Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Exam Prerequisites

CSCS® candidates must:

1. Have a Bachelor's degree or higher degree OR currently be enrolled as a college senior at an accredited institution.

  • Candidates in the United States and Canada must submit an official transcript showing attainment of at least a bachelor's degree (BS/BA), a terminal degree in physical therapy, or a terminal degree in chiropractic medicine granted by an accredited institution. (refer to Certification Handbook for a list of acceptable accredited institutions)
  • Candidates outside of the United States and Canada may submit a photocopy of the final transcript, degree diploma or certificate that was received at the completion of the degree program, showing attainment of at least a bachelor's degree as defined by the United States educational system. 

2. Have a current CPR/AED certification (refer to Certification Handbook for acceptable CPR/AED certifications)

  • Individuals that do not have current CPR/AED certification can still register and take the exam; however, a copy of valid CPR/AED certification must be received within 1-year of exam date.

~Please do not send in your supporting documentation until AFTER you have registered for an exam.~

Certification will not be granted until ALL of the eligibility requirements have been met. Candidates have one (1) year from their exam date to submit documentation demonstrating completion of all eligibility criteria. Exam results become invalid if acceptable eligibility documentation is not received within one (1) year of exam date.


Send supporting documentation to:

1885 Bob Johnson Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
FAX: 719-632-6367 (copies of CPR/AED only)
Email: exams@nsca.com

Documentation will not be returned. If candidates mail the transcript, the registrar’s seal must remain intact. NSCA accepts official electronic transcripts (e-transcripts) that are transferred using a secure document transfer program (e.g., escrip-safe, eDocs).

Requirements to Change in 2030

Targeted to take effect beginning in 2030 – to be eligible to take the CSCS examination, candidates must hold a Bachelor’s degree from a program accredited by a CASCE accredited program. This degree will have specific requirements that focus on strength and conditioning. The current degree requirement for the CSCS exam will remain in place until December 31, 2029.

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