Sport Psychology

Sport Psychology Online Master of Science (M.S.) in Exercise Science and Health Promotion - Sport Psychology Concentration

About Sport Psychology

Help athletes develop strong mental fitness through our online master's degree.

Peak athletic performance depends on top physical conditioning - and solid mental skills to compete. Study sport psychology at PennWest California to expand your healthcare approach, coaching and training. PennWest California's exercise science and health promotion program is nationally ranked and recognized as a leader in offering high-quality education from a historic state university. 

Earn your masters in sports psychology in 12 months of full-time study or 17 months part time.

Build skills and knowledge.

Sport psychology courses provide information to assist healthcare professionals, fitness professionals, coaches and others in identifying precursors to injury, as well as psychological effects post-injury and during rehabilitation. Students also:

  • Study the effects of injury, rehabilitation and recovery.
  • Explore performance enhancement and intervention methods.
  • Learn how to incorporate referrals in their practice.


Well-rounded: Masters in sport psychology offers in-depth study to examine the psychological aspects of sport injuries and rehabilitation; understand psychological perspectives in sport performance enhancement and intervention; and explore the latest research.

Personalized Program: Customize your M.S. in Exercise Science and Health Promotion to suit your professional needs. Select the sport psychology concentration alone for a 36-credit degree program, or add one of these focus areas to create a 48-credit dual concentration:

Certificate options: Students seeking a professional credential instead of a master’s degree can choose the 12-credit, post-bachelor’s sport psychology certificate. In fact, PennWest California offers certificates in all of the program areas listed above.

Learn more about applying


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says jobs for fitness workers are expected to increase 13% over the next decade due to more demand for employee health and fitness benefits.
Most full-time graduate programs in exercise science take 18 or 24 months. Complete PennWest California's master's degree even faster: 12 months full time.
icon undergrad for degree

Degree Benefits

The sport psychology concentration at PennWest California is designed for a range of professionals who want to learn psychological perspectives to enhance practice behavior and provide an all-inclusive approach to recovery:

  • Health and fitness professionals.
  • Personal trainers.
  • Educators.
  • Military professionals.
  • Coaches.
icon undergrad for degree

Graduate Outcomes

Sport psychology enables fitness trainers and coaches to expand their skillsets. Jobs for fitness workers are expected to increase 13% over the next decade, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, due to increased demand from businesses, government and insurance organizations offering more employee health and fitness programs.


Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs



Course Credits
PRF 700  Orientation to Exercise Science and Wellness 3
PRF 701  Advanced Topics in SAQ and Endurance Training 3
PRF 705  Industrial, Clinical and Corporate Wellness 3
PRF 713  Special Topics in Sport Psychology 3
PRF 715  Business and Entrepreneurship in the Fitness Industry 3
PRF 720  Essentials of Human Movement Science 3
PRF 753  Psychological Aspects of Sport Injury and Rehabilitation 3
PRF 760  Leadership and Professional Development 3
PRF 765  Nutrition for Peak Performance 3
PRF 770  Exercise Physiology: Assessment and Exercise Prescription 3
PRF 783  Psychological Perspectives in Sport Performance Enhancement 3
PRF 830  Research in Sport Psychology
Total 36



Admission Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements

  • Regionally Accredited Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Official transcripts from a regionally accredited undergraduate institution

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:

    • Regionally accredited Bachelor’s degree with a GPA of a 2.99-2.50 will be conditionally admitted with the stipulation of earning a 3.0 GPA in the first term
    • Regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.49 and below will be reviewed for a decision once the following documentation has been received:
      • Resume
      • Two professional letters of recommendation

An interview may be required by the Program Coordinator to determine potential success in the program.

Provisional Admission:
Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

How to Apply:

  • Submit official transcripts by mail or email to:
    • School of Graduate Studies and Research
      PennWest California
      Box 91
      250 University Ave. 
      California, PA 15419
    • Phone: 724-938-4187

For additional information:
Phone: 1.866.595.6348



Select a single concentration as the focus of your degree or add a second approved area of focus to create a dual concentration. Post-bachelor’s certificates are available in these areas as well.


  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • Performance Enhancement Specialist
  • Corrective Exercise Specialist
  • Certified Specialist in Speed and Explosion
  • Certified Wellcoach
  • Fusionetics®
  • Les MillsTM
Recognized field.


The American Psychological Association recognizes the field of sport psychology. Career opportunities are strong: For instance, at least 20 NCAA Division I universities have a sport psychologist on staff; another 70-100 contract with outside specialists.

masters in sports psychology


PennWest California offers dual concentration options. Study sport psychology in combination with one of these disciplines: applied sport science, group fitness leadership, nutrition, rehabilitation science, wellness and fitness, performance enhancement and injury prevention, or wellness coaching. Dual concentrations can be completed in as little as 18 months.

Global interest.


PennWest California's exercise science degree program attracts students from every state and more than 20 countries. Military personnel, veterans and their eligible dependents also enroll in PennWest California's 100% online degree program and receive the military tuition discount to support their educational goals.


Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Degree

(3+1 option) for B.S., Sport Management, Wellness and Fitness and Exercise Science and Health Promotions Concentrations


With PennWest California's 3+1 accelerated program, transfers into the wellness and fitness bachelor's degree program can transition directly into one of five concentrations in the Master of Science in Exercise Science and Health Promotions program with the potential to graduate with both degrees in just 4 years, or less. 

Sport Psychology Faculty

Dr. Carol Biddington

View profile
Dr. Marc S. Federico

View profile
Dr. Jeffrey R. Hatton

View profile
Dr. Rebecca A. Hess

View profile
Christina Lombardo

View profile
Dr. Barry E. McGlumphy

View profile
Dr. Benjamin Reuter
Associate Professor

View profile
Dr. Christine Romani-Ruby

View profile
Dr. Ronald Wagner
Associate Professor

View profile
Dr. Ellen J. West

View profile
Dr. Tom West

View profile

Additional Resources

Exercise Science Overview

Top 10 Reasons To Get An Exercise Science Master Degree

What Can You Do With An Exercise Science Master Degree/Careers

How To Choose An Exercise Science Concentration