A Division of Student Affairs

Become a Personal Trainer

To become a personal trainer for KU Recreation Services, you may study on your own (the organization must be NCCA accredited such as ACSM, NSCA, and ACE), pass the exam, and then apply and interview for the position.  Some organizations offer weekend workshops that provide an overview of the material.  For more information about earning a certification on your own, email ptsrfc@ku.edu. Another option is to take the ACE PT Prep Course.  This course is not required to be a personal trainer at Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center (ASRFC).  Continue reading to learn more about the ACE PT Prep Course.  


ACE Personal Training Certification Preparation Program

Updated April 18, 2017

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certification Preparation Program prepares students to sit for the ACE Personal Trainer certification or another NCCA accredited personal trainer certification. With this ACE approved curriculum, offered by KU Recreation Services, students engage in practical application of the materials covered. The course offers both lecture and movement training and applies theory to practice. Upon successful completion of the program, students will demonstrate their knowledge and skills of:

  • Exercise science
  • Fitness assessments
  • Exercise programming
  • Instructional techniques
  • Exercise form and technique
  • Basic nutrition
  • Lifestyle modification

Following the course offered by KU Recreation Services, the ACE Personal Trainer Certification, a nationally accredited and recognized personal trainer certification, will be offered on campus. Participants of the personal training program will receive a 20% discount on the exam and study materials.

Students who complete the ACE Personal Training Prep Course will be eligible to audition for hire prior to taking a certification exam. If hired, a professional NCCA accredited personal trainer certification will be required within 6 months of hire to maintain employment as a personal trainer at KU Recreation Services. Students may choose to take the ACE certification exam when it is held on campus or sit for another certification of their choice.

Costs associated with the program:

ACE Personal Trainer Certification Preparation Program Fee

$100.00 - Payable in Rm 103 ASRFC

If you're not enrolled in summer classes, you will need to purchase a summer membership to ASRFC.

$45.25 payable in Rm 103 ASRFC - Verification will be made to ensure that you're enrolled in fall 2017 semester

ACE Personal Trainer books, study guide & practice test (20% discount)

Payable online - acefitness.org

ACE Personal Trainer Exam Registration (20% discount)

Payable on-line- acefitness.org

Get Registered:

  • Register in the Administrative Office of the ASRFC (Rm 103), Cost $100 (cash, credit card, or check written out to KU Recreation Services)
  • Study materials can be purchased online at acefitness.org or another book source of your choice. See "Required Textbooks" below for details.
  • Registration is open to the first 20 applicants


  • Wed, May 31 to Thurs, July 20, 2017 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 3-5 pm


  • ASRFC Conference Room 202

Who is eligible:

  • All KU students currently enrolled in 6 or more credit hours fall 2017 semester

ACE Prep Course Flier (PDF) 

What Should I Expect?:

  • This course is a non-credit, extracurricular opportunity. This is a strenuous and time consuming course, particularly for students who have not yet had specific human sciences, such as anatomy and physiology. Students can expect to be in class 6 hours per week and commit 2-3 hours outside of class to be successful in this course and preparation for the ACE certification.

Required Textbooks:

  • ACE Personal Trainer Manual (5th Edition)
    • ISBN: 978-1-890720-50-6
  • ACE's Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals
    • ISBN: 978-1-890720-31-5

How Often is this Course Offered?

Currently, this course is offered on an as-needed basis.


Contact the Program Manager at ptsrfc@ku.edu.

Daily Hours

Ambler SRFC Building

Friday: 5:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Monday: 5:30 a.m. - Midnight

Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Sunday: 9:00 a.m. - Midnight

Thursday: 5:30 a.m. - Midnight

Tuesday: 5:30 a.m. - Midnight

Wednesday: 5:30 a.m. - Midnight

Spring Semester Hours 1.17-5.12

Administrative Office Hours

Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Monday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: CLOSED

Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Spring Semester Hours 1.17-5.12

Outdoor Pursuits Office

Friday: By Appt. Only (outdoorpursuits@ku.edu)

Monday: 4:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Thursday: 5:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Tuesday: 4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Wednesday: 4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Spring Semester Hours 1.17-5.12

"The Chalk Rock" Climbing Wall

Friday: CLOSED

Monday: 4:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Thursday: 5:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Tuesday: 4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Wednesday: 4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Spring Semester Hours 1.17-5.12
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