Best Schools with Athletic Training Graduate Programs: List of Schools

Learn about the best graduate programs available in athletic training. Read on for information about the top schools to offer graduate degrees - including master's and doctorates - in kinesiology, as well as program curriculum and requirements.

Schools Overview

The following two schools represent some of the best in the nation to offer graduate degree programs in athletic training and/or kinesiology. Both schools have been ranked for their excellence, be it for their kinesiology program or the school as a whole. Both master's and doctoral degrees in a field directly related to athletic training are offered by both universities. Read on for more information about each of these top two specialized graduate programs.


Top Schools with Athletic Training Graduate Programs

1. Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA

Housed in the university's College of Health and Human Development, Penn State's doctoral kinesiology program was ranked the best in the nation in 2005 by the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education (www.aakpe.org). Penn State also offers a kinesiology program that allows graduate students to concentrate in athletic training and sports medicine. The concentration is heavily research-based, and graduate students have access to extensive lab and research equipment, as well as clinical populations. Depending on their program of study, students graduate with either a Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology, with a concentration in athletic training and sports medicine.

2. University of Illinois in Champaign, IL

In 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign (UI) 39th in the nation. The Department of Kinesiology & Community Health, a division of the College of Applied Health Sciences at UI, offers graduate programs in kinesiology, which lead to a Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy. Exercise physiology and athletic training is included among four areas of specialization. Graduate students in this specialization study movement efficiency, energy transfer, and work output, which prepares them for careers preventing and treating injury in athletes and other physically-active individuals.

List of High-Ranking Schools with Athletic Training Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Michigan State University MSU's 3-year pass rate for graduates taking the Board of Certification exam is 98%; 86% pass on the first try. E. Lansing, MI
Pennsylvania State University In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked Penn State #8 among top public schools. University Park, PA
St. Louis University In addition to local internship and clinical experience opportunities, students have access to international internships, as SLU is a member of the World Federation of Athletic Training and Therapy. St. Louis, MO
University of Arkansas For the past four years, 100% of students graduating from the graduate athletic training program passed the Board of Certification exam on the first attempt.Fayetteville, AK
University of Florida The school offers several athletic training graduate assistant opportunities with high schools, athletic associations and the Department of Recreation Sports. Gainesville, FL
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign In 2014, UI ranked #11 on U.S. News & World Report's list of top public schools. Champaign, IL
University of Miami Students have the opportunity to work with the Division 1 Varsity Athletics program. Coral Gables, FL
University of Michigan U-M ranked #4 among top public schools on U.S. News & World Report's 2014 list. Ann Arbor, MI
University of Nebraska - Omaha Students can join the university's Maverick Athletic Training Student Organization. Omaha, NE
University of Tennessee The graduate athletic training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Knoxville, TN

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