Exercise Science, M.S. - Sport Psychology

Southern is one of only 153 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by Exercise is Medicine® for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. The university earned gold-level designation from the Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) program, as well as earning EIM’s COVID Conqueror Badge, a new honor given to campuses that demonstrated creative adaptations to physical activity programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exercise is Medicine 2021 Gold Campus Award

Mission Statement

The mission of the M.S. in Exercise Science – Sports Psychology concentration is to offer students an interdisciplinary program of study in Exercise Science, Counseling & School Psychology, and Psychology that will encompass the knowledge areas to become a certified mental performance consultant (CMPC). 

Certification as a Certified Mental Performance Consultant® (CMPC®) demonstrates to clients, employers, colleagues, and the public at large that a certified 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. These individuals have obtained objective validation of their expertise in helping clients develop and use mental, life, and self-regulatory skills to optimize performance, involvement, enjoyment, and/or personal development in sport or other domains (e.g., performing arts, military) (Association of Applied Sports Psychology Handbook, 2018).

Program Features

  • Combination of online, hybrid, and in person coursework

  • Opportunities to get involved with faculty research

  • Individualized advisement to focus education on student goals

  • Experience in sports psychology intervention and counseling

  • Curriculum designed to prepare students to sit for and pass the Certified Mental Performance Consultant® (CMPC®) sponsored by the Association of Applied Sports Psychology

  • We offer a limited number of assistantships to qualified students

M.S. Exercise Science – Sport Psychology Concentration

Program Pre-requisites (6 credits)

PSY 100/102 Introduction to Psychology

PSY 321/528 Abnormal Psychology

33-36 Credits Required

Core Curriculum (24 credits)

HMS 500 Foundations in Exercise Physiology

HMS 553 Psychology of Sport

HMS 554 Research Methods

HMS 568 Motor Learning

CSP 569 Theories of Counseling

CSP 550 Counseling Skills and Techniques

CSP 578 Social and Cultural Diversity
Elective (3-6 credits)*
CSP 572 Psychology of Career Development

PSY 557 Behavior Modification and Therapy

PSY 505 Contemporary Theories of Motivation

PSY 583 Comparative Physiological Psychology

SMT 516 Sport Ethics


*Students in the comprehensive exam track need to select two electives (6 credits); one elective (3 credits) is required for thesis track

Comprehensive Exam Track (3 credits)
HMS 595 Internship in Health & Movement Science

Thesis Track (9 credits)
PCH 515 Biostatistics

HMS 590 Thesis Seminar: Proposal Development
HMS 591 Thesis Completion

Career or Professional Opportunities

The MS in Exercise Science Sports Psychology Concentration prepares students for post-graduation opportunities that may include:

  • Coaching:

    • College/University
    • High School
  • Athletic Counseling
  • Performance Enhancement and Stress Management
    • Military
    • Business
    • Performing Arts
  • Doctoral Programs

Requirements for Admission

  • Undergraduate degree with a GPA ≥ 3.0
  • All undergraduate transcripts
  • Undergraduate coursework in psychology
    • Introduction to Psychology
    • Abnormal Psychology
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal Essay

Visit the graduate catalog for program requirements and further information.


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Contact Us

Dr. Robert Axtell, Ph.D., FACSM, ACSM-CETT
Program Coordinator, M.S. Exercise Science – Human Performance Concentration