The Sports Psychology concentration integrates science and application in mental skills training and life skills development. Designed for students interested in applied work or research in the sport and exercise psychology discipline, the degree is grounded in the fundamentals of the scientific process and theory for research and supervised applied work within individual and group or team environments.

Our Sports Psychology concentration can prepare students for a variety of career options including:

  • Certified Mental Performance Consultant
  • Performance Psychologist
  • Sports Research Specialist

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for psychologists is $82,180.  Our online MS in Exercise and Sport Science program of study will prepare individuals who are committed to effecting change in the health and fitness industries and who take a holistic approach to exercise, wellness and fitness.

The Sports Psychologist concentration can be completed in as little as a year and a half.

St. Francis College is ranked at the top of the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings in several categories:

                  • #8 in Best Value Schools
                  • #5 in Best Colleges for Veterans
                  • #3 in Top Performers on Social Mobility
                  • #13 in Regional Colleges North

St. Francis College is ranked at the top of the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings in several categories:

#8 in Best Value Schools

#5 in Best Colleges for Veterans

#3 in Top Performers on Social Mobility

#13 in Regional Colleges North

Flexible, convenient 24/7 online learning platform

Financial aid available to those who qualify

CHAT WITH A SPECIALIST

Program Overview

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
EXM- 6010 Applied Research in Exercise and Sports Science

Learn the foundations of research as it pertains to exercise and sports sciences. 

Students will learn selected research techniques and designs utilized in exercise science research with emphasis on general statistics, interpretation of data, research ethics, scientific writing, and library use.

Course Takeaways

  • Discuss the essential steps of the scientific method of inquiry.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in finding and evaluating research resources on desired topics.
  • Identify the major types of research designs used in exercise science research
  • Analyze research reports in relevant literature and suggest ways to improve literature review, research design, and data collection procedures.
  • Complete research ethics web–based training course.
3
EXM-6020 Exercise and Sport Nutrition

Learn the nutrition information you need to improve the health of every type of client. 

This course explores the relationships between nutrition, energy metabolism, and exercise and sport performance, with an in-depth analysis of dietary and nutritional supplementation. 

Course Takeaways

  • Describe the bioenergetic metabolic processes of the cell and how it changes in response to various exercise intensities.
  • Describe the nutritional needs of endurance, strength, power athletes, and special populations.
  • Assess nutritional needs of physically active individuals.
  • Discuss the micronutrient needs of physically active individuals.
  • Analyze current literature in sports nutrition research.
3
EXM-6310 Psychological Aspects of Sport and Exercise

Learn how sports and exercise affect mental health and well-being. 

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the theories and principles that influence human behavior in sport and physical activity contexts. Sport and exercise psychology practitioners focus primarily on helping individuals use psychological principles and skills to achieve optimal performance and derive satisfaction through sport participation, and understanding how participation in sport, exercise, and physical activity affects psychological development, health, and well-being.

Course Takeaways

  • Demonstrate proper use of exercise psychology terminology
  • Explain and apply the trans-theoretical model
  • Explain and apply goal-setting strategies
  • Explain and apply strategies for increasing exercise adherence
3
EXM-6110 Group Dynamics in Exercise and Sport

Get to know what it takes to build training programs to enable your clients to meet their health and fitness goals.

This course will help prepare you to perform the roles and responsibilities of fitness and health consultants who plan, promote and deliver a wide variety of services. These include activity and educational programs that enhance the health, fitness and well-being of individuals and groups in diverse settings.

Course Takeaways

  • Explain the components of and rationale for an integrated fitness assessment.
  • Create a flexibility training program within the OPT model.
  • Design a cardiorespiratory training for base and interval training zones.
  • Design a progressive, systematic core training program.
  • Design a balance training program.
  • Design a plyometric training program progressing through the OPT model
  • Design a resistance training program through the different stages of the OPT model.
3
EXM-6330 Applied Motor Learning

Gain a strong foundation in motor learning, and learn how best teach motor skills to clients.

In this course, students will learn the physical, physiological, and psychological factors that affect motor skill acquisition, performance, retention, and transfer. With a focus on voluntary movement, topics include nervous system control of movement, sensory and perceptual contributions to motor learning, information processing, optimal conditions for learning motor skills, preferred modes of feedback delivery during learning, and individual variability in motor skill acquisition. Students will apply the principles of motor learning to coaching, fitness, and rehabilitation settings. Additionally, they will analyze motor learning settings and determine adjustments to be made in those settings to foster motor skill acquisition for a variety of populations.

