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Counseling - Sports Counseling

Certificate Preparation: Sports Counseling Certificate– Credits: 18 (program code: 0935)

Letter of Completion: Sports Counseling Certificate– Credits: 12 (program code: 0835)

Program Description

Sports counseling is a process that assists individuals in maximizing their personal, academic and athletic potential. Sports counseling is accomplished through a proactive, growth-oriented approach that incorporates the principles of counseling, career development, movement science, psychology and lifespan human development. Counselors, educators and other helping professionals should have specialized awareness, knowledge and skills beyond the basic counselor preparation as well as the ability to develop effective therapeutic relationships.

The sports counseling certificate and letter of completion programs meet the particular interests and needs of a significant subsector of counselors, educators and other helping professionals who work with the athlete population in a variety of settings, including youth sports programs, interscholastic programs, colleges and universities, community and social agencies, professional sporting agencies, and recreational settings.

Note: The graduate certificate and letter of completion in sports counseling will not certify you as a professional counselor. However, it may be possible for the courses to be utilized for additional credits toward licensure or for continuing education credits. You may want to check your state’s licensure laws for more information.

Delivery Mode

Global Online (100 percent online delivery)

Admission Criteria

Admission Requirements (Regular)

  • Bachelor’s or Graduate degree with a GPA of 2.90 or higher (Students with a GPA below 2.90 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from accredited undergraduate and graduate institutions
  • Three professional letters of recommendation on letterhead with all contact information and credentials
  • One-page resume of work and education
  • A 1,000 word sport psychobiography typed.
  • For International Applicants

Conditional Admission Requirements

Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements. Those admitted conditionally based on any missing document/s have up to a maximum of one term to satisfy the requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or Graduate degree with a GPA under 2.90 will be reviewed for a decision
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Interview


CED 780 Issues and Techniques in Counseling Athletes   3
CED 781 Sports Counseling Programming   3
CED 782 Advanced Issues and Techniques in Counseling Athletes3 or 6*
CED 788 Contemporary Topics in Counselor Education   3
CED 783* Psychological Perspectives in Sport Performance Enhancement and Intervention
 *Certificate Students Only


Students in the certificate or letter of completion in sports counseling receive academic and professional advisement from the program coordinator and program faculty. Each student is assigned to an academic adviser from the time he/she is accepted into the program of study. Advisers work with students to discuss, monitor and provide advisement as it relates to their program of study.

How to Apply

  • Complete the Graduate School Application online
  • Submit the non-refundable $25 Application Fee
  • Mail official transcript to:
    • School of Graduate Studies and Research
      California University of Pennsylvania
      Box 91, 250 University Ave.
      California, PA 15419
  • Submit unofficial transcripts and other documents by mail (using the address above, email (, or fax (724-938-5712)

Application Questions

Phone: 724-938-4187

For Additional Information

Phone: 866-595-6348

Graduate Faculty

Jacqueline A. Walsh, Ph.D. (Kent State University), M.S., B.S. (California University of Pennsylvania); NCC, ACS,  LPC, Professor

Grafton Eliason, Ed.D. (Duquesne University), M.Ed. (Shippensburg University), M.Div. (Princeton Theological Seminary), B.A. (Duquesne University); LPC, Professor

Elizabeth Gruber, Ph.D. (Duquesne University);  M.S. (Youngstown State University), B.S. (Bowling Green State University); LPC, NCC, Professor

John Patrick, D.Ed., (Pennsylvania State University); M.S. (University of Scranton), B.A. (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania), CRC, NCC, LPC, Professor

Jeffrey L. Samide, Ed.D., M.Ed. (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), B.A. (Saint Vincent College); LPC,  Associate Professor

For faculty bios, visit: