Top 10 Masters in Sports Psychology Online Degree Programs

Top 10 Masters in Sports Psychology Online Degrees

The top masters in Sports Psychology online focus on the most affordable graduate degrees in Sports Psychology online. Earning an accelerated online Master’s in Sports Psychology is a great choice for professionals who are interested in improving athletic performance in both an academic or professional sports setting. The field is definitely in need of them because as the industry learns more about the impact psychology can play on athletic performance, more athletes are searching for professionals who can help them with their mental training. That’s why so many sports psychologists go back to school to earn a master’s degree.

Sports psychology programs that are available online are the best choice for those who are already established in the field. Flexible and accommodating, the programs can be completed whenever a student has time, enabling them to take care of their personal and professional obligations while continuing their education. And, in the case of this ranking, all of these programs can be completed in two years or less, making them even more interesting to the professionals in the field.

Featured Schools:

Methodology: Ranking Low-Cost Accelerated Master’s in Sports Psychology

The research conducted for this ranking was done on the National Center for Education Statistics website and its publicly available College Navigator database. The initial pool of 25 schools was built just by searching for an online master’s degrees in sports psychology. The programs were then compared to each other based on factors such as tuition rates and plan of study timelines. The final 10 schools, which are listed below, were chosen for this ranking based on their total in-state tuition cost for the program.


10. Barry University

Top 10 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Sports Psychology Online for 2018

Location: Miami Shores, Florida

Degree: Master of Science in Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology Online

Tuition: $35,640

School:  Website

Students at Barry University interested in becoming a mental coach or psychologist will be glad to find that this school’s accelerated online Master’s in Sports Psychology takes just two years to complete. In addition, students can also opt to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and add just one more year to their schooling. 

All this is online, and students will complete just a few residencies to graduate. In addition, one of these sports psychology degree programs can lead to eligibility to sit for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology provisional status certification. And, students can complete all sport psychology courses online through the school’s learning management system.

Classes are in asynchronous or synchronous sessions that last 16 weeks. This degree program requires a practicum; students will be responsible for ensuring that they find a field placement that the department will approve of in their community. Other requirements include a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework, a thesis, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Qualitative Analysis in Biomechanics, Performance Enhancement Techniques, Research Methods, Behavior Modification, and Professional Ethics in Sport Psychology, Exercise, and Performance Psychology. The online MS in Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

9. Medaille College

Top 10 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Sports Psychology

Location: Rochester, New York

Degree:  Master of Science in Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology Online

Tuition: $34,380

School:  Website

Medaille College confers a one-year Masters in Sports Psychology online degree that is 100 percent online with no residency requirements. This degree’s concentration in sports psychology is a recent addition to the online program. It is perfect for students interested in becoming performance psychologists for major sports teams or universities.

The sport psychology curriculum is all online through the school’s virtual portal. Courses meet in seven-week terms. Content is delivered asynchronously or synchronously for the student’s convenience. The curriculum is either a full-time or part-time plan of study. Furthermore, students who complete just two courses every term can finish this degree in less than one year.

Students will complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, a practicum, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Students can find more information on the program requirements and course offerings by talking to a graduate admissions advisor.

8. The University of the Rockies

Top 10 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Sports Psychology

Location: Denver, Colorado

Degree: MA in Psychology, Concentration in Sport and Performance Psychology Online 

Tuition: $33,423

School: Website

Students at the University of the Rockies can earn an accelerated online masters in Sports Psychology that takes two years to complete. This sport psychology program will not lead to certification or licensure in the field. As a 100 percent online course of study, there are no residency requirements, practicums, or internships necessary for graduation. Students will complete their coursework online through the school’s learning management system.

Courses are offered as lectures or skills labs and are in both asynchronous and synchronous delivery formats. Sessions last for 16 weeks, meaning that students who take three courses every term and take advantage of the summer term will be able to graduate within two years.

