Applied Sport Psychology and Counseling, B.S.

Overview of  Applied Sport Psychology and Counseling

Sport psychology and counseling is the use of psychological techniques to improve the performance, mental health, emotional health, and general well-being of performers so they can thrive. Performers and their educators stand to benefit from mental performance literacy ultimately because of its connection to mental health.

Students in the B.S. in Applied Sport Psychology and Counseling complete courses from psychology, social work, and physical education which provide critical foundational knowledge. Students build on this foundation in major courses in sport psychology and counseling. 

While the B.S. in Applied Sport Psychology and Counseling is designed to facilitate matriculation into the Mental Performance Coaching concentration of the M.S. in Coaching Education, graduates might also be interested in pursuing Athletic Coaching concentration of the M.S. in Coaching, the Ed.S. in Counselor Education, or other related graduate programs. Program advisors will guide students to the graduate programs that best meet their professional goals. Students must apply for and meet criteria for any graduate level program they plan to complete.

Accelerated Bachelor/Masters and Senior Privilege

Students in the B.S. in Sport Psychology and Counseling who meet specific academic criteria are able to complete the Master of Science (M.S.) in Coaching Education with a concentration in Mental Performance Coaching in as few as 18 additional credit hours. This master's degree prepares students with a knowledge base for enhancing optimal performance, personal growth and wellbeing through the development of mental and emotional skills, attitudes, perspectives and strategies. Coursework in the M.S. in Coaching Education with a concentration in Mental Performance Coaching prepares students to sit for the Association of Applied Sport Psychology’s Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) certification exam.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Differentiate affordances and limitations of counseling and consulting paths in applied sports psychology
  2. Appraise theoretical foundations of psychological processes influencing human performance
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of scientifically informed applied sport psychology interventions for enhancing performance and wellness in a variety of domains
  4. Appraise theoretical and scientifically informed principles of the psychology of physical activity
  5. Explain factors related to the trajectories of human development and their effects on performance
  6. Explain biomechanical foundations and motor control processes underlying learning movement skills and athletic performance
  7. Theories of psychopathology and etiology of mental disorders, recognize theories and assessments of psychopathology, and counseling strategies for ameliorating psychopathology
  8. Apply effective interviewing and communication techniques such questioning, paraphrasing, and reflecting, to establish rapport, trust, and safe and open communication with clients
  9. Describe a personal consultation model for working with student athletes, including effective consultation qualities, consultation processes, and a discussion of professional roles and boundaries and the purpose and function of documents.
  10. Interpret basic types of research methods and design (e.g., qualitative, quantitative), issues related to tests and measurement (e.g., reliability, validity), descriptive techniques, inferential statistics, and parametric procedures and ethical application of research methods and analyses
  11. Identify the biological, cognitive, affective, social, and individual factors that influence behavior
  12. Evaluate conceptual frameworks for sociopolitical and cultural factors that impact human behavior, dimensions of personal identity, and individual differences (e.g., race, ethnicity, sexual orientation) that influence the professional helping relationship, and intervention strategies for addressing needs of individuals from unique racial/ethnic backgrounds, religious affiliations, gender identity, etc., and culturally-competent approaches to counseling and consultation

Entrance Requirements

University of South Carolina admission requirements and processes for freshmen, transfer students, and former students seeking readmission are managed by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.  Admission criteria for transfer students are listed on the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website. Current USC students may change their major to Applied Sport Psychology and Counseling provided they are in good standing have at least a 2.25 USC GPA. 

Degree Requirements (120 hours)

Program of Study

Requirements Credit Hours
1. Carolina Core 31-45
2. College Requirements 0
3. Program Requirement 25-39
4. Major Requirements 50

Founding Documents Requirement

All undergraduate students must take a 3-credit course or its equivalent with a passing grade in the subject areas of History, Political Science, or African American Studies that covers the founding documents including the United State Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation and one or more documents that are foundational to the African American Freedom struggle, and a minimum of five essays from the Federalist papers.  This course may count as a requirement in any part of the program of study including the Carolina Core, the major, minor or cognate, or as a general elective.  Courses that meet this requirement are listed here.

1. Carolina Core Requirements (31-45 hours)

CMW - Effective, Engage and Persuasive Communication: Written (6 hours)

must be passed with a grade of C or higher

ARP - Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving (6-8 hours)

SCI - Scientific Literacy (7 hours)

GFL - Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language (0-6 hours)

​To meet the GFL requirement, students in the BA in Special Education complete the Carolina Core approved courses in Foreign Language (GFL) or by achieving a score of 2 or better on a USC foreign language placement test.

