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Sports Psychology Degrees

 What Do Sports Psychologists Do?

Sports psychologists typically perform a range of tasks related to sports performance and education. Some opt to teach at the university level, while others work directly with athletes to increase motivation and enhance performance. Other options include client counseling, scientific research and athletic consulting.

In addition to working with professional athletes, sports psychologists also utilize their expertise to increase the mental well-being of non-athletes. They may work with a range of clients including children and teens involved in athletics, professional athletes and teams interested in improving their performance and injured athletes working toward returning to competition.

Is a Career in Sports Psychology Right for Me?:

Only you can decide if a sports psychology career is suited to your needs, interests, talents and goals. If you dislike sports or exercise, this career is probably not for you. But if you enjoy helping people achieve their full potential, solving complex problems and working as part of a team, this field might be an ideal match for you.

Featured Sports Psychology Degree Programs

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its seven colleges: Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Business, Education, Health Sciences, Undergraduate Studies, The Art Institute of California and Western State College of Law as well as certificate programs in many areas.


  • Sport-Exercise Psychology (MA)
  • Psychology (BA) (Online)
  • Psychology (BA)
  • And more...

Capella provides a flexible online learning environment designed for working adults who want to advance in their profession. Capella is an accredited, online university with degrees in the fields of business, health care, higher education, human resources, information technology, mental health, K-12 education, public safety, public administration, social work, and public service leadership. More than 36,000 students in all 50 states and 61 countries are enrolled in Capella’s competency-based, professionally aligned degree programs.


  • MS - Sport Psychology
  • PhD - Psychology
  • BS - Psychology
  • And more...

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania. We offer certificate and bachelor's and master's degree programs in a wide variety of fields that can be completed 100% online.


  • Post-Masters Cert: Exercise Science and Health Promotion: Sport Psychology
  • MS: Sport Management Studies- Sports Counseling
  • MS: Exercise Science and Health Promotion: Sport Psychology

As the largest private university in North America, University of Phoenix has locations nationwide, and is available online in most countries around the world. Whether you're seeking a college degree at an associate's, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral level, we can help you reach your academic goal and sooner than you might think.


  • MS in Psychology/Behavioral Health
  • BS in Psychology
  • M.S. in Psychology/Industrial- Organizational Psychology
  • And more...
Locations: MeridianPhoenixBeale AFBMore...

One of the world's leading private research institutions, the University of Southern California (USC) was founded in 1880. What began as an academic institution of just 53 students has now grown to more than 38,000.   Today USC continues to uphold its tradition of integrating liberal and professional education, fostering a vibrant culture of public service and encouraging students to cross academic as well as geographic boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge.


  • Online Master of Science in Applied Psychology
Balance your personal and professional commitments while earning a respected Ph.D., master's degree, or bachelor's degree online at Walden University. Programs offered in management, education, psychology and health and human services.


  • B.S. in Human Services - Psychology 
  • B.S. in Psychology Applied in the Workplace
  • B.S. in Psychology Preparation for Graduate Schools
  • And more...

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*


  • MS in Psychology - General Psychology
  • BS in Psychology
  • MS in Psychology
  • And more...

Take your career to new heights with Colorado Tech ! Since 1965, Colorado Technical University has helped thousands of students achieve success in business, management and technology careers. Learn more today.


  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.


  • BS in Psychology
  • AA in Psychology

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.  We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.



  • Mental Health Policy and Practice - Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
  • Psychology - BA
  • General Psychology - PhD of Psychology
  • And more...

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Career in Sports Psychology?

Like all careers, sports psychology has its advantages and disadvantages. Before you decide if this career is right for you, spend some time learning more about sports psychology. Explore your options by taking an introductory course on the subject and weigh your choices carefully before you decide.

Benefits of a Career in Sports Psychology

  • Sports psychologists often work as part of a collaborative team.
  • There are diverse career paths and specialization opportunities (i.e. teaching, youth sports, professional athletics training).
  • It can be a fun, challenging and exciting job.

How Much Do Sports Psychologists Typically Earn?

Pay ranges vary considerably within sports psychology based on training, education, and area of specialization. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor, average salaries for clinical and counseling psychologists range between $51,850 and $81,880. The median salary for university faculty positions was $55,000 in a 2001 salary survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) (Singleton et al., 2003). Some top sports psychologists earn six-figure salaries working as consultants for professional athletes, but most earn a more modest yearly income.

What Type of Degree Do Sports Psychologists Need?

Entry-level positions with a bachelor’s degree are rare, usually taking the form of internships. Most positions require a master’s or doctorate degree in clinical, counseling or sports psychology as well as direct training and experience in apply psychology to sports and exercise.

The American Board of Sport Psychology offers a few different professional certifications. The highest level credential is the Board Certified Sports Psychologist-Diplomat, which “…signifies that the holder has advanced training and experience in Sport Psychology and is especially aware of ethical, methodological, and research issues associated with the application of methods to enhance the psychological performance of athletes.” Many who hold this certification are also certified or licensed clinical, counseling or health psychologists.

Because there are few graduate programs offering specialized degrees in sports psychology, it can be difficult to determine what exact combination of training and experience qualifies a professional to be called a ‘sports psychologist.’ Division 47 of the APA suggests that sports psychologists should be licensed psychologists with “experience in applying psychological principles in sports settings.” Additionally, an extensive educational background and training in sports, motivation management, performance and athletics is also recommended.

Additional Options

Only you can decide if a sports psychology career is suited to your needs, interests, talents and goals. If you dislike sports or exercise, this career is probably not for you. But if you enjoy helping people achieve their full potential, solving complex problems and working as part of a team, this field might be an ideal match for you. The field of sports psychiatry is relatively new compared to sports psychology, but it’s a growing field so if you’re interested, you might want to consider speaking with someone from a psychiatry recruitment firm about your career options.


American Board of Sports Psychology. (n.d.) Credential and certificates: Description and Q and A. http://www.americanboardofsportpsychology.org/Certificates/tabid/581/Default.aspx

Cherry, K. (2012). Career profile – sports psychology. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/psychologycareerprofiles/p/sportspsyc.htm

Sugarman, K. (2009). Careers in sports psychology. Psych Web. http://psychology.about.com/od/psychologycareerprofiles/p/sportspsyc.htm



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