List of Athletic Training Schools and Universities

Athletic trainers are healthcare professionals who often work alongside physicians helping prevent, diagnose and treat muscle and bone injuries. Bachelor's degrees are required for almost all athletic training jobs, and athletic trainers with master's degrees are becoming increasingly common.

How to Select an Athletic Training Program

To become an athletic trainer, students must complete a program offered by a 4-year college or university. Although a bachelor's degree is the minimum education requirement to work as an athletic trainer, most working in the field have earned at least a master's degree.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Accreditation
  • Program level
  • Clinical training opportunities
  • Graduate success rates


To become an athletic trainer in almost any state, students will need to pass the Board of Certification (BOC) exam. Only graduates from programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) are eligible to sit for the BOC exam, so it is of paramount importance that students choose a CAATE-accredited program.

Program Level

CAATE-accredited programs are offered at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. According to the National Athletic Trainers' Association, 70% of athletic trainers hold master's degrees, so students may want to consider pursuing graduate-level education since it may make them more competitive for employment (

Clinical Training Opportunities

Students may want to look for programs that offer a variety of settings for completing clinical training, and students with specific interests should look for training opportunities in those areas. For example, students interested in working with university athletes may look for a school with an athletic program that lets athletic training students complete clinical hours working with school athletes. Students who would like to work in a hospital or physician's clinic should look for schools that have affiliations with local healthcare facilities that conduct internships.

Graduate Success Rates

Prospective students may want to ask programs where recent graduates have gone to graduate school or are currently employed. It may help a student's own career prospects to find a school that has a record of preparing graduates for the type of career the student desires.

Athletic Training Program Overviews

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Athletic Training

B.S. programs in athletic training generally require that students have already completed one year of college courses, including introductory-level classes in anatomy, physiology, health and first aid. Some programs may require that students have already completed some hours observing athletic trainers. Once enrolled, students are trained to evaluate and provide rehabilitation for various musculoskeletal systems. Students also spend a required number of hours in off-site clinical training and complete coursework in:

  • Nutrition
  • Pharmacology
  • Exercise physiology
  • Therapeutic modalities

Master of Science (M.S.) in Athletic Training

M.S. programs are offered for students who have already met the requirements to become a certified athletic trainer, including having already passed the BOC exam. Students will complete coursework in advanced athletic training principles for all of the musculoskeletal systems, learn about current topics in athletic training, complete clinical practicum hours and be trained in conducting research. Students may need to complete original research projects as part of their degree requirements. Master's-level coursework could include:

  • Injury prevention
  • Upper and lower extremity evaluation
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Nutrition
  • Strength and conditioning

Largest Athletic Training Schools by Student Population

College/University Student Population Location
Liberty University 56,625 Lynchburg, Virginia
Ohio State University-Main Campus 56,064 Columbus, Ohio
University of Texas at Austin 51,195 Austin, Texas
University of Florida 49,827 Gainesville, Florida
Michigan State University 46,985 East Lansing, Michigan
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus 45,233 University Park, Pennsylvania
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 43,862 Champaign, Illinois
Indiana University-Bloomington 42,464 Bloomington, Indiana
Florida International University 42,197 Miami, Florida
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 41,924 Ann Arbor, Michigan
University of South Florida-Main Campus 40,431 Tampa, Florida
Florida State University 40,416 Tallahassee, Florida
Grand Canyon University 37,440 Phoenix, Arizona
Temple University 37,367 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
California State University-Fullerton 35,590 Fullerton, California
California State University-Northridge 35,272 Northridge, California
Brigham Young University-Provo 33,841 Provo, Utah
California State University-Long Beach 33,416 Long Beach, California
University of Texas at Arlington 32,975 Arlington, Texas
Texas State University-San Marcos 32,572 San Marcos, Texas

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