Skip to Main Content

Athletic Training, M.S.

Learn More!

By submitting this form I agree to MTSU's Terms


As hard as humans work in physically demanding careers, they often play just as hard—in the athletic arena, from collegiate and professional sports to various recreational leagues enjoyed by people of all ages. Athletic Trainers are certified health care providers who impart knowledge and skill to address the many facets of athletic activity, from preventing, treating, and assessing injuries to facilitating rehabilitation and return to activity along with counseling on proper nutrition and general health, fitness, and wellness. It’s much more than taping a sprained ankle or standing on a sideline at a game. The Athletic Training program at MTSU offers the skills needed to pursue an exciting career path in a variety of settings. Students prepare for this profession through a holistic integrated health care/medical model with numerous academic and clinical experiences. The program is based on the standards and guidelines of the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) and the domains of practice of the Board of Certification (BOC). The Athletic Training program has been accredited at the entry-level since 2002.

What We're Doing

Hands-on training a must

Hands-on training a must

Hands-on, clinical education experiences form a key component of the Athletic Training program, with students learning under the direct supervision of an athletic trainer. Students have opportunities for a variety of clinical experiences, ranging from working with athletic trainers for area high school and college teams to summer experiences with professional sports franchises such as the Tennessee Titans, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Arizona Cardinals. Students are also exposed to other allied health professionals such as physical therapists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners; they also have opportunities to interact with physicians. And while other university programs offer only two years of clinical experience, the MTSU program offers three years to better train students for the real world.

Not just about athletes

Not just about athletes

Think about an athletic trainer as a medical professional who is a cross between an emergency medical technician (EMT) and a physical therapist. Athletic trainers can be found in a variety of settings, from working in the performing arts arena with renowned groups such as Cirque du Soleil and Disney World and Disney Land to working within industrial and corporate settings to assist employees with proper safety measures and onsite physical rehab for workplace injuries. Other avenues in which the athletic trainer may obtain employment are with the military/law enforcement, as a physician extender, and in clinical outreach.

Related Media

  • MTSU True Blue Preview: Athletic Training

    MTSU True Blue Preview: Athletic Training

  • Why I Choose MTSU - Mary Tate - Athletic Training

    Why I Choose MTSU - Mary Tate - Athletic Training

  • MTSU | The University of Opportunities

    MTSU | The University of Opportunities

  • MTSU's Athletic Training Degree Levels Up to a Graduate Program

    MTSU's Athletic Training Degree Levels Up to a Graduate Program


Athletic trainers can find careers within a variety of organizations, from professional sports organizations to corporations interested in employee wellness to hospitals and rehabilitation clinics. Examples include: 

  • Administrator
  • Athletic trainer (high school, college, or professional settings)
  • Corporate fitness and wellness
  • College/University educators and preceptors
  • Emergency room sports medicine liaison
  • Industrial safety, injury prevention and ergonomics specialist
  • Military and tactical prevention, training and rehabilitation specialist
  • Performing arts athletic trainer
  • Physician extender
  • Surgical and casting technologist

Employers of MTSU alumni include, but are not limited to:

  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Athletico Physical Therapy- clinic outreach, Mississippi
  • ATI Physical Therapy – clinic outreach
  • Auburn University
  • Battleground Academy
  • Benchmark Physical Therapy - clinic outreach
  • California State University, Fullerton
  • Campbell Clinic
  • Columbia County Schools, Georgia
  • Covenant Health - clinic outreach
  • Doctors Hospital - clinic outreach, Georgia
  • East Carolina University
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Elite Sports Medicine
  • FedEx - Operations Safety Specialist
  • Florida Inernational University
  • Frito-Lay
  • Hamilton Medical Center, Georgia
  • Gulf Orthopaedics and Infirmary Health, Alabama
  • IMG Academy Sports Camps, Florida
  • Knoxville Orthopedics
  • Liberty University
  • Lipscomb Academy
  • Lipscomb University 
  • Maury Regional Medical Center
  • Maury County Public Schools
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Montgomery Bell Academy
  • Northside Hospital Orthopedic Institute and Sports Medicine, Georgia
  • OrthoOne Sports medicine – clinic outreach
  • Pilot Onsite Innovations – clinic outreach
  • Prism Hospital System, South Carolina
  • Progressive Health
  • Rutherford County Schools, Tennessee
  • Samford University
  • Source Fitness Management - clinic outreach
  • Southern Tennessee Medical Center
  • Sumner County Schools, Tennessee 
  • STAR Physical Therapy - clinic outreach
  • Tennessee Orthopedic Alliance
  • Tennessee State University
  • Trevecca Nazarene University
  • Trousdale County Schools, Tennessee
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Vanderbilt School of Medicine
  • Vanderbilt Sports Medicine
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • 351st Special Warfare Training Squadron at the Pararescue and Combat Rescue Officer Schoolhouse

Athletic Training students are encouraged to join MTSU's Student Athletic Trainer Association (SATA). The purpose of SATA is to promote interest in athletic training, educate the members on relative subjects in sports medicine, engage in community outreach and volunteer activities, and to network with professional practitioners and organizations. Click here for more information.


