ACSM Exercise Physiologist Certification

The American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise Physiologist (ACSM EP-C) certification is considered by many to be the premier certification in the health and fitness industry. 

ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist Scope of Practice

The ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist is a degreed health and fitness professional qualified to pursue a career in university, corporate, commercial, hospital and community settings. The EP-C is skilled in the following:

  • Conducting risk stratification.
  • Conducting physical fitness assessments and interpreting results.
  • Constructing appropriate exercise prescriptions for healthy adults and individuals with controlled conditions released for independent physical activity.
  • Motivating apparently healthy individuals with medically controlled diseases to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyle behaviors.
  • Motivating individuals to begin and continue with their healthy behaviors. 

About the EP-C Exam

The test consists for 125 questions and has a 3.5 hour time limit. In 2011, the national pass rate for the exam was 59 percent. It is recommended that students study and prep for four to six weeks prior to taking the exam. The exam fee is $275, but since the Liberty Exercise Science Program is accredited our students can enter a voucher code upon registration and can take the test for $175. The exam consists of the following areas:

Competency Area

% of exam

Domain I: Health and Fitness Assessment

30 %

Domain II: Exercise Prescription, Implementation and Ongoing Support

30 %

Domain III: Exercise Counseling and Behavioral Strategies

15 %

Domain IV: Legal/Professional

10 %

Domain V: Management

15 %


Recommended books for the ACSM EP-C exam

  • ACSM's Resources for the Health Fitness Specialist. (2014).  Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins (ISBN: 978-1451114805)
  • ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 9th edition. (2014). Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. (ISBN: 978-60913-605-5)
  • ACSM’s Certification Review, 3rd edition. (2009). Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. (ISBN: 0-7817-6901-9)