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Athletic Training


Athletic training programs prepare people to prevent and treat sports-related injuries under the supervision of a medical doctor.

Athletic training programs include topics such as:


Several community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in athletic training. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree, students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in athletic training. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Many colleges and universities offer graduate degrees in athletic training. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Admission to a college does not always guarantee admission to its athletic training program. Some schools require you to first complete several prerequisite courses and maintain good grades before you can apply and be accepted into their programs. These courses typically include at least some of the following:

Additional requirements may include:

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree in athletic training, good grades, and good test scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General. You also need to be certified.

Additional requirements at most schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

In addition, you usually have to take general education courses in areas such as writing, general physical and life sciences, and math.

Graduate Program Courses

Course work in graduate programs that lead to a master's or doctoral degree varies from program to program. These programs tend to give you a choice of focuses, such as education, research, or administration. Whichever specific area you choose determines the course work you will have to take. Generally, the courses emphasize research and more advanced clinical techniques.

The typical outline of the curriculums in graduate programs is as follows:

All programs include a clinical practicum in their curriculum. These are hands-on opportunities to relate the things you have learned to real-life clinical settings. You get to practice and sharpen your skills under the supervision of an experienced athletic trainer.

You might work with college athletic programs and provide on-the-field coverage of athletic events, first aid, and treatment. Or you might work in a recreational sports office, helping instruct athletes how to prevent and manage injuries.

Things to Know

Graduating from an accredited athletic training program qualifies you to take a national certification exam.

Since many athletic trainers are self-employed, it may be useful to take accounting, business management, and computer courses in college.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

Washington State University - Pullman

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Gonzaga University

Whitworth University