How Many Years of College to Be an Athletic Trainer
To become an athletic trainer, students must complete an athletic training program offered by a four-year college or university. Athletic trainers are healthcare professionals who often work alongside physicians helping to prevent, diagnose, and treat muscle and bone injuries. Bachelor's degrees are required for almost all athletic training jobs, and athletic training graduate degrees are becoming increasingly common. For those who would like to pursue a master's program, they will have to complete at least two more years of college.
10 Colleges with Athletic Training Majors
The following schools offer degrees in athletic training.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2018-2019)*|
|Texas A&M University||College Station, TX||4-year, Public||Master's||$6,552 (In-state) $17,904 (Out-of-state)|
|University of North Carolina Charlotte||Charlotte, NC||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$6,853 (In-state) $20,287 (Out-of-state)|
|University of Houston||Houston, TX||4-year, Public||Master's||$8,214 (In-state) $17,463 (Out-of-state)|
|University of Oregon||Eugene, OR||4-year, Public||Master's||$14,526 (In-state) $26,028 (Out-of-state)|
|Indiana University-Bloomington||Bloomington, IN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$10,681 (In-state Undergrad), $35,456 (Out-of-state Undergrad); $9,225 (In-state Grad), $31,932 (Out-of-state Grad)|
|North Central College||Naperville, IL||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$38,880|
|McKendree University||Lebanon, IL||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$30,520|
|Shenandoah University||Winchester, VA||4-year, Private||Master's||$21,000|
|Weber State University||Ogden, UT||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$5,859 (In-state Undergrad) $15,646 (Out-of-state Undergrad); $7,293 (In-state Grad) $16,293 (Out-of-state Grad)|
|James Madison University||Harrisonburg, VA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$12,016 (In-state) $28,416 (Out-of-state)|
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Athletic Trainer Degree Selection Criteria
Bachelor's degrees are required for almost all athletic training jobs, and athletic trainers with master's degrees are becoming increasingly common. Consider the following when looking for athletic training schools:
- Only graduates from programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) are eligible to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) exam, so students should choose a CAATE-accredited program.
- 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.
- Prospective students may want to ask where recent graduates have gone to graduate school or are currently employed.
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 and 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, and 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, and strength and conditioning.
Athletic training programs can be found at both public and private universities and are offered at the bachelor and master degree levels. To work in the field, students must pass the Board of Certification (BOC) exam.