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Bachelor of Arts in Sport Psychology

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Home » Programs » Bachelor of Arts in Sport Psychology

Program Overview

Prepare to seek a rewarding career as a professional coach, focusing on performance, motivation, and the psychological benefits of sports and athletics. The Bachelor of Arts in Sport Psychology will give you a comprehensive introduction to the modern and growing field of psychology as it relates to sports and performance. Throughout the program, you’ll explore the reasons and factors that influence people to participate in physical activity and understand how a person’s emotions and mental state can affect athletic performance. Graduates with a sports psychology degree can pursue a career in coaching or continue on to graduate programs at the master’s or doctoral level.

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Course Details

Preparation for the Major

  • 2 courses; 9 quarter units

Prerequisite: MTH 12A and MTH 12B, or Accuplacer test placement evaluation

An introduction to statistics and probability theory. Covers simple probability distributions, conditional probability (Bayes Rule), independence, expected value, binomial distributions, the Central Limit Theorem, hypothesis testing. Assignments may utilize the MiniTab software, or text-accompanying course-ware. Computers are available at the University’s computer lab. Calculator with statistical functions is required.

A survey of the field of psychology that provides an overview of the scientific principles and theories in psychology. Topics include: biological psychology, abnormal behavior, motivation, emotion, sexuality and gender, and personality theory.

*May be used to satisfy general education requirements.

Requirements for the Major

  • 13 courses; 58.5 quarter units

PrerequisiteENG 102; PSY 100

Introduction and overview of the growing field of Sport Psychology, applying psychological principles to athletic performance. Topics will include theoretical foundations of behavior, psychological interventions for performance enhancement, adherence and maintenance of gains, and the impaired athlete.

PrerequisitePSY 100; PSY 302

Interrelated historical development of physical education and sport as well as the history and development of sport, exercise, and performance psychology. Topics include the role of the scientific method and applied methods in research and practice, the history of sport, the role of culture and gender in sport and sport psychology, and current trends in sport and applied performance psychology.

PrerequisiteENG 102; PSY 100

The relationship between psychology, social relationships, and sport. The concepts of group dynamics, motivation, social support, coaching relationships, and the wider social context’s relationship to the individual and the sport will be explored. The course will utilize both theoretical and research findings to suggest practical applications in sports performance.

PrerequisiteENG 102; MTH 210; PSY 100

An evaluation of research in psychology and the behavioral sciences. Includes work on research methods and design, and the application and interpretation of basic statistics.

PrerequisiteENG 102; PSY 100

Students will learn the major principles underlying the acquisition of motor skill and how control of skilled movements is gained, maintained, and adapted. This course covers the various way that people learn to move, learn skilled actions, and how the principles of motor performance and learning can be useful in teaching, coaching, and rehabilitation.

PrerequisitePSY 100 with a minimum grade of D-. Passing grade is required

An introduction to contemporary theory and research related to the psychological factors underlying participation in and adherence to exercise and physical activity programs. Topics include the nation’s current obesity epidemic, factors that contribute to exercise behavior, psychological barriers to and benefits of exercise, and avenues for improving personal exercise behavior.

PrerequisitePSY 100; PSY 302

This course looks at the importance of culture on the development of sports, performance, and sport psychology. Research and case studies will be used to study the importance of integrating a multicultural perspective when working with athletes.

This course looks at the role of external and biomechanical factors in athletic performance. Course content includes the biomechanics of athletic performance, linear and angular kinetics, the role of torque and force in athletic performance, and the risks associated with biomechanical stress in athletics.

Provides a theoretical basis for understanding the body’s acute and chronic adaptations to the stresses of exercise. Emphasis is given to systems physiology, the neuromuscular and cardiovascular bases of training responses, vascular physiology, energy production, cardiopulmonary function, and the significance of these effects for health and performance. Emphasis will be placed upon the practical application of exercise physiology principles to coaching, teaching, and other physical training practices.

