Athletic Training Programs
The University of Idaho’s athletic training programs combine evidence-based practice with patient-centered care while integrating advanced clinical experience, research, and didactic education into a hybrid format.
On the job, athletic trainers collaborate with physicians and other health professionals to optimize patient care, client activity, and participation in athletics, work and life. The practice includes the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of chronic and acute medical conditions.
The University of Idaho strives to produce innovators in care, research and education with our graduate athletic training programs. Our Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)–accredited degrees produce graduates who pass the Board of Certification (BOC) examination. Our curriculums stress the importance of addressing relevant practice and professional issues with the purpose of transforming future clinical care and education. Graduates gain advanced manual therapy, rehabilitation, clinical reasoning and practical research skills that they can take into the workforce or apply in their existing positions.
Athletic Training Degree Programs
University of Idaho offers two graduate programs in athletic training: the Master of Science in Athletic Training (M.S.A.T.) and Doctor of Athletic Training (D.A.T.), both blending face-to-face and online instruction with clinical experience and research.
Students spend part of the year gaining hands-on experience and the rest in hybrid learning environments. Along with U of I’s clinical affiliations across multiple states, our on-campus applied learning spaces allow students to work alongside faculty members in a collaborative setting.
Master of Science in Athletic Training (M.S.A.T.)
The M.S.A.T. is a non-thesis, entry-to-professional graduate degree that prepares candidates to take the BOC exam and become certified athletic trainers. Over a period of 24 months, a rigorous six-semester structure combines didactic and clinical experiences at U of I’s partnering sites:
- Summer Semesters: Two required summer semesters place M.S.A.T. students at an affiliated location to complete a total of 900 clinical education hours under the direct supervision of a preceptor. In the process, students earn at least 175 hours of manual therapy coursework and get certified in the Mulligan Concept, MyoKinesthetic System, Positional Release Therapy, RockTape, and more techniques.
- Fall and Spring Semesters: During the remaining four semesters, students work toward their 84 total credit hours covering topics in clinical anatomy, injury care and prevention strategies, diagnostic methods, rehabilitation principles, neuroscience, health promotion strategies, pharmacology, and therapeutic modalities. Courses will be scheduled in a physical classroom, through synchronous learning via Adobe Connect, or fully asynchronously.
Attesting to the success of U of I’s approach, M.S.A.T. students have an average BOC exam pass rate of 95%. Individuals interested in this program are required to have previously taken courses in human anatomy and physiology, regardless of undergraduate degree, and have current first aid and CPR knowledge. To earn your M.S.A.T. degree, the University of Idaho has laid out two possible pathways:
- Traditional Graduate Student: Students apply as a master’s degree–seeking candidate and, along with fulfilling all prerequisites, must meet all existing admission requirements.
- 3+2 M.S.A.T. Program: Students apply as a traditional undergraduate student with the intention of beginning the M.S.A.T. program after finishing their junior year. To start this process, candidates select a relevant bachelor’s degree major, ideally in exercise science, health science, or a similar field, to cover all prerequisites and take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and psychology. After finishing 90 semester hours of their undergraduate requirements, students transition into the M.S.A.T. program and follow the 24-month, six-semester structure. After five years, all 3+2 candidates receive both a bachelor’s in their undergraduate major and a master’s degree in athletic training.
Whether you’re applying as a traditional graduate student or are interested in the 3+2 athletic training program, learn more about the M.S.A.T. degree.
Doctor of Athletic Training (D.A.T.)
The D.A.T. program is a post-professional terminal academic degree geared toward working health care professionals interested in improving their clinical skills and transitioning into an athletic training educator role. In turn, this athletic training program focuses on the candidate’s ability to conduct their own original applied clinical research.
The D.A.T. also uses a 24-month, six-semester structure. Beyond advanced clinical experience and didactic coursework, all D.A.T. candidates must produce a culminating research project to graduate.
Building off both the M.S.A.T. and professional experience, the D.A.T. blends evidence-based practice content with current manual therapy techniques, novel interactions and instruction in applied research, allowing students to gain specialty training and advanced clinical skills and refine their research abilities.
The D.A.T. is structured as follows:
- Summer Experience: Designed to help D.A.T. students improve their research skills, the summer semesters involve collecting, analyzing and utilizing patient outcomes to gather evidence while improving patient care. Because the program is geared toward experienced professionals, many candidates can complete these requirements in their current workplace.
- Fall and Spring Semesters: D.A.T. students have the opportunity to participate in mentored clinical residencies while getting through didactic coursework and making headway in their applied research. These periods further allow candidates to expand their expertise in chronic musculoskeletal pain and dysfunctions.
Learn more about the D.A.T. degree, including its structure, requirements, and research.
Careers in Athletic Training
For over the past 30 years, the American Medical Association has recognized athletic training as an allied health profession. Athletic trainers work under the direction and supervision of a physician while delivering comprehensive and targeted care to athletes and other physically active individuals.
This arrangement is collaborative, with the athletic trainer being key in the assessment, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of athletic injuries. More specifically, athletic trainers:
- educate individuals about injury risks and the strategies for avoiding them;
- provide guidance on the proper use of equipment, athletic form, and protective devices;
- recognize, respond to, and assess athletic injuries within clinical, school, and sporting event settings;
- treat and rehabilitate existing athletic injuries;
- discuss treatment and rehabilitation options with physicians and other healthcare professionals, including in the context of other health issues;
- address acute, chronic, and emergency health conditions and disabilities that limit or fully impair a patient’s movement; and
- work in educational settings, hospitals, fitness centers, and physicians’ offices and for professional sports teams.
As the first step to becoming an athletic trainer, M.S.A.T. students must pass their BOC exam. From here, graduates have earned the title of “BOC certified athletic trainer” and are eligible to put “ATC” after their name in professional correspondences. Keep in mind that individual states may have their own additional certification and licensing requirements.
Learn More About U of I’s Athletic Training Programs
Whether you’re interested in entering the field or forwarding your career, reach out to the University of Idaho’s Athletic Training Program. Contact the program by email or by phone at 208-885-2182, or fill out a request for information form today.