Performance, Sports and Exercise Psychology concentration

Integrating psychology and physical activity as a sustainable approach to life’s performance requirements

In the performance, sports and exercise psychology concentration, you will learn roles and responsibilities, foundations of the field, theories and applications, fundamentals of performance coaching and working with diverse performance populations. Our aim is to assure students graduate from our program with knowledge, skills and abilities to positively impact the lives of individuals, groups and communities.

Concentration details

We assume that all students will choose the coursework-only option to become an Association of Applied Sports Psychology (AASP) Certified Mental Performance Coach (CMPC). If you’re considering doing a project or thesis, make sure you reach out to a faculty member to ask if they’re willing to act as your advisor.

You may complete the program on a full-time and part-time basis. This usually takes two and a half to three years. (If you choose to do a project or thesis, you’ll likely take longer).

To achieve CMPC recognition, we require a minimum of 24 credits at a 400 or 500 level. Courses are taken in sequence and it is recommended that you register for nine credit hours per semester. View an example of a typical program of study below.  Your advisor will help you design a schedule to ensure you complete all the required and experiential courses within two years.

To complete the standard application process to become a CMPC, students are required to complete 400 hours under a registered approved mentor. View the AASP standard application pathway.

Students complete their practicum in the third semester and the internship is completed in the fourth semester. It is possible to complete the practicum in the summer between the second and third semesters and begin the internship in the third semester.  Contact the program director to learn more about this option.

Students are prepared to work in over a dozen fields using skills they learned at UIC. View AASP’s Compensation Report for Mental Performance Work.

Hands-on Experiences 2022-2023

  • Critical Incident Training Program
  • Chicago Marathon PsychTeam
  • UIC Flames Athletic Department Mindful Mondays
  • UIC Women’s Golf Team
  • UIC Flames Dance and Cheer Team
  • ASPIRE Resilient Athlete Program for Injured Athletes
  • ROTC Performance Consulting
  • Health and Performance Coaching
  • Career Transitions Program

Program goals and objectives of our program are available upon request.

Year 1 Fall

KN532Cultural Humility in Performance, Sport & Exercise Psychology3 hours (core class)
KN534Professional Ethics in Performance, Sport, and Exercise Psychology3 hours (core class)
KN432Positive Psychology3 hours (core class)

Year 1 Spring

KN531Applied Sports Psychology 3 hours (core class)
KN447Athlete Mental Health3 hours (core class)
KN533Consulting Theories and Skills3 hours (core class)

Year 2 Fall

KN585Practicum in Health, Exercise and Sport Behavior Applications3 hours (core class)
KN500Evidence-Based Practice in Kinesiology and Nutrition3 hours (core class)
KN494Counseling in Sports Medicine3 hours (recommended class)

Year 2 Spring

KN593Internship in Kinesiology 3 hours (core class)
KN491Professional Preparation3 hours (recommended class)
KN434Business Branding in Performance, Sport and Exercise Psychology 3 hours (recommended class)

Access course descriptions here.

John E. Coumbe-Lilley headshot


Still wondering what a concentration in performance, sports and exercise psychology can do for you? We’re here to answer your questions.

You can contact John Coumbe-Lilley at: