2 answers

What classes do I have to take to become a sports psychologist?

Updated Daly City, California

I am a junior in high school and am researching different careers I may be interested in performing in the future. I have been physically active and involved in sports for my whole life and am considering becoming a sports psychologist however I do not know how to go about this. #sports #psychology #clinical-psychology #applied-psychology #sports-psychology #degree-selection #college #college-major #college-bound

2 answers

Kate’s Answer

Updated San Francisco, California

Hi, Juliette! I'm a clinical-community psychologist in San Francisco; I used to teach at SF State. In general, psychologists who work directly with clients get an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree (masters, Psy.D. or Ph.D.), and then possibly also a license. I agree with Anterpreet's suggestions, especially about contacting a sports psychologist and a college psychology department. An undergraduate psychology major may be helpful but it is not absolutely essential for graduate school admission (but it helps if you are going to a public university where you work as a teaching/research assistant for tuition and a stipend). In terms of college classes to take, you will need some psychology, of course, but others that might be helpful include anatomy/phyisology, possibly some basic biology and chemistry. In general, the classes you take at each level of education are building blocks for the next level, so in high school, think about classes that give you a broad foundation of knowledge to build on in college. In college, you will be focused on fulfilling requirements for graduation and your chosen major, but you can take elective classes that are specifically related to your graduate school or career interests (that's where the anatomy/physiology, kinesiology, etc. might come in). SF State has a kinesiology department you could check out. I would think a combined psychology-kinesiology major would be a good background for sports psychology... but you should ask the kinesiology folks, and talk directly with a sports psychologist. Good luck!

Kate recommends the following next steps:

  • Find and contact a sports psychologist, ask to "job shadow" or do an informational interview.
  • Find an accredited sports psychology program, read their materials and see if they are teaching and doing the kinds of things that interest you. If so, see what their admissions requirements are, in terms of courses you might take in college.
  • Focus on finishing high school and applying to colleges!


I was like that too in high school. The question you want to know is why you are interested in psychology ? I think it will be great if you can do job shadows with sports psychologists in your area. Professionally email them and tell them about your interest and ask them if you can do job shadow . Job Shadow is a great way to learn about your interest. I will also recommend you to look into Communication major. You can also look into colleges you are interested in and contact the advising office of psychology department and they can also answer the questions you have on mind. Also, think about what kind of jobs you want to do ? Hope this helps !
Your answer is great Anterpreet, thanks so much for sharing your expertise! At this moment there are more than 800 unanswered questions so I wanted to encourage you to keep going! So many students will benefit tremendously from hearing from you. Keep up the great work!
Thank you :)