About the Program

Overview

The MSAT is a 63-unit program comprising two six-week summer terms and four traditional 15-week semesters. The first cohort begins summer 2015 and graduates at the end of the spring 2017 semester.

Through academic coursework and hands-on clinical experiences integrated with a Christian worldview, students learn how to provide immediate and follow-up care to patients while under the direct supervision of a preceptor. Students observe, learn from, interact with, and are supervised by a variety of health care personnel and members of the public, which may include physicians, nurses, physical therapists, patients, athletes, coaches, and parents.

Students enrolled in this program complete coursework in the areas of acute care and emergency management of injuries, orthopedic assessment, therapeutic modalities and exercise, biomechanics, pharmacology and medical conditions, strength and conditioning, health care administration, psychological and spiritual aspects of injury and illness, and research methodology.

A Day in the Life of an MSAT Student

A typical day in the life of a student in this program begins with morning classes with his/her cohort. After completing the first summer session of foundational courses, the afternoons and evenings in the fall, spring, and second summer include clinical experiences with health care professionals in a variety of settings that provide opportunities to apply the classroom content to real patients.

Program Status and Accreditation

Increasing demands within the athletic training profession are leading to a need for a higher level of education. The M.S. in Athletic Training degree will replace APU’s current undergraduate Athletic Training Education Program in 2015 to prepare students for this change.

MSAT requirements are consistent with the standards established by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Students who apply must successfully complete prerequisite courses and other admissions requirements prior to enrolling. Following the completion of the degree program, and pending the continuing CAATE accreditation of the professional program and CAATE approval of the substantive change to a postbaccalaureate degree, students may be eligible to sit for the BOC examination to become a certified athletic trainer.

Career Options

After completing an accredited athletic training program and successfully passing the national Board of Certification exam, certified athletic trainers become health care professionals in a variety of settings. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) lists high schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, clinics, professional sports, public safety, the military, and the performing arts as popular and emerging settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m a certified athletic trainer. Is this program right for me?

No. There are several types of graduate programs related to athletic training. Our program is a postbaccalaureate professional program designed for students interested in pursuing the BOC credential.

I recently graduated from an accredited undergraduate athletic training program, but I haven’t taken the BOC exam yet. Is this program right for me?

No. There are several types of graduate programs related to athletic training. Our program is a postbaccalaureate professional program designed for students interested in pursuing the BOC credential. As a graduate of an accredited undergraduate athletic training program, you’re already eligible for the BOC exam.

What’s the difference between undergraduate and graduate degrees in athletic training?

In general, there are two types of accredited athletic training programs and several degree levels. Professional programs prepare students for entering the profession after successfully passing the Board of Certification exam. Professional programs are offered at the undergraduate (baccalaureate) and graduate (postbaccalaureate) degree levels. Both programs include the same educational content to prepare students for the BOC exam; however, some postbaccalaureate programs include additional emphasis in specialty areas or research. The postprofessional program is a second type of graduate program option for certified athletic trainers or students who are already eligible for the BOC exam and are seeking an advanced degree.

What undergraduate major is required to be accepted to the MSAT?

There is no specific major required for admission to the MSAT, but there are specific prerequisite courses. See the list of required and recommended courses.

What undergraduate major would you suggest before entering the MSAT?

If at APU, we suggest the Applied Exercise Science major, since it includes most of the prerequisite courses (see answer to previous question) and provides opportunities for students to achieve certifications in strength and fitness—excellent additions to athletic training. It is imperative that the student receive academic advising by an AES or athletic training faculty member as soon as possible. If not at APU as an undergraduate, we suggest kinesiology, exercise science, or some type of health, fitness, or premedicine major, though any major is acceptable as long as the prerequisites are met.

Note: This information is current for the 2014-15 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.