Courses & Programs

Health, Fitness & Nutrition

The Associate in Science Degree in Health, Fitness & Nutrition provides a sound academic foundation for the student who wants to pursue a career in health and fitness or possibly transfer to a four-year physical education/exercise science program.

Patricia Mantia

Chair, Health Fitness Nutrition

Health Sciences

Bartley Center 100B

413.552.2449 (Tel)

What will you learn?

The Associate of Science Degree in Health, Fitness & Nutrition provides a sound academic foundation for the student who wants to pursue a career in health and fitness and/or transfer to a four-year program in exercise science.


Upon completion of the degree program, students will be able to:

  • Define the roles and responsibilities of the exercise leader.
  • Identify and discuss the components of fitness and explain how they relate to wellness.
  • Describe and discuss human movement from physiological and biomechanical perspectives.
  • Define and discuss ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) guidelines for fitness programs.
  • Discuss exercise programming considerations for populations with medical concerns and explain basic emergency medical care.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in technical skills related to exercise science and/or nutrition.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in interpersonal communication skills.
  • Meet objectives required for successful completion of national certification exams when appropriate.
  • Meet minimum criteria for transfer to four-year program and/or gain employment in the field of Health, Fitness, & Nutrition.

What will you do?

Transfer to a four-year college or university, or enter the workforce! Options include:

  • Physical Education
  • Community & Public Health Nutrition
  • Individual Nutrition/Wellness Consulting
  • Fitness Instruction
  • Health Promotion and Programming

Learn more at HCC's Advising, Career & Transfer Center and at What Can I Do With This Major?

63-64 total credits

35-36 credits General Education Requirements + 19 credits Program Requirements

No online courses are available for this program.

General Education Requirements

This course is the first half of the college composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, beginning research skills, and the writing process. Students will read, analyze, and cite a range of nonfiction texts. Students will produce several formal essays totaling approximately 3000 words. Prerequisite: Appropriate scores on English placement tests or C- or higher in ENG 095.
This course is the second half of the first-year composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, academic writing, research, and the writing process. Students will locate and evaluate both primary and secondary sources, and will gain skill in summarizing and synthesizing source material while employing MLA documentation. Texts will include a range of nonfiction (articles, essays, scholarly sources) and literary works. Students will produce at least 3000 words of formal written work, including a documented essay of at least 1250 words. Prerequisite: ENG 101 with a grade of C-or higher.
A detailed study of the structure and function of the human body. Physical and chemical principles, as they apply to the comprehensive treatment of human physiology, form an integral part of the course. Content includes general introductory material, tissues, integumentary, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. A majors course designed for nursing, physical education, radiologic technology and other allied-health majors. Some dissection of preserved animal specimen material is included. Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in BIO 107 taken within 7 years or a passing score on the challenge exam.
A continuation of Anatomy & Physiology I (BIO 217), concentrating on cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. Emphasis is placed on the correlation and integration of all the body systems. Substantial dissection of preserved animal specimen material is included. Prerequisite: BIO 217
Introduction to the study and principles of behavior. Topics include general principles of scientific investigation; physiological bases of behavior including sensation, perception, learning, emotion, and motivation; development; individual differences; attitudes; and group dynamics. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101.
A scientific examination of human social phenomena. Major topics include interaction, statuses and roles, groups, social institutions, culture, socialization, social control, conforming and deviant behavior, collective behavior, social inequality, demography, social change, urbanism, industrialism and globalization.Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101
Select from the following courses: ANT 101, ANT 103, ANT 110, ANT 114, ANT 120, ANT 130, ANT 150, ANT 250, COM 212, CRJ 110, CRJ 117, CRJ 200, CRJ 208, CRJ 209, CRJ 210, CRJ 217, ECN 100, ECN 101, ECN 102, ECN 104, ECN 105, ECN 120, ECN150, ECN 250, GEO 110, GRT 110, HON 206, HSV 120, HSV 205, HSV 208, HSV 212, HSV 226, HSV 230, LAW 215, POL 101, POL 110, POL 120, POL 125, POL 126, POL 140, POL 150, POL 230, PSY 110, PSY 202, PSY 203, PSY 210, PSY 215, PSY 216, PSY 217, PSY 218, PSY 220, PSY 222, PSY 224, PSY 225, PSY 226, PSY 230, PSY 233, PSY 240, PSY 242, PSY 250, PSY 260, PSY 265, PSY 270, SOC 110, SOC 130, SOC 150, SOC 204, SOC 208, SOC 213, SOC 214, SOC 215, SOC 216, SOC 220, SOC 240, SOC250, SSN 120, SSN 230, WST 100, WST 215, WST 217
Introduces perspectives from which human communication may be studied. Focuses on how we communicate with one another, looking specifically at the symbols we use and analyzing how they influence our thinking and behavior. Provides a conceptual foundation for examining language, nonverbal communication, small group behavior, and the impact of mass media on patterns of human interaction.
Students will learn how to improve their ability to think and reason, to better understand the basis for their opinions, and to build convincing arguments in discussions and debates. By discussing controversial moral and political topics and examining scientific studies, opinion polls, and newspaper editorials students will learn ways one should not argue (by using what philosophers call fallacious reasoning) and then learn how to make more effective arguments.
Focuses on how to make better philosophical arguments about moral matters and thus how to make more informed decisions in a morally complex world. Discusses some central moral theories (such as natural law, utilitarianism, Kantian moral theory, virtue ethics, and feminist moral theories) which have informed Western philosophy's views on ethical decision-making. May address different philosophical arguments on issues such as abortion, animal rights, and the death penalty.
Humanities [C] Electives ART 101, ART 110, ART 121, ART 122, ART 123, ART 124, ART 131, ART 132, ART 140, ART 141, ART 276 (formerly 142), ART 145, ART 147, ART 148, ART 150, ART 151, ART 222, ART 272 (formerly 156), ART 231, ART 232, ART 235, ART 241, ART 242, ART 250, ART 253, ART 254, ART 255, ART 261, ART 262, ART 273, ART 274, ART 275, ASL 201, ASL 202, ASL 291, ASL 292, COM 121, COM 131, COM 150, COM 205, COM 214, COM 235, EMS 111, EMS 112, EMS 118, EMS 124, EMS 125, EMS 225, DFS 101, DFS 104, DFS 108 (formerly 106), DFS 205, ENG 201, ENG 202, ENG 203, ENG 211, ENG 212, ENG 214, ENG 215, ENG 216, ENG 217, ENG 218, ENG 223, ENG 224, ENG 226, ENG 227, ENG 230, ENG 231, ENG 232, ENG 235, ENG 237, ENG 245, ENG 250, FRH 201, FRH 202, FRH 205, FRH 206, GER 205, HIS 101, HIS 102, HIS 103, HIS 104, HIS 105, HIS 107, HIS 109, HIS 108, HIS 111, HIS 112, HIS 121, HIS 130, HIS 150, HIS 162, HIS 220, HIS 225, HIS 250, HIS 260, HON 206, HUM 206, MUS 100, MUS 105, MUS 106, MUS 107, MUS 110, MUS 126, MUS 140, MUS 150, MUS 208, MUS 209, MUS 250, MUS 259, MUS 260, PHI 100, PHI 101, PHI 103, PHI 110, PHI 120, PHI 130, PHI 140, PHI 230, SPA 201, SPA 202, SPA 203, SPA 204, SPA 205, SPA 206, SPA 110, SPA 210, SPA 211, SPA 212, SPA 214, THE 100, THE 110, THE 124, THE 125, THE 212, THE 213, THE 227, THE 235, THE 237
Select from any Math (D) course with a MTH prefix.

