Football player and coach on sidelines.

Sport and Performance Psychology (Minor)

The Master of Science in Sport and Performance Psychology provides students with an education based on current best practices stemming from empirical research and applied work. Psychosocial determinants of performance and mental skills training are emphasized throughout the program providing students with strong experiential and research-based learning activities in an inclusive and equitable environment.

Degrees & Offerings
  • Minor
Location
  • Online
Department
College
Program Contact
Professor/Assistant Athletic Trainer
Illustration of Mountain

Sport and performance psychologists work with athletes and coaches to provide techniques to reach goals and enhance the player's execution. Examples of how sport and performance psychologists are beneficial to athletes include effective stress management, improved focus, reduced risk of burnout, increased confidence, and an overall improvement in mental health. 

Courses and Curriculum

Degree Requirements Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

AASP Certification Course Requirements 
 
* = must be graduate level 
Courses offered at Commonwealth University 
K1. Professional Ethics and Standards SPPP516: Professional Ethics in Applied Sport Psychology 
K2. Sport Psychology SPPP510: Foundations of Sport and Performance Psychology 
SPPP512: Sport Psychology for Performance Enhancement 
SPPP513: Psychological Aspects of Injury and Recovery  
SPPP514: Stress Management for the Physically Active 
K3. Sport Science SPPP519: Gender and Sports 
K4. Psychopathology SPPP503: Mental Health in Sport and Performance Settings 
K5. Helping Relationships* SPPP518: Counseling Skills for Sport Psychology 
K6. Research Methods and Statistics* SPPP500: Research Methods in Sport Science 
K7. Psychological Foundations of Behavior SPPP515: Seminar in Sport Science (if the topic is appropriate – individual course outline must be reviewed by AASP) SPPP504:  Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior 
K8. Diversity and Culture* SPPP517: Cultural & Ethnic Diversity for Sport Psych Consulting 
Mentored Experience in Sport and Exercise Psychology SPPP531: Mentored Experience in Sport and Performance Psychology 

SPP MS Sport and Performance Psychology

  1. Dissect and synthesize research to develop a full comprehension of current knowledge base
  2. Assess both quantitative and qualitative methods used in existing research and assess findings accordingly
  3. Evaluate the influence of key social institutions (gender, race, social class) on sport and exercise experiences, and to integrate these factors in one’s professional work
  4. Interpret philosophical principles and assess ethical issues related to sport and performance psychology; articulate a professional philosophy regarding engagement in sport and performance settings
  5. Formulate a strong understanding of the influence of multiple key psychological factors on sport and exercise experiences
  6. Assess lifespan developmental factors that influence sport and exercise participants’ experiences, and demonstrate the ability to integrate these factors into one’s professional approach
  7. Appraise sport/exercise performance issues and propose appropriate mental skills training
  8. Structure a mental training program for individuals and groups based on formal needs assessment and lifespan considerations
  9. Determine the psychological factors that increase one’s risk of injury/ illness and how to prevent these; delineate one’s response to injury/illness and appropriate coping measures; and analyze issues and theories of transition, notably athletic retirement
  10. Generate a mental skills training plan for an injured athlete or athlete in transition
  11. Analyze stress and the interrelationships of stress, health and physical activity. 

Program Features and Application

Illustration of Mountain

  • Evidence informed best practice-based on research and applied work
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion  
  • Flexibility for the traditional and non-traditional learner  
  • Emphasis on enhancing the quality of life of clients, coaches, parents, and others  
  • Emphasis on real-world learning experiences 

As a sport and performance psychologist, you have the opportunity to work with athletes and coaches to provide techniques to reach goals and enhance the player's execution. Examples of how sport and performance psychologists are beneficial to athletes include effective stress management, improved focus, reduced risk of burnout, increased confidence, and an overall improvement in mental health. 

Courses have been approved by the Certification Council for certification through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology

Any student enrolled in the BS in Psychology at Kutztown who has earned junior standing (completed at least 60 credits) and a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher will be provisionally accepted into the MS in Sport and Performance Psychology /Commonwealth. Provisionally accepted students may enroll in up to 12 graduate credits in the MS in Sport and Performance Psychology program at Commonwealth prior to the completion of their undergraduate program. Upon graduation from Kutztown University with a BS in Psychology, provisionally accepted students will be admitted into the MS in Sport and Performance Psychology at Commonwealth University. 

Summary: Articulation Agreement CommonwealthU and Kutztown University

To complete the admissions process, students must submit:

  • Online application
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field (such as Psychology, Health and Physical Education, Athletic Training, Health Science, Sports Administration, etc)
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of professional goals

*Students wishing to apply to this program who do not have a 3.0+ GPA, can apply for provisional admission if their undergraduate GPA falls between 2.75-2.99. Students accepted as provisional admit must earn and maintain a minimum of 3.0 or higher throughout the program. Failure to earn a B or better could result in probation or removal from the program.

