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Master of Arts in Applied Sport and Performance Psychology

Master's Degree | Hybrid

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Hands-on training combined with current theory

Help others excel

Help people to think, feel, and behave differently so that they can perform better and enjoy their work more. A Master of Arts in Applied Sport and Performance Psychology will train you to work with performers in a variety of domains: from sporting arenas and businesses to performing arts and health care. Learn to integrate established theories with evidence-based techniques to enhance the mental performance of individuals and teams. Gain practical experience working with performers to help their personal growth and their ability to excel in pressure situations. The program focuses on applied experiences through various opportunities, including the athletic department at HNU or at sites local to students.

Choose from online (with a 2-week residency on campus), on-campus, or hybrid program options.

Please note: "Online" in our SPP programs typically means a combination of synchronous (real-time classes with a few mandatory live classes during the semester with the professor and peers) and asynchronous (students work in their own time within weekly course deadlines) components. This gives students some real-time engagement plus flexibility.

Program Mission: To educate and train students to become ethical, professional, and culturally competent practitioners who work with performers in a variety of domains. Our program is grounded in the theory and research of sport and performance psychology and offers training for practitioners to apply this education in the field. The program is committed to supporting both the professional and personal growth of students to become practitioners and leaders of Sport and Performance Psychology who integrate the art and science of mental skills training.

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Contact an enrollment counselor with any questions you have about the program.

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Career Outcomes

Opportunities to Practice

Complete hours and coursework needed to be eligible to apply for certification as Certified Mental Performance Consultants (CMPC) through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP).

  • Athletic environments

  • eSports

  • Business settings

  • The military

  • In the performing arts

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Apply knowledge, skills, concepts and techniques in real-life settings

Applied Performance Placements

HNU's Applied Sport and Performance Psychology program offers students the opportunity to work hands-on with individuals in groups in sport and performance settings. These settings include club sports, high schools, performance organizations and HNU's athletic teams, among others.

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Student Experience

Program Highlights

• Choose from on-campus, online (with a 2-week residency on campus), or hybrid program options.
• Learn from highly skilled, internationally-recognized faculty.
• Learn online in a combination of real time classes and some coursework on your own schedule.
• Train in providing remote performance consulting.
• Shadow experienced practitioners working with performers.
• Work with performers under faculty supervision.
• Elective options may include courses in applying performance psychology with military, business, or the performing arts.
• Develop a portfolio project throughout the program.
• Attend masterclasses with renowned practitioners.
• Attend professional development workshops.
• Skill up on business practices for consultants.

Program Learning Outcomes

Ethics and Professionalism: Apply the professional and ethical standards guiding Sport and Performance Psychology

Theory and Research: Synthesize theoretical principles and evidence-based research to inform applied practice

Case Conceptualization: Formulate theoretically grounded and evidence-based case conceptualizations for work with individuals and groups

Mental Skills Training: Design and implement a comprehensive mental skills training plan to enhance performance with a variety of individuals and groups

Emotional Intelligence: Facilitate client awareness and management of emotions to support their performance and well-being

Cultural Intelligence: Recognize the broad and diverse sociocultural contexts in which both the student and client live

Contextual Intelligence: Adapt knowledge and skills to the client’s varied and evolving circumstances and environments

Prior to accepting her position as the Program Director for our Sport and Performance Psychology graduate program, she acted as the Chair of the Sport Psychology Program at JFK University. Dr. Pope-Rhodius has been working in the mental performance field for more than 20 years. Now, she brings her abundant experience to our master’s program.

Dr. Pope-Rhodius co-edited “Excelling in Sport Psychology: Planning, Preparing and Executing Applied Work” in 2018. The book highlights how athletes can be successful throughout their training experiences. Between performing research, traveling to offer mental skills support and running her own practice in the Bay Area, she’s an outstanding, experienced professional.

The involvement of such an accredited figure in this field is an honor to Holy Names University. We know that her presence has great value and boundless opportunities for students attaining their Sport and Performance Psychology degree.

Why HNU Stands Out

When you enroll at Holy Names University, you become part of our community. Students researching sports psychology master’s programs in California choose HNU because we take a student-centered approach to higher education. We’re committed to making a positive impact on students’ lives through our social justice mission and other core values.

One thing you’ll enjoy at HNU is the way our size affects your experience. Often, larger universities fall short on creating environments where faculty can give each student the support they need. Individualized attention in smaller classes makes all the difference at HNU — our average class size is just 15 students. This means our faculty members know their students, and they can offer more time and resources inside and outside the classroom.

Students at Holy Names also have opportunities to engage with the Oakland community, depending on their program. We understand the importance of outreach, and we empower our students to make meaningful connections on campus and in the surrounding area.

We believe in providing an education that prepares each student for their future career path. That’s why we offer focused and high-level classes, projects, observation experiences and workshops. Every student in our sport and performance psychology degree program has a future that looks different from those of their peers. Your education should be unique, too.

Request More Information From Holy Names University Today

At HNU, we know that choosing from the applied sport and performance psychology graduate programs across the country is a complicated decision. However, our hilltop campus in Northern California is sure to win your heart. From our close-knit community to the way we focus on our students, we’ve designed education at HNU to cater to student needs. Since 1868, we’ve been fostering a welcoming, inclusive community for all our students, and we empower them to make decisions that benefit the individual and the institution.

We want to support prospective students just like we do our current student body. Our enrollment counselors are available to answer questions and help you through the admission process. Request more information about earning your Applied Sport and Performance Psychology master’s degree from Holy Names University today!

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World-class leadership in Sports & Performance

ASPP Advisory board

Inspiring leaders, practitioners and performers from various performance domains based in Europe and all across the US.

Meet the board
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Hands-on mental skills training opportunities

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HNU is committed to affordability

Program Tuition

Tuition for HNU's Applied Sport and Performance Psychology program is $50,150 (50 units at $1,003/unit).

Find out if you qualify for one of HNU's partnership discounts toward graduate tuition.

View tuition and fees View partnership discount information
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Sample courses

Here are just a few of the courses you may take.

Introduction to Applied Sport and Performance Psychology

This course covers the history of the field, as well as its main theoretical approaches and concepts. It enables students to begin thinking about the theory to practice links and developing their own working definition of what sport and performance psychology is.

Introduction to Mental Skills Training (MST)

This course introduces the skills, techniques, and concepts used in the field by practitioners. The focus for this course will be on understanding these elements whilst observing them in practice.

Applied Mental Skills Training (MST)

This course enables a deeper understanding of the skills, techniques, and concepts and involves using case studies and presentations to further understand the work; the students will practice the skills and techniques.