Career Pathways

2023 sport and performance psychology and clinical mental health counseling graduates at open house
What is sport and performance psychology?

Sport and performance psychology encompasses the positive and applied sport psychology needed to enhance performance and maximize human potential. The field involves understanding the process of success, creating and leading highly effective teams, utilizing positive motivation and communication techniques, and setting and achieving high goals.

Specialize at UWS

UWS offers optional concentrations within both the MS and EdD programs that allow students to specialize in their professional area of interest.

MS Positive Coaching Concentration
This concentration focuses on strategic leadership and coaching used to enhance both physical and mental performance. It reaches beyond coaching on the sidelines and includes how to perform optimally as the coach and leader. Topics covered in this concentration will build on sports performance-based knowledge and focus on the importance of positive coaching, leadership and communication to help your team, business or organization reach full potential.

MS Applied Practice Concentration
The applied practice concentration allows students to get a head start on the mentorship hours toward certification as a mental performance consultant (CMPC®).

EdD Positive Leadership and Administration Concentration
The positive leadership and administration concentration is intended to help leaders and their teams or organizations succeed through an increased understanding of human motivations and behaviors, and how to apply that understanding to achieve extraordinary results.

EdD Sport and Performance Psychology Consulting Concentration
The Sport and Performance Psychology Consulting Concentration is designed for students pursuing a career in applied sport and performance psychology.  The cornerstone of the concentration is the development of professional competence in implementing ethical and evidence-based interventions with performance populations.  Students identify a population of interest, secure intervention opportunities, and are mentored in their experience by UWS faculty members with extensive applied experience in a variety of performance domains.  All SPP faculty mentors are listed on the Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) Registry of Approved Mentors and abide by both program and CMPC Mentor Guidelines and Best practice Recommendations.  In this way, hours gained in the concentration are eligible to meet the requirements for CMPC certification.

EdD SPP with Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization
This option is uniquely designed for students who are simultaneously seeking counseling licensure and advanced sport and performance psychology training to open the door to a wide array of career options.

Applied Sport Psychology Graduate Certificate
This program addresses each of the eight AASP coursework competency areas to prepare students to become experts in the field of sport psychology.

Transfer Credit Evaluation

A student may request up to 16 transfer credits of coursework successfully completed at another accredited university. Transfer credit requests are reviewed by the program director for applicability to the UWS program.

Qualified Exams

Coursework options offered within the program are consistent with the knowledge and skills assessed by the:

  • Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) toward the Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC®)

Pathway to Certification

The program’s comprehensive curriculum was specifically designed to help students complete the requirements to become Certified Mental Performance Consultants (CMPC®). This structure allows our students to select coursework that meets their individual job and certification needs. Only the clinical mental health counseling specialization allows students to pursue clinical licensure.

*Note on certification and licensure

It is the responsibility of the individual student to understand and comply with all national certification standards and/or state licensure requirements. UWS makes no representations or guarantees that completion of UWS coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain national certification or state licensure.


Sport and performance psychology professionals typically serve as leaders in sport, coaching, exercise and wellness disciplines. Graduates of the SPP program can seek careers including:

  • Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC®)
  • Positive leadership administrator
  • Coach
  • Professor
  • Licensed professional counselor (pending completion of the CMHC specialization and licensure)
  • Athletic director
  • Sport program administrator

Learn more about gross annual income, work settings, credentials, field specialties, professional outlook and demographics in the 2020 Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) Compensation Report for Mental Performance Work.