Athletics trainers are health care professionals who render service or treatment under the direction of, or in collaboration with, a physician in accordance with their education and training and the states' statutes, rules, and regulations. Services provided by athletic trainers include injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

Students who want to become certified athletic trainers may earn the M.S. degree or pursue the combined B.A. in health and human physiology (exercise science track) and the M.S. in athletic training. See the B.A. in health and human physiology (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) in the Catalog.

The University of Iowa is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

The first class will be notified of their acceptance into the program by April 2019 and will begin course work in the 2019 summer session.

The Master of Science program in athletic training requires 62 s.h. of course work. Students must maintain a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00 and must earn a grade of C or higher in all major course work.

The program involves two full years, including summer sessions, of concentrated didactic and clinical experiences that lead to eligibility for the Board of Certification examination. 

The M.S. with a major in athletic training requires the following work.

AT:3060Advanced Anatomy for Athletic Training4
AT:4000Foundations of Athletic Training Practice3
AT:4075Medical Emergency Techniques2
AT:4125Clinical Experience I3
AT:4200Orthopedic Pathology and Clinical Examination I4
AT:4250Orthopedic Pathology and Clinical Examination II4
AT:4300Therapeutic Interventions2
AT:4375Nutrition for Athletic Training2
AT:4400Rehabilitation Techniques3
AT:4450Applied Rehabilitation Concepts3
AT:4525Clinical Experience II4
AT:5000Pathology and Assessment of Non-Orthopedic Conditions3
AT:5075Diagnostic Imaging and Lab Studies1
AT:5200Pathophysiology and Pharmacology in Sports Medicine2
AT:6100Research in Athletic Training2
AT:6125Clinical Experience III6
AT:6200Administration and Leadership2
AT:6250Applied Research in Athletic Training2
AT:6300Psychosocial Recognition and Referral2
AT:6400Seminar in Athletic Training2
AT:6450Advanced Topics in Athletic Training1
AT:6525Clinical Experience IV5
Total Hours62

Admission to the Master of Science program is competitive with a maximum of 18 students admitted for each cohort. Applicants are expected to meet technical standards, pass a background check, and comply with health and safety standards, including vaccination requirements.

To be considered for the Master of Science program in athletic training, applicants must:

  • have completed a B.A. or B.S. degree at an accredited institution or have completed the first three years with at least 80 s.h. of undergraduate work for the 3+2 combined program at the University of Iowa;
  • have completed 30 s.h. at the University of Iowa if a transfer student;
  • have a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.25;
  • submit an application to the Graduate College through the Athletic Training Centralized Application Service (ATCAS), set up a University of Iowa account, and pay the supplemental fee;
  • include three letters of recommendation—one from a medical professional, an academic professional, and one character reference;
  • submit a résumé;
  • include a statement of purpose and career goals;
  • submit a General Record Examination (GRE) General Test score;
  • submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score if an international applicant;
  • have current CPR certification obtained within one year—Basic Life Support (BLS) or professional rescuer level and consistent with Board of Certification standards;
  • have current first aid certification obtained within one year;
  • submit a signed copy of the program's Technical Standards for Admission form;
  • have completed a minimum of 50 hours of observation under a certified athletic trainer;
  • have completed required prerequisite course work with a grade of C or higher in human biology, chemistry I and II, physics I, human anatomy, human physiology, exercise physiology, general psychology, biomechanics, nutrition, and statistics; and
  • have completed additional recommended course work in medical terminology, introductory athletic training, public health, motor learning, or psychology courses in areas such as abnormal, adolescent, or sports psychology.

All application materials are due by February 1. A personal interview is required. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by April 1 and will begin course work during the summer session.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College.

Athletic trainers have opportunities for employment in many areas. They include career options in:

public and private secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional and Olympic sports;

youth leagues, municipal and independently owned youth sports facilities;

physician offices;

rural and urban hospitals, hospital emergency rooms, urgent and ambulatory care centers;

clinics with specialties in sports medicine, cardiac rehabilitation, medical fitness, wellness and physical therapy;

occupational health departments in commercial settings, which include manufacturing, distribution, and offices to assist with ergonomics;

police and fire departments, and academies, municipal departments, and branches of the military; and

performing arts areas, including professional and collegiate-level dance and music settings.