Program Requirements

Provides the knowledge and skills called for in most situations in which emergency care is required and medical assistance is not excessively delayed. An introduction to CPR is included. Course will be taught by a Nationally Certified CPR/First Aid Instructor. Grading is on a Satisfactory-Unsatisfactory basis.Students can not receive credit for both HFN 104 and HFN 103.
This is a first aid and CPR course geared towards the physical educator, coach, and/or fitness instructor. The course includes assessment and emergency care for sports related injuries, illness, spine, and musculoskeletal injuries. CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver are included. This program is used for certification by American Sport Education Program. Students may not receive credit for both HFN 104 and HFN 103.
An introductory course to the principles and practice of motor learning as would be applied to physical education, physical fitness and sports related activities. Students will examine the fundamental process of learning and teaching human movement patterns. Students will study and discuss the learner, the process of learning, and the process of teaching movement skills. Using personal research projects, students will examine and analyze external and internal factors that influence movement performance. Case studies will be used for class discussion and student evaluation. This course is designed to teach the student about the various tools that may be used to enhance resistance training. Students will learn how to use and practice techniques with elastic devices, hand weights, resistance balls, medicine balls and steps, body bars and other devices.
An introduction to the structure and operations of fitness facilities and exploration of career opportunities in the fitness field. Students will examine various aspects of the fitness industry including the history of fitness as a business entity, facility types, career opportunities, fitness technology and consumer influences. Students will use site visitations and participation as learning tools.
An introduction to the study of human physiology as it relates to acute and chronic exercise across the lifespan. In this course, the student will study the systemic aspects of nerve, musculoskeletal, circulatory, respiratory, and thermal, and endocrine physiology, with an emphasis on practical application to exercise. Students will examine the effects of nutrition and supplementation on exercise performance. Prerequisite: BIO 217
An introduction to the structure and function of the body as related to human movement and physical activity. Course includes discussion of the anatomical considerations for movement, functional anatomy, and mechanics and laws of motion as related to the human body. Prerequisite: BIO 100 or BIO 103 or BIO 107 or BIO 111 or BIO 217
An experiential course that includes classroom discussion and internship opportunities to enhance the learning experiences of the fitness professional. This course is open to all students pursuing a certificate and/or degree in fitness/physical education, e.g., personal trainers, group exercise leaders, exercise specialists, and fitness managers. Prerequisite: PER 134, PER 172, or PER 183, or with permission of instructor.
An introduction to the science of nutrition as it applies to everyday life. Students will learn how to apply the logic of science to their own nutritional concerns. Topics include the six major nutrients: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water. The course also will examine energy balance, weight control, the digestive process, nutrition fads, supplements, fiber, and disease as it relates to nutrition and fitness. A dietary computer application is used throughout the semester to track personal dietary, energy, and fitness. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101.

9 credits of electives

Select three 1-credit courses with a HFN prefix:

HFN XX1  |  Health & Fitness Elective
Credits: 1  

HFN XX2  |  Health & Fitness Elective
Credits: 1  

HFN XX3  |  Health & Fitness Elective
Credits: 1

Select two 3-credit courses with a HFN prefix:

HFN XX4  |  Health & Fitness Elective 
Credits: 3  

HFN XX5   |  Health & Fitness Elective
Credits: 3  

HFN 190 should be taken at end of program.

Students wishing to select non-HFN elective options should seek approval from the department Chair.

This program qualifies for MassTransfer, which guarantees credit transfer to Massachusetts state colleges and universities. MassTransfer also will grant students automatic acceptance to certain state colleges and universities by achieving the minimum grade point average and the HCC degree.