A Master of Science in Athletic Training is one of four master’s degrees available from MTSU’s Department of Health and Human Performance.

Applicants must have:

  • An earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college;
  • An undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0;
  • Completion of a formal application, which includes three letters of recommendation;
  • Successful completion of a minimum of 50 pre-program clinical observation hours under the supervision of a licensed and credentialed athletic trainer that are documented;
  • Interview with Athletic Training program admission committee;
  • Documentation of current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and First Aid certification;
  • Successful completion of the following prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of C in each:
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab (2 semesters; BIOL 2010 and BIOL 2020)
    • Physics with lab (1 semester; PHYS 2010)
    • General Chemistry with lab (1 semester; CHEM 1110)
    • General Psychology (PSY 1410)
    • General Nutrition (NFS 1240) or Sports Nutrition (NFS 3000)
    • Statistics (MATH 1530)
    • Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries (ATHT 3580)
    • Exercise Physiology with lab (EXSC 3830)
    • The following courses are recommended, but not required:
      • First Aid and Safety (HLTH 3300)
      • Medical Vocabulary/Terminology Course (HUM 2130 or ATHT 3950).

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.

Other degree programs offered by HHP

The Health and Human Performance Department also offers an M.S. in Exercise Science, an MPH in Public Health, an M.S. in Leisure, Sport, and Tourism Management, with concentrations in Sport Industry and in Recreation and Leisure Services.

A doctoral program leads to the Ph.D. in Human Performance degree, with specializations in Exercise Science, Health, Leisure Studies, or Physical Education.

Undergraduate majors in the department can attain a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Exercise ScienceCommunity and Public Health (concentrations in Community and Public Health or Health Education and Lifetime Wellness); Leisure and Sport Management; or Physical Education. Both a B.S. and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree are available in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

The department offers undergraduate minors in Athletic Coaching and Officiating, Driver and Traffic Safety Education, Health, Health and Physical Education, Health and Human Performance, Recreation, and Somatic Movement Education, and Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. 

Professional Licensure Disclosure

The MS in Athletic Training at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) and is designed to prepare students for Board of Certification (BOC) exam. MTSU Athletic Training program graduates who pass the BOC exam are eligible to apply for certification as an athletic trainer in the state of Tennessee. Students should be aware that licensure requirements vary from state to state and are subject to change. MTSU has not made a determination whether the MS program will meet all of the requirements of another US state or territory. Students who plan to seek licensure outside the state of Tennessee should consult the National Athletic Trainers Association’s guide to state licensure, certification, and registration at and consult with their advisor concerning their plans for athletic trainer practice in other states. The state of California has no state regulation of athletic training.

This program is scheduled for start in 2023-2024. While not guaranteed, you can view our tentative requirement information for the program.

Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.

Athletic Training

ATHT 3000 - Clinical A in Athletic Training
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: ATHT 3570 and ATHT 3580. Psychomotor skills used in the application of protective equipment, emergency procedures, care and treatment of athletic injuries, and use of basic modalities. A minimum of 200 clinical hours under the direct supervision of an approved preceptor.

ATHT 3001 - Clinical B in Athletic Training
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: ATHT 3000; corequisite: ATHT 3950. Psychomotor skills used in the evaluation and assessment of injuries to the lower extremities. A minimum of 200 clinical hours under the direct supervision of an approved preceptor.

ATHT 3002 - Clinical C in Athletic Training
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: ATHT 3001; corequisite: ATHT 3960. Psychomotor skills used in the evaluation and assessment of injuries to the upper extremities and thorax. A minimum of 200 clinical hours under the supervision of an approved preceptor.

ATHT 3003 - Clinical D in Athletic Training
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: ATHT 3002. Psychomotor skills used in the rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries. A minimum of 200 clinical hours under the direct supervision of an approved preceptor.

ATHT 3570 - Psychomotor Skills in Athletic Training
3 credit hours

Various athletic training topics with emphasis on the application of supportive and protective taping. A minimum of 20 directed clinical hours of observation and experiential learning required.

ATHT 3580 - Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries
3 credit hours

Modern principles in the care, prevention, and management of sports injuries.

ATHT 3590 - Athletic Training Medical Documentation and Terminology
2 credit hours

Athletic training medical terminology and how to utilize appropriately for medical records and documentation, medical insurance and reimbursement, allied/medical health teams, case studies, and medical referrals. Not a substitute class for HUM 2130. Must have declared AT major.

ATHT 3900 - Human Structure and Movement in Sport and Injury
4 credit hours

Prerequisites: BIOL 2010/BIOL 2011 and/or BIOL 2030/BIOL 2031. Corequisite: ATHT 3901. Exposure to the structural and functional components of human anatomy, including musculoskeletal origins, insertions, actions, and innervations; the ability to identify landmarks, surface markings, and palpations on a live model; to describe functional movements in various sport activities, then classify and identify which muscles work together to create the motions, identify normal and atypical patterns and characteristics. Emphasis placed on normal walking and running gait, posture, throwing, kicking, and jumping.

ATHT 3901 - Human Structure and Movement in Sport and Injury Lab
0 credit hours

Corequisite: ATHT 3900. Laboratory to accompany ATHT 3900.

ATHT 3950 - Evaluation and Assessment of Injuries to the Lower Extremities
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: ATHT 3570; BIOL 2010/BIOL 2011. Corequisite: ATHT 3001 or permission of instructor. Evaluation and assessment of athletic injuries to the lower extremities and lumbar spine.

ATHT 3960 - Evaluation and Assessment of Injuries to the Upper Extremities and Thorax
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: ATHT 3570; ATHT 3950; BIOL 2010/BIOL 2011, BIOL 2020/BIOL 2021 (all with C- or better). Corequisite: ATHT 3002 or permission of instructor. Evaluation and assessment of athletic injuries to the upper extremities and thorax.

ATHT 3980 - Introduction to Evidence-Based Medicine in Athletic Training
2 credit hours

For Athletic Training majors only. Introduces the concepts of evidence-based medicine and practice in the field of athletic training. Taught fall semester, even years.

ATHT 4000 - Strength, Conditioning, and Human Performance
3 credit hours

(Same as ATHC 4000.) Prerequisites: BIOL 2010/BIOL 2011 or BIOL 2030/BIOL 2031; PHED 4910 or ATHT 3900/ATHT 3901  and weight training; or by permission of instructor. Theories and principles of strength training and conditioning and techniques used to become a strength and conditioning specialist or personal fitness trainer.

ATHT 4080 - Alternative Therapies in Athletic Training
3 credit hours

(Same as HLTH 4080.) Examines the didactic and psychomotor concepts of various alternative and complementary therapies as they relate to the profession of athletic training.

ATHT 4200 - Acute Trauma and Emergency Care in Athletic Training
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: ATHT 3580 or permission of instructor. Corequisite: ATHT 4201. Competencies and proficiencies used in the identification, evaluation, management, and prevention of acute traumatic conditions in sports requiring emergency care in. In addition, administrative and risk management aspects of planning for an emergency injury/illness situation.

ATHT 4201 - Acute Trauma and Emergency Care in Athletic Training Laboratory
0 credit hours

Corequisite: ATHT 4200. Laboratory to accompany ATHT 4200.

ATHT 4430 - Practicum in Athletic Training
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: ATHT 3003, ATHT 4960, and ATHT 4970. Athletic training internship in a nontraditional athletic training setting. A minimum of 150 clinical hours under the direct supervision of an approved preceptor.

ATHT 4500 - Therapeutic Medications and Ergogenic Aids in Sports
3 credit hours

Principles, theories, and issues of the physiological and psychological response to pharmacological use and abuse of therapeutic medications and ergogenic aids in sports. Taught fall semester, odd years.

ATHT 4820 - Organization and Administration of Athletic Training
3 credit hours

For Athletic Training majors only. Provides the basic knowledge necessary to organize and manage an allied health care professional setting, specifically in athletic training. Information on current laws, professional standards, ethics, and issues of confidentiality addressed. Taught fall semester, even years.

ATHT 4920 - Independent Study
1 to 3 credit hours

(Same as EXSC 4920/PHED 4920/LSTS 4920.) Independent study topics based on a study plan prepared in cooperation with a faculty supervisor. Culminates in a formal paper and/or comprehensive examination. Application forms must be completed and approved prior to enrollment. A maximum of three credit hours may be applied toward degree.

ATHT 4950 - Pathology of Sport Illness and Consideration of Special Populations
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: ATHT 3003; for Athletic Training majors only. Pathology of special problems and general medical conditions of athletes and others involved in physical activity. Includes an athletic training field experience.

ATHT 4960 - Rehabilitation Techniques
4 credit hours

Prerequisites: ATHT 3950 and ATHT 3960. Methods and techniques in the selection and application of rehabilitation techniques.

ATHT 4965 - Aquatic Exercise and Therapeutic Rehabilitation Techniques
3 credit hours

(Same as EXSC 4965/LSTS 4965.) Examines the various uses of the aquatic environment to develop, maintain, and improve physical performance with practical development of skills and techniques and aquatic exercise programming. Combines both didactic and laboratory activities in an experiential learning environment.

ATHT 4970 - Therapeutic Modalities
4 credit hours

Prerequisites: BIOL 2010/BIOL 2011, BIOL 2020/BIOL 2021; ATHT 3950, ATHT 3960. Corequisite:  ATHT 4971.  Principles, theories, methods, and techniques in the application of selected therapeutic modalities. Includes a laboratory experience of psychomotor skills used in the application of therapeutic modalities.

ATHT 4971 - Therapeutic Modalities Lab
0 credit hours

Corequisite:  ATHT 4970. Laboratory to accompany  ATHT 4970.

ATHT 4975 - Psychosocial Aspects of Sport, Health, and Rehabilitation
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: PSY 1410, ATHT 3960, or permission of instructor. Explores psychosocial issues of sport, health, and rehabilitation. Mental health and psychological problems and referrals; intervention strategies, interaction skills, and psychological techniques for injury, rehabilitation, return to play, adherence, sport performance, and sport enhancement. Introduces substance abuse, disordered eating and nutritional issues, and catastrophic injury and illness. Offered every other spring.

ATHT 4980 - Advanced Evidence-Based Medicine in Athletic Training
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: ATHT 3980. Evidence-based medicine is used to produce clinical relevant questions and the research process to investigate those questions. Emphasis on writing and developing sound research question and proposal, literature review, experimental design and methodology, and presentation techniques explored. Taught fall semester, odd years.

ATHT 4990 - Senior Seminar in Athletic Training
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: ATHT 4950. Offers preparation for the BOC examination and discussion of current research in athletic training and sports medicine. Engages students in the process of reviewing, analyzing, discussing, and synthesizing research. Includes an athletic training field experience.

ATHT 4999 - Independent Research in Athletic Training
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Permission of department. Gives students the opportunity to complete the project begun in ATHT 4980 or a new project with the potential for local, regional, national, or international presentations and publications. Course set up independently depending on the type of research project the student is going to perform.

Degree Plan and Maps

Athletic Training Program Manuals

Forms and other Documents

Clinical Competencies Grid-sheets

  • ATHT 5000
  • ATHT 5200
  • ATHT 6100
  • ATHT 6110
  • ATHT 6120
  • ATHT 6130
  • ATHT 6140
  • ATHT 6200
  • ATHT 6430
  • ATHT 6820
  • ATHT 6970

Clinical Integrated Competency Sheets

  • CIP 1
  • CIP 2
  • CIP 3
  • CIP 4a
  • CIP 4b
  • CIP 4c
  • CIP 4d
  • CIP 4e
  • CIP 4f
  • CIP 5
  • CIP 6
  • CIP 7
  • CIP 8
  • CIP 9

Professional Organizations

The Athletic Training Program at Middle Tennessee State University is currently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).    The Athletic Training Program has been accredited since 2002. The Master of Science in Athletic Training will admit it’s initial cohort in the summer of 2023. 

Middle Tennessee State University is currently applying to the CAATE for a change in level of degree and is pending approval.

CAATE Accreditation Seal

Mission Statement

The mission of the Athletic Training Program (AT Program) is to produce exceptional professionals who will be contributing members to the profession of athletic training, and who possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to become proficient in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and administration of injuries and illnesses for the physically active. A broad-based comprehensive blend of academic (didactic course work, laboratories, and hands-on learning session), clinical and professional experiences in a student-centered environment that incorporates the most recent research and technologies to meet the challenging needs of a dynamic health care environment is offered. The AT Program promotes the mission of the Health and Human Performance Department, College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, and Middle Tennessee State University through scholarship, research, and service. Designed to meet the accreditation standards established by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), the AT Program, prepares students for the Board of Certification (BOC) examination. An AT Program graduate is prepared to complete graduate study in athletic training and related fields, serve the healthcare needs of the physically active, navigate a global society, be culturally competent, demonstrate legal and ethical medical practice, and display professionalism within their academics and career. Middle Tennessee State University AT Program is committed to providing a quality learning atmosphere for students pursuing athletic training regardless of race, gender, religion, national origin, disability or veteran status.

