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College of Applied Human Sciences: School of Sport Sciences

Coaching and Performance Science, BS

Our Coaching and Performance Science (CPS) bachelor's degree is one of the only kinesiology undergraduate programs in the country specifically focused on coaching and performance science.

The CPS degree is ideal for people who aspire to:

  • Work in diverse settings with participants varying in skill and ages
  • Be an agent of change through their interactions, communication and motivation of people to reach their potential

Students graduating with a degree in CPS could work with high-performance athletes in athletic or tactical contexts, or with recreational participants in community or club leagues.

CollegeRank identified WVU’s BS in Coaching and Performance Science as the 8th-best coaching bachelor’s degree program based on potential salary after graduating, individual program accreditation, and overall affordability in 2021.

Your Degree Plan


Person lifting weights in gym.

This program will prepare you for the dynamic sport coaching industry. Students graduate with the necessary skills to work with a diverse population ranging from high-performance athletes, to military personnel, or recreational sport participants.

The Coaching and Performance Science program blends cutting-edge sport/movement science and professional development to best prepare our graduates for the exciting, ever growing field of athletics and sport sciences.

CPS students develop three knowledge components through a variety of types of learning experiences, including hands-on coaching experiences.

  • Interpersonal knowledge: Behaviors and tactics a person uses to interact with others effectively, including vital communication skills.
  • Professional knowledge: Combining tactical sport expertise, designing developmentally appropriate training programs and pedagogical knowledge all for the purpose of increasing a person’s performance.
  • Intrapersonal knowledge: Self awareness through reflective practice and critical reflection to improve one’s ability to coach.

With the growth of athletic coaching, the profession of coaching continues to become more specialized. To ensure our graduates leave with the essential professional knowledge, students will complete one of the following areas of emphasis:

Coaching and Leadership

  • Emphasis on adolescent development and developmental issues
  • Develop leadership skills and administrative knowledge to lead a sport team and/or sport program

Strength and Conditioning

  • Science of training, designing training prescriptions, and ability to coach athletes both in and out of a weight room
  • Learn the knowledge and practical skills necessary to pass the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam

Tailor this major to your interests by focusing your coursework in one of these areas:

  • Coaching and Leadership

    Is your professional goal to lead a sport program? This area of emphasis is for you. Courses focus on the development of sport-specific expertise, underlying scientific content knowledge as well as the essential interpersonal and intrapersonal skills necessary for quality teaching and leadership within the sport context. The program will challenge you to focus on your personal professional foundation and ongoing development through the integration of applied sport science and hands-on application in coaching.

    Sample courses: Athletic Coaching Administration, Principles of Leadership

  • Strength and Conditioning

    If your professional goal is to be a strength coach, this is your path. This concentration of courses focuses on the science of training, designing training prescriptions and the ability to coach, both in and out of a weight room. You will develop strength and conditioning skills and learn how to teach these skills to peers, as well as how to administer different strength and power tests in our instructional performance lab. You'll gain the knowledge and practical skills necessary to sit for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam.

    Sample courses: Sport Specific Strength and Conditioning, Strength and Conditioning Coaching Techniques

Take advantage of special options related to this major:

  • Honors

    Expand your curiosity — and enhance your curriculum — through the WVU Honors College. Two programs are offered: Honors Foundations for first- and second-year students and Honors EXCEL for third- and fourth-year students.

    Explore Honors

The WVU Difference

What sets this program apart from its competitors?

  • Ranked
    CollegeRank's Best Bachelor's in Coaching (2021)
  • Opportunities to work with faculty who are internationally recognized in their field.
  • Independent study available with the Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Sciences.
  • Hands-on learning experiences available with faculty, WVU Athletics, and athletes of all developmental levels including youth, interscholastic, collegiate, professional and master levels.
  • Opportunities to earn professional certifications built into the curriculum, making graduates more marketable within the industry.
  • Flexible curriculum prepares students for graduate school or employment in the dynamic field of athletics and recreation.
  • Curriculum aligned with the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE).
  • Curriculum based on the long-term athlete development model.
  • The Army is hiring strength coaches to improve the individual readiness of soldiers as part of their Holistic Health and Fitness or H2F.
  • The WVU School of Sport Sciences was recently recognized as one of the best in the country by Newsweek.
  • The College of Applied Human Sciences awards nearly $500,000 in scholarships to students each year.

Over 92% of WVU freshmen receive grants or scholarships (2022-2023).

Learn more

Learn by Doing

Learning happens outside the classroom. Get involved.

Coaches of tomorrow will be applied and evidence-based professionals. You will participate in an active research and learning process throughout your time in our undergraduate program. As you explore the art and science of coaching, you are engaged within the community practicing and applying their developing knowledge and skills. Experiential learning opportunities include:

  • coaching a sports team,
  • interviewing a coach,
  • observing a scholastic or collegiate sports practice or
  • actively reflecting on a community.

Recent graduates and current students have completed coaching internships in the following settings:

  • Youth sport organizations
  • Collegiate sport programs
  • Middle and high school athletics
  • Special Olympics or other programs for persons with disabilities
  • Health, wellness and fitness facilities
  • Campus recreation
  • Intramural and club sports
  • Strength and conditioning programs
  • U.S. Military bases as part of their Performance Teams

Attending college will prepare you for many things. The Coaching and Performance Science major will give you the following skills:

  • Interpersonal and intrapersonal skills necessary for quality teaching and leadership
  • Strength and conditioning skills
  • Teaching skills

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:

Outside of the Evansdale Crossing building.

What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn during class. We’ll help you follow your curiosity.

Careers and Outcomes

How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Fitness and Wellness Coordinators

Manage or coordinate fitness and wellness programs and services. Manage and train staff of wellness specialists, health educators or fitness instructors.

