Arizona Sports Psychology Degree Programs


There are numerous professional sports teams in Arizona, including ones for soccer, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and football. Arizona hosts a wide range of competitive sports, which suggests that working as a sports psychologist in this state can prove to be financially and professionally rewarding. Sport psychology is a specialization that employs psychological knowledge and abilities to solve difficulties related to athletes’ optimal performance and well-being, the social and developmental elements of participating in sports, and systemic problems with sports environments and organizations. A job as a sports psychologist may be a suitable fit if you are passionate about both sports and psychology. Additionally, it provides a variety of degree choices so that you can pick the one that most appeals to you.

Bachelor’s degree programs provide general education and foundational psychology courses in addition to core courses focusing on sports psychology. You could finish an internship, fieldwork, or a research project in this kind of program. Graduates have the option of pursuing further study or finding employment as coaches, sports marketers, or treatment assistants.

Conversely, graduate-level courses will be more focused on sports psychology and may involve fieldwork and research in addition to rigorous exams and thesis requirements. With a graduate degree, you can work in some of the same professions as those with a bachelor’s, but you can also work in sports counseling, professional sports consulting, or university education teaching. A license or certification may be mandatory for some counseling employment.

Learn more about the different sport psychology programs offered by these accredited universities in Arizona if you are interested in pursuing this field.

What Will I Learn in A Sports Psychology Program?

Degree Timelines

In general, it takes four years of full-time study to earn a bachelor’s degree, compared to two years for a master’s degree. Four to seven years of full-time study are typically needed to finish most PhD programs in sport psychology. Some programs require further specialization and research.

Curriculum and Example Courses

You’ll probably take similar fundamental courses regardless of the program level you choose to enroll in. Here are some that you’re likely to see in a sports psychology degree.

Psychology of Physical Activity and Sports
You will discover how psychological theory and research may be used to better understand sports and physical exercise in this introductory course. You could discover more about the interactions between the mind and extraneous variables that affect sports. Competition, motivation, and group dynamics are just a few of the topics that must be covered.

Psychology of Injury
The impact of psychological factors on injuries and the impact of injuries on mental processes are both examined in this course. Depending on the curriculum, this course could also go through some fundamental psychological counseling strategies for dealing with damaged patients.

Social Psychology in Sports
Group psychology and athletic performance are discussed in this course. It is possible to research the influences of social and cultural factors on physical activity levels.

Psychological Perspectives on Performance
Learn how psychological characteristics like hostility can impact a person’s physical performance in this course. You research strategies for raising performance by understanding and taking into account psychological aspects.

What Are The Standard Entrance Requirements to Enroll?

Sports psychology bachelor’s degrees are few. If any, they are typically associated with a psychology degree’s concentration. Usually, there are fewer prerequisites for applications to these undergraduate programs. On the other hand, graduate admissions committees usually look for references and experience in coaching, psychological research, athletics, or other related professions, as well as a minimum GPA of 3.0 and higher-than-average GRE scores.

School NameCityStateProgram LevelProgram NameProgram URL
Arizona State UniversityTempeArizonaBachelorsB.S. in Community Sports ManagementClick Here
Grand Canyon UniversityPhoenixArizonaBachelorsOnline B.S. in Sports ManagementClick Here
Grand Canyon UniversityPhoenixArizonaBachelorsB.S. in Sports ManagementClick Here
University of ArizonaTucsonArizonaBachelorsBachelors in General Studies with concentration in Sports and SocietyClick Here
Arizona State UniversityPhoenixArizonaMastersMasters in Sport JournalismClick Here
Northcentral UniversitydiegoArizonaMastersOnline M.Ed. in Athletic Administration SpecializationClick Here

University of Arizona Global Campus

Doctor of Psychology, Sport Performance Psychology Specialization
Delivery Method: Online
Credits Required: 62 Credit Hours

This Sport and Performance Psychology specialization analyzes methods for improving human performance. Advanced psychology courses and seminars in human development, coaching, cultural diversity, and mind-body practices are among the many topics covered in the curriculum. A few examples of courses include Advanced Performance Enhancement I: Core Mind-Body Practices, Advanced Psychomotor Development & Kinesiology, Ethics for Sport and Performance Psychology Consultation, Rehabilitation in Sports & Performance, Advanced Group Dynamics in Sports & Performance Settings, Advanced Performance Enhancement III: The Psychology of Peak Experience, and Sports & Performance Psychology as a Business. Admission to the University of Arizona Global Campus requires the submission of an official transcript from the approved accredited institution that awarded the master’s degree, indicating a minimum GPA of 3.0, or an official transcript from an approved accredited institution that awarded a doctoral degree, with a degree conferral date prior to the start of the first course.


