Online Sports Psychology Courses at Accredited Schools

Capella University, the school below with the highest overall ranking, is effective at equipping students via its sports psychology courses to be successful sports psychologists, psychiatrists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, etc. and connect them to future employers. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, at present there are 97,840 people employed as occupational therapists alone in the US, and their average annual salary is $70,680. Marriage and family therapists make on average $49,020 per year and there are about 26,450 of them employed today.

Sports Psychology Organizations Sports Psychology Common Job Tasks
  • assessing needs abilities and monitoring sporting activities
  • conducting counseling workshops
  • developing interventions to help athletes prepare competitions
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Sports Psychology Courses at Capella University

Program Name: MS - Sport Psychology
Orientation to Graduate Learning in Psychology
Course Number PSY5002
Credits 5.0

In this course, learners improve their ability to navigate the virtual campus and become familiar with library, career center, and writing center resources. This course requires the articulation of a professional identity based on master’s-level training in psychology. Learners examine professional roles, organizations, specialization requirements, and codes of ethics in psychology. Learners choose a focused area of study within the field of psychology and identify the educational steps necessary to successfully complete the master’s degree in their chosen specialization. PSY5002 must be taken by master’s learners in their first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.


Lifespan Development
Course Number PSY7210
Credits 5.0

In this course, learners explore lifespan development from infancy through adulthood, including human developmental processes and milestones. Learners evaluate theories and approaches to examining human development and use them to analyze human development processes as they relate to their area of discipline.


Learning Theories in Psychology
Course Number PSY7411
Credits 5.0

This course focuses on the theoretical principles and concepts of learning and on related research findings, especially those connected to cognition. Course topics include applying principles and concepts to teaching and learning experiences in a variety of settings. Although several different theories of learning are discussed, the course focuses on cognitive perspectives.


Ethics and Multicultural Issues in Psychology
Course Number PSY7543
Credits 5.0

In This Course, Learners Analyze Multicultural Perspectives And Factors Such As Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status, And Gender, And Their Influences On The Ethical Behavior Of Psychology Professionals. Learners Evaluate Multicultural Issues Within The Context Of Different Settings And Learn To Apply Ethical Reasoning Principles And Standards Within Their Profession. Prerequisite(s): Psy5002 Or Psy8002.


Tests and Measurements
Course Number PSY7610
Credits 5.0

This course is an introduction to the general area of mental measurement. Learners examine measuring devices used in the fields of intelligence, interests, personality, and special aptitudes; study techniques for correctly interpreting test scores such as percentiles, standard errors of measurement, validity and reliability indices, and standard scores; and identify professional standards of test development and use. The course includes an analysis of the psychometric procedures used to develop and validate educational and psychological instruments and presents appropriate applications for each type of methodology. MS School Psychology learners must take this course during their second quarter, immediately following PSY5004.


Inferential Statistics
Course Number PSY7620
Credits 5.0

This course focuses on applying parametric statistical procedures to psychological research and the strengths and limitations of conducting quantitative studies. Learners examine sampling issues, experimental design, and concerns of internal validity and study tests of difference between and among groups, and correlations. This course may involve the use of software in the analysis of data sets provided by the instructor. Prerequisite(s): PhD and MS Industrial/Organizational Psychology and MS Leadership Coaching Psychology learners must have completed PSY7610.


Research Methods
Course Number PSY7650
Credits 5.0

This course provides learners with the tools needed to critically read and evaluate research. Learners explore and develop research design skills, and gain an understanding of the scientific methods of inquiry and the ethical considerations of research. This course prepares learners to critically analyze and apply research methodologies, validity, reliability, and other components of scientific research. Prerequisite(s): PhD and MS Industrial/Organizational Psychology and MS Leadership Coaching Psychology learners must have completed PSY7620.


Biological Basis of Behavior
Course Number PSY7310
Credits 5.0

This course provides learners with an introduction to physiological psychology and associated topics, including genetics, functional neuroanatomy, and physiology. Learners explore brain functioning; sensory systems; attention, memory, perception, and language mechanisms; and effects of neurotransmitters on human behavior. Learners also focus on the relationship between brain functions and behavioral disorders and examine current physiological psychology research, ethics, and the implications of culture and diversity on field-related issues.


Principles of Sport Psychology
Course Number PSY8840
Credits 5.0

An overview of the field of sport psychology, this course covers a broad range of topics, including personality, attention, anxiety and arousal, arousal adjustment strategies, cognitive-behavioral intervention, causal attribution, motivation, self-confidence, psychology, and social issues of sport. Learners who complete this course gain a comprehensive understanding of sport psychology. Prerequisite(s): PSY7411.


Performance Enhancement in Sports
Course Number PSY8841
Credits 5.0

Learners in this course examine the mechanisms athletes use to exceed their perceived physical and mental limitations. Learners also begin to apply performance enhancement theories and techniques to help clients’ improve athletic performance. Topics include strategies such as visualization, meditation, hypnosis, autogenic training, biofeedback, and progressive relaxation. Prerequisite(s): PSY8840.


Applied Sport Psychology
Course Number PSY8842
Credits 5.0

Learners in this course explore methods of applying fundamental sport psychology concepts to their chosen profession. Learners consider ethical issues, their personal approach to sport psychology practice, and ways to use research to inform their work. Learners also examine the significance of working with diverse populations and expanding their areas of expertise. Prerequisite(s): PSY8841


Current Issues in Sport Psychology
Course Number PSY8845
Credits 5.0

In this course, learners critically analyze the research, theories, and practices of sport psychology. Learners examine current issues in sports and explore ways to ethically and professionally apply sport psychology practices to educate sports participants and improve the performance of athletes. Prerequisite(s): PSY8842.


Integrative Project for Master’s Degree in Psychology
Course Number PSY5201
Credits 5.0

Learners in the MS in Psychology program enroll in this final capstone course after all requirements have been met for the master’s degree. Learners are expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge, scholarship, and research proficiencies in an identified field of psychology. For MS in Psychology learners only. Prerequisite(s): Completion of all required and elective course work. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.


Program description: Master’s learners in this specialization are frequently school-based coaches, physical education teachers, or individuals working in parks and recreation departments who wish to gain current theory and research knowledge associated with performance enhancement, individual and team motivation, injury recovery, and stress management as it applies to amateur athletes. Some learners plan to apply these principles to settings such as fitness/health clubs, sports camps, and resort-based wellness programs. These specialization requirements are not intended to prepare graduates for licensure as a professional counselor or psychologist.

Sports Psychology Courses at Ashworth College

Program Name: Sports Psychology for Peak Performance
Lesson 1: Motivation and Self-Confidence

Sport and exercise psychology defined; the history of sport psychology; professional organizations; ethics; multicultural training issues; models of self-confidence: self-efficacy theory, competence motivation theory and the sport-specific model of confidence; self-talk; psychological momentum; gender issues.


Lesson 2: Goals and Casual Attribution

Achievement goal orientations; the developmental nature of goal orientation; measuring goal orientation; goal involvement; the motivational climate; research and goal perspective theory; the attribution model; causal attributions in competitive situations; attributional training; egocentrism in attribution.


Lesson 3: Intrinsic Motivation and Youth Sports

An integrated theory of motivation in sport and exercise; cognitive evaluation theory; the psychology of optimal experience; outcome, performance and process goals; effective goal-setting; a team approach to setting goals; benefits of youth sports and the reasons children participate; negative factors associated with the youth sports experience; training volunteer coaches.


Lesson 4: Attention and Athlete Personality

Divisions of the nervous system; central nervous system structures controlling arousal; the autonomic nervous system; the adrenal medullae and the stress response; electrophysiological indicators of arousal; information processing; selective attention; attentional narrowing; getting in the zone; measuring and controlling attention; associative vs. disassociative attention; theories of personality.


Lesson 5: Situational Anxiety and Mood

How mood and anxiety are measured; mood states and Morgan's mental health model; the interactive model; psychological profile of the elite disabled athlete; differentiating among anxiety, arousal, and stress; the multidimensional nature of anxiety; antecedents of precompetitive state anxiety; time-to-event nature of precompetitive anxiety; the relationship between arousal and athletic performance; Marten's multidimensional anxiety theory; Fazey and Hardy's catastrophe theory; Hannin's individual zone of optimal functioning theory; Jones' directionality theory; Apter's reversal theory.


