Online Certificates

Are you searching for graduate education to supplement your skills and experience? GSPP offers several online graduate certificates, which will help advance your career in as short as one year or less.

We currently offer online certificates in the following areas:

Strength & Conditioning and Fitness Coaching  |  Psychology of Coaching

Students can easily transfer all courses and credit hours from our coaching certificate programs into our Master’s in Sport Coaching program.

Graduate Certificate in Strength & Conditioning and Fitness Coaching (SCFC)

SCFC Graduate Certificate (24 credits) | SCFC Specialized Graduate Certificate (16 credits) 

Do you want to become a strength and conditioning coach or personal trainer? Maybe you want to add to your existing skill set or business offerings by adding exercise and fitness related activities and events? Or, are you a sport coach who wants to learn the winning edge of effective and applied strength and conditioning to enhance athletic performance? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the University of Denver's Graduate Certificate in Strength and Conditioning and Fitness Coaching is exactly what you're looking for.

Our graduate certificates in strength and conditioning and fitness coaching equip students with the most essential knowledge and skills to succeed in the field. We provide student-coaches an opportunity to receive the University of Denver’s excellent teaching and mentoring within a shorter, condensed program. You will gain the applied knowledge and skills to design, implement, and problem solve real-world strength and conditioning and fitness problems. Students benefit from high quality, engaging online instruction from a top university known for its commitment to developing scholar-coaches. Upon completion, students have the option of transferring into our online Master of Arts in Sport Coaching degree.

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Program Highlights

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    The first and only graduate certificate program in Strength and Conditioning in the world.

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    Created and led by internationally respected coach educator and NSCA Fellow Dr. Brian Gearity.

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    Programs designed to be completed in as short as 1 year or less, while students are able to continue working part-time or full-time.

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    Students benefit from a flexible, fully online program.

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    Courses designed and taught by experts in teaching, strength and conditioning, online learning, and coach education.

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    As an additional opportunity for growth and development, students are individually paired with a coach mentor who is an experienced strength and conditioning coach or personal trainer.

Curriculum

Our courses are offered year-round in each of the four academic quarters: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.

Students choose from two S&C certificate options:

  • Graduate Certificate – 24 credits

    Required Core Courses (16 credits)

    • CPSY 4715: Strength & Conditioning and Injury Prevention Program Design (4)
      *May be substituted if student possesses CSCS.
    • CPSY 4710: Motor Learning and Sport Pedagogy (4)
    • CPSY 4730: Biomechanics of Athletic Performance (4)
    • CPSY 4720: Psychology of Athletic Performance (4)

     

    Strength and Conditioning Practicum (2 credits)

    • CPSY 4736: Practicum in Strength and Conditioning Coaching (1 credit, completed twice over two different quarters)

     

    Work one-on-one with a Coach Mentor

    While enrolled in the Practicum course, students are individually paired with a coach mentor who is an experienced S&C coach or personal trainer (dependent upon the student's area of interest). Students meet virtually with their mentor for one hour each week throughout the quarter. The purpose of this is to provide an additional opportunity for growth and development, as well as expand the student's professional network. We are the only program in the world to offer this unique and valuable opportunity.

    Approved Elective Courses (minimum 6 credits)

    • CPSY 4635: Athletic and Performance Nutrition (2 credits)
    • CPSY 4610: Exercise Physiology (2 credits)
    • CPSY 4620: Kinesiology (2 credits)
    • CPSY 4722: Social Psychology of the Body and Performance (2 credits)
    • CPSY 4712: Tactical Strength and Conditioning (2 credits)
    • CPSY 4991: Independent Study (1-2 credits)
  • Specialized Graduate Certificate – 16 credits

    Required Coursework (12 credits)

    Students complete the following required coursework, amounting to 12 credit hours:

    • CPSY 4715: Strength and Conditioning and Injury Prevention Program Design (4)
      • *Students who possess the NSCA's CSCS certification may be eligible to waive this course and substitute from the options listed below.
    • CPSY 4710: Motor Learning and Sport Pedagogy (4)
    • CPSY 4730: Biomechanics of Athletic Performance (4)

     

    Elective Coursework  

    Students choose from the following elective coursework to complete a total of 4 credit hours:

    • Tactical Strength and Conditioning (2)
    • Athletic and Performance Nutrition (2) 
    • Kinesiology (2)
    • Exercise Physiology (2) 
    • Social-Psychology of the Body, Health, and Performance (2) 
    • Psychology of Athletic Performance (4) 
    • Practicum in Strength and Conditioning Coaching (1-2)
      • Students have the option of working with a S&C coach mentor during the Practicum course. 
      • Students must submit proof of CPR/First Aid certification in order to enroll in the Practicum course. 