Course Takeaways

  • Assemble all elements of motor learning to include for physical, physiological, and psychological factors that affect motor learning to determine how to facilitate motor skill acquisition in a variety of populations.
  • Analyze motor learning environments to include feedback to determine the ideal conditions to facilitate learning, retention, and transfer of motor skills.
  • Assess current motor learning research and apply that research to current practical exercise science settings.
  • Evaluate the central nervous system factors that are responsible for motor learning, applying the relative contribution of these factors to motor skill acquisition, feedback processing, retention, and transfer of motor skills.
  • Compare and contrast varying practice methods to determine the ideal practice conditions for any sport, fitness, or rehabilitative motor skill.
  • Analyze the principles of speed and accuracy and how Fitt’s Law relates to motor learning and performance.
  • Assess the components of motor coordination and how those factors relate to motor learning and performance.
  • Examine the methods of research used to develop the body of literature that composes the field of motor control and learning.
3
EXM-6340 Current Topics in Sport Psychology

Develop a strong background in sports psychology, as it applies to the world today.

This course covers current topics in sport psychology. Emphasizes theory and research on personality, motivation, arousal, cognition, attributions, attitudes, self-efficacy, leadership effectiveness, and group dynamics.

Course Takeaways

  • Identify and explain major theoretical frameworks used in sport and exercise psychology research.
  • Understand the major antecedents and consequences of sport and exercise participation.
  • Critically evaluate current research in sport and exercise psychology.
  • Identify appropriate intervention strategies for performance enhancement.
  • Conduct an applied sport and exercise psychology research project utilizing a theoretical framework and a quasi-experimental design.
3
EXM-6350 Sport in Society

Are sports an avenue for personal empowerment or a path to exploitation? What do sports mean in American society?

In this course, students will study the ways in which sports are embedded in social systems such as the economy, government, and education. Themes include race, class and gender issues, crime and violence in sport, and the economic impact of sport.

Course Takeaways

  • Examine how sports cultivate social interactions and can promote racism, sexism and homophobia.
  • Explain the role of sport as it relates to the socialization of children and young adults.
  • Critically analyze the positive and negative impacts of sport as it relates to social justice.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the issues related to sports and deviant behavior.
  • Demonstrate the ability to explore the intersections of race, class, and gender issues within the context of sport.
  • Examine the association between education and involvement in sports.
  • Use social order perspectives to critically analyze how professional and college sports are powered and heavily influence by business and economics.
3
EXM-6990 Practicum

Learn how to build a sports nutrition program by planning a case study on a member or your community. 

This course examines the planning and implementation of a sports nutrition program. Students are required to complete a nutrition assessment and planning case study on a member of their community.

Course Takeaways

  • Apply methods of assessing body size and composition, dietary intake, physical activity and energy expenditure
  • Perform a nutrition assessment
  • Based on a nutrition assessment, plan a protocol to determine an individual’s nutritional status and make recommendations
  • Prepare for and complete a national exam in sports nutrition
3
EXM-6030 Leadership: Theory and Practice

Grow your leadership skills, and learn how to build your own fitness business.

This course explores the interfaces between human resource management, operations, marketing, and entrepreneurship within the context of entrepreneurial, for-profit and nonprofit fitness and health promotion ventures. Students will develop a business plan for potential funding. 

Course Takeaways

  • Define entrepreneurship and provide examples of various forms.
  • Discuss critical components involved in hiring and retaining employees.
  • Discuss the components of an effective marketing plan.
  • Develop a business plan for a fitness and health promotion venture.
3
EXM-6998 Capstone 6
  • $500 per credit hour
  • Military: $450 per credit hour
  • 33 credit hours
  • Transfer up to 25 credit hours

Next Start Date: September 13, 2021

Admissions Requirements

Bachelor’s degree required. A GPA of 2.5 is required. Students entering the program will be required to have completed a Biology course in the undergraduate curriculum. If not, students will have to complete a Biology course (Intro to Anatomy and Physiology) as part of the entry requirements.

Transfer Students
Transfer students seeking a master’s degree must present an official transcript of all previous course work.

There are a variety of careers available for those who achieve their Masters of Science in Exercise & Movement Science with a concentration in Sports Psychology. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for psychologists is $82,180.

Within the exercise science field, graduates can pursue careers as:

  • Certified Mental Performance Consultant
  • Performance Psychologist
  • Sports Research Specialist

While some may require extra certification or experience, a Masters of Science in Exercise & Movement Science will put you on the right track to meeting your goals.

