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Degrees Available at SIUE

  • Master of Science

What is Exercise and Sport Psychology?

Exercise and Sport Psychology can provide you with the basis for understanding the thought processes and attitudes of athletes and individuals involved in sport or exercise activities. With this understanding, you can then learn to help others improve their performance and/or psychological well-being. While this specialization will appeal to those individuals currently teaching and/or coaching, it is also designed to provide a solid foundation for those desiring to further their graduate education in fields associated with behavioral medicine including exercise psychology, sport psychology, athletic training, and health psychology. Focusing on strategies for enhancing sport performance or adherence to exercise, for example, the Exercise and Sport Psychology specialization provides students with knowledge and skills that can be readily applied to numerous aspects of their own lives as well to the lives of their professional clients.

Career Opportunities

Our graduates pursue careers as teachers, researchers, coaches, athletic trainers, exercise leaders, personal trainers, Fitness Center Leaders, and sport and exercise psychology consultants. An increasing number of graduates are choosing to continue their education at the doctoral level.

Exercise and Sport Psychology at SIUE

Our program integrates theory, research, and practice, and includes the study of cognitive, emotional, psychological and social factors that influence sport and exercise behaviors as well as the effects of physical activity on psychological factors. In addition to coursework in Sport and Exercise Psychology and Sociology of Physical Activity, students may enroll in elective courses throughout the university to optimize their educational experience. Further, our program has close ties with SIUE´s Division I athletics program.

SIUE’s graduate program in Exercise and Sport Psychology can offer you a number of distinct advantages, including:

  • Development of knowledge and skills in your interest areas through strong faculty mentoring.
  • An optimal student-faculty ratio, ensuring you will receive personalized attention.
  • Advising focused on the selection of courses, research topics, and applied experiences that will advance your career goals.
  • Evening classes, and selected online classes, scheduled to meet the needs of working professionals.

Curriculum and Course Sequence Options

Students are able to begin in the fall, spring or summer. Due to the versatility of the program students can complete the program in as little as one year, however the average student takes 5 semesters to complete their degree.

Students choose between either the non-thesis option or thesis option. View the curriculum for non-thesis and thesis options.

Non-Thesis Option
The non-thesis option for the Master of Science in Kinesiology degree in Exercise and Sport Psychology is for students who are not interested in pursing a doctorate.

Thesis Option
The thesis option for the Master of Science in Kinesiology degree in Exercise and Sport Psychology is for students who are interested in pursing a doctorate in sport and exercise psychology, counseling, or other psychology. Students will learn the research process and investigate the impact of psychological factors on sport and/or exercise. Students will gain opportunities to present at professional conferences and publish in scientific journals. Students in the thesis option will typically take two academic years to complete the course work and research thesis. The student and faculty advisor will match thesis and coursework with the goals of the student to provide an exceptional learning experience.

Admission in to a graduate program in Kinesiology does not guarantee you the opportunity to complete a thesis. If you decide you want to complete a thesis you must do the following

  1. Meet in person with the professor(s) with whom you would like to work  to discuss your research interests
  2. Submit a letter of interest to the professor(s) with whom you would like to work. Please use this form to guide your letter
  3. Submit an example of your writing to the professor(s) with whom you would like to work

Faculty will choose thesis students based on a combination of the students potential for success,  a match in research interests between the faculty member and the student, and the faculty members availability.  

If you have further questions, please contact the coordinator for your program

Exercise Physiology – Dr. Brianne Guilford
Exercise and Sport Psychology – Dr. Lindsay Ross-Stewart
Physical Education and Coaching Pedagogy – Dr. Dave Cluphf

How to Apply

If you already have decided that SIUE’s Exercise and Sport Psychology program is the right one for you, apply online now. You also can request additional information by contacting our program director, Dr. Ross-Stewart.

Current Research Projects in the Program

  • The Effect of Imagery Assisted Virtual Reality on Psychological Skills in Athletes
  • Use of Affordable Imagery Assisted Virtual Reality for Pain Reduction
  • The Effect of Imagery on Self-Efficacy and Performance in Athletics
  • The Role of Community-Based Organizations in Physical Activity Promotion
  • Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Health Outcomes among Clergy
  • Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Health Outcomes among Seminarians

Curriculum >>

exercise behavior
Dave Cluphf, Ed.D.,
1999, West Virginia University  
Lindsay Ross-Stewart, Ph.D.,
2009, University of North Dakota

Ben Webb, Ph.D.,
2014, The Pennsylvania State University
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