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Our master's program is designed to offer students a well-rounded educational experience in the field of sport and exercise psychology, within a collaborative, mastery-oriented learning atmosphere.  We focus on preparing students to be competitive applicants for doctoral programs by offering them research and applied opportunities of interest, using a scientist-practitioner approach. 

 We also have partnerships with the Counseling Psychology and Psychological Sciences departments, which allows students to apply to minor in clinical mental health or rehabilitation counseling, or double major in rehabilitation counseling, clinical mental health counseling, or social or clinical psychology. 

In addition to the curriculum requirements, we encourage students to be involved in research projects in order to gain experience with manuscript submissions, conference presentations, grant writing, and service work to be active citizens of the field, University, and community.  We strongly encourage membership in at least one national organization related to the field as well as attend a related state, regional, or national conference. Our program offers the opportunity for students to work towards certification as a mental performance consultant.

What It’s Like to Pursue an MA/MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Ball State

At Ball State, students have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of clients including, but not limited to, NCAA Division I student-athletes, club sport teams, youth athletes, military students, exercisers, injured athletes, and performing art students. Many Ball State teams regularly choose to have a student in the Sport and Exercise Psychology program work with their team, and students are also encouraged to pursue working with individual clients. Students take the main practicum course in their second semester and have the opportunity each semester to continue working with clients if they choose. Every student doing applied work is supervised by Dr. Blom and can count their applied hours toward the Mental Performance Consultant Certification delivered by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

This program works closely with the counseling and clinical psychology departments at Ball State to offer options for a dual master’s degree, double major, or a minor:

  • dual master’s degree – You can pursue two master’s degrees by including our program in clinical mental health counseling or rehabilitation counseling.
  • double major – You can pursue two majors in cognitive and social processes or clinical psychology.
  • minor – Many of our students concurrently complete a minor in counseling, allowing them to learn more about the interpersonal skills needed to consult.

With extensive academic and professional experience, our faculty members are leaders in the field of sport and exercise psychology. These accessible, collaborative educators will support your academic pursuits and advise you along your career path.

Lindsey Blom

Dr. Lindsey Blom is a Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Faculty Athletics Representative, and Sport & Exercise Psychology Graduate Program Coordinator. She joined the Ball State faculty in 2008 and is certified mental performance consultant (CMPC) through the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and an AASP Fellow.  Her research focuses on investigating psycho-social aspects of youth sport, positive youth development through sport, and sport for development and peace at the individual, community, and international levels.

Charles Jean Lebeau

Dr. Jean-Charles Lebeau is an Assistant Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology in the School of Kinesiology. Dr. Lebeau is originally from France where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sport and a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology. After working as a certified psychologist and teaching psychology to coaches and athletes, he decided to move to the USA to complete his PhD in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Florida State University. His dissertation was investigating the effects of acute exercise on driving and executive functions in older adults. His research interests revolve around the relationship between exercise and cognitions, and more generally exercise motivation. He has also a general interest in perceptual-cognitive skills and expertise in sport. Dr. Lebeau has received over $100,000 in external grants to implement and test exercise interventions in the community. He also published articles in top-tier journals in the field, including Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Journal of Experimental Psychology, and International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology.

Dr. Lebeau is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. He has worked with athletes and coaches since 2010 at the youth, high school, and collegiate levels. As an athlete, he has raced motocross for 20 years in Europe, and he has been a circus performer during his time at Florida State University. He likes to integrate his athletic background with his consulting training in his work with athletes and performers. 

Read Their Bios

Third Year Graduate Students


Allison Blake

Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN
Undergraduate Institution: Purdue University - Psychology
Graduate Assistant with Ball State: Fisher Institute of Health and Well-Being
Degree at BSU: MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology and MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Research interests: I have interests in exploring the mental health perceptions in athletic departments to improve access and reduce stigma for athletes receiving mental health treatment.  I also have interest in forensic psychology and understanding the behaviors/personalities that motivate crime and recidivism.
Advice to incoming students: If I could give you any advice it would be to find what works for you throughout the Graduate School process.  It can be really easy to get stuck in what everyone else is doing, but stick to what you love to do and how you love to do it and you'll be just fine!

