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The sport and exercise psychology (SEP) specialization will outfit you with theoretical foundations, research knowledge, and real-world experiences related to the psychology of sport performance and exercise behavior.

What You Will Learn

Our comprehensive program covers:

  • sport psychology
  • group dynamics
  • sociology of sport
  • psychology of exercise behavior
  • research methods

Active membership and participation in related professional organizations is strongly encouraged to enhance your education and professional exploration.

What It’s Like to Pursue an MA/MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Ball State

Apply classroom study to practical fieldwork through our versatile, distinctive applied program experiences. Opportunities include working with athletic teams and individuals to address performance enhancement issues and/or exercise adherence consultation. These real-world experiences will provide you with professional networks and acquaint you with best practices in the field.

From a consulting standpoint, we encourage students to spend their first year shadowing a second-year student who is serving as a supervised performance enhancement consultant. In the second year, students provide educational workshops and mental skill sessions.

This program works closely with the counseling and clinical psychology departments at Ball State to offer options for a dual master’s degree, double major, or a minor:

  • dual master’s degree – You can pursue two master’s degrees by including our program in clinical mental health counseling or rehabilitation counseling.
  • double major – You can pursue two majors in cognitive and social processes or clinical psychology.
  • minor – Many of our students concurrently completed a minor in counseling, allowing them to learn more about the interpersonal skills needed to consult.

With extensive academic and professional experience, our faculty members are leaders in the field of sport and exercise psychology. These accessible, collaborative educators will support your academic pursuits and advise you along your career path.

Read Their Bios

With two main faculty and typically 12 to 18 students (including doctoral students who are completing cognates in sport and exercise psychology), we really work in a team atmosphere.

Students assist each other with research projects and practical work, facilitating peer mentoring and collaboration.

Our program offers ample research opportunities. Students assist professors, assist each other, do their own work, and complete a thesis/research project. You can get experience in qualitative and quantitative methodology, as well as lab and applied research.

We also require students to attend professional conferences and help them obtain opportunities to present research and write grant proposals. This knowledge is then extended beyond the classroom and into the applied field.

Program Requirements

To earn a master of arts (MA) or master of science (MS) degree in sport and exercise psychology specialization, you must complete core courses and a research component.


Total: 33

  • core courses: 18
  • research requirements: 9 to 12
  • directed electives: 3 to 6


A few of the classes you will take include:

  • Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Practicum in Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Psycho-Social Processes of Sport and Physical Activity
  • Psychology of Exercise and Health
  • Sports Sociology

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Graduate Catalog.

View Catalog

What Can You Do with a Master’s Degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology?

Students work in a variety of different jobs depending on their career interest.

Many have gone on to:

  • work in the military using performance psychology (which is the highest employer of master-level SEP practitioners)
  • physical therapy
  • athletic academic advising
  • wellness
  • athletic training
  • coaching

Others have also gone into work in nonprofit, fitness, and counseling settings.

Paying for Your Education

Department Graduate Assistantships

A graduate assistantship is an excellent opportunity to gain meaningful professional experience while helping cover the costs of your degree. Learn more.

Ready to Apply?

Are you interested in pursuing this degree? Then you will need to meet our admissions criteria and apply.

Apply Now

More Information

If you would like to learn more about this program or about Ball State Graduate School in general, please complete our online form to request more information. Or, if you’d like to speak with someone in our department directly by phone or email, please contact us.