Athletic trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians in prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses.

To become an athletic trainer you must earn a degree in Athletic Training from a college or university with an education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), and pass the national Board of Certification exam. The Master of Science in Athletic Training is a graduate level professional program that prepares students to become credentialed Athletic Trainers.

The MS Athletic Training reflects the changed nature of professional practice demanding more interprofessional collaboration, a higher degree of autonomy requiring advanced development of clinical reasoning skills, and a skill set in evidence based practice that allows graduates to actively engage in the rapidly changing science surrounding health care practice.

Learn more about athletic training at the National Athletic Trainer’s Association website.

Accreditation

Accreditation

The Master of Science in Athletic Training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). UWM received initial accreditation in 2003 for the Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training program, and was approved for degree change in December 2016. The program will undergo comprehensive review in 2017-2018.

Mission, Goals & Objectives

Mission, Goals & Objectives

Mission

To develop clinician-scholars from diverse backgrounds who integrate knowledge from kinesiology, varied learning experiences, and research to practice Athletic Training, and do so in an evidence based way as part of an interprofessional health care team.


Goals & Objectives

  1. Develop a well-rounded athletic trainer who has comprehensive knowledge of the domains of athletic training practice, and is a patient-centered healthcare provider who will remain actively engaged in learning throughout their career. Specifically, the program will achieve the following student learning outcomes:
    • Athletic Training students will demonstrate mastery of knowledge, skills, and professional behaviors related to evidence-based athletic training practice.
    • Athletic Training students are prepared, capable, and experienced in working as part of an inter-professional healthcare team.
    • Athletic Training students will be able to integrate aspects of physical and mental health, cultural competence, ethics, and patient and community values to improve the patients’ outcome.
    • Athletic Training students will demonstrate attitudes, behaviors, and practices that support personal well-being and life-long learning.
    • Athletic Training students will exemplify leadership, professional engagement and advocacy to strengthen the profession of athletic training.
  2. Deliver a problem-based curriculum that draws from various biopsychosocial disciplines and includes inter-professional learning opportunities.
  3. Provide clinical education experiences in numerous settings to develop culturally competent clinicians who represent the diverse populations of patients that they serve.
  4. Recruit and retain faculty who are outstanding clinicians, educators, and researchers who provide mentorship to produce future leaders in the athletic training profession.
  5. Actively contribute to the athletic training profession through the scholarship and leadership of the faculty, staff, and students.

Program Outcomes

Program Outcomes

Board of Certification Examination Results

Updated 9/28/2017

BS Athletic Training BOC Pass Rate

 2014-152015-162016-173 year aggregate
# students graduating from the program561120
# students graduating who took BOC exam551115
# students who passed BOC on the first attempt55714
% of students who passed the BOC on the first attempt100%100%64%81%
# of students who passed the BOC regardless of the number of attempts55915
% of students who passed the BOC regardless of the number of attempts100%100%82%90%

MS Athletic Training BOC Pass Rate

No students from the Master of Science in Athletic Training have completed the program and attempted the BOC exam.

 2016-173 year aggregate
# students graduating from the program00
# students graduating who took BOC exam00
# students who passed BOC on the first attempt00
% of students who passed the BOC on the first attempt0%0%
# of students who passed the BOC regardless of the number of attempts00
% of students who passed the BOC regardless of the number of attempts0%0%

Admission

Admission
To apply for the MSAT program you must apply to the UWM Graduate School. The number of students accepted each year will fluctuate (~10-12) in accordance with retention and graduation rates.


Application Deadline

The program seeks to admit highly qualified students until the class has been filled (approximately 12 students per year). There are two admission cycles per year.

Early Decision Cycle
Application deadline: November 1
Interview window: November 15-30
Notification window: December 15-30

Regular Decision Cycle
Application deadline: February 1
Interview window: February 15-28
Notification window: March 15-30

Visit the UWM Graduate School website to begin your application.


Admission Requirements

In addition to the Graduate School minimum qualifications, applications must meet the following pre-requisites to be eligible for admission to the program:

  1. Completion of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with an overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) of a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) at the time application submission and graduation. Official transcripts must be submitted. Undergraduate degree must be completed by the time the applicant plans to begin in the MSAT program.
  2. Completion of 10 prerequisite courses. A prerequisite GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is recommended.
  3. Submission of scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the last five years.
  4. Completion of 20 hours of observation of athletic training practice with a certified athletic trainer within 12 months of application submission.
  5. Two letters of recommendation.

Prerequisite Courses

Applicants must complete the following 10 prerequisite courses. A prerequisite GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is recommended.

Prerequisite CourseUWM Course Number (or equivalent)
Human Anatomy (with lab)*Biological Sciences 202
Human Physiology (with lab)*Biological Sciences 203
Chemistry I (with lab)Chemistry 102
Physics I (with lab)Physics 120 (lecture) and 121 (lab)
BiomechanicsKinesiology 320
Exercise PhysiologyKinesiology 330
Motor Learning and/or DevelopmentKinesiology 460 or 461
Introductory NutritionBiomedical Sciences 232 or Nutritional Sciences 235
Introductory Psychology (3 cr.)Psychology 101
Statistics (3 cr.)Kinesiology 270

*Applicants must complete a 2-semester sequence of anatomy/physiology with lab. This can be a stand-alone anatomy course and a stand-alone physiology course or a 2-semester combined anatomy/physiology course.