  Sarah Ciosek
Sarah Ciosek

Hometown: Crystal Lake, IL
Undergraduate Institution: Northern Illinois University, Psychology
Graduate Assistant with Ball State: Office of Research Integrity
Degree at BSU: MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology and minor in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Research interests: Personality, Motivation, and Physical Activity Participation
Advice to incoming students: Keep an open mind and don't be afraid to ask questions.  Ultimately, you're learning how to do your future job (or at least some skills that will help you do your future job better), so take the training as a learning experience rather than a final destination.  Also, leaning on your peers is tremendously helpful and the resulting friendships are invaluable!  

Taylor Gabler
Taylor Gabler

Hometown: Mishawaka, IN
Undergraduate Institution: Grand Valley State University - Double major in Psychology and Exercise Science
Graduate Assistant with Ball State: School of Kinesiology: PFW Instructor and Research Assistant for Dr. Lebeau
Degree at BSU: MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology and MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 
Research interests: Sport Injury 
Advice to incoming students: I would encourage new students to think outside of the box and apply sport psych to the many different areas of their life. This program is exactly what you make it, so think big!

Dabney Skutt
Dabney Skutt

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Undergraduate institution/major: Hanover College, Psychology 
Graduate Assistant: Fisher Institute of Health and Well-Being
Degree at BSU: MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology and MA in Rehabilitation Counseling
Research interest: Perceptual-Cognitive skills training in baseball players with advanced technology
Advice to incoming students: Key to Success= Patience, Persistence, and Pizza

Olivia Vasiloff
Olivia Vasiloff

Hometown: Vermilion, Ohio
Undergraduate Institution/Major: Adrian College, Major: Psychology Minor: Religion
Graduate Assistant with Ball State: Teaching PFW & research assistant with Dr. Blom
Degree at BSU: MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology and MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Research Interest: Pre-performance routines, pre-game superstitions & rituals, self-talk
Advise to incoming students: Take it one day at a time. It will get hard...really hard, but you will also get through it. 

Miata Walker
Miata Walker

Hometown: Saint Charles, MO
Undergraduate Institution/Major: Major in Psychology, Minor in Kinesiology, Certificate in Neuroscience at Indiana University- Bloomington
Graduate Assistant with Ball State: Research GA for the Education Department
Involved in the Neuroscience Lab under Dr. McGovern
Degree at BSU: MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology and MA in Rehabilitation Counseling
Research Interest: The occurrence of mental blocks in elite athletes, how neuronal signals influence the athlete brain, and the coach-athlete relationship. 
Advise to Incoming students: Although you will be planning ahead while going through the program, do not forgot to take one day at a time and try to enjoy the process. This program offers several opportunities to excel and grow. If your schedule allows, try to step out of your comfort zone and accept those opportunities. They say that the work will be worth it and so far, they are correct!

Second Year Graduate Students

Chance Burchick
Chance Burchick

Hometown: Uniontown, PA
Undergraduate Institution: Washington and Jefferson College, Psychology
Graduate Assistant with Ball State: The Office of Student Athlete Support Services
Degree at BSU: MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology and a double major in Coaching and Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Research interests: Applying sports psychology to first responders (specifically firefighters)


Ciaran Connery
Ciarán Connery

Hometown: Carmel, Indiana.
Undergraduate Institution/Major: IUPUI, Tourism, Conventions & Event Management
Graduate Assistant with Ball State: No
Degree at BSU: MS in Sport & Exercise Psychology and Minor in Rehabilitation Counseling
Research Interest: Youth sports
Advise to incoming students: Procrastination is not your friend!

Allysa Fuller
Alyssa Fuller

Hometown: Greenwood, IN
Undergraduate Institution/Major: IUPUI; Psychology with minor in Health Education
Graduate Assistantship with Ball State: PFW Walking Instructor; Researching under Dr. Lebeau
Research Interests: Exercise and cognitive functioning in individuals with severe mental health diagnoses 
Degree at BSU: MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology and Minor in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Advise to incoming students: Make a morning routine that involves taking care of your well-being (journal, workout, pray, etc). Also give yourself lots of grace the first few weeks, you're doing your best!

