Athletic Training Major

Helping Others Heal and Perform

Penn State’s Athletic Training program is nationally recognized for helping students prepare for careers in allied health care, wellness, and human performance.

The Athletic Training major provides a concentrated program of courses designed to prepare you for a career in athletic training. You will complete the program to meet the standards for credentialing by the Board of Certification and associated state licensing boards as a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC®).

The program is designed to help you understand how to work with physicians and other medical personnel, employers, patients, parents, guardians, and athletic personnel in the development and coordination of efficient and responsive health care delivery systems.

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

Care for Physically Active Populations

The coursework in the Athletic Training major will help you gain the skills and knowledge to work with medical personnel, employers, patients, parents, and athletic personnel as an integral member of the health care team in secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional sports programs, and sports medicine clinics providing care for physically active populations.

You will learn about what is necessary to be a leader in the industry, working with everyone from professional athletes to military personnel. Athletic trainers are usually the primary health care providers to physically active populations, from the onset to the resolution of injury. The Athletic Training program is designed to help you learn to recognize, assess, and manage injuries to return individuals back to play, work, and activities of daily living.

The program is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). As a successful graduate you will be eligible to take the Board of Certification exam to earn the ATC® professional credential.

Athletic Training as a Career

Athletic trainers have an important role in the prevention, management, and rehabilitation of injuries to physically active individuals.

You will assist with an individual’s immediate emergency medical care as well as follow-up care. With your knowledge of anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, and other core sciences, you may design injury-prevention programs, treatments, or performance-enhancing programs.

To ensure an individual resumes physical activity at an appropriate time, you will communicate with injured individuals, physicians, coaching staffs, and other key parties in a comprehensive sports health care program.

Most athletic trainers work with athletes to get them back in the game, but many athletic trainers also work with military personnel, police and firefighters, as well as dancers and acrobats. You may work on the sidelines of a stadium, backstage in a performance hall, or as a part of the medical team for men and women in uniform.

Career Possibilities

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

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 Application for Fall 2016, please e-mail Dori Sunday

NOTE: Students are admitted to the athletic training major on a competitive, space-available basis. Admission to the major is not guaranteed despite successful completion of the prerequisites. Upon admission to the major, students complete a 5 semester sequence of course work and supervised clinical rotations. Students typically commit a minimum of 200-300 hours to practicum experiences in each of the last 4 semesters of the program.

It is recommended that students at all Penn State locations complete the Athletic Training Program Application as soon as athletic training is identified as a possible goal. In order to meet the sequence of course requirements, there is an Athletic Training Program list for enrollment in the pre-athletic training core, Kines 231 and Kines 233. These two courses are only offered at University Park in the fall semesters. The Athletic Training Program Application 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. Course work specific to the athletic training major will not be considered for transfer unless completed in an Athletic Training Education (CAATE) accredited athletic training education program and approved by the program director.

Clearance Requirements

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 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 3 yr Aggregate
Number of Penn State students graduating from program. 21 21 16 58
Number of Penn State students graduating from program who took examination. 21 21 16 58
Number of Penn State students who passed the examination on the first attempt. 19 21 16 56
Percentage of Penn State students who passed the examination on the first attempt. 90.48 100.00 100.00 96.83
Number of Penn State students who passed the examination regardless of the number of attempts. 21 21 16 58
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. 90.48 100.00 100.00 96.83
National percentage average for all students who passed the examination on the first attempt. 80.85 82.85 80.65 81.45
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. 80.90 86.28 83.93 83.70

Professional Liability Insurance for Students

Penn State University advises students to purchase liability insurance while on an internship/rotation. The internship host site might have specific insurance requirements of the student (including professional liability and other types of insurance), so it is recommended that students check the host site's insurance requirements before making any insurance purchases. Some host sites might be willing to extend their insurance coverage to hosted students, but the students may wish to also purchase their own insurance coverage.

Penn State University does not provide liability insurance for students engaging in internships/rotations nor extend its insurance to students. Penn State also does not recommend specific insurance providers. Insurance is available from many insurance providers, possibly including the students' own insurance provider(s) and/or some professional association-sponsored insurance programs, but it is the students' responsibility to purchase liability insurance that meets the host sites' insurance requirements.

Currently, on-campus and off-campus affiliate clinical education sites require that athletic training students carry current professional liability insurance with limits of no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence and $3,000,000 in the aggregate.

Clinical Preceptor Training:

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

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