Tuition Discount
Active duty military and veterans are eligible to receive a $50/credit-hour tuition discount, lowering their tuition to $450/credit hour.

Top College

St. Francis has been ranked #5 on US News World & Report’s Best Colleges for Veterans list. We are also proud members of the Yellow Ribbon program. Learn more about our military benefits here.

Core Curriculum

EXM- 6010

Applied Research in Exercise and Sports Science

Learn the foundations of research as it pertains to exercise and sports sciences. 

Students will learn selected research techniques and designs utilized in exercise science research with emphasis on general statistics, interpretation of data, research ethics, scientific writing, and library use.

Course Takeaways

  • Discuss the essential steps of the scientific method of inquiry.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in finding and evaluating research resources on desired topics.
  • Identify the major types of research designs used in exercise science research
  • Analyze research reports in relevant literature and suggest ways to improve literature review, research design, and data collection procedures.
  • Complete research ethics web–based training course.

EXM-6020

Exercise and Sport Nutrition

Learn the nutrition information you need to improve the health of every type of client. 

This course explores the relationships between nutrition, energy metabolism, and exercise and sport performance, with an in-depth analysis of dietary and nutritional supplementation.

Course Takeaways

  • Describe the bioenergetic metabolic processes of the cell and how it changes in response to various exercise intensities.
  • Describe the nutritional needs of endurance, strength, power athletes, and special populations.
  • Assess nutritional needs of physically active individuals.
  • Discuss the micronutrient needs of physically active individuals.
  • Analyze current literature in sports nutrition research.

EXM-6310

Psychological Aspects of Sport and Exercise

Learn how sports and exercise affect mental health and well-being. 

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the theories and principles that influence human behavior in sport and physical activity contexts. Sport and exercise psychology practitioners focus primarily on helping individuals use psychological principles and skills to achieve optimal performance and derive satisfaction through sport participation, and understanding how participation in sport, exercise, and physical activity affects psychological development, health, and well-being.

Course Takeaways

  • Demonstrate proper use of exercise psychology terminology
  • Explain and apply the trans-theoretical model
  • Explain and apply goal-setting strategies
  • Explain and apply strategies for increasing exercise adherence

EXM-6110

Group Dynamics in Exercise and Sport

Get to know what it takes to build training programs to enable your clients to meet their health and fitness goals.

This course will help prepare you to perform the roles and responsibilities of fitness and health consultants who plan, promote and deliver a wide variety of services. These include activity and educational programs that enhance the health, fitness and well-being of individuals and groups in diverse settings.

Course Takeaways

  • Explain the components of and rationale for an integrated fitness assessment.
  • Create a flexibility training program within the OPT model.
  • Design a cardiorespiratory training for base and interval training zones.
  • Design a progressive, systematic core training program.
  • Design a balance training program.
  • Design a plyometric training program progressing through the OPT model
  • Design a resistance training program through the different stages of the OPT model.

EXM-6330

Applied Motor Learning

Gain a strong foundation in motor learning, and learn how best teach motor skills to clients.

In this course, students will learn the physical, physiological, and psychological factors that affect motor skill acquisition, performance, retention, and transfer. With a focus on voluntary movement, topics include nervous system control of movement, sensory and perceptual contributions to motor learning, information processing, optimal conditions for learning motor skills, preferred modes of feedback delivery during learning, and individual variability in motor skill acquisition. Students will apply the principles of motor learning to coaching, fitness, and rehabilitation settings. Additionally, they will analyze motor learning settings and determine adjustments to be made in those settings to foster motor skill acquisition for a variety of populations.

Course Takeaways

  • Assemble all elements of motor learning to include for physical, physiological, and psychological factors that affect motor learning to determine how to facilitate motor skill acquisition in a variety of populations.
  • Analyze motor learning environments to include feedback to determine the ideal conditions to facilitate learning, retention, and transfer of motor skills.
  • Assess current motor learning research and apply that research to current practical exercise science settings.
  • Evaluate the central nervous system factors that are responsible for motor learning, applying the relative contribution of these factors to motor skill acquisition, feedback processing, retention, and transfer of motor skills.
  • Compare and contrast varying practice methods to determine the ideal practice conditions for any sport, fitness, or rehabilitative motor skill.
  • Analyze the principles of speed and accuracy and how Fitt’s Law relates to motor learning and performance.
  • Assess the components of motor coordination and how those factors relate to motor learning and performance.
  • Examine the methods of research used to develop the body of literature that composes the field of motor control and learning.

