Athletic Training, M.S.

Athletic Training, M.S.

PLNU’s Master of Science in Athletic Training program features three concentrations to help you gain hands-on experience and practical application in the field you’re passionate about.


Do you have a deep passion for learning about the human body as well as a desire to aid in patient treatment and rehabilitation? Are sports and the field of competition somewhere you thrive and are passionate about? Does a career that combines healthcare and physical activity sound like the optimal environment for you?

At Point Loma Nazarene University, you can earn your Master of Science in Athletic Training (MS-AT) degree at Balboa Regional Center which hosts our state-of-the-art athletic training, human performance, and biomechanics labs. These facilities allow you to practically apply athletic training skills in real time and learn from renowned faculty. Our labs are also used by our faculty and students to support professional athletes and organizations across Southern California. 

M.S. AT student Jarret Welsh, an established chiropractor, turned to PLNU when he realized his dream of teaching so he could gain the necessary credentials and help others learn from his experience.

PLNU’s hands-on MS-AT program features three concentrations that prepare you for professional practice after graduation. You have the flexibility to choose one of the following concentrations allowing you to be successful — and more marketable — in your future career and vocation:

1. Anatomy Education

This concentration is meant for individuals with aspirations to teach athletic training or sports medicine within the career teaching education pathways in a high school setting or those wanting to teach as an adjunct or part-time professor at a college/university. The anatomy education concentration will allow you to take a fully online anatomy course where you’ll dive deeper into the anatomy of the human body.

To prepare you for teaching in a classroom setting, students start by learning about some of the best practices in the scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education, followed by hands-on teaching experience in the anatomy laboratory and classroom. Throughout the program, you’ll learn how to integrate your clinical experience as an athletic trainer and your knowledge of educational practices to teach the next generation of healthcare professionals. By graduation, students can expect to gain the necessary experience and hours needed to teach classes in anatomy.

2. Biomechanics 

This concentration is meant for individuals who are passionate about applying 3D motion capture technology to study joint motion in sports movements and interested in using a hands-on practical application of your knowledge with professional sports teams and athletes. 

In the biomechanics concentration, students take an eight-week biomechanics course, study with a nationally recognized biomechanist, utilize PLNU’s state-of-the-art biomechanics lab, and complete an internship that involves learning the motion capture, force platform, and electromyography systems while possibly working with professional teams and athletes.

Biomechanics is a technical concentration that requires strong mathematical skills and frequent work with hardware and software systems. Those completing this concentration will not only be prepared to work as a certified athletic trainer but will also gain the skills to work as a biomechanist if that’s the desired career path.

3. Sport Performance* 

The sport performance concentration is meant for individuals who are excited about the sport and tactic strength and conditioning side of athletic training. 

In this concentration, you’ll learn how to not only be a well-rounded athletic trainer but how to incorporate the principles of strength training and conditioning to a myriad of differential populations. You’ll learn the principles of coaching, weight training, injury analysis, energy system analysis, testing and exercise programming, all with the goal of learning how to monitor, evaluate, and enhance performance.

After graduation, you’ll have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to work with various populations, such as youth, high school, collegiate, military, firefighters, law enforcement, and first responders to not only enhance performance but reduce premature morbidity and mortality.

*Students who choose the sport performance concentration will also be eligible to take the NSCA Strength And Conditioning (CSCS) Exam

Benefits of a concentration

PLNU empowers MS-AT students to take charge of their career and vocation unlike any other athletic training master’s program. Not only will you graduate with a degree from an accredited program, you’ll also graduate with the skills, hands-on clinical experience, and professional resources to make you a well-rounded AT. You have the flexibility to tailor this program to your goals; after the first year of structured learning, your second year will branch into a more specialized clinical experience to prepare you for what it’s actually like to have a career in the practice. 

Through PLNU’s program, students learn invaluable skills from highly trained professors as well as from other fellow master’s students in the kinesiology field to give you a well-rounded experience of what working with various healthcare practitioners looks like. By graduation, you’ll understand how to use and apply your skills in your chosen concentration while also working with a diverse range of professionals.

Athletic trainers play a critical role in the prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of their patients. With employment opportunities for athletic training professionals expected to grow by 17% through 2031*, earning your MS-AT could be the right decision for you today.

*Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021-2031.

This program will help you optimize your learning, your career, and your impact on others as you develop skills in injury evaluation, functional rehabilitation, prescribing therapeutic modalities, and healthcare management. You’ll also gain the clinical proficiency necessary to pass the Board of Certification (BOC) exam to become a certified athletic trainer at the end of your studies.

Nicole Cosby shares how her faith journey and passion for teaching in the MS-AT program impact her work and the lives of those she gets to connect with throughout the day.

"Our program consists of extensive clinical experiences designed to provide a multifaceted learning experience that will shape students into sound clinicians who are service-oriented and focused on providing quality patient care." 

Nicole Cosby, Ph.D., ATC
MS–AT Program Director

From current undergraduate students to those already with their bachelor’s degree looking for a career change, PLNU’s flexible MS-AT program is designed to prepare individuals for the dynamic and growing field of athletic training and to meet the growing demand for master's-level professionals. Program options are available for students at any stage of their career journey.

The MS-AT program is offered in two different formats:

  1. M.S. in 5 (3 + 2)  program for students without a bachelor's degree. PLNU offers an accelerated program in which you can earn both a bachelor's and master's degree. The program takes five years to complete.
    • For more information on the 3+2 route and the application process please click here to visit our undergraduate webpage, which provides information on the health and human performance major and your route to transition into the MS-AT. 
  2. Two-year professional program for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree. Please continue to explore this website.

Program Goals

  1. Prepare students to successfully pass the Board of Certification (BOC) Examination. (PLO-1)
  2. Produce ethical, professional, and evidence-based certified athletic trainers who provide high-quality patient-centered care. (PLO-2,3)
  3. Provide a variety of clinical experiences that exposes students to diverse patient populations and healthcare settings.  (PLO-4)
  4. Create healthcare leaders who are willing to serve others through their selected vocation and calling. (PLO-1,4,5)

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the MS-AT, the successful student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to become a certified athletic trainer.
  2. Critically evaluate and integrate the best available evidence for clinical decision making.
  3. Deliver new evidence that is intended to change clinical practice to various healthcare communities through scholarly research presentations and symposiums.
  4. Describe the importance of collaborating with multiple healthcare professionals to improve patient care in diverse populations.
  5. Demonstrate preparedness for their vocation and calling.
Learn more about the two incredible facilities students from the MSAT will work within on the Point Loma and Balboa campuses.

Relevant Experience

Gain clinical skills through diverse internship opportunities, choose a concentration that sets you apart from other athletic trainers, and take courses that pair a functional, applied learning approach with the latest industry research and trends, giving you the real-world experience today to fulfill your potential tomorrow.

Professional Preparedness

Gain exposure to valuable clinical experiences designed to prepare you for your vocation while learning from faculty with diverse skill sets in athletic training.

Your clinical experience is valuable. It allows you to put into practice the hands-on skills you learn in the classroom. Our department consistently partners with clinical sites to give students the best possible opportunities as they step into the clinical portion of the program. Some of the many clinical sites we partner with include:

  • Professional sports (SD Padres, SD Legion)
  • NCAA DI athletics (Stanford, San Diego State University, University of California San Diego, University of San Diego)
  • NCAA DII athletics (Point Loma Nazarene University, Cal State San Marcos)
  • Community colleges and high schools
  • Occupational medicine (SD Fire, Amazon, Industrial Athlete Pros)

PLNU partners with over 20 clinical sites in the San Diego region. Please click here to see a list of clinical sites associated with PLNU's MS-AT program.

Note: All clinical sites are currently requiring students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two doses + booster). Failure to meet your clinical site’s vaccination requirements could hinder your progression in the MS-AT and your ability to graduate on time.

Pursue Your Purpose

Become challenged and fully equipped to serve as a highly effective allied healthcare professional who incorporates a Christian perspective, academic excellence, and professional/relational proficiency into clinical practice.  

student sitting on a bench smiling at the camera

​Kinesiology vs. Exercise Science vs. Sport Performance

Knowing the difference between the three specializations is important for choosing the path that’s best for you.

A student trainer helps a PLNU athlete stretch on equipment in the Athletic Training Center.

