Sport Psychology

Pair with any bachelor’s degree

The expression, “mind over matter,” aptly defines why some athletes train for physical and mental strength to achieve peak performance.

Program Overview

Examine the role psychological strength plays in athletic performance.

The Sport Psychology minor explores the psychological underpinnings of sport and exercise. It will also offer you a powerful personal skill set for coping with challenges posed by everyday life. Through intensive courses, you’ll learn how athletes achieve peak performance, the effect of sport on social and physical development, coaching, injury and more. Whether you want to pursue an advanced degree or add the Sports Psychology minor as a supplement to your major of choice, the program will equip you personally and professionally with useful skills and fascinating knowledge.

High Altitude Performance Lab

Sport Psychology students have the unique opportunity to monitor athlete performance and performance cutting-edge research through the High Altitude Performance Laboratory (HAP Lab)—7,717 feet above sea level.


Code Title Credits Description
ESS 275 Motor Development and Learning 3 View
ESS 320 Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 3 View
ESS 340 Mental Training for Peak Performance 3 View
ESS 346 Psychology of Coaching 3 View
ESS 355 Psychology of Injury 3 View
ESS 490 Sociology of Sport and Physical Activity 3 View
PSY 368 Psychopathology 3 View
PSY 369 Health Psychology 3 View


Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

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Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant. For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Expand your community and your network.

There are so many ways that you can maximize your educational experience at Western. Take advantage of these opportunities to advance your career.

  • Graduate Research: Collaborate on research projects with students in the High Altitude Exercise Physiology master’s program.
  • High Altitude Performance Lab: Take classes and conduct research in our state-of-the-art facility.
  • Publish Research: Publish your work in the Center for Wellness and Human Performance Health & Fitness Journal.
  • Wellness Elevated: Work with clinical populations and their exercise programming for a semester or more.
  • Association for Students of Exercise Sports Science: This club is specifically tailored to ESS majors. Outings and events provide social support, professional development and networking opportunities.

Wellness Elevated

Wellness Elevated is a partnership program between Western’s Department of Recreation, Exercise & Sport Science (ESS) and the medical community of the Gunnison Valley. It is overseen by qualified clinical exercise physiologists and offers a high level of specialized care to assist community members in achieving an improved quality of life through exercise, diet, social connections and a large dose of education and encouragement.

Department Chairperson

Lance Dalleck, Ph.D.

Professor of Exercise & Sport Science

Administrative Assistant

Terri Stinson

Administrative Assistant

Contact Information



Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Paul Wright Gym 209
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231