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.
Ph.D. Counseling Psychology with an Emphasis in Sport Psychology
A specialization in sport psychology is offered through an elective cluster within the Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology. The Counseling Psychology program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association, and this combined program trains students to be independent, licensed psychologists who also have the knowledge, skills, and experience to work with athletes, coaches, teams, and sport organizations. In addition, through the sport psychology elective cluster, students may elect to take additional coursework to meet the certification or specialization criteria of professional sport psychology organizations, such as the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.
Philosophy and Objectives - The counseling psychology program and sport psychology elective cluster provides training to graduate students within the broad context of the scientist-practitioner model. This training is accomplished through prescribed coursework in general psychology, counseling psychology, and sport psychology and the exercise sciences. In addition, students gain applied experience through separate individual, group, and sport psychology practica that are done throughout their 4-6 years in the program.
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 the 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.