PLNU’s Athletic Training: Hands-on Experience for a Hands-on Career

Our state-of-the-art facility supports athletic training students to receive the clinical experience they need to become successful in their careers. 

Kinesiology student learnings how to train on exercise bike

What Can I Do in My Career With a Master’s in Kinesiology?

Earning your master’s degree in kinesiology allows you to pursue your passion for sports, health, wellness, and rehabilitation in a growing and thriving industry. 

State Authorization

State authorization is a formal determination by a state or U.S. Territory that PLNU is approved to conduct activities regulated by that state or U.S. Territory. PLNU is not required to obtain state authorization in every state or U.S. Territory, and the university has opted at this time not to seek authorization in some states. Additionally, PLNU meets the criteria for exemption from authorization in certain states.

Visit our disclosures page to view our color-coded state authorized map to view your state’s authorization status. If you have questions, please contact your enrollment counselor. 

Authorizations in specific states and U.S. Territories may change periodically.

Professional Licensure or Certification

This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) and meets the requirements to sit for the board of certification examination in the state of California, where Point Loma Nazarene University is physically located. PLNU cannot confirm whether or not specific programs meet out-of-state requirements for professional licensure. Information about out-of-state requirements in athletic training can be found within each state's licensing act. Please consult the CAATE website for other questions regarding the field of athletic training.  

For more information on state authorization and program licensure, please refer to our disclosures page.

CAATE Program Information and Outcomes Page

Application Information

Program Start Date(s):

  • Summer 2025 Quad II — July 7, 2025

Application Deadline(s):

  • Summer 2025 Quad II — June 20, 2025

Start Application

The Master of Science in Athletic Training program has two routes for admission, with each route requiring the prospective student to complete the required course prerequisites. These include:

  1. Students who have obtained a bachelor’s degree and the essential prerequisites from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants will apply through the university’s application process.

  2. The 3+2 accelerated program in coordination with the Bachelor of Arts in Health and Human Performance (Pre-Allied Health Concentration) and prerequisites at Point Loma Nazarene University. Advising for this route of admission is critical, and applicants will apply directly through the department using an internal application.

Application Checklist For Students Already with an Undergraduate Degree

Note: The application is completed entirely online with the exception of transcripts, which can be submitted electronically or directly to PLNU, and test scores, which should be submitted electronically.

  1. Submit online application for admissions (including $50 non-refundable application fee, which is waived for PLNU alums, current or former military and their dependents, and PLNU employees).
  2. Submit official transcripts with proof of earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution* that reflects the following requirements:
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in last 60 undergraduate credits.
    • Prerequisite course GPA of 3.0 or higher with no course grade below a "C."

      (If you are a PLNU alumnus, please notify your counselor to have your transcripts retrieved. You do not need to request transcripts from the PLNU Office of Records.)

      Official transcripts must be sent to:

      Point Loma Nazarene University
      Office of Graduate Admissions
      3900 Lomaland Dr.
      San Diego, CA 92106

      Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to:

      *Please note, official transcripts must be sent directly from the regionally accredited institution.

  3. Submit a personal essay. Specifically, state how you would like to use your master’s degree from PLNU to further your career. Make sure you clearly touch on the two points below (one to two pages):
    • Clarify what job setting you see yourself pursuing upon completing the M.S. in Athletic Training and specify how this degree program will help you in that setting.
    • State how your previous education and work experiences have uniquely prepared you for success in this program.
  4. Submit a resume/curriculum vitae.
  5. Submit two letters of recommendation that describe your academic ability and your potential as a future healthcare professional. One letter must be from a professor/teacher. It is strongly encouraged that the second letter is from a supervisor or mentor who works in a healthcare setting.
  6. Ensure undergraduate course prerequisites are met.
  7. Completes an interview with the athletic training program selection committee. All applicants will be scored by each selection committee member using a standardized interview rubric to reduce interviewer bias.

*Exceptions Policy: If you have below a 3.0 GPA in your baccalaureate degree you will need to speak with your enrollment counselor for more information on the exceptions materials needed for your particular program.