Applicants currently enrolled in a prerequisite course may be granted conditional admission, pending successful completion of the course and meeting all prerequisite criteria. Preference will be given to applicants that have completed all prerequisite courses at the time of application submission.


Transfer Students

Due to the sequential and cumulative nature of the curriculum, transfer students must complete all of the Athletic Training Core courses at UWM. Acceptance of transfer credits is determined by the Program Director in consultation with the Graduate School.


Meet With Your Advisor

Meet With Your Advisor

Prospective Students

Prospective applicants who have questions about pursuing athletic training are encouraged to seek advising from the Pre-Athletic Training advisor in the College of Health Sciences Office of Student Affairs. Prospective applicants are encouraged to carefully review the entirety of this website prior to scheduling an advising appointment.

Completed Baccalaureate Degree: Prospective applicants who have already completed a bachelor’s degree and are interested in taking courses at UWM to satisfy MSAT program prerequisites should apply for admission to UWM. On the application, applicants should identify their reason for applying as “Undergraduate courses as a visitor/guest student” and their “applying as” status as “Undergraduate non-degree student with a bachelor’s degree.” Applicants should apply as a second degree student only if they plan to complete a second bachelor’s degree. Questions regarding financial aid for non-degree students should be directed to Gayla Jenkins (jenkinsg@uwm.edu) in the UWM Department of Financial Aid.


Admitted Students

Admitted students receive advising from designated program faculty. Additional information will be made available to you after admission.

Curriculum

Curriculum
The MS Athletic Training will achieve goals by providing a structured, tracked curriculum that contains coursework as well as community engaged opportunities for clinical education, research, and professional development. Philosophies of evidence-based practice, integrated person-centered care, cultural competence, and clinical problem solving will be incorporated into all courses within the curriculum. There are several courses that are taught interprofessionally, where students from multiple healthcare professions learn about, from and with each other.

The curriculum consists of 71 credits to degree, and meets all of the competencies and requirements set forth by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. At the completion of the program, students will be eligible to sit for the national certification exam, administered by the Board of Certification.

Get Involved

Get Involved

Society of Athletic Training Students (SATS)

The Society of Athletic Training Students’ (SATS) purpose is to promote and encourage higher scholastic achievement and personal and professional development in the area of sports medicine. SATS is open to anyone interested in kinesiology, exercise and fitness, athletic training, physical therapy, occupational therapy or sports medicine.

Contact

Jennifer Earl-Boehm, Faculty Advisor
Associate Professor
(414) 229-3227
jearl@uwm.edu


Volunteer Service

The Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research provides the UW-Milwaukee campus with different opportunities to volunteer throughout the city and beyond. Each week of the year there are opportunities to make a real difference in Milwaukee and beyond by working to improve the environment, mentoring local kids, stocking shelves at a food pantry, serving breakfast to Milwaukee’s homeless community, engaging in an alternative spring break, and helping older adults.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities at uwm.edu/community/students

Clinical Education

Clinical Education

Formal Clinical Education

The purpose of clinical education experiences is to provide the student with the opportunity to practice and refine their clinical and decision making skills in the context of direct patient care. During the clinical placement, students are supervised by a licensed athletic trainer who is has training as a clinical education preceptor. Students commit an average of 12 hours per week to clinical education. Students will begin the clinical education placements during their first semester, and will continue these for each semester of the program. The final two semesters will include a capstone clinical education placement. Clinical placements are guided by concurrent coursework, type of practice setting (i.e., collegiate, high school, clinical, professional sports, industrial), injury risk level, and sociodemographic factors (i.e., gender, age, urban/suburban/rural). All clinical education experiences will be strategically mapped to ensure that each student is exposed to as many of the above factors as possible.

Clinical education assignments are coordinated by the Director of Clinical Education and are based upon the class and/or work schedule of each student as well as identification of clinical education goals of each student. This process allows the program to accommodate the individual student-needs while ensuring that each student participates in an appropriate, yet diverse set of supervised clinical experiences. The emphasis of each clinical rotation will directly correspond to the semester-specific set of educational competencies and clinical proficiencies presented in the concurrent academic courses.


Supplemental Clinical Education

The growth of our community-based clinical affiliates has provided a number of clinical education opportunities to augment a student’s education. These supplemental experiences are organized by the Director of Clinical Education and disseminated to the students through electronic postings and the weekly seminar class. Examples of recent supplemental clinical education include:

  • Shadowing a team physician and/or orthopedic surgeon during surgical procedures, hospital rounds or patient appointments
  • Assisting a licensed athletic trainer with athletic training coverage for local sporting events sponsored by independent organizations such as USA Volleyball and National Youth Soccer Tournaments
  • Assisting a licensed athletic trainer providing coverage for mass participation sporting events, such as marathons, 5K races, triathlons, rugby tournaments, etc.

