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MS in Psychology, Sport Psychology, FlexPath option

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Master’s learners in this specialization are frequently school-based coaches, physical education teachers, or individuals working in parks and recreation departments who wish to gain current theory and research knowledge associated with performance enhancement, individual and team motivation, injury recovery, and stress management as it applies to amateur athletes. Some learners plan to apply these principles to settings such as fitness/health clubs, sports camps, and resort-based wellness programs. Learners who pursue this specialization through the FlexPath option earn an MS in Psychology through self-paced demonstrations of competencies. These specialization requirements are not designed or intended to meet professional licensure requirements for the counseling or psychology professions. 

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Core courses:

Foundations of Theory and Practice for Master’s Psychology Learners

In this course, learners acquire the ability to navigate the Capella courseroom and use the resources that support academic success, including the library and writing center. Learners identify and practice the academic requirements (including APA style and formatting) necessary to successfully complete the master’s degree program in their chosen specialization; review their specialization’s requirements, associated professional roles and organizations, and ethics and professional standards; and articulate a professional identity based on master’s-level psychology training. For MS in Psychology learners only. Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

2.5 program points
Tests and Measurements

This course is an introduction to the subject of mental measurement in psychology. Course topics include techniques for correctly interpreting test scores such as percentiles, standard errors of measurement, standard scores, and validity and reliability. Learners acquire and demonstrate knowledge of measuring devices used in the fields of intelligence, interests, personality, and special aptitudes, and identify professional standards of test development and use. The course also includes analysis of the psychometric procedures used to develop and validate educational and psychological instruments and requires learners to present appropriate applications for each type of methodology.

2.5 program points
Survey of Research Methods

Learners in this course critically evaluate research in order to gain an understanding of the scientific methods of inquiry and the ethical considerations of research. Learners develop and apply skills needed to become educated consumers and creators of research. Learners also use their research design skills to analyze and apply research methodologies, validity, reliability and other components of scientific research related to their field of interest.  Learners may only earn credit for PSY-FPX7860 or RSCH-FPX7860.

2 program points
Quantitative Design and Analysis

In this course, learners investigate the fundamental concepts needed to conduct quantitative research. Learners examine and apply quantitative research techniques; appropriate applications of quantitative research; research design, measurement, and analysis, and their associated interdependencies; variable types and levels of measurement; sampling; descriptive and inferential statistics; and hypothesis testing. Learners define the strengths and limitations of descriptive statistics, analyze the quantitative scales of measurement, review the logic of probability and null hypothesis testing, and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations.  Learners may only earn credit for PSY-FPX7864 or RSCH-FPX7864.

2 program points

Specialization courses:

Ethics and Multicultural Issues in Psychology

In this course, learners analyze multicultural perspectives and factors such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender, and their influences on the ethical behavior of psychology professionals. Learners evaluate and articulate multicultural issues within the context of different settings and practice applying ethical reasoning principles and standards within their profession.

2.5 program points
Learning Theories in Psychology

Learners investigate the concepts and principles of learning theory and its sub-processes, especially those associated with cognition. Learners evaluate and articulate major learning theories, practice applying these learning theories and their associated processes to teaching, and analyze the effects of various behavioral and cognitive sub-processes on learning.

2.5 program points
PSY-FPX6810 *
Principles of Sport Psychology

Learners in this course apply psychological theories to explain and improve sport performance. Learners evaluate the implications of new research for professional practice in sport psychology and explore the ways in which they can meet the unique needs of diverse participants through customized coaching strategies. In particular, learners examine personality, attention, anxiety, arousal and arousal adjustment strategies, cognitive-behavioral intervention, causal attribution, motivation, and self confidence. Prerequisite(s): PSY-FPX6110.

2.5 program points
PSY-FPX6820 *
Performance Enhancement in Sports

Learners in this course examine the mechanisms athletes use to exceed their perceived physical and mental limitations. In addition, learners apply performance enhancement theories and techniques to help clients improve athletic performance. Topics include strategies such as visualization, meditation, hypnosis, autogenic training, biofeedback, and progressive relaxation. Prerequisite(s): PSY-FPX6810.

2.5 program points
PSY-FPX6830 *
Applied Sport Psychology

Learners in this course acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to apply fundamental sport psychology concepts to their chosen profession. Learners consider ethical issues, their personal approach to sport psychology practice, and ways to use research to inform their work. Learners also examine the significance of working with diverse populations and expanding their areas of expertise. Prerequisite(s): PSY-FPX6820.

2.5 program points
PSY-FPX6840 *
Current Issues in Sport Psychology

In this course, learners critically analyze the research, theories, and practices of sport psychology. Learners examine current issues in sports and determine ways to ethically and professionally apply sport psychology practices to educate sports participants and to improve the performance of athletes. Prerequisite(s): PSY-FPX6820.

2.5 program points
Biological Basis of Behavior

This course is an introduction to physiological psychology and associated topics, including genetics, functional neuroanatomy, and physiology. Learners develop and demonstrate an understanding of brain functioning; sensory systems; attention, memory, perception, and language mechanisms; and the effects of neurotransmitters on human behavior. Learners also identify the relationship between brain functions and behavioral disorders and analyze current physiological psychology research, ethics, and the implications of culture and diversity on field-related issues.

2.5 program points

Taken during the learner’s final quarter:

PSY-FPX5201 *
Integrative Project for Master’s Degree in Psychology

In this course, learners demonstrate knowledge, scholarship, and research proficiency in their chosen psychology specialization by developing a research proposal. As they engage with a faculty mentor in the preparation of a five-chapter integrative project, learners develop and demonstrate academic and professional competency in proposing new and original research, writing and applying for grants, adhering to ethical standards, addressing diversity and individual variation in psychology, and explaining psychology concepts. For MS in Psychology learners only. Must be taken during the learner’s final quarter. Prerequisite(s): All required and elective coursework. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

2.5 program points






At least 29 program points

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Learners who do not complete all program requirements within quarter credit/program point minimums will be required to accrue such additional quarter credits/program points as are associated with any additional or repeat coursework necessary for successful completion of program requirements.

GuidedPath courses and FlexPath courses fulfill the program requirements and prerequisites for each delivery model.