Post-Admission Documentation

After admission into the MS-AT program, the following documentation must be submitted to the MS-AT program director/clinical coordinator prior to the beginning of the first fall academic semester:

  • Read, sign, and meet the technical standards for admission.
  • Read the athletic training student handbook and agree to adhere to all policies and procedures listed in the handbook. Students will sign a student  handbook verification form upon admittance into the program.
  • Provide immunization records and complete the immunization record form.
  • Complete a physical examination by a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner.
  • Submit an observation hours verification form (10 hours volunteering under the direct supervision of a certified athletic trainer. Please have all hours of verification submitted by July 1 of the application year. Students are encouraged to find their own observation opportunities. However, if you need help finding opportunities, please contact Dr. Ryan Nokes, clinical education coordinator, at

Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite course syllabi are required at the time of application.

  • Anatomy and Physiology with a lab
  • Physics (please contact the program director for questions regarding this course.)
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Psychology

*Students looking to fulfill their anatomy prerequisite have the option to complete it through PLNU's Anatomy Learning Institute

Additional Course information

  • If a combined anatomy/physiology course is taken, two semester or three quarter courses are required.
  • Prerequisite courses may be repeated only once; the second grade will then be used to calculate GPA.
  • Pass/credit grades for prerequisite courses will be accepted if the granting institution has a C or better basis for a grade of credit/pass.
  • Courses that have received advanced placement credit (AP or CLEP) may fulfill prerequisite requirements. The credit hours and grade points will not be computed in the GPA calculation.
  • Students must satisfactorily complete all remaining prerequisite course requirements in accordance with the admission requirements before beginning MS-AT coursework.
  • Accepted students are required to meet technical standards and specific health requirements (e.g., vaccinations).
  • Individuals who have been dismissed from another athletic training program are not eligible for consideration for admission to Point Loma Nazarene University.
  • Applicants who decline or are denied admission may reapply in any subsequent year. Admission requirements are subject to change, and admission in one year does not guarantee admission in any subsequent year.
  • Individuals who cannot pass an FBI/Department of Justice background check are not eligible for clinical education rotations and are not admissible to the program.
  • Point Loma Nazarene University considers all applicants without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, special needs, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable state or federal civil rights laws. Some information requested in the application is requested for federal or accreditation reporting and will not be used in a discriminatory manner.

Graduation and Retention

Academic Requirements

The MS-AT program requires all athletic training students to maintain a 3.00 graduate GPA. Failure to meet the 3.00 GPA requirements automatically places the student on academic probation (Probation Level I). If the student fails to re-establish a graduate GPA of 3.00 after one semester or has a semester GPA below a 2.75, they will be placed on Probation Level II and be removed from the program.

The minimum passing grade for any athletic training graduate course is a C. If a student does not meet the minimum passing grade, the student will be required to re-take the course. Since the MS-AT program follows a cohort model of education where courses are offered yearly, re-taking a course will require the student to re-take the course the following year. In that case, there is no guarantee the re-take course will fit into the planned course schedule of the student. There is a strong possibility that re-taking a course will delay the student's graduation date and their ability to take the Board of Certification Examination.

Graduation Requirements

Each student must be in good standing with Point Loma Nazarene University and the athletic training program to graduate. The following are the graduation requirements:

  • Completion of all academic courses with a minimum of 3.0 GPA.
  • All courses in the program must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Student must not be on academic probation at the time of graduation.
  • Each student must satisfactorily complete all assigned competencies and clinical proficiencies.
  • Each student must complete all clinical rotations.

Academic Probation and Retention

The MS-AT's academic retention and probation policy was adopted from the policies listed in the university's Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog

Probation I
Criteria (must meet one of the following):

  • Single semester graduate GPA below 3.00
  • One course grade below a C
  • Failure to maintain the MS-AT Health and Safety policies
  • Violation of the MS-AT student code of conduct

Consequences (dependent on probation criteria):

  • The student is encouraged to find a tutor for all athletic training courses.
  • Regular meetings with the program director and/or clinical coordinator to ensure academic/behavioral progress.
  • Retake any course that is less than a C.

Probation II
Criteria (must meet one of the following):

  • Single semester and/or overall GPA below 2.75
  • Subsequent or repeated semesters GPA below 3.00
  • Two or more course grades below a C in a single semester
  • Repeated failures to maintain the MS-AT health and safety policies
  • Repeated violations of the MS-AT student code of conduct

Consequences (dependent on probation criteria):

  • Removal from the program.