Background Check

Students must have a criminal background check completed prior to beginning the program. Consistent with Wisconsin’s Caregiver Law, individuals with certain convictions may be disqualified from working in hospitals and other health care or care facilities. Such individuals may also be denied national certification and licensure. More information about the Caregiver Background Law is available at dhs.wisconsin.gov/caregiver.

If you have a criminal conviction in your background it may affect your ability to work in certain facilities or obtain certification and licensure. The inability to be placed in facilities may affect your completion of clinical education requirements and thus degree completion. In addition, the existence of disqualifying convictions under the Caregiver Background Law may also affect your eligibility for certification and licensure, and/or your ability to gain employment in this field. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Program Director if an event occurs while in the program that may change the results of the criminal background check. You should contact the Program Director as soon as possible to discuss whether you should apply to the program or consider alternative programs.

You will need to use the Castle Branch website to initiate your background check. The cost of completing this check will be $53.00, which you are responsible for paying. See instructions for completing this process.

Graduation

Graduation
The established graduation criteria for the MS Athletic Training include:

  • Payment of graduation fee on the PAWS system
  • Completion of 71 degree-credits for the MS Athletic Training degree
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0

Use UWM’s Graduation website to review campus-wide graduation requirements, graduation application deadlines, applying for graduation, and ordering your cap and gown.

Certification & Licensure

Certification & Licensure
To become a Certified Athletic Trainer, students must successfully pass the national athletic training Board of Certification Examination. Students are eligible upon enrollment in the final semester of coursework. Details about the examination and registration can be found at the Board of Certification website.

Following successfully passing the Board exam, a final transcript must be requested from Enrollment services and sent to the Board of Certification.

A license to practice athletic training is required in nearly all states. Graduates are encouraged to contact the state government website where they plan to practice. For Wisconsin residents, see the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services website.

For other related certifications

Employment Outlook

Employment Outlook

Earnings

Athletic trainers working in full time positions typically receive a salary and benefits. The salary depends on the education and experience of the athletic trainer and also on the setting in which the individual is working. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics the mean annual income of athletic trainers in Wisconsin is $49,120, compared to the national average income of $44,670. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association provides estimates of salary by experience level, education, and job setting based on a membership survey conducted every three years. The 2008 NATA Salary Survey indicates a national average salary of $44,235. Examples of average annual salary by education level, or job setting are listed below:

Education or SettingAverage Salary
Athletic Trainer - Bachelor’s degree$39,096
Athletic Trainer - Master’s degree$44,707
Athletic Trainer - Public high school$47,822
Athletic Trainer - Collegiate$39,285
Athletic Trainer - Industrial/corporate$46,000
Athletic Trainer - Professional sports$54,000

Expected Growth

Overall employment of athletic trainers is expected to grow much faster than average, particularly in the clinical, industrial, and high school settings. The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates a growth of 21% in employment of athletic trainers from 2014-2024, which is faster than average. Projections from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development indicate that from 2012-2020, there will be an 18% increase in the number of athletic training jobs in the state of Wisconsin, and a 16% increase in the greater Milwaukee area (Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Waukesha and Washington counties). This exceeds the overall increase in healthcare practitioner positions (15%), indicating that athletic training continues as a strong area of growth in the healthcare professions.

Competition is expected for positions with collegiate or professional sports teams. These settings are expanding their services to physically active youth and adult populations. The demands for services will continue to expand beyond traditional “sport-related” roles to include exercise and re-conditioning, on-site occupational health, on-site injury prevention, and fitness and wellness. As our society continues to age and increase its focus on health and physical activity, the role of the athletic trainer is likely to increase proportionally. The athletic trainer is able to provide a diverse perspective in the prevention and treatment/rehabilitation of physical activities across our diverse and aging population.

Competition for well-trained professionals with recognized degrees in the field, relevant experience, and certifications beyond minimal requirements are likely to drive salaries and positions in this industry. According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, almost 70 percent of athletic trainers have a master’s degree or higher. Athletic trainers may need a master’s or higher degree to be eligible for some positions, especially those in colleges and universities, and to increase their advancement opportunities. Because some positions in high schools involve teaching along with athletic trainer responsibilities, a teaching certificate or license could be required.

Sources: NATA 2008 Salary Survey; U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics- Occupational Outlook Handbook 2016-2017 edition.

Professional Organizations

Professional Organizations

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to complete the Master of Science in Athletic Training degree?
The program requires 6 sequential semesters over 2 calendar years. Students begin in the Summer term, and complete the program at the end of the Spring term 2 years later.


Can I maintain a job while completing the MS Athletic Training degree?
Yes, many students work part-time during the academic year. It is important to also consider the high academic load (9-14 credits per semester) as well as the clinical education experiences (about 12 hours per week) when considering employment. It is not advisable to have a full-time job while completing the program.


Can I still apply to the BS Athletic Training program?
No, the BS Athletic Training program is no longer admitting students.


I have already passed the Board of Certification Exam and am a Certified Athletic Trainer, and I would like to pursue a Master’s degree. Is this the program for me?
No, this is a professional degree program intended to prepare students to take the Board of Certification Exam. A good option for post-professional education is the Master of Science in Kinesiology, or Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology, or Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences.

Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff