Master of Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ for the Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology (SEPP) program at Barry University was designed to supplement the information provided on the SEPP website. Prospective graduate students should review the above website and the FAQ below for detailed information about the program.


  • Applications will start being reviewed in February every year, with decisions being sent out in March. While there is a rolling admission, the cohort caps at 15 students.  Once the cohort is filled, the program will stop reviewing applications.  So, the sooner you apply the better!


    All applications should be submitted online

  • Here !

    You will need the following:

      • (1) online application
      • (1) resume or CV
      • (1) statement of purpose
      • (2) letters of recommendation
      • GRE scores (this is waived for students with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher at time of application)
      • Unofficial transcripts
  • Yes, our program only accepts students for Fall admission.

  • The SEPP MS program usually receives 50-65 applicants. Each cohort accepts 15 students. The program emphasizes a small cohort so students can gain one on one learning in small class sizes and time with faculty.

  • Yes, the GRE is required for application.  However this is waived for students with a 3.75 GPA or higher at time of application. There is no minimum score required, and students will be evaluated on their entire application portfolio, with a greater emphasis placed on student’s personal statements, resume, and undergraduate coursework.

  • In order to apply to our SEPP program, you must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited or internationally listed institution, as verified by an official transcript (which you must submit as a part of your application). We do not have any prerequisites prior to starting the programming.  One of the best things about the program is that students come from a wide variety of education backgrounds.  We have students from Sport Management, Psychology, Exercise Science, Sociology, Athletic Training, etc.  We think this diversity brings a lot of different perspectives to the program; therefore we do not have prerequisites. 

  • Previous research experience is not required. The SEPP program offers multiple tracks, allowing students to either pursue a thesis (with a research emphasis) or the applied track (which focuses on being a practitioner).

  • Do not worry, you will have your first semester to evaluate your options, as you will not have to make any course-based decisions until your second semester. You will be assigned a faculty advisor who will serve as your mentor and help make sure the track you choose will match your career aspirations.

  • No, you do not need to know before you apply whether or not you are interested in going on to pursue a PhD. This only becomes important as you consider whether to commit to the Thesis track, as a thesis is often required for application to a doctorate program. Some reasons why our graduates may decide to continue their studies are because they are either interested in becoming a licensed psychologist (PhD or PsyD), because they want to pursue a career in academia, or because they want to further pursue research.

  • Letters of recommendation—like your Statement of Purpose—should tell more about you than your resume and CV. Thus, try to select professors, colleagues, and supervisors that can speak to you and your strengths. Instead of focusing on the prestige of the letter-writer, instead seek out someone who really knows you. At least one of your letters should come from an academic source (ie, an UG professor).

  • Yes! Barry University offers a Merit Scholarship that students do not even need to apply to. The Merit Scholarships are automatically applied to students' accounts and based on students' final UG GPA.  This scholarship comes in the form of a discount on your hourly tuition rate and is a sliding scale which increases based on your overall UG GPA. While the rates are subject to change every year, you may contact Dr. Shaffer for the most updated information. This discount is not applied to your account until a few weeks into the school year, so do not panic if you appear to be paying full price once the semester starts!

  • A graduate assistantship is a part-time job held at a university by a Master’s student. Typically at Barry, these roles are 15-25 hours/week from August through May, and include some combination of tuition reimbursement (partial or full) and a stipend. Examples of graduate assistantships (GA) at Barry range from teaching assistant roles, to roles within the Strength & Conditioning department or Fitness Center, to roles at Campus Ministry, Residence Life, and even for our own SEPP department. To apply for a GA role, you would need to directly contact the hiring manager for that role, submit your resume and credentials, and often undergo an interview process. While there is not a central database for all GA roles at Barry U, this website is often the best source. Alternatively, if you have a particular interest, you are welcome to search that office or department’s own website to determine if they have a role available. All students are eligible to apply for positions.

Barry U SEPP Experience

  • If you are considering a career working directly with athletes and professionals as a CMPC, a coach, or as a licensed psychologist, you would want to select the Applied track. This curriculum features two semesters in which you are working directly with athletes at Barry U. You will begin to earn hours towards sitting for the CMPC exam.

    If you are considering a career in research (or just like to do research), teaching SEPP, or as a licensed psychologist, you would want to select the Thesis track. This curriculum features coursework in statistics, and has specific credits allotted for you to plan and conduct your research. By the end of this track, you will have designed, carried-out, and presented your Master’s Thesis.

