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Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology

This Ph.D. program, which includes a concurrent Master's program in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, is designed to train students to become academic professionals who excel in teaching and research. As important as physical training is for an athlete, psychological training and wellness are critical components to their success. Elite sport organizations and athletes use consultants to help with this training. WVU’s doctoral degree in sport and exercise psychology prepares students for this role. The program provides a comprehensive curriculum delivered by highly qualified faculty.

Students initiate their own line of research and work with faculty to produce publishable manuscripts. With a combination of research and applied aspects of sport and exercise psychology, the program prepares sport psychology consultants, researchers and future faculty members.

Because graduates will be license-eligible as a counselor (LPC) they may pursue a counseling or consulting career with full-time applied work. Students can apply for and be accepted into this program straight from a bachelor’s degree or after the completion of a master’s degree. Those students coming straight from a bachelor’s degree will complete a master’s degree in Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology along the way to finishing their Ph.D. Students complete three research benchmarks and take part in multiple supervised internships working with athletic teams or in applied health settings during the program. These experiences allow students to gain the experiences necessary to be successful upon graduation. Many students work 20 hours/week during the semester as a graduate assistant either teaching, providing, service or conducting research. In return for these contributions, graduate assistants receive a tuition waiver and stipend.

Career Profile

Students who earn the Ph.D. with a major in Sport and Exercise Psychology can expect to be competitive for jobs in both academic and applied settings. Job titles of recent graduates include: Assistant Professor, Teaching Assistant Professor, Consultant (self-employed), Associate Dean, Research Coordinator.

Program Application Requirements

Resume/CV, Statement of Purpose, 3 Letters of recommendation

Additional Application Information


Applicants can seek admission to the Ph.D. program with either a baccalaureate degree or master’s degree. In addition to the WVU graduate admission criteria, the program specific materials and supplemental requirements are as follows:

Admission Criteria

1. Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (4-point scale)

2. Minimum master’s degree GPA of 3.5 (4-point scale)

3. GRE scores: preferred percentiles at or above 50th percentile for verbal and quantitative, at or above the 60th percentile for analytical writing

6. Professional goal statement: 1-2 written pages on professional background, goals, and reasons for seeking admission to the doctoral program in Sport and Exercise Psychology, along with concurrent admission to the master’s degree program in Counseling

7. On-campus or online interview for those invited

International Applicants

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.

The previously listed materials are submitted online as part of the WVU Graduate Admission Application. Applicants must submit their official copies of transcripts and test scores directly to the WVU Office of Admissions, PO Box 6009, Morgantown, WV 26506.

All graduate students must achieve and maintain a 3.0 GPA or better (4-point scale) prior to graduation.

Program Application Test Requirements


Application Deadlines

Fall Deadline

December 15

Spring Deadline


Summer Deadline


English Proficiency Requirements

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.

Accreditation Information

WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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