Sport and Exercise Psychology

Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Psychology

If you would like to combine your love of sports and fitness with an interest in psychology, then you have found the perfect major.  This program is designed to help students understand the impact of the mind on performance across many different performance based domains such as sport, performing arts, business, and the military.

Students interested in pursuing a career in sport and exercise psychology know that most jobs will require that they must first complete a graduate degree before entering the job market.  Thus, the primary mission of the undergraduate major in sport and exercise psychology is to prepare students for graduate studies across a number of related disciplines.  This program provides students with elective options that have allowed them to meet the entrance requirements necessary to be successful gaining admission into graduate programs related to sport and exercise psychology, counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy, public health, public administration, exercise science, sport management, business, law, and many other disciplines. This program also meets the requirements for the Academic Common Market, which allows out-of-state students from many states the opportunity to complete this program paying in-state tuition.  Students interested in the academic common market can find out more information about this program at (

What makes the undergraduate major in sport and exercise psychology unique?  First, it is the only major of its kind in the state of West Virginia and one of the few undergraduate programs in the nation that allows students to specialize in sport and exercise psychology.  Second, the curriculum contains a number of exciting and innovative courses, such as the Social Psychology of Sport, Performance Enhancement, Exercise Psychology, the Psychological Aspects of Sport Injury, Physical Activity promotion, and African Americans in Sport. Several of the courses in the curriculum can be used to meet requirements of the university’s General Education Foundation program.  Third, through our major’s club and professional development courses, students will interact with graduate students in our highly acclaimed doctoral program, meet leading professionals in the field, attend student and professional conferences, have opportunities to conduct research, and participate in other student-centered professional and social activities. Further this program has eight faculty members dedicated to providing a quality learning experience for students.  Students often pursue employment to use their sport psychology training to help them work with athletes of all ages and ability levels, business executives, the military, and other related settings.  

Admission Requirements

All students are directly admitted into the SEP program. However, to be eligible to take upper level SEP courses (SEP Professional Block), students must meet the following benchmark criteria:

  • SEP 210 (Need a grade of B or better)
  • SEP 271 (Need a grade of B or better)
  • SEP 272 (Need a grade of B or better)
  • PSYC 101 (Need a grade of C or better)
  • SOCA 101 (Need a grade of C or better)
  • Minimum required GPA – 2. 5 Cumulative GPA

Click here to view the Suggested Plan of Study

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA of 2.5 required.
Minimum grade of C- in all required courses unless otherwise noted.
GEF 1, 5, & 6 (may vary depending on overlap)12
PASS 191First-Year Seminar1
Benchmark Requirements *
Must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA.
SEP 210Professional Issues (Minimum grade of B-)1
SEP 271Sport in American Society (Minimum grade of B-; GEF 8)3
SEP 272Psychological Perspectives of Sport (Minimum grade of B-; GEF 4)3
PSYC 101Introduction to Psychology (Minimum grade of C-)3
SOCA 101Introduction to Sociology (Minimum grade of C-)3
Community Service (Minimum of 20 hours must be completed to complete benchmark requirements)
Applied Area Requirements
ACE 256Principles and Problems of Coaching3
ATTR 121Sport Injury Control and Management3
COUN 303Introduction to Helping Professions3
EXPH 364Kinesiology (Students must complete BIOL 102 and 104 with a grade of C- or better before taking EXPH 364)3
EXPH 365Exercise Physiology 1 (Students must complete BIOL 102 and 104 with a grade of C- or better before taking EXPH 365)3
Algebra with Applications (GEF 3)
PET 175Motor Development2
SEP 373African Americans in Sports (GEF 7)3
SEP 312Professional Issues in Sport Psychology 31
SEP 383Exercise Psychology3
SEP 385Social Psychology of Sport3
SEP 425Psychological Aspects of Sport Injury3
SEP 474Sport Studies Research Methods (Fulfills Writng and Communication Skills Requirement)3
Select one of the following:3
SEP 493
Special Topics
Sport Performance Enhancement
Physical Activity Promotion
Cross Cultural Perspectives in Sport and Society
Foundation Requirements
BIOL 102
BIOL 104
General Biology
and General Biology Laboratory (GEF 2)
PSYC 241Introduction to Human Development (GEF 8)3
PSYC 251Introduction to Social Psychology (GEF 8)3
PSYC 281Introduction to Abnormal Psychology3
Sociology (SOCA) 200-400 Level Elective3
Electives (to reach 120 minimum for degree)39
Community Service (Minimum of 50 hours must be completed to graduate) *
Total Hours117

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3SOCA 1013
PSYC 1013PET 1752
ACE 2563SEP 2101
PASS 1911MATH 124 (GEF 3)3
Elective or Minor5BIOL 102
BIOL 104 (GEF 2)
 SEP 272 (GEF 4)3
 15 16
Second Year
SEP 271 (GEF 8)3ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3
GEF 53PSYC 251 (GEF 8)3
GEF 63Sociology Elective 200-300 level3
PSYC 241 (GEF 8)3ATTR 1213
Elective or Minor3Elective or Minor3
 15 15
Third Year
PSYC 2813SEP 3121
SEP 373 (GEF 7)3SEP 4253
SEP 3853EXPH 3643
Elective or Monor6Elective or Minor8
 15 15
Fourth Year
SEP 4743SEP 4203
COUN 3033EXPH 3653
Elective or Minor8SEP 3833
 Elective or Minor6
 14 15
Total credit hours: 120

Major Learning Outcomes

Sport and Exercise Psychology

The goal of the program is for students to graduate with the essential skills and knowledge necessary to prepare them for a career in the field of sport and exercise psychology and to help them gain admission into graduate school in a program of their choice.  This is a graduate school preparatory program, with students attending graduate programs in sport and exercise psychology, exercise science, human services, and public health fields. 