Lesson 6: Coping, Relaxation and Arousal Strategies

Conceptual framework for coping strategies and styles; measuring coping skills; the dynamic nature of coping systems and strategies; factors that enhance the generalizability of coping; coping strategies used by elite athletes; progressive relaxation; autogenic training; meditation; biofeedback training; team energizing strategies; immediate self-energizing strategies.


Lesson 7: Imagery, Hypnosis and Psychology Skills

Why imagery works; imagery perspective and sensory mode; studying imagery; developing imagery skills; cognitive-behavioral intervention programs using imagery and relaxation; theories of hypnosis; self-hypnosis; hypnosis and athletic performance; the effectiveness of psychological intervention programs; differentiating between psychological skills and methods; psychological skills training program; ethics in sport psychology.


Lesson 8: Aggression and Crowd Effect

Defining aggression; theories of aggression; fan violence; the effects of aggression on performance; situational factors in a sport setting; how to reduce aggression in sport; social facilitation; effects of an interactive audience on performance; audience characteristics; crowd size, intimacy and density; crowd hostility; players' perceptions of home court advantage.


Lesson 9: Team Cohesion and Leadership

Defining characteristics of team cohesion; a conceptual model of team cohesion; measurement and determinants of team cohesion; consequences of team cohesion; developing team cohesion; theories of leadership; coach-athlete compatibility; player position, leadership opportunity and stacking.


Lesson 10: Exercise Psychology and Burnout

Psychological benefits of exercise; theoretical explanations for the relationship between exercise and improved mental health; exercise adherence and determinants; theories of exercise behavior; fitness as a moderator of life stress; the immune system, cancer, HIV and exercise; social physique anxiety, physical self-concept and body image; eating disorders and physical activity; defining burnout and other related terms; models of burnout; symptoms of burnout and interventions; recommendations for athletes, coaches and parents.


Lesson 11: Psychology of Injuries and Drug Abuse

Psychology predictors of athletic injury; psychological response to injury and rehabilitation; benefits associated with sustaining and recovering from an athletic injury; psychophysiological effects of certain banned substances; the position statement of the SCA; combating drug abuse in sport.


Program description: Get the skills you need to get in the winner’s circle. Coaches
and athletes, trainers and fitness instructors will all learn
useful strategies to improve performance with this course.
Specific techniques taught include goal setting, maintaining
concentration, handling competitive pressure, relaxation,
avoiding burnout and much more.

Sports Psychology Courses by State & City

Top 20 US Sports Psychology Schools (campus and online)

Columbia University in the City of New York
Total Programs 192
Number of Subjects 141
Rank in USA 4th
University of Southern California
Total Programs 251
Number of Subjects 166
Rank in USA 10th
Northwestern University
Total Programs 197
Number of Subjects 139
Rank in USA 11th
New York University
Total Programs 204
Number of Subjects 146
Rank in USA 13th
University of Virginia-Main Campus
Total Programs 106
Number of Subjects 103
Rank in USA 16th
The University of Texas at Austin
Total Programs 169
Number of Subjects 141
Rank in USA 18th
Johns Hopkins University
Total Programs 178
Number of Subjects 136
Rank in USA 19th
University of California-San Diego
Total Programs 121
Number of Subjects 89
Rank in USA 22nd
Tufts University
Total Programs 120
Number of Subjects 95
Rank in USA 24th
University of Washington-Seattle Campus
Total Programs 243
Number of Subjects 168
Rank in USA 26th
Boston University
Total Programs 6
Number of Subjects 124
Rank in USA 32nd
Texas A & M University
Total Programs 167
Number of Subjects 135
Rank in USA 36th
Swarthmore College
Total Programs 88
Number of Subjects 57
Rank in USA 37th
College of William and Mary
Total Programs 59
Number of Subjects 71
Rank in USA 39th
University of California-Davis
Total Programs 160
Number of Subjects 114
Rank in USA 41st
Carnegie Mellon University
Total Programs 167
Number of Subjects 115
Rank in USA 44th
University of California-Santa Barbara
Total Programs 99
Number of Subjects 84
Rank in USA 50th
George Washington University
Total Programs 194
Number of Subjects 171
Rank in USA 52nd
University of Connecticut
Total Programs 191
Number of Subjects 146
Rank in USA 63rd
University of Central Florida
Total Programs 136
Number of Subjects 140
Rank in USA 71st