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Bachelor of Arts

Psychology – Sport Psychology

On Campus
Academics / School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences / Psychology – Sport Psychology

WHERE A PASSION FOR SPORTS AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR MEET

The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in sport psychology is designed for those who have a passion for sports and enjoy helping people and making a difference in the lives of others. The program provides a comprehensive introduction to the growing field of sport psychology, equipping you with the behavioral knowledge and skills to enhance the physical and mental performance of those participating in recreation, fitness, exercise and sport settings.

The sport psychology program is housed within a psychology major, so you’ll obtain a well-rounded education in the psychology field as well as a specialization in sport psychology. The program enables you to apply your affinity for sports and pursue an education that aligns with your personal interests and allows you to compete for professional entry-level positions in the field of sport psychology. Graduates of our program will be well-prepared for roles in coaching, athletic training and conditioning, as well as helping athletes at all levels identify issues that affect athletic performance.

The degree can also prove beneficial to those who wish to become teachers, counselors, managers, social services workers or other practitioners, as the coursework will offer transferable skills and information. And, the degree can lay the groundwork for students who wish to pursue graduate work in fields such as physical therapy, clinical sport psychology/counseling, health or physical education and athletic administration.

A Professional Education

  • Athletes have recently been outspoken about their mental health struggles, signaling a need for more psychology professionals.
  • Our professors bring professional backgrounds, so they teach from practical experiences, not just from the book.
  • Small class sizes make possible individualized attention throughout your program.
  • With your degree, you can pursue a career as a coach, athletic trainer, sports research specialist, physical therapists and more.
  • Students can pair their sport psychology degree with an addictions counseling minor or concentration to work with substance issues in the sports world.
  • While clinical work in the field of sport psychology requires advanced degrees that lead to clinical licensure, the undergraduate degree is a useful building block to that goal.

In the sport psychology program, you’ll learn from instructors who know of what they teach. Our faculty are seasoned professionals who bring immense knowledge and experience in the fields of psychology, sports, human movement and leadership. As they share case examples and real-life stories regarding their work, you’ll see that all you’re learning in the classroom relates directly to the field.

The knowledge you acquire in your program will be current and relevant. You’ll learn about the history, philosophy and purpose of sports exercise, and you’ll understand the role of psychology in the field. You’ll learn about professional ethics in sport psychology. And, you’ll acquire knowledge about how participation in physical activity, exercise and sport influences the psychology and behavior of the individuals involved.

Career-Ready Skills

The sport psychology program will equip you with the practical knowledge and professional skills you’ll need to:

  • Evaluate psychological, sociological, neurophysiological and behavioral variables that affect performance, motivation, communication, relationships and outcomes in sports and exercise.
  • Employ professional ethics in decision-making processes in the field of sport psychology.
  • Conduct assessments and implement interventional strategies to drive personal growth and improvement.
  • Devise problem-solving strategies and solutions for diverse case scenarios.
  • Analyze critical, practical and global issues in sport psychology scientific literature.

With its practitioner-based focus, our sport psychology program puts knowledge into practice through an active, hands-on education.

Teachings are not only based on textbooks but case examples and real-life experiences with clients.

You’ll actively engage with your peers and instructors in the study of sport psychology. Among a wide range of experiential learning activities, you’ll:

  • Participate in small group work.
  • Engage in large group discussions.
  • Analyze case studies both independently and as a class.
  • Engage in role-plays.
  • Hear from guest speakers who engage in various types of related work in the field.
  • Take part in field trips.
  • Conduct interviews with professionals in the field.
  • Pursue independent research

In the final year of coursework, you’ll complete a professional internship in the field.

CURRICULUM

CONCENTRATION: SPORT PSYCHOLOGY

CSL430 Cultural Competence in Counseling – 3 hours

HFW413 Sociological and Psychological Aspects of Physical Activity – 3 hours

PSY211 Introduction to Sport Psychology – 3 hours

PSY320 Motivational Psychology – 3 hours

PSY411 Applied Sport Psychology – 3 hours

SOC280 Sports in American Society – 3 hours

SCS470 Internship I – 3 hours

SMG220 Principles of Athlete Development – 3 hours

Total24 hours

This is a sample course sequence to illustrate course offerings for this major. Consult the official Academic Bulletin for detailed registration and advising information.

SAMPLE COURSES

Introduction to Sport Psychology (PSY101) – This course will examine the history and purpose of sports and exercise as well as the fundamental theories and roles of psychology in sports and exercise. This course examines the field of sport psychology, including topics related to performance, motivation, competition, coaching, individual and team-based perspectives, risk and protective factors in sports and exercise, and physical and mental health and wellness.

Motivational Psychology (PSY320) – This course is an exploration from the perspective of scientific psychology of historical and current conceptions of motivation, the force that determines activity preference, selection and persistence. This course provides both a broad overview of motivational theories and practical applications of these theories to real-world problems.

Applied Sport Psychology (PSY411) – This course takes an in-depth examination at the various principles that are vital to understanding the psychological, sociological, neurophysiological, and behavior aspects of sports and exercise. Emphasis is on the applied facets of performance, communication, relationships, and psychological considerations. The application of intervention strategies and techniques is considered for future practitioners of coaching, counseling, teaching, sports management, athletic training and fitness instruction, exercise science, and other specialists.

FORMAT

On Campus – Offered in a 15-week semester format with start dates of January and August

CONCENTRATIONS

Other Psychology concentrations offered:

Opportunities in sport psychology are abundant and ever-expanding. Sports is a $68 billion industry, and as a result, there is a lot at stake, such as intense pressure for athletes to perform better. As a result, sport psychology plays an important role, and, as a field, is projected to continue to grow.

CAREERs
  • Athletics Coach
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Fitness Professional
  • Performance Arts Coach
  • Personal Trainer
  • Physical Therapist
  • Sports Performance Coach
  • Sport Psychologist
  • Sorts Psychology Educator
  • Sports Rehabilitation Therapist
  • Sports Research Specialist
  • Wellness Manager

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The sport psychology concentration is perfect for anyone with coaching or athletic trainer aspirations, as well as an excellent starting point for those who desire to eventually pursue clinical psychology graduate work to become a sport psychologist. In general, it’s a great opportunity for students to blend their love of sports and physical activity with their career aspirations.

— Erin Dean / Associate Professor & Chair for Main Campus Social Science Programs
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