 

Application materials may be sent electronically to gradadmissions@commonwealthu.edu or mailed directly to the following address:

Commonwealth University- Bloomsburg 
Office of Graduate Admissions 
400 East Second Street 
Bloomsburg, PA, 17815

*Commonwealth University graduates do not need to request transcripts; the Office of Admissions will do this on your behalf.

Students also have the option of registering for up to three courses as a non-degree seeking student and have those courses automatically transfer to degree seeking status upon official enrollment in the program.  If you would like to register for courses as a non-degree student please complete the Non Degree application.  

Note:  Non-degree seeking students are not eligible for state or federal financial aid.

Illustration of Mountain

Program Highlights

100% Online Delivery

Our distance instructional methods are designed to maintain a personal, one-to-one mentoring and supervisory relationship with degree candidates while making it possible to create active and engaged learning communities. No campus visits or on-campus residencies are required. Much of the coursework is completed via virtual classrooms utilizing the latest technology in online instruction.

Asynchronous delivery utilizes the Brightspace learning management system and the Mediasite media delivery platform.

Flexible Start Dates & a Diverse Student Population

You can begin coursework in the fall, spring, or summer semester. Because the coursework can be completed 100% online, our students hail from across the country and abroad. 

Full-Time and Part-Time

Students can attend full-time or part-time. Typically, full-time graduate students take nine credits in the fall and spring, and up to twelve credits over the summer. Students who attend part-time can take three or six credits per semester and this can vary by semester based on their individual needs.  

Semester Off

Many of the students in our program work full-time and occasionally need to take a semester off. Coaches in our program, for example, may not want to take classes when their sports are in season (and then double up the following semester). Students are allowed to step out for a semester and return to classes afterward. When they are ready to begin classes again, students should submit a readmission application through the Office of Graduate Admissions.  

Transfer Students

Students can transfer up to six credits into the graduate program. To have courses evaluated, please contact the Program Coordinator. Please include the course name and description - in some cases, a syllabus may be required to accurately evaluate student learning outcomes. 

Non-Degree

Students who would like to take class(es) without applying to or enrolling in the graduate program are able to take up to three classes/nine credits through "walk-in" registration. Sport and Performance Psychology professionals, for example, who require a course for certification through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology often choose this option. 

Careers

Career options associated with the Sport and Performance Master's Program include:

Potential Job Opportunities

  • College Athletic Department
  • Coach
  • Mental Health and Wellness Advisor
  • Army Center for Performance Enhancement
  • AASP Certified Consultant
  • Fitness Consultant
  • Lifestyle Coach
Danielle Passifione '23 posing on a bench outside with her dog on a fall day.

The MS Program at CU-Lock Haven, although it can be challenging, provided me with great knowledge that is needed in the field. The professors laid out course work, such as case studies, that allowed me to apply the knowledge I have. This will help prepare me in how I approach different scenarios in the field”

Danielle Passifione '23
Sport and Performance Psychology
Keval Mandalia '24 in formalwear, smiling at the camera.

This program is the definition of flexible. You can complete it in one year, or you can complete it in three years like I did. Whatever may be causing hesitation in your life to start your journey, need not apply here. This program gave me some incredible learning opportunities, and real-life application assignments. I'm glad I chose this program to get my Master's degree at CU-Lock Haven.

Keval Mandalia '24
Keval Mandalia '24
Jarod Zimmerman '23 posing outside, sitting on a rock ledge.

I am grateful to have received my master's degree from CU-Lock Haven in Sport and Performance Psychology. The structure of the coursework has prepared me to be successful in the future and I can't wait to apply myself in order to assist athletes. My favorite course was related to the psychology of athletic injury and recovery as an aspect of the field I would love to specialize in. I would recommend the program to those who want to continue their education with aspirations of working in the field of sport psychology. Both Dr. Ingram and Dr. Lally were extremely supportive of my journey and equipped me with the knowledge to be successful in the program and the confidence to work in the field.

Jarod Zimmerman '23
Sport and Performance Psychology
Keval Mandalia '24 in formalwear, smiling at the camera.
Jarod Zimmerman '23 posing outside, sitting on a rock ledge.
Danielle Passifione '23 posing on a bench outside with her dog on a fall day.

Applying to This Program

Apply

  • Application Process

    Review the step-by-step process whether you're a first-year student, transferring to CU, or more.

  • Apply Now

    By starting your application, you gain access to your personalized application portal to view your progress.

  • Scholarships

    As the largest comprehensive university in north central and northeastern Pennsylvania, CommonwealthU works hard to provide a world-class education that consistently rates among the best values in the nation.

Explore More

Connect with Faculty