The educational context at PLNU will challenge you to live a full life that integrates the pursuit of knowledge with beliefs, values, and actions. While honoring diverse perspectives and beliefs, Christian values and principles are woven into the educational experience. We understand your application is not only a reflection of you as a student; it reflects you as a person. At PLNU, we holistically evaluate your academic history, work and life experience, background, and circumstances to determine admission into a graduate program. Your undergraduate GPA is an important piece of your application, but if you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement of a 3.0, you may still be eligible for admission based on your application package as well as the exceptions policy per your particular program. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to contact your enrollment counselor, who will advise you regarding your qualifications and provide specific information about the admission under exceptions process.

Start Application

Career Opportunities

PLNU’s Master of Science in Athletic Training (MS-AT) will prepare you for careers in healthcare, education, research, sports administration, and many other specialized fields.

Some MS-AT Career Routes Include:

  • Athletic trainer
  • Teaching within CTE pathways
  • Adjunct or part-time college professor
  • Biomechanist
  • Strength and conditioning coach
  • Sports scientist
  • Research positions
  • Physician assistant
  • Physical therapist
  • Chiropractor

Job Outlook for Athletic Trainers

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of athletic trainers is projected to grow 17% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. 

Athletic training will always be a valued skill that correlates with a high-demand degree and job outlook, especially as sports programs for any age and experience level continue to grow and flourish in today's society. Athletic trainers who can provide high-quality treatment, injury prevention, and injury detection are highly sought after by employers — especially when entering the job market with a concentration in your desired vocation. 

As more and more people become aware of the long-term effects and detriments that injuries can cause, many employers and insurers strive to onboard athletic trainers who can attend to employee injuries. These athletic trainers also work to create programs meant to reduce injury rates in the first place. Furthermore, depending on the state, some insurance companies recognize athletic trainers as healthcare providers and reimburse the cost of an athletic trainer’s services.

Financial Aid and Student Support

We take seriously the role of providing you with financial, academic, and career support so you have the tools you need to be successful at PLNU and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Financial Aid and Student Support

Available Scholarships

The MS-AT program awards three incoming students a $1,000 one-time scholarship. Only students who complete their application for admission into the MS-AT before March 12 of each application year are eligible for consideration.

The program also offers scholarships for students once enrolled. Scholarship amounts will vary and will be based on students meeting the minimum requirements below. Interested students should complete their admissions application by January 7 of the academic year.

Scholarship Criteria

  1. Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA in the MS-AT for the fall.
  2. Complete the scholarship application.

The scholarship committee will review applications and collectively decide who has been awarded a scholarship. Students receiving a scholarship will be notified approximately three weeks after application submission via an email from the program director. Students who do not receive a scholarship will be notified as well and given feedback on their application.

Program Cost

Graduate program and fifth-year for traditional students 


Program Fee

Upon acceptance and enrollment in the MS-AT program, students will be required to pay an additional, one-time program fee of $1,400. Program fees are utilized to provide each student:

Attendance at local conferences

Students are not required to attend local conferences but are highly encouraged. Program fees can be used to cover the cost of registration for a local conference, however, students must apply and a committee will determine which students based on application will be selected to attend the conference.


Students in the athletic training program may be required to have fingerprinting and background checks performed. This depends on the clinical site assignment. Fees for these two processes can range from $25-$75 and will be covered by the program using the program fee.

Gross anatomy lab fee

Students in the MS-AT will take Gross Anatomy Dissection. The lab fee for this course is $500. This fee is covered by the program.

Maintenance of CPR certification

Students are required to maintain CPR certification as per the CAATE guidelines and standards, the cost of certification will be covered by the program.

Required clinical clothing

Some required clinical clothing is provided for the ATS, the required clothing is purchased using program fees. In the spring semester decisions are made regarding the clothing required for the following fall semester. Students are notified as to the clothing that will be required, provided to them, and the optional clothing they may purchase. The Head Athletic Trainer is the administrator responsible for the required clinical clothing. The Head Athletic Trainer serves on the institutional logo committee and consults her colleagues and students regarding style, size, required and optional clothing.

Additional Costs Not Included in Program Fees

Cost of immunizations

Students are responsible for the costs of their own immunizations, the currency of which must be documented and placed on file in the Program Director's office.

