Athletic Training Major

Helping Others Heal and Perform

The Athletic Training major provides a concentrated curriculum designed to prepare you for a career in athletic training, which is recognized by the American Medical Association as an allied health care profession. The program can help you meet the national standards of the Board of Certification (BOC) for the Athletic Trainer as well as other athletic trainer state regulatory boards to acquire the required credentials.

Athletic trainers are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries, and sport-related medical conditions. The major is designed to help you understand how to effectively work with physicians and other health care professionals as well as employers, patients, clients, and sport and recreation industry personnel in the development and coordination of efficient and responsive sports health care.

Additionally, the program offers you a number of clinical education experiences outside of the classroom where you can further your knowledge, skills, and abilities. Our extensive alumni network and strong relationships with various organizations throughout the country can help you to obtain internships and other valuable opportunities that will complement your classroom learning.

Care for Physically Active Populations

The bachelor of science in Athletic Training degree is a competency-based professional program guided by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Professional Education Council and accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Read more about professional education and clinical competency in athletic training here.

CAATE Seal

The Athletic Training major coursework will prepare you to become a leader in the profession and an integral member of the sports health care team.

The program of study is directed to help you learn to recognize, assess, and manage sport-related injuries and illnesses to return individuals back to play, work, and activities of daily living. With your knowledge of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and related fields, you will also be able to craft injury-prevention, and performance-enhancing programs.

You will complete five semesters of clinical fieldwork delivering directed care to patients, and clients under the supervision of athletic trainers, and other health care professionals. Examples include clinical rotations with Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics, secondary and intermediate school athletic programs as well as various general medical educational experiences.

The program also provides you with the fundamental knowledge and preparation to aid in obtaining additional certifications, and specializations offered by various professional health care and sports medicine organizations.

Completing the degree program makes you eligible to sit for the national BOC exam to earn the Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC®) professional credential.

Athletic Training as a Career

As people become more aware of sport-related injuries at a young age, the demand for athletic trainers is expected to increase.

Graduates of the program gain employment in a variety of settings with most practicing in universities, colleges, or secondary schools, and others working in sports medicine clinics, hospitals, and professional sports. Further emerging opportunities are available in the performing arts, occupational and industrial settings, armed forces, and various government service agencies.

Opportunities for international employment, and experiences are increasing as the BOC, the Canadian Athletic Therapy Association, and the Athletic Rehabilitation Therapists of Ireland have entered into a mutual recognition agreement. Under the agreement, the national certification bodies for athletic training and athletic therapy in all three countries will recognize each other’s education and certification standards.

Most athletic trainers work full time, and those that work with teams during sporting events may work evenings, or weekends, and travel often.

Career Possibilities

  • Professional and collegiate sports
  • Secondary and intermediate schools
  • Sports medicine clinics
  • Hospitals and rehab clinics
  • Occupational settings
  • Performing arts
  • Law enforcement and military
  • Physician offices

Curricular Forms and Documents

Please see the documents below for recommended and required courses in the athletic training major.

If you have any questions regarding the Athletic Training Pre-Professional Phase Application, please e-mail Cyndi Meyers

NOTE: Students are admitted to the athletic training major on a competitive, and highly selective basis. Applicants should be aware that admission to the athletic training major is competitive, highly selective, and based on a formally structured application process. Successfully completing the major prerequisites, and meeting the minimum requirements does NOT guarantee admission to the degree program. Upon admission to the major, students complete 5 semesters of sequenced coursework, and supervised clinical education experiences. Students typically commit a minimum of 180 hours, and maximum of 420 hours to practicum experiences in each of the last 4 semesters of the program. Read more about the athletic training clinical education model, and travel policy here.

It is recommended that students at all Penn State campuses complete the Athletic Training Pre-Professional Phase Application as soon as athletic training is identified as a possible program of study. Completing the Pre-Professional Phase Application in a timely fashion is necessary in order to enroll in KINES 231 and KINES 233, which are courses only offered at University Park Campus in the Fall Semester. The Athletic Training Pre-Professional Phase Application (due July 1st) is linked below.

Students seeking to transfer from other colleges and universities will have their transcripts evaluated after acceptance to Penn State to identify those courses and credits that will be applied to completion of degree requirements. Coursework specific to the athletic training major will not be considered for transfer unless completed in a CAATE accredited athletic training degree program and approved by the Program Director.

Clinical Education Requirements and Clearances

Clinical Education Database Portal

Board of Certification (BOC) for the Athletic Trainer Exam Outcomes

All CAATE-accredited programs must meet or exceed a three-year aggregate of 70 percent first-time pass rate on the BOC exam.

