Fitness Leadership & Exercise Science Track (LAX)

A Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences

This program is for those students who would like to transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, exercise physiology, fitness management, or other health-related fields. With a bachelor’s degree, students may pursue fitness management careers at private and corporate fitness centers. Upon graduation from MWCC, students may pursue immediate employment at wellness or recreational agencies. In this program, students will learn in a state-of-the-art fitness and wellness center and gain in-depth knowledge of exercise science to increase their skills and make them more marketable to prospective employers.

Number Suggested Course Order



Grade Prerequisites/Notes
ENG101 English Composition I


    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
MAT163 Pre-Calculus


    MAT134 or placement
CHC101 Complementary Health Care


    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
BIO109 or BIO115 Biology I or

Human Biology


    BIO109 Prerequisites: ENG098, FYE101, MAT092, RDG098, or placement

BIO115 Prerequisites: ENG098, FYE101, MAT096, RDG098, or placement

PER126/130 Health, Fitness, and Wellness



    Prerequisites: FYE101, MAT092, RDG098, or placement

Note: PER130 is recommended for transfer

ENG102 English Composition II


SPC113 Speech


PSY105 Introduction to Psychology


    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement
  History Elective


    Electives: HIS105, 106, 201, 202
BIO199 Anatomy and Physiology I


    Prerequisites: BIO099, ENG098, FYE101, MAT096, RDG098, or placement
  Art Elective


    Electives: ART101, 105, 113
PSY110 Human Growth and Development


EXS201 Exercise Science and Nutrition


    Prerequisites: BIO115 or BIO199 prerequisite or co-enrollment

Note: Fall only

CIS127 Computer Technologies


    ENG098, FYE101, RDG098, or placement

ENG236 Modern Drama (designated culturally diverse course)


    ENG102 or permission of division dean
EXS102 or PTA104 Principles of Anatomy and  Kinesiology  or Applied Anatomy and Kinesiology



    EXS Prerequisites: ENG098, FYE101, MAT092, or  RDG098, or placement

PTA Prerequisites: MAT096 or placement; BIO115 or BIO199

Co-requisite: EXS201

Note: PTA104 is offered fall only

BIO204 Anatomy and Physiology II


    BIO099, ENG098, FYE101, MAT096, RDG098, or placement
EXS203 Exercise Testing and Program



    Prerequisites: EXS102 or PTA104; EXS201

Note: Spring only

ISC210 Critical Thinking


    Prerequisites: ENG102, completion of 45 credits

Note: Capstone course

  History Elective (designated culturally diverse course)


    Electives: HIS105,106,125
ECO102 Microeconomics


    Prerequisites: MAT096 or placement, ENG101; ECO101 strongly recommended
                                                          Total: 68/70 credits

Campus/format: A majority of this program can be completed during the day only at the Gardner Campus.

Helpful hints: Focusing on a particular area of study in biological sciences and exercise skills may be helpful when pursuing a career.  Students should have a commitment to their own physical fitness. For more program information contact the program chair, 978-630-9261, or the dean of Health Sciences and Community Service programs at, 978-630-9265.

Transfer options: This program qualifies for MassTransfer (see page 45 for more information). The Liberal Arts & Sciences curricula closely parallel the general education curricula of the first two years required by most four-year colleges and universities. For a complete list of transfer agreement options visit MWCC’s transfer services website: and

Special requirements: Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Career options: After earning a bachelor’s degree, students can pursue fitness management careers at private and corporate fitness centers.

Earning potential: $33,730 to $56,130.

Program Competencies for LAC, LAEL, LAER, LAS, LAX, LAHP, and LAT

Upon graduation from these programs, students shall have the ability to:

  • Formulate clear and precise questions about complex problems and ideas relevant to a variety of disciplines—math, science, the humanities, and the social sciences—and gather, assess, and interpret information to arrive at well-reasoned conclusions and solutions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of complex written texts that demand an appreciation of subtext, irony, metaphor, and the subtlety and nuances of language.
  • Successfully complete a substantial research paper that demonstrates the ability to formulate a research question, conduct research using the library’s databases, and synthesize information from a variety of sources into a cohesive and in-depth analysis of a topic.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of historic, social, and cultural backgrounds necessary for understanding their own and other societies with an emphasis on important ideas and events that have shaped, and continue to shape, their world.
  • Demonstrate scientific literacy, which can be defined as the matrix of knowledge needed to understand enough about the universe to deal with issues that come across the horizon of the average citizen, in the news or elsewhere.
  • Demonstrate a broad exposure to, and an understanding of, the differences and similarities in the various academic disciplines within their Liberal Arts education.
  • Successfully transfer to a baccalaureate degree granting institution if desired, with the proper educational foundation for transition into a chosen field of study.

Capstone Course for LAC, LAEL, LAER, LAS, LAX, LAHP, and LAT

ISC210 Critical Thinking is the required capstone course for all Liberal Arts & Sciences majors and is to be taken after successfully completing English Composition II and 45 credits.

Additional Program Competencies for LAX

In addition to the above program competencies, upon graduation from the Liberal Arts & Sciences—Fitness Leadership & Exercise Science Concentration program, students shall have the ability to:

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of exercise physiology and kinesiology.
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of nutrition and the guidelines.
  • Demonstrate the ability to do a thorough client assessment for designing a complete exercise program.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the professional responsibilities surrounding safety, liability, and code of ethics.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the fitness leadership certifications and the need for continuing education.