Fitness, Wellness & Sport

Program Type

Associate in Applied Science

Certificates Available

Courses Available


View Courses in the Catalog


Paying for Your Program




Request Information

About the Program

The Fitness, Wellness, and Sport (FWS) degree in Exercise Science or Sport Management provides students with the educational and practical experiences needed to obtain employment in the sport and fitness industry.  All students learn about the psychological, sociological and historical aspects of sport and exercise. Students interested in the Exercise Science option complete coursework focusing on the scientific aspects of human performance. Students interested in the Sport Management option complete coursework focusing on the business, marketing, promotions, programming and facilities aspects of sport and exercise. The A.A.S. degree in FWS can be completed in as little as two years.

What can I do with this degree?

Potential Careers & Wages

Students who complete this program will have the necessary knowledge and skills to obtain an entry-level position in sport, recreation, exercise, or fitness organizations. Exercise Science students may seek employment as personal fitness trainers, sports performance trainers, group exercise instructors, or fitness technicians. Sport Management students may seek employment in sport or recreation management, programming, facilities, marketing, sales or maintenance. Students who transfer and complete their four-year degree will be able to increase their employment opportunities and earn a substantially higher income.

Program Pathways

Students should meet with an Academic Advisor to develop a clear pathway leading to a seamless transfer experience or transition to the workforce. For additional possibilities that may require an advanced degree or certification, make an appointment with an Academic Advisor.

Visit Academic Advising

Students who pursue a degree in FWS will have the opportunity to complete a variety of job shadowing experiences with any of the following professional agencies – Rock Valley College-Athletic Department, Rockford School District 205, Rockford Icehogs, Rockford Convention & Visitors Bureau, Rockford Park District, Rockford Rivets, Private Commercial Fitness Facilities (Anytime Fitness, D1, Maximum Performance, Movement Fitness, Oak Strength, The FIT) , YMCA of Rock River Valley, Swedish American Hospital, and NorthPointe Wellness.

The program is housed in the Physical Education Center (PEC). The PEC has a 6,350 square foot fitness center, a 1,500 square foot dance studio, and six classrooms featuring state-of-the-art instructional technology.

Student in the FWS Assoiate in Applied Science Degree may select from two program tracks: Exercise Science and Sport Management.

Students in Rock Valley College’s Exercise Science program have the opportunity to seamlessly transition to Northern Illinois University to complete a bachelor’s degree thanks to a “2+2” agreement signed by the two schools. Under this agreement, students first complete the Exercise Science option of RVC’s A.A.S. degree in Fitness, Wellness and Sport, and then transfer to NIU to complete a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology.

The students in the RVC FWS Exercise Science Program who complete the two-year program are essentially completing the first two years of NIU’s four-year program.  When they transfer, this will help them complete the four-year degree in four years. At NIU, Rock Valley graduates who transfer their credits will enter the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education ready for 300-level courses in the Kinesiology major.

Note: Students that want to pursue this route must designate this option prior to registration to ensure that correct courses are taken that meet the RVC-NIU, FWS-Kinesiology 2+2 agreement.

In addition to NIU, RVC graduates can also transfer to Rockford University for concentrations in either Exercise Science or Sports Management.

For more information contact FWS Academic Chair Timothy Hatten, Ph.D., CSCS, NSCA-CPT, DCT at (815) 921-3816 or email at

In addition to the Associate in Applied Science Degree, students have the option to choose from two certificate programs:

  • Coaching Education
  • Personal Training

Many of the courses in the FWS associate of applied science degree are also required in both certificates.  Students can easily transition from a certificate to an associate of applied science degree or complete the associate of applied science degree and a certificate in two years. 

See the course catalog link above for a detailed listing of courses and requirements.

Related Programs

Massage Therapy

Certificate Available

View Program Details

Medical Assistant

Associate in Applied Science

View Program Details


Associate in Applied Science

View Program Details