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Sports Counseling

 POST-BACHELOR'S CERTIFICATE – Credits:  18 (program code:  0935)
 LETTER OF COMPLETION – 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 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 3.00 or higher (Students with a GPA below 3.00 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: TOEFL score of 213 on computer-based exam, 550 on paper-based exam or 80 on Internet-based exam. An official copy of an IELTS with a minimum score of 6.0 may be substituted for the TOEFL score.

Conditional Admission Requirements

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

  • Bachelor’s degree or Graduate degree with a GPA under 3.00 will be reviewed for a decision
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Interview

How to Apply:

  • Complete the Graduate School Application Deadline- April 24
  • Submit the nonrefundable $25 Application Fee
  • Mail official transcripts 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)

For additional information:

Phone: 1.866.595.6348

Special Program Requirements

Students completing a counseling field experience must provide proof of clearances. Criminal history check and child abuse clearances (appropriate for your state) are required for CED 782. Insurance liability is also required.


Course NameCredits
CED 780 Issues and Techniques in Counseling Athletes3
CED 781 Sports Counseling Programming3
CED 782 Advanced Issues and Techniques in Counseling Athletes3
CED 788 Contemporary Topics in Counselor Education3


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.

Application Questions

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Eberly 202B
250 University Ave.
California, PA 15419

Program Coordinator

Taunya Tinsley, Ph.D. (Duquesne University), M.A. (University of Iowa), B.A. (Augsburg College);  NCC, LPC, Associate Professor
Web Page:
  724-938 5698

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.A. (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