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Western Illinois University, first US institution to gain IUSCA Degree Accreditation

Western Illinois University, voted "Best Midwestern University" for 17 straight years, has become the first institution in the USA to obtain Degree Accreditation from the International Universities Strength and Conditioning Association (IUSCA).

This accolade, for their Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science degree, gives an industry ‘seal of approval’ and recognition for the quality and content of its course.

“Western Illinois University is honored to be the very first IUSCA Accredited program in the USA. The rapidly and ever-changing world of performance training requires a responsive and comprehensive curriculum. WIU's Exercise Science program has always worked hard to be a highly competitive and comprehensive program and the IUSCA Accreditation was the right move for our students." Said Dr. Timothy J. Piper, Assistant Professor & Program Director for Exercise Science.

The IUSCA Degree Accreditation has been developed through consultation with industry leaders, professional organisations, and leading universities. It was recognised that the recent growth of S&C and related degrees, without an industry standard or degree accreditation available, may lead to graduates without the key skills or experience that employers are looking for.

Dr. Piper continued, "The emphasis on experiential learning requires more work for the students pursuing the IUSCA Accreditation but the pay-off is well worth it, and is a great investment in their future successes. With students pursuing a broad range of Exercise Science careers, which includes strength and conditioning, physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, and personal training, the IUSCA Accreditation will set our students apart from others. From the field, to therapy, back to the field, the IUSCA Accreditation will help out students be best prepared for the next steps into their careers."

To ensure high quality outcomes for students and future employers, the IUSCA Degree Accreditation program has established a profile of skills that will be recognisable in graduates from accredited degrees.

These qualities include: ​

  • The ability to utilise scientific thinking in a variety of contexts

  • Breadth and depth of knowledge within S&C

  • The ability to write and communicate with clarity and effectiveness

  • Demonstrated technical abilities

  • Significant experience as a practitioner (750 hours)

  • The ability to review and evaluate their own and others' practice and performance

Graduates from Accredited degree programs will then be eligible for Accredited International Strength and Conditioning Practitioner (aISCP) status with the IUSCA.

Andrew Langford, Director of the IUSCA said “we are delighted that WIU has become the first institution in the US to attain Accredited Degree status with the IUSCA. They offer students an excellent academic pathway, with outstanding opportunities for practical experience and placements within the field. With another 12 US institutions currently undergoing the Degree Accreditation process, we are excited to see the global growth and recognition of the IUSCA Accreditation."

To find out more about the IUSCA Degree Accreditation, please click on the link below or email

To find out more about the IUSCA Accredited Degree offered by the Western Illinois University, please click the following link:



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