Median Salary: $57,570

Possible job titles include: Fitness and Wellness Director, Fitness Coordinator, Fitness/Wellness Director, Wellness Director.

Explore Career

Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary

Teach courses in health specialties, in fields such as dentistry, laboratory technology, medicine, pharmacy, public health, therapy and veterinary medicine.

Has a Bright Outlook , May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $105,650

Possible job titles include: Assistant Professor, Clinical Professor, Physical Therapy Professor, Professor.

Explore Career

Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary

Teach courses pertaining to recreation, leisure and fitness studies, including exercise physiology and facilities management. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $75,770

Possible job titles include: Coach, Professor, Health and Physical Education Professor (HPE Professor), Physical Education Professor (PE Professor).

Explore Career

Coaches and Scouts

Instruct or coach groups or individuals in the fundamentals of sports. Demonstrate techniques and methods of participation. May evaluate athletes' strengths and weaknesses as possible recruits or to improve the athletes' technique to prepare them for competition. Those required to hold teaching degrees should be reported in the appropriate teaching category.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $45,910

Possible job titles include: Baseball Coach, Basketball Coach, Coach, Football Coach.

Explore Career

Umpires, Referees and Other Sports Officials

Officiate at competitive athletic or sporting events. Detect infractions of rules and decide penalties according to established regulations. Includes all sporting officials, referees and competition judges.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $35,820

Possible job titles include: Referee, Horse Show Judge, Major League Baseball Umpire, Sports Official.

Explore Career

Scouting and Videography

Suggested WVU Minors for students seeking this career:

Suggested Experiences and Résumé Builders
  • Experience with Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects
  • Student manager for athletics using computer and video system or keeping stats

Sport Coach

Suggested WVU Minors for students seeking this career:

Required Certifications for this career
  • WVSSAC coaching certification (for any WV public school coaching position)
  • National Nutrition Certification Program (NNCP)

Strength and Conditioning Coach

Suggested WVU Minors for students seeking this career:

Required Certifications for this career
  • Certified Strength Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)

Applied Sport Scientist

Suggested WVU Minors for students seeking this career:

Required Certifications for this career
  • Certified Strength Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
  • National Nutrition Certification Program (NNCP)
Suggested Experiences and Résumé Builders
  • Fitness center
  • High school or college weight rooms

Equipment/Facilities Manager

Suggested WVU Minors for students seeking this career:

Required Certifications for this career
  • Athletic Equipment Managers Association (AEMA)
Suggested Experiences and Résumé Builders
  • Equipment manager for athletic program

Recreation/Sports Director

Suggested WVU Minors for students seeking this career:

Required Certifications for this career
  • Certified Adaptive Recreation and Sports Specialist (CARSS)
  • Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO)
Suggested Experiences and Résumé Builders
  • Referee for WVU intramurals
  • Employment with WVU Student Recreation Center or any community recreation program


Kinesiology focuses on the biological, developmental, social and behavioral bases of physical activity, recreation, sport and human performance. People with degrees in kinesiology typically specialize in one of several fields, including exercise physiology; sport and exercise psychology; motor behavior and control; history and philosophy of sport and exercise; biomechanics; sports and exercise sociology; physical education; recreation and leisure studies; and ergonomics.

MS, Data Analytics

Data analytics is the process of examining data sets to draw conclusions about the information they contain, increasingly with the aid of specialized systems and software. Data analysis establishes the goal of discovering useful material, supporting conclusions and decision-making within the sports industry.

MS, Exercise Science/Exercise Physiology

Exercise physiology is a discipline which studies the body's responses to physical activity as well as how the body adapts to physical activity over time. Exercise physiologists are responsible for conditioning clients to higher levels of physical fitness and improved health, while staying tuned into safety issues that can be associated with single session exercise.

MS, Sport Coaching

Sport Coaching advances one’s knowledge, skills and philosophies of practicing sport coaches. Areas of study typically include mental preparation and performance in sport, nutrition and conditioning for athletes, sport ethics, skill development and analysis, administration and critical reflection.

MS, Sport Management

Sport management involves any combination of skills related to planning, organizing, directing, controlling, budgeting, leading and evaluating within the context of an organization or department whose primary product or service is related to sport or physical activity.

Meet Your Community

The Coaching and Performance Science family will inspire and support you.

Places and Spaces

Learn about all of the places and spaces you'll learn in.

Coaching Kids on the Rec Fields

Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Sciences

  • Undergraduate and graduate independent study opportunities are available with the Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Sciences project. (Honors projects encouraged)
  • Students have an opportunity to get involved in Center research projects with faculty and fellow students
  • Students have an opportunity to get involved in Center organized community-based sport activities.
  • Interested students can support sport coaching resource development (infographics, educational video creation).
  • Students can attend Center supported invited guest lectures and learning opportunities.
Explore the Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Sciences
  • Virtual Tour
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  • Student Life
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  • Visit
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Admission Requirements

To be admitted to WVU's Coaching and Performance Science major, first-time freshmen must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2024-25 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Tuition and Aid

How much does Coaching and Performance Science at WVU cost? And how can you save?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates are available on our tuition website. Anyone who is not a current West Virginia resident, including international students, will be charged non-resident rates.

View Tuition and Fees


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Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

Financial Aid

The most important step toward funding your future with financial aid for the Coaching and Performance Science major is submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

How to Complete the FAFSA

Ohio Tuition Reciprocity

As the result of a special agreement, students from Ohio who are fully admitted to Coaching and Performance Science can enroll at WVU and pay in-state tuition rates. Students must be admitted to both the University and this major.

Learn More

Start at Another WVU Campus

In addition to our transfer articulation agreements, you can start your career with WVU at another campus and transfer to WVU Morgantown.

Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU.

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits

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