Grand Canyon University

Bachelor of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sport Psychology
Delivery Method: On-Campus, Online
Credits Required: 120 Credit Hours

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sport Psychology degree at Grand Canyon University (GCU) is a dynamic curriculum that equips students to succeed in this field. This sports psychology degree program is suitable for those with an interest in the performing arts, mental health, fitness and sports industries. Beyond athletic accomplishments, the main skills and fundamental ideas covered in the bachelor’s program in sports psychology are applicable to many different facets of everyday life. Students will look into the factors that motivate people to strive for inner greatness. They’ll study how people are motivated to pursue goals, as well as how to conduct assessments and put interventional strategies in place to promote personal growth and improvement. Some of the core classes include the following: Psychology of Coaching, Introduction to Psychological Research and Ethics, Experimental Psychology, Social Psychology, and Cultural Applications, Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology, and Leadership and Team Building. All applicants for full admission to the university must submit either valid high school or college transcripts. Students may be eligible for full admission if they have test results or a college GPA that passes admission requirements but cannot reach the GPA requirements with their transcripts.

Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology: Performance Psychology (Qualitative Research)
Delivery Method: On-Campus, Online
Credits Required: 60 Credit Hours

The qualitative Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in General Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance Psychology program at Grand Canyon University is designed for students who want to apply research on emotion, cognition, and motivation to the study of peak performance. Graduates of the Ph.D. program in performance psychology seek to use psychology to improve and enhance all types of performance. Students will concentrate on broadening their skill set, conducting research, and gaining insight into how and why people think, believe, and behave in certain ways. This curriculum trains students to acquire ideas relating to mental and thought processes and to perform empirical research. Graduates also study aspects of personal behavior, the effects of mass media on social awareness and control, the design, analysis, and interpretation of psychological tests, how to better learning and performance environments, and factors that affect information processing, decision-making, and emotion regulation. To be admitted, you must have a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and an overall GPA of 3.4 or higher. Applicants with a GPA of 3.0 – 3.39 will be accepted with specifications. Applicants with GPAs less than 3.0 will not be considered.

Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology: Performance Psychology (Quantitative Research)
Delivery Method:
Online, On-Campus
Credits Required: 60 Credit Hours

The quantitative Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in General Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance Psychology program at Grand Canyon University offers a diverse range of courses that enhance understanding of human actions in the past and present. Students in this program will use a quantitative methodology to design, collect, and analyze data in preparation for a scholarly dissertation. Students must pass courses like Foundations of performance psychology, History and systems of psychology, Humanistic, transpersonal, and existential psychology, Performance enhancement, Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic theory, and Psychomotor performance in order to graduate from this program. They also need to complete at least 60 credits and participate in two or three hands-on doctoral residencies. To be admitted, you must have a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with an overall GPA of 3.4 or higher. Applicants with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.39 will be accepted with conditions. Applicants with GPAs less than 3.0 will be rejected.


Career & Salary Opportunities in Sports Psychology in Arizona

Arizona is anticipated to continue to have a high demand for knowledgeable and competent sports and exercise psychologists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that from 2020 to 2030, there will be an 8% increase in the number of psychologists working. The equivalent number of new employment for psychologists—including sports psychologists—is about 13,500.

Careers in sports psychology include the following:

  • Sports Psychology Professor
  • Sports Psychologist
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • University Sports Coach
  • Health program coordinator
  • Private practice clinical sport psychologist
  • Sport psychologist for a club, college, Olympic, or professional team
  • Sport rehabilitation specialist