Sport and Exercise Psychology: Applied Sport Psychology Concentration
Applied Sport Psychology Concentration
Applied sport psychology employs a combination of evidence-based performance enhancement techniques, sport science, and counseling skills to help clients maximize their potential and obtain optimal enjoyment from their sport and performance experiences. Graduate students in this concentration typically come from Kinesiology or Psychology undergraduate programs and choose UNCG to learn how to enhance human development and functioning by acquiring cutting edge knowledge in the area of SEP.
Applied Sport Psychology Experiences
This curriculum was designed specifically to help students meet the coursework and field experience requirements for certification as a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC), the gold standard designation for practice developed by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). Students in this concentration will have the opportunity to work with Division I student-athletes under the direct mentorship of an AASP-approved CMPC. Also, through established partnerships, there will be opportunities to work with other local sport, exercise, and performance organizations.
Goals and Objectives
This concentration is designed to develop a theoretical base in the discipline of sport and exercise psychology, and to prepare students, coaches, and consultants to apply such knowledge to performance enhancement issues associated with competitive athletics, exercise, and performance settings.
- Students will learn theory, research, and application in the area of sport and exercise psychology.
- Students will understand professional ethics and multicultural factors related to the profession of applied sport psychology.
- Students will gain practical experience working with athletes, coaches, and/or exercisers to facilitate their involvement, performance, and enjoyment.
- Students will gain an understanding of the breadth of the field of kinesiology and the specificity of their competencies.
Plan of Study
Students in this concentration area progress through the program as a cohort with most courses required based upon the requirements for CMPC certification (number in parentheses indicates the knowledge area the course satisfies). Because this is a cohort model, students may only begin the program in the Fall semester. The program of study is as follows:
|FALL 1||SPRING 1||FALL 2||SPRING 2|
|KIN 630 Sport and Society: Social Inequalities||KIN 645 Exercise Psychology or KIN 649 Principles of Physical Activity Behavior Change||SWK 624 Human Diversity (K8)||HHS 654 Ethics in Practice, Teaching and Research|
|KIN 644 Sport & Exercise Psychology (K2)||KIN 744 Applied Sport Psychology||KIN 743 Psychological Aspects of Sport Injury||KIN 601 Application of Research (K6)|
|CED 610 Helping Relationships (K5)||KIN 746 Practicum I||KIN 746 Practicum II||KIN 746 Practicum III|
Frequently Asked Questions
It is only in the applied SEP program that you will:
- Learn how to consult with athletes, exercisers, and performers to improve their mental skills.
- Gain practical experience with individuals, teams, and groups both on and off campus
- Prepare to practice in dynamic, professional organizations
- Accumulate supervised/mentored hours in preparation for becoming a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP)
The coursework only program is best suited for individuals who do not want to be sport psychologists per se, but who want to learn sport psychology theory and skills to apply to other settings (e.g., fitness professionals, military applications, health settings, coaching).
The thesis option is designed for students who intend to pursue doctoral studies to become a professor who focuses primarily on research and teaching. Opportunities for practical, applied experience are not available in this program.
Outside of your coursework, there are no formal opportunities or requirements for research in the program. However, if you have an interest in research you can certainly look to connect with one of our faculty members in the Department of Kinesiology and volunteer on research projects as your time allows.
No. This program will not result in clinical licensure. Instead, the program focuses on education and applied training to prepare individuals for the CMPC certification. Many students who are interested in clinical mental health work with athletes and performers will choose to go on for additional schooling in counseling, social work, counseling or clinical psychology (i.e. they will pursue an additional graduate degree in a different program).
According to AASP, the “CMPC® demonstrates to clients, employers, colleagues, and the public at large that an individual has met the highest standards of professional practice, including completing a combination of educational and work requirements, successfully passing a certification exam, agreeing to adhere to ethical principles and standards, and committing to ongoing professional development. The CMPC® certification program is also accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)” Further, obtaining certification can impact future job opportunities.
Recent graduates have gone on to pursue the following career opportunities:
- Performance specialists within the military
- Mental training interns at sports academies
- Collegiate coaching positions
- Life skills coordinators in university athletic departments
- Academic advisors in student-athlete services
- Weight management and exercise behavior consultants in fitness facilities
- Individual and team consultations with collegiate athletic programs (DI and Division III levels)
- High school athletic consultations
- Youth sport club consultations
- School of Music consultations
- Educational programming for Military Affiliated Services
- Exercise and weight management behavioral consultations
10-12 students are admitted each year, for a total of 20-24 students in the program.
The 36 credit hour program is designed to be completed in two academic years. The program consists of fall and spring semesters for the first and second years. Students have an option of registering for additional practicum hours during the summer between the first and second year of the program.
Completion of prerequisite coursework may be suggested if a degree major or minor is not in psychology or kinesiology/exercise science. For CMPC certification, the only course we do not offer is a Psychopathology course (e.g. Abnormal Psychology). Many students have taken this course as an undergraduate, but it is offered through the Psychology department at UNCG and many students choose to take it in addition to their coursework during the 1st year of the program or in the summer between the 1st and 2nd year of the program.
The application deadline for Fall 2022 consideration is January 15, 2022. The program only admits for the Fall term of each year. All applicants must start in the Fall semester. The program is highly competitive; thus, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a complete application as soon as possible, but by the application deadline. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that all application materials are received by the Graduate School’s Admissions Office by the final deadline. Be sure to select the Applied Sport Psychology concentration when submitting your application to ensure that your application is considered for the correct program.
A phone, video-based, or in-person interview with the program director may be requested for some candidates after an initial review of submitted applications.
We strive to make final offers of admission by the middle of March. All admissions decisions for Fall consideration will be made by April 1st. Admitted applicants have until April 15th to inform us of their admission decision and to submit the non-refundable $250 admission deposit to confirm their place in the program. The $250 admission deposit will be credited towards the student’s first semester’s tuition.
- Dr. Eric S. Drollette
- Dr. Jennifer L. Etnier
- Dr. Jen Farrell*
- Dr. Diane L. Gill
- Dr. Jaclyn P. Maher
- Dr. Erin J. Reifsteck
*Dr. Jen Farrell (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the director of the applied sport psychology program and should be your point of contact for questions related to the program.