Fields 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 3 yr Aggregate
Number of Penn State students graduating from program. 21 16 20 58
Number of Penn State students graduating from program who took examination. 21 16 20 58
Number of Penn State students who passed the examination on the first attempt. 21 16 17 56
Percentage of Penn State students who passed the examination on the first attempt. 100.00 100.00 85.00 95.00
Number of Penn State students who passed the examination regardless of the number of attempts. 21 16 20 57
Percentage of Penn State students who passed the examination regardless of the number of attempts. 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00

Penn State athletic training education program outcomes compared to nationwide results.

BOC Summary Data 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 3 yr Aggregate
Percentage of Penn State students who passed the examination on the first attempt. 100.00 100.00 85.00 95.00
National percentage average for all students who passed the examination on the first attempt. 82.85 80.65 82.09 81.86
Percentage of Penn State students who passed the examination regardless of the number of attempts. 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00
National percentage average for all students who passed the examination regardless of the number of attempts. 86.28 83.93 85.25 85.15

Graduate Placement Outcomes

Metrics 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 3 yr Aggregate
Graduate School Placement Rate (% of Admitted Applicants). 90 88 75 84
Graduate School Assistantship Award Rate (% of Admitted Applicants). 90 68 75 77
Rate of Post-Professional Clinical Internship/Fellowship/Residency Immediately After Graduation (% of Cohort). 12 10 15 12
Rate Entering the Workforce Immediately After Graduation (% of Cohort). 12 25 15 17
Rate Pursuing Other Allied Health Care Disciplines (% of Cohort). 5 10 6 7

Faculty Profiles

Medical Director

Clinical Preceptor Profiles

Penn State Associates

External Affiliates

Clinical Preceptor Tutorial:

Please follow the link to complete the tutorial and fill out the verification form:

Clinical Education Assignments

  • Penn State Baseball
  • Penn State Men’s Basketball
  • Penn State Women’s Basketball
  • Penn State Fencing
  • Penn State Field Hockey
  • Penn State Football
  • Penn State Men’s & Women’s Gymnastics
  • Penn State Men’s Ice Hockey
  • Penn State Women’s Ice Hockey
  • Penn State Intramural Sports
  • Penn State Men’s Lacrosse
  • Penn State Women’s Lacrosse
  • Penn State Men’s & Women’s Rugby
  • Penn State Men’s Soccer
  • Penn State Women’s Soccer
  • Penn State Softball
  • Penn State Men’s & Women’s Swimming & Diving
  • Penn State Men’s & Women’s Tennis
  • Penn State Men’s & Women’s Track & Field | Cross Country
  • Penn State Men’s Volleyball
  • Penn State Women’s Volleyball
  • Penn State Wrestling
  • Mifflin County School District
  • Penns Valley Area School District
  • State College Area School District
  • Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy

Clinical Education Sites

Prospective Students

  • Prospective students interested in pursuing the Athletic Training major are encouraged to review the information on this website, and consider attending the Spend a Summer Day at University Park or other related events. For a schedule of such activities, please visit http://admissions.psu.edu/pennstate/campuses/?campusCode=UP#campusVisit.
  • For prospective students wishing to schedule a potential campus visit with the athletic training faculty outside of the events listed above, please contact John Vairo at glv103@psu.edu to inquire about feasibility, and possible dates/times for doing so. Campus visits are typically scheduled Mondays through Fridays during the academic year. To be able to adequately coordinate such a request, a minimum two weeks notice courtesy is preferred. The ability to accommodate campus visits with the athletic training faculty on short notice is marginal.

Limitation on the number of transfer courses used for KINES 300-Level core:

Effective FA15, out of the Kines 300-level core courses (Kines 321, 341 soon to be a new course, 345, 350, 360, and 384), only up to two courses (6 credits) can be transferred in and used towards graduation for the Kinesiology or Athletic Training Majors.

Policy 83-80 limitations on source and time for credit acquisition:

In accordance with Policy 83-80.5, the Department of Kinesiology requires at least 24 credits of Kinesiology courses required for graduation to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. The 24 credits includes the capstone course in the major: Kines 495B for the Movement Science Option; Kines 495F for the Athletic Training Major; and Kines 495C for the Exercise Science Option. Students who are earning the Kinesiology or Athletic Training Major at University Park may not count courses taken at other Penn State Campuses towards this 24 credit minimum.

Athletic Training Contact Information

Athletic Training Major Office
Department of Kinesiology
276 Recreation Building
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-0442