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The Master's program includes a significant academic workload and practicum workload, as described here.

Academic Coursework

Students participate in a full-time workload. Some classes are held on campus at Springfield College, while other classes are held in BOC’s Academic Learning Room. The master’s candidate may choose from the M.Ed. or the M.S. Degree (thesis required). Thesis students must complete a minimum of 33 semester hours and Independent Study students must complete a minimum of 34 semester hours.

Research requirements differ between Thesis (TS) or Independent Study (IS).


Thesis students must take an oral examination on their research to qualify for the M.S. or M.Ed.

  • Foundations and Methods of Research (3 credits)
  • Proposal Design (2 credits)
  • Educational and Psychological Statistics or Qualitative Research Methodology (3 credits)
  • Thesis (4 credits)

Independent Study

Independent Study students must pass the Poster Presentation to qualify for M.Ed.

  • Foundations and Methods of Research (3 credits)
  • Independent Study Proposal Design (2 credits)
  • Independent Study in Physical Education (2 credits)
  • Six additional credits of elective hours (6 credits)

All students must take core courses

  • Motor Development
  • Advanced Instructional Strategies & Curriculum Construction
  • Supervision & Mentoring

Finally, all students select between the Experiential Education track or Positive Youth Development Through Sport track:



  • PSYC 630 Adventure Therapy (3 credits)
  • PHED 615 Experiential Education Programs (3 credits)
  • PHED 690 Fieldwork in Experiential Education (3 credits)

Select 1 (Thesis) or 3 (Independent Study):

  • PSYC 622 Principles of Counseling (3 credits)
  • PSYC 648 Training & Development (3 credits)
  • PHED 655 Community-Based Youth Development (3 credits)
  • PHED 658 Sport in Society (3 credits)



  • PHED 655 Community-Based Youth Development (3 credits)
  • PHED 665 Positive Youth Development through Sport (3 credits)
  • PHED 691 Fieldwork in PYDS (3 credits)

Select 1 (thesis) or 3 (Independent Study):

  • AEXS 678 Sport & Exercise Psychology (3 credits)
  • MOST 624 Motor Learning (3 credits)
  • PHED 620 Philosophy of Sport (3 credits)
  • PSYC 622 Principles of Counseling (3 credits)

Practicum Coursework

The practicum component sees students gain professional, hands-on experience for approximately 20-80 hours per month from October 1 to April 30 and then approximately 160 hours per month from May 1 to September 30. Students gain thousands of hours of hands-on experience throughout the duration of their degree. The program includes a summer component.

Academic Year Focus Points

  • Challenge Course Instructing/Belaying
  • Challenge Course Management
  • Teambuilding and Debriefing for Adults
  • Teambuilding and Debriefing for Teens
  • Teambuilding and Debriefing for Children
  • Recreational Water Activities/Lifeguarding
  • Archery& Target Sports Management
  • Environmental Education for Elementary Students
  • Ecology for Middle School Students
  • Winter Recreation & Physical Education
  • Experiential Education in Urban Areas (Off-site Programming & Portable Low Ropes)

Summer Programs Focus Points

  • Community Based Youth Development
  • Group Management/Behavior Management for Counselors
  • Developing Group Dynamics
  • Experiential Education in Urban Areas
  • Teaching in an Academic Environment
  • Leading Peers through Mentorship

More Information

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748 Hamilton Road, Becket, MA 01223
Tel: (413) 623-8991 | Fax: (413) 623-5890