Masters (MA) in Sports Psychology

Requirements for Earning an MA in Sports Psychology

The field of sports psychology studies the how participation in sports and exercise works with a person’s psychological and mental capacities. By getting a master’s degree in sports management, with a focus on psychology, students prepare for a career that combines athletics with psychological science. Classes prepare students for licensing, and build upon the foundation psychology classes they took as part of a bachelor’s degree program.

Specific topics students cover in their classes include performance, emotional management, client counseling, research, self-awareness and perception, leadership and teamwork, anatomy, chemistry, ethics and law, motivation, pharmaceuticals, assessing talent, confidence, the use of rituals, visualization, and relaxation. Students may also take general management or administrative courses. Students can pursue other areas of sports management such as athletic administration as well as sports and health.

Jobs for MA in Sports Psychology Graduates

A variety of careers are available in the field of sports psychology. First, students can work in research, studying how team participation and individual sports affect a person mentally and how these findings can be applied to treat mental health conditions, as well as how exercise influences mental health.

Graduates can also work as a sports counselor, helping teams mentally prepare for games, set realistic goals, deal with losses and injuries, and apply what they learn on the field to everyday life situations. Students can also work directly with coaches, helping them learn more effective ways to motivate their teams.

With an MA in sports psychology, students can work in the following settings::

  • Colleges and universities
  • Sports camps
  • Wellness centers
  • Parks and recreation clubs
  • Professional and amateur sports teams

Average Salary and Career Data

According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for a psychologist was $72,540 as of 2010. The Indeed.com reports annual wages for sports psychologist at $92,000 in 2011. Top sports psychologists, who work with individual sports stars or professional sports teams, can make well over six figures annually.

The annual salary for a sports psychologist varies depending on organization and geographic location. Also, working for a large athletic association will likely pay more. However, these jobs are competitive and hiring is sporadic. Extra income can be earned by consulting, conducting research, writing books, and teaching classes.

Online Masters in Sports Psychology Degrees

Online Sports Management Degrees

Ohio University — Ohio University has two online degrees in Sports Management: MS in Athletic Administration and MS in Coaching Education. OHU has over 35,000 current students enrolled with sports and student organizations available and almost 5,000 total employees. OHU is located in Athens, Ohio, just southwest of the capital, Columbus.
Southern New Hampshire University — While an undergraduate degree is required, the MBA and MS of Sports Management from South New Hampshire University can be completed in less than two years, making it a quick way to propel your career forward. Located in Manchester, New Hampshire, the main campus has WiFi, an Olympic pool, and even an art gallery.
St. Leo University — The MBA degree in sports business from St. Leo University will give its students a thorough understanding of teamwork, ethics, communication, and management within a sport and recreation environment. Students often go on to pursue jobs in professional sports, fitness facilities, retailers, franchises, and athletic departments. Curriculum is designed to reflect the current best practices and standards with in the industry.
Ashford University — Your BA in Sports and Recreation Management or Marketing degree can be completed entirely online, and you can transfer up to 90 credits, accelerating the process further. Ashford University was founded almost 100 years ago and its online division includes over 30 degrees at the associate, bachelor, and master level.
Northcentral University — Northcentral University offers online programs for an EdD or PhD in Sports Management which prepares students for high profile and leadership positions. Founded in 1978 in Prescott Valley, Arizona, NCU is now the school of choice for over 10,000 students who are active in school events and organizations.
Liberty University — The focus of Liberty University's MS in Sports Management is how organizational skills and leadership plays a role in sports organizations and athletic programs. The program can be completed in less than two years and up to six credit hours can be transferred. However, you will need an undergrad degree in order to enroll.
Salem International University — For a practical approach to your education with hands-on training and career-oriented curriculum, Salem International University provides an online degree for the BSBA in Sports and Recreation Management program. SIU's 100 acre campus is located in Salem, West Virginia and was originally established as Salem College in 1888, creating a long list of traditions and a rich student experience.
Tiffin University — TIffin University's MBA program in sports management prepares its students for management positions in recreational, collegiate, and professional sports. The main focus of the program is on developing skills in communication, leadership, IT, and problem solving.
Capella University — Students enrolled in Capella University's online MS in psychology with a specialization in sport psychology – offered through the Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences – learn how psychological principles affect amateur and professional athletes, as well as team motivation, stress management and injury recovery.

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