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Master of Science in Sport Psychology

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100% Online MS in Sport Psychology

Complete your studies on your own time.

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New start date every Monday

Start your first course when it’s convenient for you.

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21 Months to your Master’s Degree

Finish your MS in Sport Psychology in just 12 courses.

National and Northcentral have merged, and this program is now offered by NU. Learn more.

Home » Programs » Master of Science in Sport Psychology

Improve Mental Wellness for Athletes

Enhance the lives of athletes with the 100% online Master of Science in Sport Psychology degree program at National University. NU’s comprehensive program will prepare you to work with high-performance athletes to improve their mental health and assist with their physical needs.

The NU Master of Science in Sport Psychology (MSSP) degree program is focused on developing the skills and personal and professional growth that are required for effective practice in the field of Sport Psychology. The program is designed to provide an integrated learning experience for students seeking specific training in the profession of Sport Psychology. Students in this program will critically analyze a broad range of theories and practical knowledge in Sport Psychology. The specialization complies with the eight knowledge areas as required for the Certification Council for the Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC). The degree offers the opportunity to engage in field work and supervision. This training prepares students for applied sport psychology work in a variety of settings including, but not limited to, youth and recreational sports, high school athletics, collegiate athletic departments, professional sports organizations, tactical athletes (military), and private practice.

The MS in Sport Psychology complies with the eight knowledge areas required for the Certification Council for the Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC). In addition, during the optional fieldwork experiences, students can complete hours that can count towards the mentored experienced required for the CMPC certification. The coursework has been identified as appropriate by the Certification Council of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP).

View the CMPC® Candidate Handbook (link:

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Course Details

  • Credit Hours: 36
  • Courses: 12
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 18-21 months

The Master of Science in Sport Psychology degree program can be completed in 36 credits. Each course runs 8 weeks, and you’ll receive 3 semester credits per course.

Course Sequence

The Master of Science in Sport Psychology program can be completed in 36 credits.

Course Name

In this course, you will study theoretical foundations and empirical research of psychological factors related to performance and participation in athletic settings. You will learn about the physical, affective, and cognitive behaviors associated with sport participation and will also examine the psychological theories and research related to sport performance. You will be introduced to performance enhancement techniques and strategies. You will also learn about injury in sports, team dynamics, youth sport and athletic coaching. The topics covered in this course are designed to increase your understanding of the psychological makeup of athletes and how psychological factors influence involvement and performance in sport.

In this course you will be introduced to different ethical principles, decision-making models and ethical guidelines, and professional issues for the field of Sport Psychology. You will review the guidelines presented by AASP and other professional organizations.  You will explore common ethical challenges and situations that arise when working in the field and critically analyze research articles that are pertinent to ethical issues in Sport Psychology. You will explore Sport Psychology as a professional identity.

In this course, you will be exposed to a variety of performance enhancement techniques used in sport psychology to help athletes. You will gain competence in performance enhancement skills and techniques for use in working with athletes in a variety of diverse settings while also developing the foundation for your own personal consulting style. You will explore the process of becoming an applied practitioner in the field and begin creating a binder of performance enhancement activities to be used in your fieldwork experience and in professional practice.

In this course, you will be provided with a fundamental overview of the helping relationship provided within the context of applied sport psychology. You will gain a broad understanding of the philosophic bases of helping processes: counseling theories and their application, basic and advanced helping skills, consultation theories and their application, client and helper self-understanding and self-development, and facilitation of client change.

In this course, you will be given an overview of historical and current topics relevant to the understanding of diversity and culture in sport. You will be exposed to various sociological theories and how diversity issues have impacted the development of sport. You will gain an understanding of the complex nature of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, race, age, and disability as it relates to current sport practices. You will also be exposed to culturally-competent counseling and consulting strategies for facilitating acceptance of diversity within individual and team sports.  You will learn to challenge the idea of sport as an innocent leisure pursuit, to consider its social, cultural, political and economic significance, and its rise to significance, in contemporary society.

In this course you will gain an overview of various qualitative and quantitative research methods, learn about basic concepts in descriptive and inferential statistics, parametric and non-parametric statistical tests, and be exposed to different types of experimental research methodologies. You will learn about tests and measurements. You will develop critical-thinking skills and an understanding of the methodological tools necessary for functioning as an applied sport psychology consultant.

This course will introduce you to each of the major biophysical sub-disciplines of kinesiology—anatomy, biomechanics, exercise physiology, and motor control. You will gain insight into the integrated study of human movement and learn how to apply this knowledge to human performance and physical activity across the lifespan.

In this course, you will be familiarized with the major classifications of psychopathology and their impact upon individual performance. You will be introduced to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5). Emphasis will be placed on assessing for mental health conditions that require referrals to appropriate treating professionals. The course will focus on recognizing the classification of mood and anxiety disorders, impulse control disorders, eating disorders, sleep disorders, organic brain disorders, thought disorders, personality disorders, and substance abuse disorders. You will become familiar with counseling strategies in psychology.

