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, and fundamentals of performance consulting 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 Consultant (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 or part-time basis. This program is designed for two-year full-time study. If a student intends to do a project or thesis completion in two years is possible.

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.

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

Skills development

In addition to expected knowledge gains, the PSEP program aims to develop various skills to increase the employability of graduates.  These skills include:

Relationship and Communication skills

  • Cultural competence
  • Read, write and present different forms of information
  • Gain audience engagement
  • Speak in context-friendly ways
  • One-on-one and team/group communication
  • Give and receive feedback to peers, mentors, and clients
  • Present ideas an audience will understand on first hearing
  • Use virtual communications platforms

Mindset Skills

  • Open to learning in all circumstances
  • Curious co-learner
  • Learn by doing through repetition
  • Flexible and adaptive mindsets

Technical skills

  • Assessment for individuals and teams
  • Programming for performance improvement
  • Transitioning from performance consulting situations
  • Process and outcome evaluation

Consulting Skills

  • Client engagement
  • Program design and development
  • Goal setting, decision-making, planning, and analysis
  • Facilitate learning and change

Business Skills

  • Administrative
  • Business start-up
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Networking

Hands-on Experiences 2022-2024

Hands-on experiences provide students with the opportunity to learn professional skills working with a range of clients and populations.  Learning occurs working independently, in teams coaches and supervised by faculty.

  • Army ROTC Performance Consulting
  • ASPIRE Resilient Athlete Program for Injured Athletes
  • Athlete Career Transitions Consulting Program
  • Critical Incident Training Program
  • Chicago Marathon PsychTeam
  • Forever More Dance and Theater Arts
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources: Conservation Police Officer
  • St. Ignatius College Prep, Girls Water Polo
  • UIC Flames Athletic Department Mindful Mondays
  • UIC Flames Baseball
  • UIC Flames Dance and Cheer Team
  • UIC Flames Golf Team
  • UIC Flames Women’s Tennis
  • UIC Flames Softball
  • UIC Flames Swim & Dive Team
  • Undergraduate Career Performance Consulting

Course sequence

Year 1 Fall

KN532/KN433 KN532: Cultural Humility in Performance, Sport & Exercise Psychology CMPC K8
KN433: Sociological Perspectives in Performance, Sport and Exercise Psychology. CMPC K3
3 hours (core class)
KN534Professional Ethics in Performance, Sport, and Exercise Psychology CMPC K13 hours (core class)
KN432Positive Psychology CMPC K73 hours (core class)
KN594Advanced Sports Psychology of Injury. CMPC K23 hours (core class)

Year 1 Spring

KN531Applied Sports Psychology. CMPC K23 hours (core class)
KN447Athlete Mental Health. . CMPC K43 hours (core class)
KN533Consulting Theories and Skills. CMPC K53 hours (core class)

Year 2 Fall

KN593Internship in Kinesiology. PSEP Applied Experiences3 hours (core class)
KN500Evidence-Based Practice in Kinesiology and Nutrition3 hours (core class)
KN433/KN532KN433: Sociocultural Perspectives in Performance, Sport and Exercise Psychology. KPMC K3
KN532: Cultural Humility in Performance, Sport & Exercise Psychology. CMPC K8
3 hours (recommended class)

Year 2 Spring

KN593Internship in Kinesiology. PSEP Applied Experiences 3 hours (core class)
KN594Non-Sports Performance Psychology. CMPC K23 hours (recommended class)
KN434Business Branding in Performance, Sport and Exercise Psychology 3 hours (recommended class)

Access course descriptions here.

Graduates can take courses in motor control KN372 and exercise physiology KN352 to supplement CMPC knowledge domain requirements. In addition, students can study nutrition courses as well.

Content Section

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: