Applied sport psychology employs a combination of evidence-based performance enhancement techniques, sport science, and counseling skills to help clients maximize their potential and obtain optimal enjoyment from their sport and performance experiences. Students learn how to enhance human development and functioning by acquiring cutting edge knowledge in the area of sport psychology. If you enjoy helping athletes and performers achieve their full sporting and exercise potential, solving complex problems and working as part of a team, this field might be an ideal match for you.

Choose from one of 3 tracks that is right for you

Two tracks are offered in-person at our Greensboro campus and one track is offered entirely online. Students in all three programs have access to similar coursework with options tailored to career goals.  

Compare the three tracks

TrackDeliveryCredit HoursIntegrated ExperienceFocusFaculty Advisors
Applied Sport Psychologyin person36practicumComplete coursework and mentorship required for certificationJennifer Farrell, Alan Chu
Sport and Exercise Psychology (thesis)in person36research studyDevelop research skills in a focused area of interestJennifer Etnier, Erin Reifsteck, Jaclyn Maher, Eric Drollette, Derek Monroe
Sport and Exercise Psychology (coursework)online30comprehensive examApply psychosocial theories and skills to a variety of kinesiology-related professionsErin Reifsteck
Comparisons between the three Sport and Exercise Psychology programs offered at UNCG.

There are three program options available:

  •  Applied Sport Psychology:  This is a 36-credit coursework only Master of Science degree that will prepare students to sit for the Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) exam offered by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP).  Students enrolled in this program will take AASP required graduate-level courses and will have the opportunity to obtain hours of mentored experience required for the CMPC.
  • Sport & Exercise Psychology, Coursework Only:  This is a 30-credit coursework only Master of Science degree. Students in this program have the opportunity to take SEP courses and other electives suited to their particular career interests.
  • Sport & Exercise Psychology, Thesis:  This is a 36-credit thesis Master of Science degree program that will prepare students for doctoral level study at a research-focused university. Students enrolled in this program will take courses focused on SEP content, research methods and statistics, and other electives suited to their particular research interests. They will also typically work with an advisor with similar research interests.

The Student Experience

  • This curriculum was designed for students to meet the coursework and field experience requirements for certification as a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC), the gold standard designation for practice developed by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP).
  • Students in this concentration will have the opportunity to work with Division I student-athletes under the direct mentorship of an AASP-approved CMPC. 
  • Established partnerships allow students to work with other local sport, exercise, and performance organizations.
  • Faculty in SEP have ongoing collaborations with subdisciplines in Kinesiology and with other departments, Institutes, and Centers across campus.


We have a strong record of placing our students in the top facilities in north central North Carolina; abundant opportunities exist in Greensboro, as well as in Winston-Salem, High Point, Durham, Chapel Hill, etc.

Our curriculum is designed to prepare you to pursue:

  • Careers in:
    • Coaching
    • Teaching
    • Sports medicine
    • Athletic training
    • Health and fitness
    • Performance enhancement consulting
  • Doctoral degrees in:
    • Sport psychology
    • Clinical or counseling psychology
    • Social work
  • Certification in sport psychology consulting as a Certified Mental Performance Consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

Sample Plan of Study

Students in this concentration area progress through the program as a cohort with most courses required based upon the requirements for CMPC certification. Because this is a cohort model, students may only begin the program in the Fall semester. The program of study is as follows:

KIN 630 Sport and Society: Social InequalitiesKIN 645 Exercise Psychology or KIN 649 Principles of Physical Activity Behavior ChangeSWK 624 Human DiversityHHS 654 Ethics in Practice, Teaching and Research
KIN 644 Sport & Exercise Psychology KIN 744 Applied Sport PsychologyKIN 743 Psychological Aspects of Sport InjuryKIN 601 Application of Research
CED 613 Helping RelationshipsKIN 746 Practicum IKIN 746 Practicum IIKIN 746 Practicum III

Frequently Asked Questions

It is only in the applied SEP program that you will:

  • Learn how to consult with athletes, exercisers, and performers to improve their mental skills.
  • Gain practical experience with individuals, teams, and groups both on and off campus
  • Prepare to practice in dynamic, professional organizations
  • Accumulate supervised/mentored hours in preparation for becoming a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP)

The coursework only program is best suited for individuals who do not want to be sport psychologists per se, but who want to learn sport psychology theory and skills to apply to other settings (e.g., fitness professionals, military applications, health settings, coaching).

The thesis option is designed for students who intend to pursue doctoral studies to become a professor who focuses primarily on research and teaching. Opportunities for practical, applied experience are not available in this program.

Outside of your coursework, there are no formal opportunities or requirements for research in the program. However, if you have an interest in research you can certainly look to connect with one of our faculty members in the Department of Kinesiology and volunteer on research projects as your time allows.

No. This program will not result in clinical licensure. Instead, the program focuses on education and applied training to prepare individuals for the CMPC certification. Many students who are interested in clinical mental health work with athletes and performers will choose to go on for additional schooling in counseling, social work, counseling or clinical psychology (i.e. they will pursue an additional graduate degree in a different program).

According to AASP, the “CMPC® demonstrates to clients, employers, colleagues, and the public at large that an individual has met the highest standards of professional practice, including completing a combination of educational and work requirements, successfully passing a certification exam, agreeing to adhere to ethical principles and standards, and committing to ongoing professional development. The CMPC® certification program is also accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)” Further, obtaining certification can impact future job opportunities.

Recent graduates have gone on to pursue the following career opportunities:

  • Performance specialists within the military
  • Mental training interns at sports academies
  • Mental performance group and/or private practice
  • Collegiate coaching positions
  • Life skills coordinators in university athletic departments
  • Academic advisors in student-athlete services
  • Weight management and exercise behavior consultants in fitness facilities

  • Individual and team consultations with collegiate athletic programs (DI and Division III levels)
  • High school athletic consultations
  • Youth sport club consultations
  • School of Music consultations
  • Educational programming for Military Affiliated Services
  • Exercise and weight management behavioral consultations

10-12 students are admitted each year, for a total of 20-24 students in the program.

The 36 credit hour program is designed to be completed in two academic years. The program consists of fall and spring semesters for the first and second years. Students have an option of registering for additional practicum hours during the summer between the first and second year of the program.

Completion of prerequisite coursework may be suggested if a degree major or minor is not in psychology or kinesiology/exercise science.

For CMPC certification, we do not offer courses for the K4 or K7 requirements. Many students have taken these courses as an undergraduate, but if not, there are opportunities to take courses in these areas through the Psychology department at UNCG. Many students choose to take these courses in addition to their coursework during the program.

The application deadline for Fall consideration is January 15. The program only admits for the Fall term of each year. All applicants must start in the Fall semester.  The program is highly competitive and applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a complete application as soon as possible.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that all application materials are received by the Graduate School’s Admissions Office by the final deadline.

Be sure to select the Applied Sport Psychology concentration when submitting your application to ensure that your application is considered for the correct program.

A phone, video-based, or in-person interview with the program director may be requested for some candidates after an initial review of submitted applications.

We strive to make final offers of admission by the middle of March. All admissions decisions for Fall consideration will be made by April 1st.

Admitted applicants have until April 15th to inform us of their admission decision and to submit the non-refundable $250 admission deposit to confirm their place in the program. The $250 admission deposit will be credited towards the student’s first semester’s tuition.


Please follow these steps when submitting an application For more general questions, make sure you check out KIN’s Frequently Asked Questions.  If you cannot find what you are looking for please contact the department directly at [email protected].

Graduate School Requirements

1. Online Application to The Graduate School

Login to The Graduate School’s Online Application.

2. All official transcripts

Send to the Graduate School directly. One official transcript is needed from all colleges and universities previously attended. If credit from one institution has been transferred to another and is listed on the receiving institution’s transcript, a transcript from the original institution is not required.

If an applicant is currently enrolled in a degree program and will not graduate prior to an admission deadline, transcripts should be provided that reflect courses in progress. It will speed up the processing of your application greatly if you also upload an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) issued by your institution(s) registrar’s office that includes the official seal as part of your online application (student advising transcripts are not accepted).

Please remember that you must still have your official transcript(s) sent to The Graduate School even if you supply official copies.

3. English Language Proficiency

The English Language Proficiency requirement must be fulfilled for all non-native English speaking applicants regardless of citizenship. It can be waived if the student has earned a US degree or has an acceptable score on either the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE exam. It can also be fulfilled by completing Level 5 of our Interlink program. Please see more information on requirements for international applicants.

4. Three Recommendations

All applicants must submit a minimum and maximum of three recommendations. In most cases the department would prefer at least two of the recommendations to be from faculty members who can address your academic capability. All recommendations are to be uploaded through The Graduate School’s online application system.

Departmental Notes

5. Graduate Assistantships

All qualifying applicants are considered for assistantships. You do not need to apply for an assistantship.  If you are interested in an assistantship please indicate this on your application by checking the appropriate box.   NOTE: Due to the way certain programs are structured, potential students applying to the Ed.D., M.S.A.T., Fully online M.S. in Sport and Exercise Psychology, or M.S. in Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology are typically not considered for assistantships.

6. Application Materials

  • Ed.D. — Complete applications received by January 15 receive priority consideration.  However, applications submitted through April 1 will be considered for Fall admission if program capacity allows.  The Ed.D. program accepts students for Fall admission only.
  • M.S.A.T. — Complete applications must be submitted by January 15.  The M.S.A.T. program accepts students for Summer admission only.
  • M.S., M.S./Ph.D., Ph.D. — Complete applications received by January 15 receive priority consideration for admission and funding. Applications submitted through July 1 will be considered for Fall admission if program capacity allows. Spring admission is possible but unlikely and we have no assistantship funds for spring applicants.
IMPORTANT: For Non-U.S. Academic Transcripts

International applicants are required to have their credentials formally evaluated. More information about this requirement, including recognized services for evaluation, can be found on the Graduate School’s international applicant page.

Request Information



Plan of Study

Students progress through the degree based on an individual plan of study designed to meet the CMPC course requirements.

This plan is developed in consultation with an advisor.

DeAnne Brooks

Dr. DeAnne Brooks
[email protected]

Graduate Program Director