  • Content Knowledge - Students will demonstrate knowledge and disciplinary concepts related to sport and exercise psychology.
  • Reflection and Critical Thinking - Students will demonstrate reflection and critical thinking in order to refine professional knowledge and practice.
  • Programming and Assessment - Students will demonstrate evidence-based knowledge and skills (and best practices) for assessing student needs and for designing, implementing and evaluating performance across domains.
  • Professionalism and Ethics - Students will demonstrate professional behaviors, including commitment to excellence, valuing diversity and collaboration, service to others, techniques for lifelong learning, and will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to allow them to be successful with regard to applying to graduate school to help advance their careers.
  • Technology - Students will be able to demonstrate the use of different forms of technology to assess skills and provide meaningful feedback.

SEP 210. Professional Issues. 1 Hour.

An introduction to professional issues relevant to the field of sport psychology. Provides opportunities for students to gain practical experiences within the field.

SEP 271. Sport in American Society. 3 Hours.

Sociocultural investigation of sport in American society.

SEP 272. Psychological Perspectives of Sport. 3 Hours.

An examination of personality and behavioral factors as they affect participation in sport. Topics such as stress and sport, body image, aggression and the sport participant, and the licensure of sport psychologists highlight the course.

SEP 273. Sport and Exercise Psychology Lab. 1 Hour.

This course is designed to help students understand and utilize in their own lives, the skills and constructs taught from a theoretical perspective in SEP 272. This course will help students enhance their knowledge of sport and exercise psychology constructs and allow them to implement these skills within a laboratory setting.

SEP 293. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

SEP 312. Professional Issues in Sport Psychology 3. 1-2 Hours.

PR: SEP 210. This course provides students majoring in Sport and Exercise Psychology with an introduction to graduate school and the necessary skills needed to prepare them for graduate education.

SEP 313. Professional Issues in Sport Psychology 4. 1-2 Hours.

PR: SEP 210. This course provides students majoring in Sport and Exercise Psychology with the necessary skills needed to succeed upon their graduation from the Sport and Exercise Psychology program.

SEP 373. African Americans in Sports. 3 Hours.

Sociocultural and historical overview of the contributions of African Americans in sport in America.

SEP 374. Sport Studies Research Methods. 3 Hours.

An analysis of descriptive and experimental research in sport psychology and sport management. Course requirements include completion of capstone research project.

SEP 383. Exercise Psychology. 3 Hours.

Introduction to motivational and mental health factors associated with exercise participation.

SEP 385. Social Psychology of Sport. 3 Hours.

PR: SEP 271 and SEP 272 or consent. An introduction to the study of how and why performance is affected by interactions with others in sport.

SEP 415. Physical Activity Promotion. 3 Hours.

Focuses on the health effects of physical activity and exercise. Prepares students to promote, initiate and evaluate physical activity programs in community settings.

SEP 420. Sport Performance Enhancement. 3 Hours.

PR: SEP 272. An introduction to the processes and techniques involved in using psychology to help athletes and coaches improve their performance.

SEP 425. Psychological Aspects of Sport Injury. 3 Hours.

PR:SEP 271 an SEP 272. This upper level course involves the study of various topics related to the psychological aspects of sport injury. In general this course will examine issues associated with the onset, treatment and rehabilitation of sport injury.

SEP 430. Cross Cultural Perspectives in Sport and Society. 3 Hours.

Faculty led study abroad course associated with travel to a foreign country at student’s expense. Students on the trip are exposed to foreign culture, landmarks, and sport facilities while meeting and interacting with sport-science professionals. The course prepares students for the travel experience and allows them to reflect upon it after returning.

SEP 474. Sport Studies Research Methods. 3 Hours.

An analysis of descriptive and experimental research in sport psychology and sport management. Course requirements include completion of capstone research project.

SEP 490. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Teaching practice as a tutor or assistant.

SEP 491. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hours.

PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours.) Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development.

SEP 492. Directed Study. 1-3 Hours.

Directed study, reading, and/or research.

SEP 493. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

SEP 494. Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Presentation and discussion of topics of mutual concern to students and faculty.

SEP 495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

SEP 496. Senior Thesis. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent.

SEP 498. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study or research.



  • Dana D. Brooks - Ed.D. (West Virginia University)
    Dean, CPASS
  • Edward Etzel, Jr. - Ed.D. (West Virginia University)
  • Jack Watson - Ph.D. (Florida State University)
    Chair, Department of Sport Sciences
  • Samuel Zizzi - Ed.D. (West Virginia University)

Associate Professor

  • Damien Clement - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
  • Peter Giacobbi - Ph.D. (University of Tennessee - Knoxville)

Assistant Professors

  • Dana Voelker - Ph.D. (Michigan State University)

Teaching Assistant Professor

  • Scott Barnicle - Ph.D. (University of Idaho)