Adams State introduces M.S. in Applied Sport Psychology


Adams State University's Department of Human Performance and Physical Education (HPPE) announces a new Master of Science degree program in Applied Sport Psychology. Beginning with the fall 2016 semester, this 36-credit hour program will be offered on campus, allowing students to gain mentoring and applied experience, according to program director, Dr. Brian Zuleger, assistant professor of HPPE. The program was approved by the Board of Trustees for Adams State University at its meeting April 7.

Dr. Brian Zuleger, asst. professor of HPPE

Zuleger said the M.S. program will prepare students for careers in applied sport psychology, as well as for doctoral study or as an initial step toward certification with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. As a certified consultant for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, Zuleger is qualified to oversee the 400 hours of applied experience students need to gain the certification. Applied sport psychology consultants may work with athletes, coaches, and teams, as well as in sport and fitness related settings with recreational participants. The program is similar to Adams State's new Master of Arts in Applied Sport Psychology, offered online.

Adams State's will be the only such program in the state offered in a campus setting, Zuleger added. "The on-campus format allows for in-person mentorship and creates opportunities for graduate assistantships, which benefit the student and the university, and allows applied experience in settings on campus and in the local community." He noted there is a lack of sport psychology programs and a particularly large void in applied sport psychology programs.

M.S. students are required to complete an original research project for a thesis, with the potential to be published in an academic journal. "Students who want to pursue a Ph.D. will benefit from conducting research. This will strengthen their resumes when applying for Ph.D. programs, which tend to place a large emphasis on research," Zuleger said.

He explained "Applied Sport Psychology puts the emphasis on mental training. It's the same as strength and conditioning, only it builds the mental aspect and teaches coaches and athletes how to perform better. This program will help fill the void of trained applied sport psychology professionals. It will also help promote applied sport psychology and the benefits of mental training for people at all levels of participation."

By Julie Waechter