Kayla Hussey
Kayla Hussey

Hometown: Ashland, Kentucky
Undergraduate Institution/Major: University of Pikeville (KY) - BS - Psychology and History
Graduate Assistant with Ball State: School of Kinesiology - Dr. Blom (Sport and Exercise Psychology)
Degree at BSU: MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology
Research Interest: International Student-Athletes' Experience in USA

TJ Rucker
Tyra Rucker

Hometown: Portland, OR
Undergraduate Institution: Carroll College, Major in Psychology with a Minor in Gender Studies
Graduate Assistant with Ball State: BSU Nursing department| Nursing SITC
Degree at BSU: MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology and MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Research interests: I’m interested in diversity within sport, specifically looking at microaggressions, prejudice and social justice advocacy in sport. I’m also interested in sport development programs being utilized for peace in urban areas.
Advice to incoming students: I would say to utilize the people around you (classmates, professors, friends not in the program). Grad school is hard, but If you have a great support system you will thrive. Also, it’s okay to not know exactly what you want for research in your first semester. Gradually explore your possibilities, and challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone.

Brian Tremml
Brian Tremml

Hometown: Holland, Michigan
Undergraduate Institution/Major: University of Iowa, Cinema & Comparative Literature
Graduate Assistant with Ball State: International Admissions
Degree at BSU: MS in Sport and Exercise Psychology and MA in Rehabilitation Counseling
Research Interest: Pre-performance routines, youth sports, and mindfulness
Advice to Incoming Students: Be patient in letting your interests develop over time to ensure you find the right fit to blend your passions into your future career

 

First Year Graduate Students

 

The Sport and Exercise Psychology lab is a multipurpose space for students to utilize during the course of their graduate work. The Lab serves as a functional area used for mental skills presentations with athletic teams, student and faculty research, class projects, group meetings, and as a collaborative place of study. The Lab is equipped with a variety of tools for assessing and improving athletes’ and exercisers’ performance, such as biofeedback, mindfulness training tools, and virtual reality equipment. The Lab also consists of many innovative apparatus used in research, such as a recumbent bike, elliptical, iPads, video recording, exergaming, and various research-related software.

Our program offers ample research opportunities. Students assist professors, assist each other, do their own work, and complete a thesis/research project. You can get experience in qualitative and quantitative methodology, as well as lab and applied research.

We also support students to attend professional conferences and help them obtain opportunities to present research and write grant proposals.  Recent students have presented at the European Congress of Sport and Exercise Psychology (FEBSAC), Association for Applied Sport Psychology national conference (AASP), American Psychological Association (APA), Midwest Sport and Exercise Psychology Symposium (MSEPS), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) meeting, and the U.S. Center for Coaching Excellence summit (USCCE).  Recent student work has been published in the Journal of Sport for Development, the Journal of Sport Behavior, The Physical Educator, The Sport Psychologist, International Journal of Exercise Science, and Psychological Reports.

Master of Arts

Masters of Arts in Sport and Exercise Psychology

Students completing the Sport and Exercise Psychology degree must complete a minimum of 33 credits of graduate courses. In order to earn a master of arts degree, these courses must include 3 credits of a research project (RES 697) or creative project (CRPR 698).