Students complete 39 credit hours of coursework, the Psychology of Personality capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Enhancing Health and Well-Being in Sports and Performance Settings, Introduction to Applied and Professional Psychology, and Learning Theory and Behavioral Applications. In addition, there is an online MA in Psychology in Sport and Performance Psychology from the University Rockies requires 39 credit hours of coursework.

7. National University

Top 10 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Sports Psychology

Location: San Diego, California

Degree: Online Master of Arts in Performance Psychology

Tuition: $29,025

School: Website

National University delivers an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Sports Psychology that students can complete within two years. In addition, this sport psychology degree program prepares students to sit for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology certification exam.

This is a 100 percent online course of study. So, no residency requirements exist. Online students complete all coursework through the school’s virtual portal. It is a platform on which students will attend asynchronous and synchronous lectures and turn in their assignments.

This sport psychology degree requires 67.5 quarter credit units for coursework, a fieldwork experience, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Fieldwork experience is the only degree requirement that students cannot complete online. However, these placements take place in a student’s home community under the supervision of an approved preceptor. So, there are no trips to campus and no campus residency requirements.

Students who take three courses for every 16-week session can graduate in two years. Sample courses include Performance Consulting Skills, Ethics in Performance Psychology, and Multicultural Issues in Performance Consultation.

6. The University of Western States

Top 10 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Sports Psychology

Location: Portland, Oregon

Degree: Online Master of Science in Sport and Performance Psychology

Tuition: $21,465

School: Website

Students interested in the affordable accelerated online Master’s in Sports Psychology degree at the University of Western States will be provided with an excellent curriculum and a degree plan that will take two years to finish. This program is offered 100 percent online and does not require any campus residencies. Since this program will not lead to licensure or certification, there are also no fieldwork experience requirements.

This sport psychology degree offers four concentrations. They are Positive Coaching, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Counseling Psychology, Positive Leadership and Administration, and Individual Studies. All of these concentrations will come in handy for students who are interested in working in the professional sports world.  All courses for this degree take place online through the use of asynchronous and synchronous sessions that run in 16-week sessions during the academic year and vary in length during the summer. This degree will provide all of the necessary information to advance a psychologist’s understanding of how mental performance can inform an athlete’s career.

Students will be expected to complete a minimum of 53 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. The online MS in Sport and Performance Psychology from the University of Western States requires 53 credit hours of coursework.

5. California Southern University

Top 10 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Sports Psychology

Location: 

Degree: Online Master of Science in Psychology, Concentration in Sports Psychology

Tuition: $20,790

School: Website

California Southern University is home to an affordable accelerated online master’s that can provide students with a chance to advance in the world of sports psychology or give them a pathway into doctoral work. This is a 100 percent online sport psychology program that does not require that students attend campus for residency purposes.

As the sports psychology concentration is only found online, students will be able to complete all of their required coursework through the school’s virtual portal. Courses are offered mostly asynchronously in order to accommodate working professionals. The sessions last 16 weeks and students who complete two or three courses every term will be able to graduate within two years. The curriculum for the concentration was developed by specialists currently working in the field, making it a current addition to the psychology department.

Students will be expected to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, an applied sports psychology capstone, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Psychology of Coaching, Current Issues in Sports Psychology, and Enhancing Performance: Preparation and Motivation. The online MS in Psychology in Sports Psychology from California Southern University requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

4. Lock Haven University

Top 10 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Sports Psychology
  • Location: Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
  • Degree: Online Master of Science in Sports Science, Sport and Exercise Psychology Track
  • Tuition: $20,060
  • School: Website

The one-year online Master’s in Sports Psychology degree from Lock Haven University is offered 100 percent online and is meant to be completed as a part-time plan of study. This is a degree that will enable students to work as sports psychologists if they already have a license to practice psychology or advance their understanding of the sports field in which they are already established.