In this course you will be exposed to an overview of the neuropsychological, cognitive, social and affective bases of behavior in sport psychology. You will also examine the fundamentals of neuroanatomy, brain development, neuropsychology, neurophysiology and psychopharmacology. You will be familiarized with theories of personality, individual difference, and human lifespan development. You will then be required to integrate theoretical knowledge with practical strategies and interventions appropriate for athletes reflect on how to integrate concepts of positive psychology and factors that enhance meaning and well-being.

In this course you will learn how to facilitate team building, through interactive experiences, in an effective way. You will learn ways of working with a team in order to build necessary skills including cohesion, communication, trust, and respect. Emphasis will be placed on activities, skills and strategies that will enable students to effectively work with teams and groups of many kinds. You will gain an understanding of group behavior and dynamics and will be able to use this knowledge with diverse populations. You will learn to recognize ethical issues in relation to working with groups and will examine their interpersonal and professional style through hands-on application of ideas.

In this course your will learn how to work with an injured athlete as part of an integrated approach to sport rehabilitation. Using mental training strategies for rehabilitation, this course will address the principles of Sport Psychology, which will assist injured athletes, as well as those working with injured athletes, in identifying variables responsible for hindering and enhancing performance. The complex physical and psychological nature of injuries will be discussed, including theoretical foundations of behaviors, psychological intervention of performance problems, and psychosocial strategies/ mental health issues related to injury.

In this internship placement you will gain applied experience in sport psychology consulting.  The internship-placement aspect will require you to intern at a site working with athletes and applying knowledge and skills learned in the classroom. Under the supervision of a faculty member, you will be provided with weekly one-on-one meetings to discuss your experiences, challenges, and ethical issues. The supervision will provide you with a supportive environment for discussions exploring issues which pertain to the fieldwork experience.

The Capstone course in Sport Psychology is an opportunity to incorporate your knowledge and understanding of educational concepts and processes that have been learned throughout the program. You will demonstrate a range of competencies, reflecting the knowledge, critical thinking, sensitivity to ethics and diversity, and appreciation of research that has been acquired during the program. The final product for the course will include a written document summarizing this work.

In this internship placement you will gain applied experience in sport psychology consulting. The internship-placement aspect will require you to intern at a site working with athletes and applying knowledge and skills learned in the classroom. Under the supervision of a faculty member, you will be provided with weekly one-on-one meetings to discuss your experiences, challenges, and ethical issues. The supervision will provide you with a supportive environment for discussions exploring issues which pertain to the fieldwork experience.

*A course material fee of $197.00 will be charged for PSY-6915 – Field Work I and PSY-6916 – Field Work II. The course material fee will be waived for PSY-6916 – Field Work II, if the student took PSY-6915 – Field Work I and paid the course material fee of $197.00.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Sport Psychology program requires a total of 36 credit hours at the graduate level.

The University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the Master of Science in Sport Psychology for graduate coursework completed at an external accredited college or university with a grade of “B” or better. See the Transfer Credit Policy for additional information.

All master’s degree programs have the following graduation requirements:

  • A minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed through NU
  • Grade Point Average of 3.0 (letter grade of “B”) or higher
  • Official documents on file for basis of admission
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credit hours accepted by the University
  • All financial obligations must be met before the student will be issued their complimentary diploma and/or degree posted transcript

Total Credit Hours: 36 Credit Hours
Courses: 12 Courses
Recommended Completion Time: 18-21 Months
Next Start Date: Every Monday
Classroom Size: One

The National University Master of Science in Sport Psychology degree can equip you with the skillset for a range of performance coaching or training roles, such as*: 

  • Mental Performance Consultant for youth, high school, collegiate, and professional athletes
  • Mental Performance Consultant for business, military, law enforcement, and other high-performance industries
  • College or University faculty

You can also emerge with key skills to succeed in the performance coaching field, such as:

  • Exercise science
  • Kinesiology
  • Communications
  • Management
  • Leadership 

*SOURCE: Emsi Labor Analyst- Report. Emsi research company homepage at (Report viewed: 7/06/2022). DISCLAIMER: The data provided is for Informational purposes only. Emsi data and analysis utilizes government sources to provide insights on industries, demographics, employers, in-demand skills, and more to align academic programs with labor market opportunities. Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Current and prospective students should use this data with other available economic data to inform their educational decisions.

Program Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of National University’s Master of Science in Sport Psychology degree program, you’ll be able to:

  • Explore theories and principles in sport psychology to inform professional contexts and promote performance enhancement
  • Examine research methods and data analysis in sport psychology
  • Apply psychological principles and research to personal, social, and organizational issues
  • Develop a personalized approach to professional services
  • Employ ethical principles of sport psychology in academic and professional matters
  • Examine diversity issues in professional contexts


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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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