Center for Performance Psychology

Master of Arts in Sport Psychology

The Master of Arts Sport Psychology program at JFK University has earned the distinction of one of the few in the United States that integrates performance enhancement techniques, counseling and sport science.

The coursework provides students with a breadth of knowledge in research, theory, counseling, psychopathology, kinesiology, sport injury and the application of psychology to areas like optimized athletic performance, at-risk youth and group dynamics. During the program students are prepared for certification by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), which is the only sport, exercise and health psychology organization in North America that offers sport psychology certification to its members.

Our Master of Arts in Sport Psychology has the most dynamic, hands-on internship program in the U.S., maximizing the opportunity for students to apply their classroom learning in the field. JFK University students complete a total of four internships during the MA program (totaling a minimum of 682 hours) – the first two with the LEAP (Life Enhancement through Athletic & Academic Participation) program and the second two at an internship site in the Bay Area. We continue to expand the types of sport psychology consulting internships so that our students can work with a diverse range of athletes, sports and skill levels.

By participating in the wide variety of practical, hands-on learning experiences, graduates are prepared for a broad range of career opportunities, including consulting with university and professional athletes, working with children in school and community sports organizations, coaching, and teaching.

Program Learning Outcomes
Upon graduation, students will be able to demonstrate competence in these areas:

  • Application/intervention. The students will be able to describe, explain, synthesize, and apply performance enhancement techniques with individual performers and teams.
  • Theory. The students will be able to describe, explain, synthesize, and apply theoretical perspectives from Sport Psychology and related fields.
  • Assessment. The students will be able to describe, explain, synthesize, and apply various assessment tools in a continuous and evolving process to create effective action plans. Students will be able to screen clinical issues.
  • Counseling skills. The students will be able to identify, describe and explain how to use counseling skills to develop a working relationship with the client. Students will be able to identify, describe, explain, and apply how the self impacts the client-consultant relationship.
  • Diversity. The students will be able to identify sources of bias within themselves, integrate concepts and adapt their skills to work with a diverse range of populations.
  • Ethics and professionalism. The students will be able to identify, explain, synthesize, and critically analyze ethical principles in a professional and culturally appropriate manner. Students will be able to utilize decision making principles and explain choices made relating to ethical situations.
  • Research. The students will be able to summarize, critique, and conduct research in the field of Sport Psychology. Students will assess and apply both established and current research findings to their scope of practice.


Students must complete 77 units to receive an MA in Sport Psychology and must pass both a written and an oral examination that assess the student’s achievement of the Program Learning Outcomes. The written examination is taken at the end of the first phase of the program, in the first summer quarter, and consists of mainly multiple-choice questions with some open-ended ones. The oral examination is a comprehensive examination carried out at the end of the student’s master’s program. It is an interactive examination where the student is given vignettes to address and the examiners ask follow-up questions to help assess proficiency in certain areas.

The following courses or their approved equivalents are prerequisite to the Master of Arts program.

PYC 3000 - Many Faces of Psychology or any course in Introduction to Psychology
PSP 5808 - Introduction to Sport Psychology

Students who have not completed the prerequisites prior to admission are required to do so during the first year of graduate study.

Core Curriculum
PSP 5054 - Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative (3 units)
PSP 5800A - Sport Psychology A (3 units)
PSP 5800B - Sport Psychology B (2 units)
PSP 5803A - Ethics and Professional Issues in Sport Psychology A (2 units)
PSP 5803B - Ethics and Professional Issues in Sport Psychology B (1 unit)
PSP 5804 - Assessment Strategies A (1 unit)
PSP5804B - Assessment Strategies B (1 unit)
PSP 5805A - Psychopathology Assessment A (1 unit)
PSP 5805B - Psychopathology Assessment B (2 units)
PSP 5810 - Sport and Society (2 units)
PSP 5811 - Counseling Skills A (3 units)
PSP 5812 - Counseling Skills B (3 units)
PSP 5814 - Comprehensive Exploration of Diversity in Sport (2 units)
PSP 5815 - Performance Enhancement A (3 units)
PSP 5816 - Performance Enhancement B (3 units)
PSP 5817 - Performance Enhancement C (3 units)
PSP 5822 - Psychology of Group Interpersonal Communication (3 units)
PSP 5824 - Psychological Elements of Addiction in Sport (1 unit)
PSP 5826 - Psychological Dimensions of Youth Sport (2 units)
PSP 5832 - Psychology of Injury (1 unit)
PSP 5833 - Kinesiology (4 units)
PSP 5834 - Motor Learning and Performance (2 units)
PSP 9090 - Written Examination (0 units)
PSP 9091 - Oral Examination (0 units)

Supervised Field Experience
PSP 5280 - Fieldwork [2] (16 units)
PSP5801 - Supplemental Field Placement (0 units)

Master’s Thesis
PSP 5990 - Master’s Thesis Proposal (3 units)
PSP 5991A - Master’s Thesis A (2 units)
PSP 5991B - Master’s Thesis B (2 units)
PSP 5991C - Master’s Thesis C (2 units)

PSP 9020 - Town Hall Meetings [3] (0 units)
PSP 9025 - Speaker Series [4] (0 units)
PSP 9030 - Developing a Consulting Practice (0 units)

Electives [5] (4 units)

[1] These courses or their approved equivalents are prerequisites to the MA program. PSP 5808 is a graduate prerequisite.

[2] Students in this program must elect this course four times and earn a total of 16 units.

[3] Attendance is required at all meetings.

[4] Minimum requirement is two meetings.

[5] Students are required to complete four units of electives. Electives are offered each quarter. The subject matter may include, but is not limited to, women and sports, working with professional athletes, and eating-disordered athletes.

Program Information