Elective Cluster Overview
Through the UNT Department of Psychology's APA-accredited Counseling Psychology program, graduate students are able to pursue a Ph.D. in counseling psychology with a specialized elective cluster in sport and exercise psychology. Through this doctoral program and specialization, graduates obtain a broad professional education as a mental health practitioner while also receiving specific training in working with athletes, coaches, and sport teams. Upon completion of their clinical internship, graduates will be able to pursue licensure as a psychologist in any state in the U.S. and seek Certification as a sport consultant through the Association of Applied Sport Psychology. This training model, a sport psychology emphasis embedded in an APA-accredited counseling psychology program, is unique and one of the many reasons that students from all over the U.S. and abroad want to pursue their graduate sport psychology education and training at UNT.
Expectations of Students
It is very important for students to know that their training in counseling psychology is the primary focus of the program and is conducted by the program's faculty in the Psychology Department. If you are NOT fully invested in being trained as a counseling psychologist (in addition to this specialization), then the UNT program would NOT be a good fit for you. Students' sport psychology training is conducted, in part, through the UNT Center for Sport Psychology and Performance Excellence, which is a multidisciplinary center devoted to offering sport psychology interventions, research, and training. Through the Center, students complete all sport psychology practica and conduct scientific research in the field. In addition, students have opportunities for professional development in sport psychology through attending and presenting at professional conferences, developing and leading workshops, developing and writing grant proposals, and writing articles for publication. Several program faculty regularly accept students into the Sport Psychology cluster and serve as the students' main research advisors while they are pursuing this specialization. Thus, students should consider the research interests of Drs. Hook, Kaminski, and Wang in addition to Dr. Petrie, when identifying sport psychology as their cluster of choice.
Required Cluster Courses and Experiences
For those pursuing the sport psychology elective cluster the number of semester hours will be higher than other elective clusters, though the exact number will depend on previous graduate coursework taken and the number of additional courses needed to meet other certification requirements (e.g., AASP). In general, if you enter the program with a master's degree and transfer a 15 or more graduate hours, you may be able to complete the counseling psychology program (with sport psychology elective cluster) in 5 years (which includes the one-year predoctoral internship). If you are entering the program with only an undergraduate degree, you should expect to finish in 6 years.
In addition to the general psychology and counseling psychology core requirements, students in the sport psychology elective cluster will engage in the following activities:
PSYC 5850 Sport & Exercise Psychology Practicum
(2hr. fall & spring semester, min. 2yrs)............. 8
Choose two of the following three courses:
PSYC/KINE 6175 Social Psychology of Sport II.................. 3
PSYC/KINE 6185 Applied Sport Psychology II................... 3
PSYC 6200 Theory and Practice of Sport &
If students are interested in becoming a Certified Mental Performance Consultant
through the Association of Applied Sport Psychology, they may need to take additional sport psy practicum and one additional course in the sport sciences while in the doctoral program. Students should consult with the Director of the UNT Center for Sport Psychology to determine if they need to take such a course and if so, which course might be taken.
Sport Psychology Practicum - students are required to take Psyc/Kine 5850 (Sport Practicum) during the first two years they are in the program (and elective cluster). Students receive both individual and group supervision by Center faculty for each sport psychology practicum. For those students who want to fulfill AASP certification requirements, we strongly recommend that they take sport psychology practicum during their fourth and fifth years as well.
Research - it is recommended that students work with one of the Center for Sport Psychology and Performance Excellence faculty to complete a research project. Students' professional development is fostered via presenting at conferences and publishing in refereed journals. Students are encouraged (but not required) to devote at least one of the student's two required research projects to issues within sport and/or exercise psychology.