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Top 15 Best Sports Psychology Degree in 2021

April 7, 2021 | Staff Writers

Sports Psychology Degree
Degree Finder
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Want to follow a career in sport and exercise psychology, or sports performance, cardiac rehabilitation? Then the Sport Psychology Degree is the program for you! It has many job opportunities as well.

Careers in Sports Psychology Degree

Here are the jobs that are available if you earn a sports psychology degree. Take note that the sports jobs below request at least a masters in sports psychology.

  • Health program coordinator
  • Sports rehabilitation specialist
  • Academic researcher
  • Sports psychologist for a club, Olympic, or a professional
  • Professor or lecturer*
  • Performance coach
  • Sports psychologist for a performing arts group*
  • Athletic coach
  • Performance coach
  • Health program coordinator
  • High school teacher
  • Clinical sport psychologist*
  • Certified mental performance consultant

Let’s dive into the list of colleges that can assist you to make a smart career choice. We have arranged them according to the enrollment of full-time undergraduates.

RankSchoolLocation
1California State Long Beach (CSLB) Long Beach, California
2Georgia Southern University (GSU)Statesboro, Georgia
3Ball State University (BSU)Muncie, Indiana
4West Chester University (WCU)West Chester, Pennsylvania
5Northern Illinois University (NIU) DeKalb, Illinois

Here are the top 15 Best Sports Psychology Degree:

1

California State Long Beach (CSLB)

  • Long Beach, California
  • Graduation Rate: 68%

As a highly-rated public university, California State Long Beach offers both a B.S and an M.S in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sport and Psychology and Leadership. The former is made for students interested in careers such as sport psychology, coaching outside the public school system, sport management/leadership, and coaching professional athletes. They can also coach youth in sports academics.

On completion of the undergraduate degree, graduates can earn a Master’s of Science in the same field. They’ll have an option to concentrate in Sport and Exercise Psychology, which covers law and ethics, applied sport psychology, sport in U.S culture, psychological aspects of exercise and fitness, etc. CSLB, offering a 36-credits degree program in M.S, is a public university in Long Beach, CA.

Tuition: $3,588 (7 plus more credits)
Enrollment: 26,617
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2

Georgia Southern University (GSU)

  • Statesboro, Georgia
  • Graduation Rate: 46%

Georgia Southern University’s 36-credit hour degree in Master of Science in Kinesiology, Sport and Exercise Psychology concentration requires a research-based thesis or applied internship experience. Furthermore, it includes coursework in research methods, data analysis, and intervention methods that can maximize performance.

Students will also deal with psychological aspects of first-class performance, development of sport psychology, and consultation in private business. As a public university, GSU is an above-average, large institution situated in Statesboro, Georgia, and graduates 50 percent of students.

Tuition: $3,318 in-state; $13,259 out-of-state
Enrollment : 19,502
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3

Ball State University (BSU)

  • Muncie, Indiana
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

Ball State University (BSU) offers a Master’s Degree (MA/MS) in Sport and Exercise Psychology that provides students with a well-balanced educational experience based on a scientist-practitioner approach. Students are involved in research and applied work with athletes, and have opportunities to attend and present at regional and national conferences. Upon completion, students are ideally prepared to further their studies with a doctoral degree.

A specificity of the program at BSU is the partnership with Counseling Psychology and Psychology Sciences. This partnership allows students to complete a minor or major in clinical mental health counseling, rehabilitation counseling, or social or clinical psychology. With these majors, students are ideally prepared to be certified as Mental Performance Consultants through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. In terms of applied experiences at BSU, students can work with Division I student-athletes, club/community sports teams, youth athletes, military students, exercisers, disability sport, injured athletes, and performing art students.

Tuition: $424 per credit hour
Enrollment: 21,998
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4

West Chester University (WCU)

  • West Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Graduation Rate: 71%

West Chester University, graduating 75 percent of students, grants a Master of Science in Exercise and Sports Science at its College of Health and Sciences. Graduates are assured of high-quality education because of experienced faculty, personalized advising, and state of the art facilities. The degree program is relevant for individuals who want to follow a career in sports performance, cardiac rehabilitation, or sport and exercise psychology. Upon completion, students will use their knowledge, skills, and abilities to work in clinical programs.

WCC’s M.S gives graduates three options namely Applied Sports Performance, which deals with applied muscular physiology, advanced motor learning, biomechanics, and kinesiology. Additionally, they’ll learn about group dynamics in exercise and sport neuroscience perspective under the Sport and Exercise Psychology concentration. Offering a thesis or a research report, WCC also allows graduates to focus on Clinical Exercise and Physiology. The school is an above-average, public institution in the West of Goshen township in the Philadelphia Area.