    Students must maintain professional standards for strength and conditioning coaches such as those set forth by the NSCA Standards and Guidelines for Strength and Conditioning Professionals document.

Program Requirements (24-credit Graduate Certificate ONLY)

  1. Students must possess, or take, the National Strength and Conditioning Association's (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist or Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator certification exam, or a similar certification such as a personal trainer certification with prior approval from the program director; students do not have to pass the certification to complete the S&C certificate requirements.
  2. While enrolled in the program, students must attend at least one S&C clinic, conference, or course (such as: DU sponsored S&C Clinic; NSCA's Fundamental Lifts Course; or NSCA's Coaches' or National Conference), preferably through the NSCA, with prior approval from Program Director.
  3. Students must submit proof of CPR/First Aid certification, or complete the requirement within 3 months upon entering the program.
  4. Students must consult with a S&C coach-mentor, personal trainer, or other fitness professional for two quarters, averaging about 1 hour per week for 10 weeks (consultant or mentor provided by the program).
  5. Students must maintain professional standards for strength and conditioning coaches such as those set forth by the NSCA Standards and Guidelines for Strength and Conditioning Professionals document.
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NSCA Education Recognition Program

Our online certificate programs are recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Education Recognition Program as an Applied Graduate Studies Program. This certifies that our program aligns with the educational guidelines provided by the worldwide leader in strength and conditioning.

Learn More

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Specialized Graduate Certificate - Psychology of Coaching

The demand for quality, well-rounded coaches and strength coaches grows each year. Sport leaders need to understand how to motivate and lead athletes, teach technical, tactical, physical and mental skills, and navigate complex environments with varying stakeholders. Our pioneering 16-credit specialized graduate certificate in the psychology of coaching prepares students for these responsibilities.

We specialize in the psychological and sociological aspects of sport and athletic performance, delivering novel practical tools and a unique experience to our student-coaches. The specialized graduate certificate complements students who have a strong background in exercise science or kinesiology, and extends the education of those looking to understand the relational and cultural aspects of people in sport.

If you're interested in learning more about the psychological and sociological aspects of coaching, then you've found the right program.

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Work with a Mental Skills Consultant

While enrolled in the [optional] Practicum in Coaching course, students have the option of working with a Mental Skills Consultant (MSC) or sport psychologist. Our consultants are all graduates of the distinguished MA Sport and Performance Psychology program here at GSPP, and all have relevant coaching and athletic experience. Students "meet" virtually with their consultant for one hour per week throughout the Practicum course.

Mental Skills Consultants provide an extraordinary opportunity for additional growth, as students benefit from their knowledge and experience in working with athletes and coaches of all backgrounds.

“One of the great elements of this program is working with a mental skills consultant during the Practicum course. This adds another layer that I don’t think a lot of other online programs have to offer. Just having someone to call at the end of the day or have a video meeting with, bounce ideas off of and ask tough questions, is something that I think truly enhances the program as a whole. And another reason why I recommend this program to anyone who is considering a graduate program in coaching.” Mike F, MASC Alum - Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach, University of Tennessee

Curriculum

The Psychology of Coaching certificate requires a total of 16 credits.

  • Required Coursework

    Students complete a minimum of 10 credit hours from the following coursework:

    • CPSY 4720 Psychology of Athletic Performance (4)
    • CPSY 4705 Sociocultural Aspects of Sport Coaching (4)
    • CPSY 4725 Philosophy and Ethics of Sport Coaching (4) 
    • CPSY 4710 Motor Learning and Sport Pedagogy (4)
    • CPSY 4722 Social Psychology of the Body, Health and Performance (2)
  • Elective Coursework

    Students choose from the following elective coursework to complete remaining credit hours to reach a total of 16 credit hours: 

    • CPSY 4635 Athletic and Performance Nutrition (2) 
    • CPSY 4610 Exercise Physiology (2) 
    • CPSY 4620 Kinesiology (2) 
    • CPSY 4715 Strength and Conditioning and Injury Prevention Program Design (4) 
    • CPSY 4700 Organization and Administration of Sport (4) 
    • CPSY 4991 Sport Psychology Independent Study (1-2) 
    • CPSY 4740 Practicum in Sport Coaching (1-2)
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Connect With Us

We are eager to learn more about you and discuss how our world-class online education can help you reach your goals. By requesting information, you’ll receive detailed messages illustrating our program highlights, online course structure, faculty and student stories, and ways to connect with us.

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