AT Prospective Students

What is Athletic Training?

From the National Athletic Trainers' Association website:

Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum. Accredited programs include formal instruction in areas such as injury/illness prevention, first aid and emergency care, assessment of injury/illness, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, and nutrition. Classroom learning is enhanced through clinical education experiences.

The Commission on Accreditation for Athletic Training Education (CAATE), the accrediting body for athletic training education has now mandated that "accredited professional athletic training programs must result in the granting of a master's degree. As such, the required degree to become an Athletic Trainer will be a master's degree." According to CAATE, baccalaureate programs may not admit, enroll, or matriculate students into the athletic training program after the start of the fall term 2022. 

A day in the life of a certified athletic trainer

Admittance into the Appalachian State University Athletic Training Program

A Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training is no longer available to newly enrolled bachelor's degree seeking students at Appalachian State University. The Master of Science in Athletic Training (MS-AT) program is beginning in May 2020. Candidates will be able to apply via ATCAS to the May 2021 cohort starting on July 1, 2020.  The ATCAS deadline is February 1, annually.  For more information, contact our Program Director, Dr. Ashley Goodman.


Accelerated Admission: Earn a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a Master of Science in Athletic Training at Appalachian State University! 

Students may choose to pursue Accelerated Admissions and apply for admittance into the Master of Science in Athletic Training (MS-AT) program after having completed three years of outstanding undergraduate coursework in Exercise Science.  However, this program is academically rigorous and requires significant advanced planning beginning with freshman coursework.  Individuals interested in pursuing accelerated admissions should contact the MS-AT Accelerated Admissions Coordinator, Dr. Jennifer Howard, for additional information and to discuss course sequencing

MS-AT Requirements

Students interested in attending Appalachian State University and pursuing a career in athletic training are encouraged to complete a bachelor's degree and prerequisite courses and then apply to the MS-AT program at the graduate level. Anticipated MS-AT prerequisite-friendly majors include: Exercise Science, Public Health, Psychology, Health & Physical Education, and others!  

Admissions requirements to the Master of Science in Athletic Training will include:

  • Bachelor's degree from accredited college or University (may be in progress at time of application but must be complete prior to enrollment).
  • Complete application on the Athletic Training Central Application System (ATCAS) and the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School. (see note below regarding deadlines)
  • Official GRE scores (within 5 years)
    • GRE Scores may be waived if you have an undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or higher; AND a GPA of 3.25 in prerequisite courses.
  • International students only: TOEFL score
  • Official transcripts, including prerequisites, from each college/university attended since High School
  • Three letters of reference, with at least one from a faculty member and one from a licensed healthcare provider (e.g. athletic trainer, physical therapist, physician assistant, nurse, etc.)
  • Resume
  • Forty hours of clinical observation/shadowing under the direct supervision of a Certified Athletic Trainer. You are advised to observe a variety of activities, events, and athletic training settings.
    • Log your observation hours using this form
    • Due to COVID-19, we are being flexible with this requirement. Please inquire if you have questions regarding this.
  • Personal Statement providing (1) insight into what is involved in becoming and practicing as an Athletic Trainer; (2) the applicant's reflection on observation hours obtained; (3) the applicant's professional goals and how the MS-AT will achieve those goals; and (4) if the applicant is interested in research, it should include the faculty member(s) with whom the applicant is most interested in working
  • Interview (in-person or web-based)
  • Completion of required prerequisites (may be in progress at time of application but must be complete prior to enrollment):
    • Biology (animal-based), 3-4 credits with lab (BIO 1801 or equivalent)
    • Chemistry, 3-4 credits with lab (CH 1101/1110 or equivalent)
    • Physics, 4 credits with lab (PHY 1103 or equivalent)
    • Human anatomy, 4 credits with lab (ES 2031 or equivalent)
      • When anatomy and physiology are taken as a combined course, two semesters are necessary to meet this requirement.
    • Human physiology, 4 credits with lab (ES 2032 or equivalent)
      • When anatomy and physiology are taken as a combined course, two semesters are necessary to meet this requirement.
    • Exercise physiology, 3 credits (ES 3002 or equivalent)
    • Biomechanics OR Kinesiology, 3 credits (ES 3550 or equivalent)
    • Statistics, 3 credits (STT 2810 or equivalent)
    • Psychology, 3 credits (PSY 1200 or equivalent)
    • *The program director reserves the right to request course syllabi to confirm course content or equivalency*

Our admissions process is nondiscriminatory and contingent upon successfully passing a criminal background check and meeting the program's technical standards. The number of students we are able to select each semester is limited. Priority is given to students with a career goal in the field of Athletic Training.

Admission to the MS-AT program is a competitive process. To be considered for admission, and for graduate assistantships and scholarships, applicants must meet or exceed the criteria for admission to the Graduate School. Meeting these criteria does not guarantee admission. Both qualitative and quantitative aspects of applications are reviewed by the program in comparison to the current applicant pool. Each student requesting to transfer into the proposed MS-AT degree program will be evaluated on an individual basis by the Program Director.

 Applications for upcoming years should be submitted into ATCAS on or before February 1st of each calendar year, with applications opening on July 1. Students notified that they are being recommended to the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School for admissions must complete that application no later than April 1.  Students should not apply to the ASU graduate school until they have been notified on the status of their ATCAS application by the admissions team. 

Scholarship opportunities are available through the Beaver College of Health Sciences. Other scholarship, fellowship, and graduate assistantship opportunities are available through the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School.

 MS-AT Program of Study Information

The program begins in the first Summer Session, and is designed to be a two-year program. A link to the MS-AT program of study is provided below. An evidence-based capstone experience is required for each student. Students will be directed toward two options: 1) research thesis, or 2) research project (e.g., systematic review, critically appraised topic, or quality improvement project). If a student chooses the research thesis option, AT 5999 would be substituted for AT 5970. All capstones must be evidence-based and should result in a product worthy of dissemination.

 Note on Academic Standards for Retention in the MS-AT

Academic standards for retention in the MS-AT degree program include abiding by the ASU Code of Student Conduct and the Academic Integrity Code, the MS-AT Professional Behaviors and Responsibilities Policy, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Code of Ethics, and the Board of Certification® Standards of Practice. These Standards are fully described in the MS-AT Student Handbook. 

 MS-AT students must achieve a grade of “C” or higher in all graduate courses, maintain an overall GPA of 3.0, and earn no more than two final grades of “C” or below in the program of study. Students are dismissed from the MS-AT degree program if they earn more than two final grades of a “C” or lower.

Useful Information