To be healthy, you must be active. Being physically active promotes a healthy body and mind—a concept tracing its roots back to ancient Rome, when poet Juvenal wrote, “mens sana in corpore sano” (“a sound mind in a sound body”). At WVU, the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences (CPASS) traces its roots to 1891 when the fledgling university hired its first director of athletics and physical activity. Over the past 120 years, this autonomous academic unit has grown into one of the University’s 13 colleges—one with nationally recognized programs.

As part of a land-grant university, CPASS exists to promote wellness and physical activity, to expand knowledge through research, and then put it into practice to help people be healthier. With this state and nation in the midst of an obesity epidemic, our mission has never been more critical.

Our vision is to inspire people to become active: to excel in research, creative activity, and innovation in the sport sciences and physical activity. We will do this by educating the next generation of professionals and discovering knowledge that will enhance the well-being and quality of life of the people in West Virginia and around the world.

The Trajectory of Success

There are few colleges like CPASS in the country. We award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees and are the only college in West Virginia offering a doctorate in kinesiology, designated a “Program of Excellence” by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

Our graduates are sought-after. CPASS athletic training, sport management, and sports and exercise psychology programs enjoy a 100 percent placement rate. Among our alumni are professional athletes, sport administrators, journalists, teachers, and head athletic trainers in the NCAA, NFL, and NBA. We also have highly successful collegiate and high school educators and coaches.

Over the past 15 years, CPASS has discovered new ideas and cultures, internationalizing the curriculum and increasing faculty and student exchanges. Recent student travel includes visits to Brazil, Chile, the United Kingdom, and Denmark, while international scholars from China, Sweden, and Brazil have come to CPASS. The College’s International Planning Committee worked in concert with the College’s International Center for Performance Excellence (ICPE) to develop a strategic plan supporting faculty scholarship and student study abroad initiatives.

College faculty currently hold leadership positions in various professional organizations within the disciplines of teaching, coaching, athletic training, sport and exercise psychology, physical education, health, and recreation while serving as national and state experts in their chosen academic disciplines.

Recently, Partnership Activation 2.0, an international sport newsletter, rated our graduate sport management major among the nation’s top 15, and our Physical Education Teacher Education program received national recognition by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the National Association for Sport & Physical Education. Our Athletic Training program received accreditation for 10 years from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, and our students achieve a 100% first time passing rate on the Board of Certification exam.

We are also leaders in service to the state. The WV Physical Activity Plan, co-sponsored by CPASS and led by the Ware Distinguished Professor, promotes healthy living, especially for children, and healthy and active lifestyles for citizens who live in West Virginia. CPASS’s Weight Management Research team has partnered with the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) to improve fitness and health in the state.

Individually, these achievements are great. But we’re intent on being the best. To realize this vision, we turn to you, alumni and friends who believe in the mission of CPASS, to ask your help to realize our aspirations and desired vision.

Priorities for Tomorrow

A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University is all about raising our sights to create a healthier, more active West Virginia. If you believe, as we do, that this is a worthy goal, we hope you will consider investing in the following priorities.

  • Enhancing the Student Experience
  • Improving West Virginia’s Health and Economy
  • Fostering Faculty Excellence

To learn more about these funding priorities contact Cliff McNary at 304-293-0841. To learn more about the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences visit