Vision Statement

The AT Program strives to become one of the leading athletic training programs in the nation and a premiere program in the southeast region and state of Tennessee.  Middle Tennessee State University AT Program will produce highly qualified students for entry into the profession of athletic training.

Program Goals and Objectives

Middle Tennessee State University AT Program prepares students to become well-rounded educated individuals through program goals and objectives:

  1. Acquire the knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies included in the 2020 standards and guidelines established by The CAATE, approved by The Strategic Alliance (NATA, CAATE, BOC, and NATA Foundation), while preparing students to sit for the BOC for Athletic Training to become a professional athletic trainer.
  2. Promote students to think logically, critically, and creatively, and to make sound judgement and decisions in a supervised environment, under qualified faculty, medical, and health care professionals.
  3. Ensure quality clinical experiences that allow students to appreciate the role of an athletic trainer in a variety of practice settings with diverse patients and clients in athletics, work, and life.
  4. Promote effective communication techniques and strategies to build positive professional relationships with patients, administrators, other healthcare providers, and the public.
  5. Prepare students to acquire and integrate research into daily clinical practice through the practice of evidence-based medicine.
  6. Promote professionalism and the importance of ethical practice.
  7. Encourage active engagement in university, community, and professional activities that develop leadership and role-modeling skills while sharing knowledge, expertise, and creative activities.
  8. Prepare qualified healthcare professionals to successfully gain employment (in colleges, high schools, professional sports, sports medicine clinics, and other athletic training/sports medicine agencies) or continue on to post-professional education.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

The AT Program has specific student learning outcomes based on the expectations of Middle Tennessee State University and the Department of Health and Human Performance. Students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate effective communication, both orally and in writing.
  2. Demonstrate discipline-specific content knowledge.
  3. Analyze and think logically, critically, and creatively to make sound judgments in problem-solving situations.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of diverse cultural needs and abilities.
  5. Apply professional skills and research in discipline-specific situations.
  6. Value lifelong learning through professional advocacy and participation.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of ethical practice.

The AT Program has several program specific outcomes. The AT Program will:

  1. Assemble and maintain high quality faculty, medical, and health care professionals as supervisors and preceptors in the AT Program.
  2. Arrange and select a variety of clinical sites and practice settings with diverse patients and clients in athletics, work, and life.
  3. Collect and assess information on employment and/or post-professional education placements in athletic training.
  4. Evaluate the overall effectiveness and student satisfaction of the AT Program.
  5. Report and evaluate BOC pass rates.
  6. Report and measure graduation and retention rates in the AT Program.

What Does it Cost?

Athletic Training Program Costs

Athletic training students pay the same fee schedules as do all other undergraduate students at the University. These fees are described in detail elsewhere in this catalog. Additional expenses incurred by athletic training students include:

  1. The cost of a uniform package – approximately $100-150;
  2. Liability insurance - approximately $35 (yearly);
  3. Membership into the National Athletic Trainer's Association – approximately $80-100 (yearly);
  4. Maintenance of professional rescuer CPR- approximately $30-50 (yearly);
  5. Verification of immunization (cost depends on where immunization is received);
  6. Their own transportation to and from clinical sites including, but not limited to, vehicle and fuel costs.
  7. The cost of a background check, if required by the clinical site – approximately $40 (when required by clinical site).

Clinical sites (for clinicals, practicums, and immersive experiences) may be assigned to a student within a 60-mile radius of the MTSU main campus. Students are required to have a minimum of five off-campus clinical rotations, with a maximum of nine off-campus clinical rotations, to complete the clinical component of the Athletic Training Program. There may be some immersive experiences that are beyond the 60-mile radius of campus set-up by the program to meet the needs of the student, the experiential requirements, and the clinical site availability.

For more information about the Athletic Training program, you may contact: Dr. Helen Binkley, Department of HHP, MTSU, Box 96, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. (615) 904-8192 or

Online or Hybrid Programs at a Glance

This program is available .

For More Information or Explore Your Options​

Contact your department / program coordinator or advisor for more details about the program OR work one-on-one with your advisor to explore your options.

MTSU online logo

The Online Advantage​

With over 25 years of experience in online teaching and learning, MTSU Online offers students access to innovative, high-quality programs. Designed with students in mind, our courses allow maximum flexibility for those unable to participate in person. ​

Resources and services for online students are available from MTSU Online or contact us at

Contact Information

Helen Binkley
Program Director

Who is My Advisor?

Professor, Athletic Training Director
Kristi Phillips PhD, ATC
Master Instructor, Clinical Education Coordinator

Mailing Address

Department of Health and Human Performance
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 96
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Middle Tennessee State University © Nondiscrimination Policy Terms