Introducing: Penn Foster’s Fitness and Nutrition Certificate Program

While PCDI is no longer accepting enrollments in our Nutrition, Diet and Health Science Professional Certification Program, we’re excited to introduce you to our partner school, Penn Foster.

PCDI Canada and Penn Foster Logos

If you're passionate about health and wellness and want a job that allows you to help others reach their fitness goals, our online Fitness and Nutrition Certificate can help you gain the skills and knowledge to work with clients on weight-loss and strength training strategies. Through flexible online courses, you'll learn about nutrition and effective exercise plans from home, on your schedule.


Take a Bite Out of a New, Exciting Career

Our online Fitness and Nutrition Certificate Program can help prepare students to enhance their current skills, add new skills to their resume, or reach their own health and wellness lifestyle goals. Earning a certificate alone, however, may not qualify graduates who do not have previous education or work experience for a job working as a nutritionist, personal trainer, or fitness expert.

Why Penn Foster?

Penn Foster has been on a mission to help people like you obtain skills and achieve their career goals for more than 130 years. We provide students with a quality education that fits their busy lifestyle and budget, offering over 100 self-paced, career-relevant programs across our College, Career School, and High School. Every course is designed to work with your schedule, anytime, anywhere you want to study. With a focus on relevant skills and career prep for the job you’re after, Penn Foster can help you graduate with confidence and help provide a guide towards your career goals.

What You'll Learn in Penn Foster’s Online Fitness and Nutrition Certificate Program

  • How to determine short and long-term fitness goals, design programs, track progress, and promote lifetime fitness.
  • How fitness affects physical and mental well-being, and how to assess current fitness levels, plan goals, and recognize opportunities in the fitness field.
  • How to identify the structures of the upper and lower body, and identify programs and exercises to enhance upper- and lower-body fitness.
  • How to work with clients to create custom nutrition and fitness strategies, including helping them stay motivated to reach their goals.

Penn Foster’s Online Fitness and Nutrition Certificate Program

In our Fitness and Nutrition Certificate Program, you'll build fundamental knowledge that can help you better understand your own health and wellness or help clients to reach their fitness and nutrition goals. Your online fitness classes include:

  • Fitness Anatomy and Physiology
  • Developing Healthy Eating Habits
  • Principles of Muscular Strength and Endurance
  • Health Screening, Testing, and Evaluation
See Full Curriculum  

Learn More About the Penn Foster Experience

At Penn Foster, we think online learning can make a big difference in people's lives, and it should be available to everyone. That's why we've made our programs affordable and tailored to fit your needs. You can learn and improve your skills for the job you want, all at your own pace and on your own schedule.

Fitness and Nutrition Certificate Program FAQs

How do I become a certified nutritionist? 

The first step toward becoming a certified nutritionist is most usually earning an accredited bachelor's degree in a health-related field. Many schools offer degrees that focus on nutrition. From there, you may complete an internship or clinical externship depending on your school's requirements and gain hands-on experience working with clients. While not all states require nutritionists to be certified, many employers do prefer to hire applicants that have industry-recognized certifications or credentials on their resume. Depending on which certification you pursue, you may also be expected to complete a graduate degree in nutrition to meet education requirements.

What can I do with a fitness and nutrition certification? 

In a fitness and nutrition certification program, you'll learn the essentials of building healthy habits, creating fitness training plans, and working with clients. Those with fitness nutrition certification can start their own businesses, work as a fitness or nutrition coach, spa consultant, or weight management consultant. It's important to note that earning a certificate alone may not qualify you for a job in the field and you may be required to pursue additional education and industry-certifications to meet the minimum requirements of some employers.

Can I be a nutritionist without a degree? 

It depends! While some states have licensing requirements that do require nutritionists to have a bachelor's degree to practice, there are some that don't. While you may be able to practice without an official degree in some states, most employers usually prefer to hire applicants with valid certifications from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) or the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB).

Can I become a nutritionist online?  

You can! However, before you pursue a career path as a nutritionist through online courses, it's important to check your state regulations to find out what requirements you must meet to be eligible to work in the field. Most nutritionists have at least a bachelor's degree, as well as industry-recognized certification.


The completion of a certificate-level program does not typically qualify a student for employment. Completion of this program may assist students who have previous academic or work-related experience improve their chances for promotion or entry-level employment.


*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. "Fitness Trainers and Instructors." Occupational Outlook Handbook. Accessed October 4, 2023.

Statements found in the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook are not a guarantee of any post-graduation salary, in part because the data used to create the Occupational Outlook Handbook includes workers from differing educational backgrounds, levels of experience, and geographic areas of the country.

What is Penn Foster?

PCDI is part of the Penn Foster Network. Penn Foster, PCDI’s partner school, has been a leading provider of distance education and online, career-focused training programs for over 130 years. Like PCDI, Penn Foster’s programs are affordable, fully online, and self-paced, allowing you to build skills and prepare for the job you want on your terms.