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Physical Fitness Option, Health Science/A.S Degree

Endorsed by:

The American College of Sports Medicine

   Program Advisor: Sherry Scheer, 413-236-4511

The Physical Fitness degree option offers students an opportunity to expand upon the Physical Fitness certificate program.

In addition to instruction in nutrition, cardiovascular and strength conditioning, personal training,and other topics that are covered in the certificate program, the degree program goes on to explore the human body and its relationship to exercise and fitness more intensely. Topics include the mind/body connection, injury prevention,and sports psychology. Deeper exploration of exercise physiology and human anatomy are also provided.  


Graduates of this program should be able to:

  • Demonstrate written and oral English competence;
  • Use modern technology to access, evaluate and apply information (state-of-the-art fitness equipment; cardio monitoring;knowledge of safe use of fitness equipment);
  • Demonstrate competence in career planning, health management, and lifelong learning;
  • Demonstrate skills beyond entry-level (health and fitness club manager, private personal trainer, specialized fitness instructor);
  • Identify good, basic exercise testing and program design;
  • Practice good nutrition and explain basic principles to clients relative to exercise physiology.


To earn a degree in this program, a student must complete the 64 program and general education credits, plus the additional requirements, shown below .

Program    42 Credits
 AHS 142    Exercise Science  3
 AHS 148  Responding to Medical Emergencies  2
 AHS 150   Introduction to Nutrition  3
 AHS 155  Stress and Your Health   3
 AHS 220    Principles of Fitness Components  3
 AHS 235   Fitness Program Planning  3
 AHS 238   Mind/Body Theory and Methods    3
 PED 135    Exercise Prescriptions  2
 PED 136  Weight Training    1
 PED 137    Aerobics     1
 PED 144  Stretching and Flexibility  1
 PED 152  Group Exercise Instruction    2
 PED 161    Advanced Strength Training     1
 PED 170  Personal Trainer   3
 PED 180    Fitness for Life    2
 PED 196    Practicum l  1
 PED 197  Practicum ll  1
 PED 207   Prevention/Care Exercise Injuries    2
 PED 241   Advanced Practicum l  1
 PED 242  Advanced Practicum ll  1
 PED 250          Psychology of Sport   3               
General Education   22 Credits 
BIO 150  Intro to the Human Body     4                    
COM 105   Intro to Oral Communication     3
 ENG  English Composition/Writing  6
MAT 136  Math for the Health Sciences   3
PSY 107  Introductory Psychology   3
   General Education Elective (see footnote 1)      3
Additional  As Shown 
Core Competencies Portfolio  6 items
 Forum  12 units
 Health/Fitness (see footnote 2)   30 Hours
 Minimum Cumulative Averages  
 • Overall  2.000
 • Area of Specialization: All Program Requirements  2.000


The following is a suggestion for completing this program in two years. The actual time needed to complete the program will vary according to each student's individual needs.

First Semester     15 Credits  
 AHS 142   Exercise Science   3
 AHS 148  Responding to Medical Emergencies  2
 AHS 150  Introduction to Nutrition    3
 COM 105  Intro to Oral Communication  3
 PED 136                      Weight Training   1
 PED 180     Fitness for Life    2
 PED 196  Practicum l  1                 
Second Semester    14 Credits 
 AHS 155    Stress and Your Health   3
 PED 135     Exercise Prescriptions   2
 PED 137    Aerobics    1
 PED 144   Stretching and Flexibility  1
 PED 152   Group Exercise Instruction   2
 PED 161    Advanced Strength Training    1
 PED 170  Personal Trainer    3
 PED 197  Practicum ll  1
Third Semester                 17 Credits        
 AHS 220  Principles of Fitness Components    3
 AHS 235    Fitness Program Planning   3
 BIO 150   Intro to the Human Body (see footnote 3)    4 
 ENG  English Composition/Writing    3
 PED 241  Advanced Practicum l  1
 PSY 107   Introductory Psychology    3
Fourth Semester                18 Credits         
 AHS 238   Mind/Body Theory and Methods     3
 PED 207    Prevention/Care Exercise Injuries  2
 PED 242  Advanced Practicum ll  1
 PED 250  Psychology of Sport    3
 ENG  English Composition/Writing   3
 MAT 136     Math for the Health Sciences    3
   General Education Elective (see footnote 1)  3


 1. General Education Elective chosen from History or Humanities and Fine Arts.  

 2. Fulfilled by successful completion of PED 135

    NOTE: Any prior criminal offense could hinder placement in clinical agencies and the ability to become licensed in this field. See Criminal Offender Record Information Checks.

 3. BIO 201 and BIO 202 can be taken in place of BIO 150.