Tuition: $1,052,98 (Flat rate for 9 credits, full-time); $99,14 (Flat rate, part-time)
Enrollment: 13,060
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5

Northern Illinois University (NIU)

  • DeKalb, Illinois
  • Graduation Rate: 46%

The Graduate School of the Northern Illinois University grants a Master’s of Science in Sport and Exercise Psychology, which is a 36-credit hour program. To address the needs of participants of sport and exercise, it deals with the relevant theory research and practice. Subjects such as psychological aspects, athletic injury, rehabilitation, physical activity, health, and psychological well-being are covered as well.

Furthermore, the degree program is suitable for teachers, coaches, and exercise professionals. As a public research university, National Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois was founded as Northern Illinois State Normal School by Illinois Governor, John P. Altgeld. Also, it graduates 46 percent of students.

Tuition: $492,06 per credit
Enrollment: 11,190
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6

Minnesota State University Mankato (MSUM

  • Mankato, Minnesota
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

The 42-credit hour program offered by Minnesota State University Mankato is a Masters of Arts in Sports and Exercise Psychology. Completed in two years, it deals with courses such as the psychology of sport and exercise, the psychology of sport and athletic injury, exercise psychology and behavior, etc. It’s offered by its College of Allied Health and Nursing/Department of Human Performance.

Additionally, it aims to prepare students who want to continue with their studies, fulfill their careers with athletes and physically active people. They can achieve this through coaching, athletic training, health, and wellness, sports psychology consulting. To complement their professional studies and classroom learning, the school enables students to get assistantships. Established in 1858, Minnesota State is a public university located in Mankato, Minnesota.

Tuition: $5,329,20 in-state
Enrollment : 10,545
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7

The University of Northern Colorado (UNC)

  • Greeley, Colorado
  • Graduation Rate: 48%

Founded in1889 as the State Normal School of Colorado, the University of Northern Colorado’s M.S in Social Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity requires 30 credits. Having completed the degree program in 18 months, graduates can proceed to a Ph.D. should they want to work as an educator. The degree program emphasizes fundamentals coursework in Sociology of Sport, Exercise, and Sport Psychology.

Since UNC is a national leader in this field, students have great opportunities in career guidance, strong-mentoring, and professional development. Graduates can also continue earning a doctoral degree, pursue careers in K-12 community college teaching, health clinics, and fitness centers after completion. The University of Northern Colorado is a public university based in Colorado.

Tuition: $560 or $5,040
Enrollment : 8,064
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8

California Baptist University (CBU)

  • California Baptist University (CBU)
  • Graduation Rate: 58%
At CBU, students can obtain a:
    1.  B.S. in Sport and Performance Psychology (online only)
    2.  A concentration in Sports Psychology
    3.  M.S. in Sport and Performance Psychology
    4.  PsyD with a Sport and Performance Psychology track
The M.S. Sport and Performance Psychology program is an applied program where students will be able to participate in a multitude of internship opportunities both on and offsite.  Mentorship is offered as a part of the program, with the students’ mentors also serving as their practicum instructors.  On-site opportunities include work with NCAA D1 student-athletes, performers, and ROTC at CBU by interning at the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology (CSPP). In addition, the classes that comprise this program meet the educational requirements for certification as a mental performance coach (CMPC-AASP).  Students will also participate in community programs and have the opportunity to engage in research.
Tuition: $32,380 plus fees
Enrollment : 6,859
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9

The University of Denver (UD)

  • Denver, Colorado
  • Graduation Rate: 79%

A highly-rated university, the University of Denver’s Master of Arts in Sport and Performance Psychology needs 72-credit coursework including supervised practicum and a master’s project. Offered at its Graduate School of Psychology, it grounds graduate in applied research and practice as well as develop them in the sport, performing arts, health and fitness, and mental health fields. It’s designed to improve the lives of people in different communities and also focus on psychological factors that affect human performance.

Graduates will gain hands-on experience because the college has more than 80 counseling placements, plus 140 coaching placements with children, youth, and adults. Delivered over two years, it also provides training in principles of performance, quality practice, and learning, coaching leadership, team development, and counseling. Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is the oldest independent private university in the Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S.

Tuition: $730 credit hour
Enrollment : 5,563
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10

California University of Pennsylvania (CUP)

  • California, Pennsylvania
  • Graduation Rate: 48%

The California University of Pennsylvania advances an Online Master of Science (M.S) in Exercise and Health Promotion with a specialization in Sport Psychology. The degree program can be completed in 12 months if it’s done full-time and it’ll take 17 months on a part-time basis. As a 36-credit program, it allows graduates to have concentrations in applied sport science, group fitness leadership, nutrition, performance enhancement and injury prevention, wellness, and fitness as well as rehabilitation science and wellness coaching.