GHS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking (3 hours) 

GSS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (3 hours) 

AIU – Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (3 hours)

CMS – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component1 (0-3 hours)

INF – Information Literacy1 (0-3 hours)

VSR – Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility1 (0-3 hours)


Carolina Core Stand Alone or Overlay Eligible Requirements — Overlay-approved courses offer students the option of meeting two Carolina Core components in a single course. A maximum of two overlays is allowed. The total Carolina Core credit hours must add up to a minimum of 31 hours. Some programs may have a higher number of minimum Carolina Core hours due to specified requirements.

2. College Requirements (0 hours)

No college-required courses for this program.

3. Program Requirements (25-39 hours)

Supporting Courses (25 hours)

Course Title Credits
SOCY 101Introductory Sociology3
PSYC 220Psychological Statistics3
PSYC 221Research Methods in Psychology4
Select one course in exceptionalities from:3
Understanding the Foundations of Disability
Introduction to Exceptional Children
Select one social work course from below or another as approved by advisor.3
Social Welfare Policies and Programs
Social Work With Children, Youth, and Families
Gender, Race and Social Justice
Diversity and Social Justice in Contemporary Society
Theories for Understanding Individuals, Families, and Groups
Select 3 psychology courses from below or others as approved by advisor.9
Human Sexual Behavior
Psychology of Marriage
Psychology and the African-American Experience
Industrial Psychology
Applied Psychology
Survey of Learning and Memory
Cognitive Psychology
Behavioral and Mental Disorders
Survey of Developmental Psychology
Survey of Social Psychology
Survey of Personality
Sensation and Perception
Introduction to Neuroscience
Health Psychology
Survey of Clinical Psychology
Psychology of Drug Use and Effects
Cognitive Neuroscience
Child Behavioral and Mental Disorders
Psychology of Child Development
Prevention of Psychological Problems in Children and Youth at Risk
Psychological Tests and Measurement
Selected Topics in Psychology
Total Credit Hours25

Minor (0-18 hours) optional

A student may choose to complete a minor consisting of 18 credit hours of prescribed courses. The minor is intended to develop a coherent basic preparation in a second area of study. Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the minor. No course may satisfy both major and minor requirements. All minor courses must be passed with a grade of C or better.

Electives (0-14 hours) 

The number of elective hours required depends upon the number of hours used to fulfill other degree requirements.  Minimum degree requirements must equal 120 hours.

4. Major Requirements (50 hours)

A minimum grade of C is required in all major courses.

Physical Education and Coaching (20 hours)

Course Title Credits
PEDU 190Introduction to the Description and Analysis of Human Movement2
PEDU 275Functional Musculoskeletal Anatomy3
PEDU 302Foundations of Coaching3
PEDU 420Motor Learning in Physical Education3
PEDU 515Physical Education for Inclusion3
PEDU 520Observational Analysis of Sports Techniques and Tactics3
PEDU 570Human Child/Adolescent Growth3
Total Credit Hours20

Sport Psychology and Counseling (30 hours)

Course Title Credits
EDCE 340Counseling Through a Multicultural Lens: Understanding Self and Others3
EDCE 350Interpersonal Communication Skills3
EDCE 360Introduction to the Counseling Profession3
EDCE 520Wellness and Mental Health3
EXSC 410Psychology of Physical Activity3
PSYC 380Sport Psychology3
PEDU 511Effective Applied Sport and Performance Psychology3
PEDU 516Diversity and Cultural Perspectives in Sport & Performance3
PEDU 647Coaching Ethics, Law and Compliance 13
PEDU 660Counseling Student Athletes 13
Total Credit Hours30

PEDU 647 and PEDU 660 are required in the undergraduate major. Students who apply for and meet the requirements for the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Masters Plan will receive credit toward both the BS in Sport Psychology and Counseling and the MS in Coaching Education for these two courses plus up to two additional courses. Students must seek permission and receive all required approvals before taking courses intended to count in both the bachelor and master's program. Students must also apply for and be admitted to any graduate program they plan to complete.

Major Map

A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequences to ensure a clear path to graduation.

Major maps are only a suggested or recommended sequence of courses required in a program of study. Please contact your academic advisor for assistance in the application of specific coursework to a program of study and course selection and planning for upcoming semesters.

Applied Sport Psychology and Counseling, B.S.