Athletic Training Graduate Schools

Athletic training graduate studies explore the methods of performance enhancement and the treatment of bone and muscle injuries. Learn about athletic training master's degrees, educational prerequisites, course topics and professional certification. Schools offering Fitness Trainer degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Gaining graduate education in the field of athletic training will equip you with the knowledge and skillset to work with individuals and teams, ranging from those participating in recreational fitness to the world of professional sports. You'll be ready to help athletes at a variety of ages and levels improve their performance and deal with injury. Keep reading to see what these education programs entail and to discover a few master's degree options located across the country.

What are the Requirements for Admission to Graduate School for Athletic Training?

Though it's not technically necessary to have a graduate degree to work as an athletic trainer, the National Athletic Trainers' Association notes that the majority of athletic trainers hold a master's degree ( In order to qualify for admission to a Master of Science in Athletic Training program, you must have a bachelor's degree in athletic training or a related field, such as biology, health science or exercise science. Prerequisite courses may include human anatomy, human physiology, English and psychology. Some programs expect applicants to hold current certification in emergency cardiac care.

How Do I Choose a School?

In order to qualify for professional certification through the Board of Certification, you'll need to complete a master's program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Programs may differ between schools; some may offer internships and graduate assistant positions in addition to didactic and clinical courses. If you choose a school with a graduate assistant program, you may need to obtain a state license to practice as an athletic trainer prior to matriculation.

Which Schools Offer Graduate Programs in Athletic Training?

A wide range of colleges feature graduate-level degree programs related to the field of athletic training. Here are just a few that offer accredited programs:

  • The University of Houston provides a Master of Athletic Training program.
  • Seton Hall University has a Master of Science degree program in athletic training.
  • The University of Hawaii at Manoa offers a Master of Science in Athletic Training.

What Will I Learn?

In general, a master's program in athletic training will teach you how to evaluate bone and muscle injuries incurred during physical activity and apply appropriate treatments. As an athletic trainer, you'll be qualified to advise individuals on the most efficient ways to improve balance and strength through exercise, correctly applied manual therapy techniques and biomechanics.

What Courses Will I Take?

In a course on the fundamentals of athletic training, you'll be introduced to the theories, vocabulary and skills involved in the profession. Injury prevention and repair, risk management and emergency management are also stressed. You might take classes that explore the legal aspects of sports and athletic training.

Exercise nutrition and bioenergetics courses will enable you to develop viable nutritional recommendations in relation to sports performance and body composition. Exercise, rehabilitation and the pathology of injury and illness are examined as inter-related components of efficient physical activity. You'll also need to complete some hands-on clinical courses or practicums. Clinical components are generally carried out with the cooperation of your school's athletic teams, but in some cases might be completed as externships at a local high school.

Many schools provide graduate-level studies in athletic training, which will provide advanced education in the field while helping you gain eligibility to become a nationally certified athletic trainer.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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