07:22 AM

UST Offers Accelerated BA/MA in Applied Sports and Performance Psychology

Olympian and Professional Athlete Leads the Program


“The goal of the BA/MA program in Applied Sports and Performance Psychology is to prepare students to work with individuals in sports, performing arts, or military populations on psychological factors aimed at improving human performance.”

The University of St. Thomas will offer a new accelerated BA/MA program in Applied Sports and Performance Psychology in fall 2021. The program will be offered hyflex – in-person and online. This degree is pending SACSCOC approval.

Earn a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) Certificate with this Degree

Offering the CMPC certification alongside a BA/MA degree sets UST apart from other universities with this academic program. The cutting-edge, 36-hour program allows outstanding undergraduates to complete their bachelor's and master's degrees at UST in five years. Students can save a year of tuition and receive the framework to complete their CMPC certification.

“This component of the program (a practicum) is unique to UST and makes our program more desirable because we facilitate many of the experiences needed to complete the CMPC certification,” Dr. Lennie Waite, director of the program, said. “A minimum of 400 hours of mentored experience is required for CMPC candidates.”

Graduates Work in Health & Fitness, Sports and Performing Arts

“The goal of the BA/MA program in Applied Sport and Performance Psychology is to prepare students to work with individuals in sports, performing arts, or military populations on psychological factors aimed at improving human performance.”

Olympian and Professional Athlete Leads the Program

The program is led by Assistant Psychology Professor Dr. Lennie Waite, a former British Olympic track and field athlete, who brings a lot of expertise to the program. As a star track and field athlete, she competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

She attended Rice University and graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in Psychology, Economics, and Managerial Studies. While at Rice, Waite played soccer and competed in cross country and track and field. She left as a two-time All American in the mile and steeplechase, a top 10 finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, and earned an NCAA post-graduate scholarship.

She went on to earn a Ph.D. at the University of Houston in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and continued to train as a professional steeplechaser. Waite is a CMPC for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology and is passionate about helping athletes improve on the mental aspects of sports performance. She is also the current Chair of USA Track and Field’s Sport Psychology Subcommittee.

Program Highlights Importance of Mental Health in Sports Performance

The program highlights the importance of mental health and buffering the impact of stressors, such as burnout while maximizing human performance. Students will take coursework in research methods and statistics. They also will explore the theoretical underpinnings of performance from a variety of domains, including sociological, psychological and physiological perspectives. All students will gain hands-on experience in applied settings to prepare them to work with individuals and teams in multiple domains, including sports, performing arts, military, and other industries.

A Practicum and Capstone Project Offer Applied Work Experience

“The practicum provides the framework for mentored experience for students,” Waite said. “Mentored experience is an ongoing component of this program and helps students accumulate hours for the CMPC certification program.”

The capstone requirement serves as a reflective project that tracks the progress of the CMPC certification process. Throughout the program, students will work directly with athletic and/or performing arts populations. As part of the applied work, students will reflect on their observation and consultation experiences.

Graduates Find Meaningful Work in a Variety of Settings

Upon degree completion, graduates will be equipped with the skills to work with athletes of various levels (youth, elite, masters, recreational), coaches, non-sport performers (dancers, musicians), business professionals and tactical occupations (military personnel) to enhance their performance and well-being from a psychological standpoint.

“For example,” she said, “graduates from this program may help clients effectively navigate critical transition points throughout and beyond their sporting / performance-related career, teach resilience skills to active military personnel and their families, work with student-athletes supporting athletic and academic engagement or assist in player development for major sporting organizations. This program may also serve as a stepping-stone to Ph.D. programs,” she said.

To learn more about this degree, or to apply online, go to www.stthom.edu/MAASP