PLNU Cost Vons Immunizations   Minute Clinic  
Flu Shot $25 Hep B $80 Hep A/B $139 ea.
MMR $85 Gardasil $125 Flu Shot $31.99
Tdap $65 Menactra $120 Tdap $64.99
Menactra       MMR $129.99
TB Testing $25 - PPD
$55 - IGRA
    Meningitis $149.99
Physical Exam $25        
Titer $25        

Costs of transportation

The student is responsible for transportation and the costs associated with that transportation to clinical affiliate sites which are utilized in the clinical courses. Students are encouraged to ride share and/or cost share.

Costs of parking

The student is responsible for any costs as it relates to parking. The cost of parking will vary for each clinical site but should not exceed $100 in a given semester.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is required to be admitted into this program?

The Master of Science in Athletic Training program has two routes for admission, with each route requiring the prospective student to complete the required course prerequisites. These routes include:

  • Students who have obtained a bachelor’s degree and the essential prerequisites from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • The 3+2 accelerated program in coordination with the Bachelor of Arts in Health and Human Performance (Pre-Allied Health concentration) and prerequisites at Point Loma Nazarene University. Advising for this route of admission is critical and applicants will apply directly through the department using an internal application.

See the Application Information tab for additional information.

Can I work while completing the program?

Students may consider working a part-time job but should remember that this is a full-time, rigorous degree program.

What scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available to me?

You will have the option to apply for scholarships, grants, loans, and other special types of aid through Student Financial Services. Contact your enrollment counselor for more information.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Students who enroll in the program as part of the 3+2 accelerated program in coordination with the Bachelor of Arts in Health and Human Performance (Pre-Allied Health Concentration) and prerequisites at Point Loma Nazarene University can expect to complete the program in five years. Students who enroll in the program with a bachelor's degree can expect to complete the program in two years.

How many days a week do classes meet?

  • Two or three days a week in class.
  • A minimum of three days a week at clinicals.
  • Clinicals can be on the same day as class and on weekends.
  • Students will be given at least one day off a week from clinicals.

How large will the classes be?

Class sizes are estimated to be 20 to 25 people.

Are international students eligible to apply?

Yes! As an international student, you can apply as a senior in university or any time after you obtain your bachelor’s degree. If you earned your baccalaureate degree outside of the United States, all documents must be translated into English and evaluated by members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). You must also submit official proof of English proficiency (TOEFL). Please contact Graduate Financial Aid and Student Support Services for more information.

We also will accept a 110 minimum score from DuoLingo as proof of proficiency. 

PLNU is a Christian university, but I am not a Christian. Would I feel out of place in this program?

We welcome and encourage people of all backgrounds as students in our programs. Issues that relate to faith may be discussed in some classes, and engaging in discussion with individuals with alternative points of view will be encouraged as learning opportunities. Students will work within a learning community that is supportive academically, spiritually, and emotionally.

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

No. There are several types of graduate programs related to athletic training (kinesiology and post-professional athletic training programs). Our program is a postbaccalaureate professional program designed for students interested in pursuing the Board of Certification 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 an additional emphasis in specialty areas or research. The post-professional 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 that must be taken prior to entering our program.

What undergraduate major would you suggest before entering the MSAT?

If at PLNU, we suggest the Bachelor of Arts in Health and Human Performance (Pre-Allied Health concentration), since it includes most of the prerequisite courses (see answer to the 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 receives academic advising from a kinesiology or athletic training faculty member as soon as possible. If not at PLNU as an undergraduate, we suggest kinesiology, exercise science, applied health science or some type of health, fitness, or pre-medicine major, though any major is acceptable as long as the prerequisites are met.

What type of patients do students work with during the program?

Each student completes a minimum of six clinical experiences while in the athletic training program. Each experience will provide a different exposure to an athletic training practice setting. Students will experience high school, college, occupational medicine, surgical, and primary care environments through a variety of clinical sites in the San Diego area.

Course List

For information about the courses required for the Athletic Training, M.S. program, view the PLNU Catalog. 

Course Information

Students can enroll in this online course to meet the anatomy prerequisites requirement.

Anatomy Prerequisite

Department Faculty