EXM-6340

Current Topics in Sport Psychology

Develop a strong background in sports psychology, as it applies to the world today.

This course covers current topics in sport psychology. Emphasizes theory and research on personality, motivation, arousal, cognition, attributions, attitudes, self-efficacy, leadership effectiveness, and group dynamics.

Course Takeaways

  • Identify and explain major theoretical frameworks used in sport and exercise psychology research.
  • Understand the major antecedents and consequences of sport and exercise participation.
  • Critically evaluate current research in sport and exercise psychology.
  • Identify appropriate intervention strategies for performance enhancement.
  • Conduct an applied sport and exercise psychology research project utilizing a theoretical framework and a quasi-experimental design.

EXM-6350

Sport in Society

Are sports an avenue for personal empowerment or a path to exploitation? What do sports mean in American society? 

In this course, students will study the ways in which sports are embedded in social systems such as the economy, government, and education. Themes include race, class and gender issues, crime and violence in sport, and the economic impact of sport.

Course Takeaways

  • Examine how sports cultivate social interactions and can promote racism, sexism and homophobia.
  • Explain the role of sport as it relates to the socialization of children and young adults.
  • Critically analyze the positive and negative impacts of sport as it relates to social justice.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the issues related to sports and deviant behavior.
  • Demonstrate the ability to explore the intersections of race, class, and gender issues within the context of sport.
  • Examine the association between education and involvement in sports.
  • Use social order perspectives to critically analyze how professional and college sports are powered and heavily influence by business and economics.

EXM-6990

Practicum

Learn how to build a sports nutrition program by planning a case study on a member or your community. 

This course examines the planning and implementation of a sports nutrition program. Students are required to complete a nutrition assessment and planning case study on a member of their community.

Course Takeaways

  • Apply methods of assessing body size and composition, dietary intake, physical activity and energy expenditure
  • Perform a nutrition assessment
  • Based on a nutrition assessment, plan a protocol to determine an individual’s nutritional status and make recommendations
  • Prepare for and complete a national exam in sports nutrition

EXM-6030

Leadership: Theory and Practice

Grow your leadership skills and learn how to build your own fitness business.

This course explores the interfaces between human resource management, operations, marketing, and entrepreneurship within the context of entrepreneurial, for-profit and nonprofit fitness and health promotion ventures. Students will develop a business plan for potential funding.

Course Takeaways

  • Define entrepreneurship and provide examples of various forms.
  • Discuss critical components involved in hiring and retaining employees.
  • Discuss the components of an effective marketing plan.
  • Develop a business plan for a fitness and health promotion venture.

EXM-6998

Capstone

  • $500 per credit hour
  • Military: $450 per credit hour
  • 33 credit hours
  • Transfer up to 25 credit hours

Next Start Date: September 13, 2021

Admissions Requirements

Bachelor’s degree required. A GPA of 2.5 is required. Students entering the program will be required to have completed a Biology course in the undergraduate curriculum. If not, students will have to complete a Biology course (Intro to Anatomy and Physiology) as part of the entry requirements.

Transfer Students
Transfer students seeking a master’s degree must present an official transcript of all previous course work.

There are a variety of careers available for those who achieve their Masters of Science in Exercise & Movement Science with a concentration in Sports Psychology. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for psychologists is $82,180.

Within the exercise science field, graduates can pursue careers as:

  • Certified Mental Performance Consultant
  • Performance Psychologist
  • Sports Research Specialist

While some may require extra certification or experience, a Masters of Science in Exercise & Movement Science will put you on the right track to meeting your goals.

Tuition Discount
Active duty military and veterans are eligible to receive a $50/credit-hour tuition discount, lowering their tuition to $450/credit hour.

Top College

St. Francis has been ranked #5 on US News World & Report’s Best Colleges for Veterans list. We are also proud members of the Yellow Ribbon program. Learn more about our military benefits here.

Meet Some of Your Instructors

John McNamara, PhD
John McNamara, PhDProfessor
Dr. John McNamara received his doctorate in kinesiology from Temple University in Philadelphia. He is a Level One Certified Olympic Weightlifting Coach and holds NSCA CSCS and CPT certifications. His areas of research include…

Read More
Gerard Shaw, EdD
Gerard Shaw, EdDAssociate Professor
Professor Shaw’s background is in athletics and physical education. He earned both a doctorate in sport psychology and master’s degree in exercise physiology from Columbia University, Teacher’s…

Read More

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