Colleges with Athletic Training Majors: How to Choose

Athletic training bachelor's degree programs focus on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of muscle, joint and bone injuries related to physical activity. These programs encompass a range of health-related coursework, and can precede a master's program.

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Those who wish to major in athletic training may earn a Bachelor of Science in the subject. Programs can be located at 4-year universities through their health, sports science and human physiology departments and prepare individuals for entry-level work, but advanced opportunities may require the pursuit of a master's degree.

10 Athletic Training Schools

The following 4-year universities offer bachelor's degrees in the field:

College/University Location Institution Type Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Appalachian State University Boone, NC 4-year, Public $6,852 (In-state) $20,677 (Out-of-state)
Baylor University Waco, TX 4-year, Private $40,198
Boise State University Boise, ID 4-year, Public $6,876 (In-state) $20,926 (Out-of-state)
California State University- Northridge Northridge, CA 4-year, Public $6,569 (In-state) $17,729 (Out-of-state)
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI 4-year, Public $10,417 (In-state) $27,712 (Out-of-state)
George Washington University Washington, D.C. 4-year, Private $50,435
Iowa State University Ames, IA 4-year, Public $7,736 (In-state) $20,856 (Out-of-state)
Marquette University Milwaukee, WI 4-year, Private $37,170
Ohio State University-Main Campus Columbus, OH 4-year, Public $10,037 (In-state) $27,365 (Out-of-state)
San Diego State University San Diego, CA 4-year, Public $6,976 (In-state) $18,136 (Out-of-state)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

College Selection Criteria

Some important considerations for students include:

  • Students should look for hands-on opportunities to practice clinical work with college, high school or local professional-level sports teams, or at community health facilities.
  • Look for schools that offer internships and work experiences with professional teams, local hospitals and international programs that can give students a professional advantage upon graduation.
  • Students may want to look at programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, as athletic trainer certification requires that applicants graduate from one of these accredited programs before they take the national certification exam.
  • Since a bachelor's degree and certification are only the minimum level of education required to work as an athletic trainer, it may be worth considering schools with advanced study options.

Bachelor's Degree in Athletic Training

A bachelor's degree program in athletic training may be offered as a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training, or as an emphasis or concentration within a major in health science or kinesiology. Programs typically require application and acceptance based on a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher, a written examination and interviews, and potentially CPR certification. An athletic training program, typically a 3-year experience, most often begins in the student's sophomore year due to prerequisite courses and observation hours that must be completed prior to acceptance.

As part of many courses, an emphasis in teaching is required, and students gain experience as educators in a high school, college and corporate setting. According to the BLS, most states required athletic trainers to hold a license or registration in order to practice as of 2012.

Students can pursue a bachelor's degree in athletic training from various 4-year public and private institutions throughout the United States. Program accreditation, internship opportunities and hands-on learning opportunities should all be considered when looking for schools to attend.

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