This sport psychology degree comes with two concentrations. Students can choose from Sport Administration or Sport and Exercise Psychology. Additionally, this degree has no residency requirements and is completed through the school’s learning management system; courses are asynchronous and run for seven weeks. Students who take just two courses every term that is available will be eligible to graduate within one year. This degree requires 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam.

Sample courses include Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Stress Management for the Physically Active, and Psychology of Athletic Injury and Recovery. The online MS in Sport Science in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Lock Haven University requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

3. California University of Pennsylvania

Top 10 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Sports Psychology Online for 2018

Location: California, Pennsylvania

Degree: Online Master of Science in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Concentration in Sport Psychology

Tuition: $18,000

School: Website

The California University of Pennsylvania offers students the chance to complete a one-year online Master’s in Sports Psychology degree. This program expands career options. Available in both part-time and full-time degree study plans, students who choose to attend class full time will complete the degree in one year. While part-time students complete the degree in 17 months.

There are five concentrations in this sport psychology degree program. They include athletic Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation Science, Wellness Coaching, and Wellness and Fitness. Sport psychology students can opt to complete two concentrations and complete their degree in 18 months. The curriculum for this program is entirely online through the school’s learning management system. Courses are asynchronously and synchronously in eight-week sessions. This degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework, a research capstone project, and a comprehensive oral exit exam.

Sample courses include Nutrition for Peak Performance, Current Topics in Performance Enhancement, and Exercise Physiology: Assessment and Exercise Prescription. The online MS in Exercise Science and Health Promotion in Sport Psychology from the California University of Pennsylvania offers five-degree concentrations.

2. The University of West Alabama

Top 10 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Sports Psychology Online for 2018
  • Location: Livingston, Alabama
  • Degree: MS in Experimental Psychology, Concentration in Health and Sports Psychology Online
  • Tuition: $15,444
  • School: Website

Students at the University of West Alabama can earn a 12-month online Master’s in Sports Psychology degree wholly online, allowing them to continue with their personal and professional obligations while reaching new heights in their education.

This sport psychology degree has no residency requirements and does not offer a pathway toward licensure. Students will complete this degree entirely online through the use of the school’s virtual portal, where courses are delivered asynchronously and synchronously in eight-week sessions. This program is comprehensive and requires a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework, a practicum, a master’s thesis, and a comprehensive oral exit exam.

Sample sport psychology courses include Psychology and Sociology of Human Performance, Professional Orientation and Ethics, and Exercise Psychology. The online MS in Experimental Psychology in Health and Sports Psychology from the University of West Alabama requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

1. Adams State University

Top 10 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Sports Psychology Online for 2018
  • Location: Alamosa, Colorado
  • Degree: Online Master of Arts in Applied Sport Psychology
  • Tuition: $15,228
  • School: website

Adams State University confers an affordable, accelerated online Master’s in Sports Psychology that students complete in two years. This sport psychology program prepares students to sit for the Certified Consultant exam that is administered by the Association for Applied Sports Psychology.

This program is taken 100 percent online with no residency requirements. The only requirement that a student will be required to complete in their community is the internship, which must be supervised by an approved preceptor.

This degree is found online through the school’s learning management system and is delivered through asynchronous and synchronous sessions that last for 16 weeks. Students will be expected to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, an internship, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Sample courses include Statistical Methods and Human Performance, Mental Strength and Conditioning, and Case Studies in Applied Sport Psychology.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the Career Options for an Accelerated Online Master’s in Sports Psychology Degree?

A sport psychology professional has numerous career paths and career opportunities. Listed below are some job titles.