PrerequisiteENG 102; PSY 100

An introduction to basic counseling techniques such as nonjudgmental listening, reflection, feedback, goal setting, and basic solution skills. Examines transference, countertransference, and therapist attributes such as empathy, congruence, acceptance, genuineness and respect. The online version has a significant live chat component that requires computer imaging and voice technology. Grading is H, S or U only.

PrerequisitePSY 100; PSY 302

This course examines the application of psychological theories and research to sports and exercise behaviors. Case studies from a variety of sports will be explored to develop a set of psychological skills that can be applied across sports.

PrerequisiteSuccessful completion of 10 courses in the BA Sport Psychology program.

An advanced course in the application of psychological theories and research to sports and exercise behaviors. The seminar will focus upon skills in assessment, interviewing, case formulation, and interventions with athletes.

Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of ALL Major requirements

A two-month course in applied sport and peak performance psychology. An applied exploration of how the mind influences performance in sports, business, health, and wellness. Students will use real-world experiences as a laboratory for understanding, developing, and advancing the principles of applied sport psychology.

Upper Division Electives

  • 3 courses; 13.5 quarter units

Choose three upper division electives from available offerings within the College of Letters and Sciences. It is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that students select AT LEAST 2 of their required electives from the following 7 courses:

PrerequisiteENG 102; PSY 100

A study of the way in which the brain mediates behavior, emotion, and cognition. Topics include sensory systems, neural development, emotion, learning, memory, consciousness, reproduction, and neurological and psychological disorders.

PrerequisiteENG 102; PSY 100

A study of the major transitions from fetal development through death in the physical, cognitive, social and emotional domains. The impact of ethnic, gender and cultural factors on development will be examined.

PrerequisiteENG 102; PSY 100

The study of psychological characteristics of the individual that endure in stable form for substantial periods of time. Examines influential theories of personality and supporting research.

PrerequisiteENG 102; PSY 100

An overview of sociocultural views and scientific theories of normalcy and deviance. The major psychological, cognitive, and behavioral disorders and their classification are examined.

Prerequisite: ENG 102; PSY 100

A study of the responsiveness of individuals to various sources and forms of social influence. Major areas of study include persuasion, conformity, obedience, prejudice, attitude formation and change, social behavior, altruism, aggression and the influence of the mass media. Emphasizes social circumstances rather than variations in personal characteristics, as in personality theory.

PrerequisiteENG 102; PSY 100

The study of psychological functioning in the area of mental operations, largely uninfluenced by individual differences in personality or motivation. This encompasses the areas of attention, pattern recognition and other perceptual achievements, memory, problem solving, categorization and concept formation, language acquisition and use, textual interpretation and decision making.

PrerequisiteENG 102; PSY 100

Historical development of positive psychology and its applications to the practice of wellness, health, and peak performance. Topics include self-esteem, relationship building, happiness, and mindfulness.

Degree and Course Requirements

To receive a Bachelor of Arts in Sport Psychology degree, students must complete at least 180 quarter units as articulated below, 45 of which must be completed in residence at National University, 76.5 of which must be completed at the upper-division level, and a minimum 70.5 units of the University General Education requirements. In the absence of transfer credit, additional general electives may be necessary to satisfy total units for the degree. The following courses are specific degree requirements. Students should refer to the section on undergraduate admission procedures for specific information on admission and evaluation. All students receiving an undergraduate degree in Nevada are required by State Law to complete a course in Nevada Constitution.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss current trends in psychological research in both individual and team contexts within sport psychology.
  • Analyze how psychological factors influence performance in sport, and techniques to increase performance and reduce anxiety.
  • Discuss the influences of diversity and multiculturalism on group interactions and performance.
  • Apply psychological theory to coaching situations.
  • Discuss the legal and ethical issues in sport psychology and performance enhancement.
  • Discuss the physiological and motoric principles of performance in sport and physical activity.


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Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

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