T.S. Initial exam fees are included in the program. Oakland University will offer one retesting opportunity if necessary at a cost of $50 per exam to cover administration fees. 

*For more details on exam eligibility requirements and retesting, please visit the W.I.T.S. website and consult the CPT - Level 1 Candidate Handbook. 


[email protected] or 248-370-4699
W.I.T.S. is approved and recognized by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the American Council on Education (ACE), The International Association for Continuing Education And Training (IACET), The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)
Schedule and Pricing

Schedule- Winter 2024

Dates: Feb 13, 2024 to Mar 21, 2024
Days: Tuesdays and Thursdays
Times: 6:00PM to 9:00PM

Practical Exam: Saturday, March 23rd from 10:00AM - 2:00PM
Written Exam: Tuesday, March 26 from 3:00PM - 5:30PM


$700 students

$800 community members (4-month Rec Center membership included)
*Deposit option available. 1/2 the course cost is paid up front with the remainder due 30 days later. 
The required textbook for the course (below) should be purchased separately prior to the first day of class. .
Howley, E.T. and Thompson, D.L. (2017) Fitness Professional’s Handbook.  7th Ed. Human Kinetics. Champaign, IL

NOTICE: By registering for this Professional and Continuing Education class, I agree that Oakland University can share my contact information (i.e., name, address, telephone number and e-mail address) with World Instructor Training School for the purposes of administering the class. W.I.T.S. may send information to enrolled individuals regarding examination and recertification.
*Oakland University reserves the right to cancel courses due to low enrollment. To allow maximum enrollment, you will be notified of course cancellation 24 hours before the course start date via your home email or phone on record.