    If you are unsure of what your final career might be, or if you’d like to work with athletes/professionals AND you’d like to have a career in research or teaching, you would want to complete both tracks. This is common in our program. Note that many doctorate programs require a thesis during the application process.

    While some applicants have made this decision before arriving at the school, many of our students do not make this decision until the end of their first semester. Because the first (Fall) semester is the same for both tracks, there is no problem with waiting to decide.

  • All Curriculums can be found on the website!

  • While there is no “one” answer to this question, a good rule of Thumb is that you’ll have one hour of homework/reading for each credit hour per week. In our example, since most semesters you will have three classes (for nine total credit hours), you could plan for 18-20 hours a week of studying outside of your nine class hours. In total, you would be looking at 25-30 hours a week. Of course, there are busier times and less busy times, and much of this will be dependent on your organization and efficiency.

    We have had students that have had work-study jobs, Graduate Assistantships, part-time jobs, full-time jobs… this is a personal preference and will vary greatly from student to student. However, when evaluating job options, be sure to consider whether your class schedule may conflict with your work schedule, as missing classes for outside work is unacceptable.

  • Our students can take advantage of the SEPP departments tight partnership and cooperation with the DII Barry U athletic department, which enables our students to develop real experiences with an elite athlete population.

    Each of our SEPP professors are also practicing CMPC consultants. This means our students will not only learn the theoretical foundation of SEPP but will also learn vicariously from the professors’ real-world experience.

    BUCS: established in 2020, the Building Unity, Community, and Solidarity Task Force was spearheaded by the Barry U SEPP department, and includes students, faculty, and staff. The BUCS mission is to support and empower our Barry U student athletes as they contribute to the conversation and act towards supporting an inclusive community.

  • While some students continue to a doctorate program, others graduate our program and begin working directly with athletes and professionals at all levels. Some of the most common locations our students end up after completing their MS are:

    1. Professional Athletics: MLB Organizations, NFL Players Association
    2. United States Military: subcontracting with Army or Navy for mental resilience training, stationed on bases across the United States.
    3. Private practice: many of our dual MBA/ SEPP graduates go on to start their own private consulting company
    4. College Athletics: student athlete success, student athlete academic advisors, etc.
    5. Sport & Exercise Sciences: personal trainers, athletic training, strength & conditioning , coaching, nutrition


  • AASP stands for the Association for Applied Sports Psychology, and it is our professional organization. AASP creates and protects our Standards and Ethics Codes, provides research funding, and generally supports the networking and sharing of information between SEPP professionals around the world. We strongly encourage all of our students to register as a Student member of AASP during their first semester (just before the AASP conference), and to maintain their membership throughout their career. Click here for more information about membership.

  • Every Fall, AASP brings together hundreds of professionals and students for a four-day conference. The conference features high-profile keynote speakers, panels, information sessions and seminars, and special interest round-table discussions. As a first year student, this is a wonderful opportunity to explore the many possibilities within this field, and to network with others that share your interests. As a Second Year, you will have a further opportunity to delve into your special interests, while also networking with potential future colleagues and employers. The AASP conference also features recently conducted research, and Barry U has had multiple faculty and student presenters, even grant winners.

    Recent locations have included Phoenix (AZ), Toronto (CA), and Portland (OR).

    While we do not require attendance, it is strongly recommended for overall development and career planning.

  • Certification as a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC®) demonstrates to clients, employers, colleagues, and the public at large that an individual has met the highest standards of professional practice, including completing a combination of educational and work requirements, successfully passing a certification exam, agreeing to adhere to ethical principles and standards, and committing to ongoing professional development.

    These individuals have obtained objective validation of their expertise in helping clients develop and use mental, life, and self-regulatory skills to optimize performance, enjoyment, and/or personal development in sport or other domains (e.g., performing arts, military).

    CMPC®s are individuals with a master’s or doctoral degree in sport science, psychology or a closely related field* who have met specific course requirements and have completed an extensive, mentored applied experience.

  • To earn your CMPC there are three steps.

    1. Earn a MS degree with courses from all the required knowledge areas.
    2. Have 400 supervised hours working with athletes or performers. All hours must be signed off by a current CMPC.
    3. Pass the certification exam

    Barry University’s program offers students all three steps & most students go on to receive CMPC upon graduating.

  • Our curriculum is designed to fulfill all the required coursework for the CMPC exam, and our partnership with the athletic department will help you to earn as many of your CMPC hours as possible. Additionally, since each of our professors has successfully passed the CMPC exam, they highlight important theories and learning points to help prepare you for the exam.

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