| THESIS REQUIREMENT |
The degree is a thesis degree and does not have a 'no thesis' option. All students will complete a thesis to obtain the MS degree in this concentration.
The emphasis of the Sport and Exercise Psychology concentration of the MS degree is to prepare students for doctoral study in sport and exercise psychology. Consequently, the primary focus is to develop the scientific background and skills necessary for doctoral training and research. However, teachers, coaches, athletes, athletic trainers, and recreational sport leaders will acquire relevant expertise in the area, as will those who wish to work in health clubs and fitness programs. Topics of interest that are more specifically geared to exercise psychology include describing and understanding the precursors to participating in exercise, motivational aspects associated with maintaining exercise, and the psychological benefits that occur due to participation in exercise programs. Research themes in the exercise area include understanding the acute and chronic mood changes associated with exercise participation, the anxiolytic effects of exercise, exercise adherence issues, and understanding problems associated with body image distortion, eating disorders, and exercise dependence.
Given the development of Sport and Exercise Psychology as fields that emphasize science and practice, courses are offered that are relevant to developing proficiency in both areas. Our approach tends to be more weighted to the science aspect of the discipline, with the notion that understanding the scientific basis for intervention will enable practitioners to more effectively impart beneficial information to performers.