  • Applied Sports Psychologist
  • University Team Coach
  • Sports Psychology Professor
  • Clinical Sports Psychologist
  • Sports Research Specialist
  • College Team Psychologist
  • Sports Rehabilitation Therapist
  • High School Coach
  • Sport-Specific Personal Coaching
  • Performance Psychologist
  • Academic Sports Psychologist
  • Cognitive Performance Specialist
  • Contract Educational Psychologist
  • Director of Sports Psychology
  • Behavioral Sports Psychologist
  • Mental performance consultant/coach
  • Mental conditioning coach
  • Certified Mental Performance Consultant
  • Master resilience trainer (MRT)
  • Cognitive enhancement specialist
  • Collegiate/professional/youth sports
  • Athletic administration
  • Teaching and Academia
  • Sport Psychologists
  • Private practice
  • HR Consulting with Businesses

How Long Does it take to Complete an Online Master’s in Sports Psychology?

It takes most students in the sport psychology master’s degree programs about two years to complete. Furthermore, there are accelerated online master’s in sports psychology programs that students can complete in less time.

How Much Can You Earn in the Sports Psychology Field?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary range for sports psychology professionals is between $42,000 to $72,000. However, when all positions that require a degree in sports psychology are considered, the range is between $40,000 to $150,000.

This range takes into account professionals who work in public and private settings, at schools, for national sports teams, or work with high-profile athletes. While the median range in this field is actually quite high, professionals who complete a master’s degree in this field and continue to improve their training and education will find that they can earn six figures or more.

This is generally reserved for professionals who work in the professional sports world; sports psychologists are in high demand by both notable athletes and championship teams. It is possible to get here, but it takes hard work and dedication to the craft.

What are the Various Disciplines of Sports Psychology?

There are several disciplines involved with sports psychology. First and foremost, however, it is a field that deals with the relationship between psychology, sport, and the human body. This means that professionals will need to have a strong understanding of both natural and social sciences.

Professionals will work mostly with the sub-discipline of performance psychology, which is sometimes referred to as mental training. They also focus on human anatomy, kinesiology, human behavior, dietetics, personal training, health, medicine, chemistry, biology, and more in order to help their clients reach their performance goals. They will also have to learn how to use soft skills when in sessions with their clients; these include interpersonal and communication skills.

Athletes from all sports and athletic levels benefit from sports psychology. Whether they’re trying to get faster on the track or trying to swim their best lap ever, the field breaks through mental barriers and helps prove to the world what the human body is actually capable of. When professionals in the field are ready to advance their career, all they have to do is take into consideration one of the accelerated online master’s in sports psychology degrees above to get started on the journey.

Do all Online Graduate Sports Psychology Programs Lead to Licensure or Certification?

Many graduate online sports psychology programs do not lead to licensure or certification. The programs merely provide the education necessary to be able to understand psychology in sports settings. For online programs, making the decision to have certification or endorsements available isn’t up to the school but rather the American Psychological Association and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

Sport psychology licensure is generally only conferred at the doctoral level; the only endorsement a professional can receive at the graduate level is the Certified Consultant certification from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. This certification requires an internship and a practicum as well as the completion of certain courses approved by the association.

How Much does it Cost to Get an Online Master’s in Sports Psychology?

Some online master’s in sports psychology programs offer cost savings through scholarships, grants, and discounts to alumni or other special groups. The amount of tuition students pay has several factors. Most online sports psychology courses are 3 credits each. So, at a per credit rate of $500 per credit, a three-credit class would cost $1,500. Financial aid is also available at most schools.

What are the Benefits of Online Sport Psychology Programs

Not all schools on this ranking, or in the country in general, have been approved by the Association for Applied Sports Psychology to prepare students for the exam. This limits the number of online programs that can offer this to their graduates.

Another thing to keep in mind is that online psychology programs need to be flexible and accommodating. Many professionals in this field take a master’s degree in order to advance their position but not actually work as sports psychology professionals.

This means that online schools can choose to cut practicum and internship requirements from their programs, allowing these professionals to not have to worry about taking on a second job while completing their Master’s in Sports Psychology degree.

Professional Organizations for Sports Psychology

  • Association for Applied Sports Psychology – website
  • International Society of Sports Psychology – website
  • Division 47 of the American Psychological Association – website 
  • International Institute for Sport and Human Performance – website

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