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About Sport, Exercise & Performance Psychology

Run the Gamut

Local connections mean more options for you.

With the diversity of our community partnerships, you’ll have opportunities to work directly with the populations of your interests. We have internship placements where you can work with clients including collegiate athletes and performers in other domains for a more diverse learning experience.

Explore Course Catalog
Runner about to start a race
Professor Alan Chu meets with students

Applied Track

The applied track prepares students to consult within the applied sport, exercise and performance psychology focus, and to become Certified Mental Performance Consultants (CMPC®). Here are just a few of the arenas certified consultants have found success:

  • Private practice
  • Professional sports
  • Behavioral coaching
  • Branches of the military
  • Fitness centers
  • Consulting firms
Applied Track
Student presents thesis to peers at end of year gathering

Thesis Track

The thesis track involves applying research methods and data analysis, culminating in a master's thesis. Many thesis-track graduates go on to pursue doctorate degrees and careers in the following fields:

  • Professional opportunities in sports, exercise and performance psychology at the university level.
  • Professional opportunities with an elite sports team or organization.
  • Consultancies within the higher ranks of the military.
Thesis Track

Assistantships

Help fund your degree and gain experience by assisting professors or conducting research.

Apply for an Assistantship

Internships

We provide internships and service projects for students to consult with athletes and performers of various levels and backgrounds.

See Internship Information

Research

Build knowledge in the SEPP field by completing research. Plus, view what research we've been doing to see if our program fits your interests.

Learn About Our Research

Meet Our Students

Learn our students' research interests and academic backgrounds to understand what our program is all about.

Current Student Bios
Beaux Myers with Professor Alan Chu

Meet a
Phoenix

"I chose this program because of the advisors, Dr. Alan Chu and Dr. Joanna Morrissey… [they] have the best interests in mind for their students. Through their consistent challenging of the students, they’re making better and more ethical practitioners in the future of sport psychology."

Beaux Myers '22
M.S. in Sport, Psychology and Performance Psychology

Learning Outcomes

The curriculum provides opportunities for hands-on experiences in both the thesis and applied tracks, such as internships, culminating projects, and research. Students in the program will learn how to use problem-solving skills and reasoning to make ethical professional decisions.

The curriculum includes specialized knowledge in the eight knowledge areas identified by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and is designed for students to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  1. Professional Ethics and Knowledge
    1. Integrate their practice ethics and standards related to professional practice.
    2. Demonstrate techniques to develop rapport with clients, to explain their professional roles, and to adjust expectations of clients.
    3. Identify ethical and legal issues related to professional activities.
    4. Apply strategies to evaluate and resolve ethical and legal dilemmas, as well as decision making in the professional practice.
  2. Sport Psychology
    1. Demonstrate understanding of theoretical foundation of the psychological processes that influence human performance in athletic settings.
    2. Identify and apply psychological techniques and strategies to enhance performance in sport and other domains (e.g. performing arts, military).
    3. Evaluate research in sport psychology and psychological factors related to performance and participation in sport and exercise settings.
    4. Evaluate the needs of clients and plan interventions based on this evaluation.
    5. Choose and apply sport psychology theories and research that best fit different performance and exercise psychology cases.
  3. Sport Science
    1. Define, distinguish, and assess physiological principles relevant to the effect of exercise on human functioning and performance.
    2. Identify motor control processes and mechanisms underlying the learning and performance of motor skills.
    3. Integrate sociocultural perspectives on sport (e.g., gender, race, economics, politics).
    4. Explain historical foundations and philosophical questions related to the development of sport and physical activity programs.
  4. Psychopathology
    1. Identify and distinguish abnormal human behavior.
    2. Assess clients for psychopathology.
    3. Apply etiology of mental disorders in working with clients.
    4. Identify and implement strategies that ameliorate psychopathology symptoms.
  5. Helping Relationships
    1. Demonstrate understanding of counseling theories.
    2. Develop a professional philosophy based on their theoretical approach to working with performers and exercisers.
    3. Implement skills to successfully interact with clients, such as listening, interviewing, assessment, and counseling/consulting skills.
    4. Engage in supervised practice of sport, exercise, and performance psychology.
  6. Research Methods and Statistics
    1. Demonstrate understanding of research methods and design.
    2. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of tests and measurements.
    3. Execute and interpret basic and advanced data analyses.
    4. Engage in ethical implementation of research and program evaluation.​
  7. Psychological Foundations of Behavior
    1. Apply principles of theories of cognition and affect to influence behavior.
    2. Assess the influences of social aspects (e.g., group processes, persuasion) on performance and well-being.
    3. Utilize knowledge of theories of personality to assess individual differences and human lifespan development.
    4. Apply concepts of positive psychology (e.g., mindfulness, flow, grit) to the improvement of performance and well-being.
  8. Diversity and Culture
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of conceptual frameworks for sociopolitical and cultural factors that impact human behavior.
    2. Assess the dimensions of personal identity and individual differences (e.g., race, ethnicity, sexual orientation) and how they may influence the professional relationship.
    3. Identify and implement intervention strategies for addressing the needs of individuals from unique racial/ethnic background, religious affiliations, gender identity, etc.
    4. Integrate culturally competent approaches to consultation with performers and exercisers.
Joanna Morrissey

Want to Know More?

As a certified mental performance consultant who works with a diverse population of sport and exercise participants, Professor Joanna Morrissey can help you decide if our program is right for you.

Contact Us