CORE COURSES

18 Credits

  • SEPS 605: Psychology of Injury Rehabilitation
  • SEPS 609: Sport Psychology
  • SEPS 611: Practicum in Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • SEPS 644: Psycho-Social Processes of Sport and Physical Activity
  • SEPS 660: Psychology of Exercise and Health
  • SEPS 690: Sport Sociology

RESEARCH REQUIREMENTS

9 Credits
Research Paper/Creative Project Option (MA)

  • EXSC 611: Research Methods (Thesis)
  • EDPS 641: Introduction to Statistical Methods OR 
  • EDPS 642: Analysis of Variance
  • RES 697: Research Paper OR
  • CRPR 698: Creative Project

DIRECTED ELECTIVES

3-6 Credits

  • ACE 604: Physical Preparation and Conditioning
  • ACE 612: Growth and Development for Coaches
  • ACE 675: Teaching and Motivation for Coaches
  • ANTH 559: Ethnographic Methods
  • CPSY 621: Theories and Techniques of Counseling
  • CPSY 688: Process and Techniques of Group Counseling
  • EDPS 603: Psychology of Human Development
  • EDPS 640: Methodology of Educational and Psychological Research
  • EDPS 646: Tests and Measurements
  • EDPS 742: Multivariate Statistics and Data Mining
  • EXSC 603: Exercise Physiology 1
  • EXSC 634: Mechanical Analysis of Movement
  • KINE 620: Kinesiology Special Topics
  • PSYS 613: Developmental Psychology
  • PSYS 615: Learning and Motivation
  • PSYS 616: Perception and Cognition
  • PSYS 623: Theories of Personality
  • PSYS 632: Science of Psychopathology
  • SEPS 600: Internship in Sport and Exercise Psychology

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Graduate Catalog.

View Catalog

Masters of Science in Sport and Exercise Psychology

Students completing the Sport and Exercise Psychology degree must complete a minimum of 33 credits of graduate courses. In order to earn a master of science degree, these courses must include 6 credits of a thesis project (THES 698). Students electing THES 698 must make a final oral defense.

CORE COURSES

18 Credits

  • SEPS 605: Psychology of Injury Rehabilitation
  • SEPS 609: Sport Psychology
  • SEPS 611: Practicum in Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • SEPS 644: Psycho-Social Processes of Sport and Physical Activity
  • SEPS 660: Psychology of Exercise and Health
  • SEPS 690: Sport Sociology

RESEARCH REQUIREMENTS

12 Credits
Thesis Option (MS)

  • EXSC 611: Research Methods (Thesis)
  • EDPS 641: Introduction to Statistical Methods OR
  • EDPS 642: Analysis of Variance
  • THES 698: Thesis

DIRECTED ELECTIVES

3-6 Credits

  • ACE 604: Physical Preparation and Conditioning
  • ACE 612: Growth and Development for Coaches
  • ACE 675: Teaching and Motivation for Coaches
  • ANTH 559: Ethnographic Methods
  • CPSY 621: Theories and Techniques of Counseling
  • CPSY 688: Process and Techniques of Group Counseling
  • EDPS 603: Psychology of Human Development
  • EDPS 640: Methodology of Educational and Psychological Research
  • EDPS 646: Tests and Measurements
  • EDPS 742: Multivariate Statistics and Data Mining
  • EXSC 603: Exercise Physiology 1
  • EXSC 634: Mechanical Analysis of Movement
  • KINE 620: Kinesiology Special Topics
  • PSYS 613: Developmental Psychology
  • PSYS 615: Learning and Motivation
  • PSYS 616: Perception and Cognition
  • PSYS 623: Theories of Personality
  • PSYS 632: Science of Psychopathology
  • SEPS 600: Internship in Sport and Exercise Psychology

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Graduate Catalog.

View Catalog

What Can You Do with a Master’s Degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology?

Students work in a variety of different jobs depending on their career interest.

Many have gone on to:

  • work in the military using performance psychology (which is the highest employer of master-level SEP practitioners)
  • physical therapy
  • athletic academic advising
  • wellness
  • athletic training
  • coaching

Others have also gone into work in nonprofit, fitness, and counseling settings.

Paying for Your Education

Department Graduate Assistantships

The Sports Performance program does not offer an assistantship.  

Ready to Apply?

Are you interested in pursuing this degree? Then you will need to meet our admissions criteria and apply.

Apply Now

More Information

If you would like to learn more about this program or about Ball State Graduate School in general, please complete our online form to request more information. Or, if you’d like to speak with someone in our department directly by phone or email, please contact us.