Master of Science in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with Concentration in Biobehavioral Science (Exercise and Performance Psychology) Program By University of Florida |Top Universities

Master of Science in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with Concentration in Biobehavioral Science (Exercise and Performance Psychology)

Master of Science in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with Concentration in Biobehavioral Science (Exercise and Performance Psychology)

University of Florida

University of Florida, Gainesville, United States
  • QS World University Rankings
    =173
  • Study Level Masters
  • Duration 24 months

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Graduate students are exposed to and directly involved in research covering the full multidisciplinary spectrum of human potential from young to old, fit to unfit, healthy to diseased, able-bodied to disabled, and from the casual recreational participant to the high-level athlete. In addition to human performance issues, APK faculty and students study the immediate and lasting effects of exercise and its use in disease prevention and rehabilitation. The mission of the MS program in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with a concentration in Biobehavioral Science is to prepare individuals for doctoral study in biobehavioral sciences, or to obtain private sector employment in the area of human biobehavioral evaluation. The program of study is developed by the student and the advisory committee based on the student’s background, interests, and career goals, as well as faculty expertise. Exercise and Performance Psychology provides the basis for understanding and influencing the underlying thought processes and attitudes that will ultimately determine the performance of individuals involved in sport, exercise, and other achievement oriented activities. The emphasis of the Exercise and Performance Psychology concentration of the MS degree is to prepare students for doctoral study. Consequently, the primary focus is to develop the scientific background and skills necessary for doctoral training and research. However, teachers, coaches, athletes, athletic trainers, and recreational sport leaders will acquire relevant expertise in the area, as will those who wish to work in health clubs and fitness programs. Major topics related to Exercise Psychology include describing and understanding the precursors to participating in exercise, motivational aspects associated with maintaining exercise, and the psychological benefits that occur due to participation in exercise programs. Research themes in the exercise area include understanding the acute and chronic mood changes associated with exercise participation, the anxiolytic effects of exercise, exercise adherence issues, and understanding problems associated with body image distortion, eating disorders, and exercise dependence. Major topics related to Performance Psychology include a cognitive emphasis on understanding the development of the attention, anticipation, decision-making, and reacting skills necessary for expert performance in self-paced as well as unpredictable rapidly occurring events. Determining the role of emotions in altering attentional allocation and the movement parameters that underlie coordinated motor actions is of paramount interest. Research in these areas has been facilitated by the recent laboratory additions of technologically advanced instrumentation used for psycho physiological assessment of brain wave activity and visual search patterns. The social-cognitive influence is also prevalent as exemplified by studies of achievement motivation, emotional reactivity and regulation, individual differences, and personality. Given the development of Exercise and Performance Psychology as fields that emphasize science and practice, courses are offered that are relevant to developing proficiency in both areas. Our approach tends to be weighted to the science aspect of the discipline, with the notion that understanding the scientific basis for intervention will enable practitioners to more effectively impart beneficial information to performers.