Some of the topics covered include identifying precursors to injury, psychological effects after injury, and during rehabilitation. Graduates also study how to enhance performance and use intervention methods in sports as well as learn how to include referrals in their practice. Founded in 1852, California University of Pennsylvania is a public university.

Tuition: $516 in-state; $774 out-of-state
Enrollment: 4,210
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11

Barry University (BU)

  • Miami Shores, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 62%

Founded in 1962 by the Andrian Dominican Sisters, Barry University advances an M.S in Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology. BU’s degree program exists to help graduates understand and analyze psychological mechanics and the results of human movement in sports, physical education, and exercise situations. With this course, students will understand the thought patterns, attitudes of athletes, and individuals who participate in sport, exercise, and non-sport activities. Grounded in this knowledge, graduates will improve the performance and psychological well-being of sports participants.

During the study of the degree, graduates will take part in coaching, teaching, research, fitness, and leadership. They’ll also contribute to the community through research projects and practicum attendance at a professional symposium. Located in Miami Shores, Florida, BU is a private Catholic institution.

Tuition: $990 credit
Enrollment : 2,968
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12

Springfield College (SC)

  • Springfield, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 69%

Springfield College, graduating 72 percent of students, allows students to either earn a Master’s of Education of Master of Science in Sport and Exercise Psychology or an M.S that is thesis-based. The degree equips graduates with the theory of sport and exercise based on psychological, physiological, and sociocultural viewpoints. After the program, they can help individuals in sport and exercise perform much better.

SC’s MEd non-thesis track, a 42-credit course, is appropriate for students who want to become certified mental performance consultants. It integrates with collegiate and high school sports programs so that graduates have hands-on experience in the sport and exercise psychology

Tuition: $1,105
Enrollment : 2,102
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13

Northern State University (NSU)

  • Aberdeen, South Dakota
  • Graduation Rate: 44%

With the graduation of 44 percent, Northern State University’s Sport Performance and Leadership (Master’s) combines exercise science and sport management. Completing between 36-39 credits, students have several track options under this program. They include the Performance Track choice, which focuses on Nutrition, Event Planning, and Program Development. On other hand, the Leadership Track deals with Sports Marketing and Financial Aspect of Sport. Also, the research track, requiring between 3-6 credits, focuses on research.

Additionally, some of the courses that graduates consider are law and ethics, applied sport psychology of effective coaching, etc. Offering 38 majors and 42 minors, the Northern State University is a public institution located in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and is governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents.

Tuition: $5,939 (18 credits)
Enrollment : 1,333
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14

National University

  • San Diego, California
  • Graduation Rate: 13%

Graduating 36 percent of students, the National University grants an M.A in Performance Psychology, which is offered online and on-campus. Delivered over four-week classes per semester, it covers the latest in theory, the fine arts, military and combat psychology, and sports psychology. Moreover, it allows research into techniques, counseling, peak performance, sport science, etc. After completion, graduates can be certified by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP).

Also, students will apply their knowledge in university and professional athletes, fine arts performance, corporate environments, children in school and community sports organizations as well as in coaching and teaching. The college accepts applicants all-year-round with classes starting every month across its plus 20 campus locations. Located in San Diego, CA., National University is an above-average university with headquarters in La Jolla.

Tuition: $442 per quarter unit
Enrollment : 2,884
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15

University of Western States (UWS)

  • Portland, Oregon
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

The University of Western States, founded in 1904, advances a unique blended degree online. The program includes a master’s degree, two Doctor of Education (EdD) degree options, and a graduate certificate. The curriculum supports students in preparing for the certified mental performance consultant (CMPC®) exam.

The EdD is a blend between a research-oriented doctoral program and an applied clinical psychology doctorate to allow students to meet their specific career goals. Students can also earn a master’s degree combined with an EdD in sport and performance psychology with a clinical mental health counseling specialization. Here, they’ll need a total of 140 credits to fulfill the dual degree’s demands. As a private health science institution, UWS is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

Tuition: $540 (M.S); $669 (Doctorate)
Enrollment: N/A
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METHODOLOGY

After analyzing more than 50 colleges that grant a sports psychology degree on reputable websites, we ended up trimming our list to 15 psychology schools. We took into account the enrollment of full-time undergraduates in each school and then used it as a primary ranking factor. As a result, California State Long Beach tops our list with 26,617 first-year students. We also indicated the cost of attendance for each college.

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