Athletic trainers are health care professionals who provide physically active people services such as injury/illness prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Athletic trainers care for people across the lifespan and activity levels, including youth to professional athletes, performing artists, military or civil service personnel, and workers in physically demanding jobs. To become an athletic trainer you must complete a graduate degree in Athletic Training in a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The UWM Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) is such a program. Upon completion of the degree you must pass the national Board of Certification exam, and then you can start working as an athletic trainer.

Admission Requirements 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.

Application Deadline

The early decision deadline is November 1. After that date a rolling admission process is used until the class is filled with highly qualified students. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.

To apply for the MS Athletic Training program all application materials must be submitted through the Athletic Training Centralized Application Service (ATCAS). The exception is for UWM undergraduate students who are applying to the Accelerated BS-Kinesiology/MS-Athletic Training program who only apply directly to the UWM Graduate School.  


An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus these departmental requirements to be considered for admission to the program:

  1. Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with an overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) of a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) preferred. GPA’s between 2.75 and 3.0 will be considered if other aspects of the application indicate strong readiness for graduate study. Official transcripts must be submitted. Undergraduate degree must be completed by the time the applicant plans to begin in the MSAT program.
  2. Completion of the following 10 foundation courses. A prerequisite GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is recommended:
    1. Human anatomy 
    2. Human physiology
    3. Biology
    4. Psychology
    5. Statistics
    6. Chemistry 
    7. Physics 
    8. Exercise physiology
    9. Biomechanics
    10. Nutrition
  3. Two letters of recommendation. One of the letters must come from an academic reference (preferably a faculty member as opposed to a graduate student instructor). The other letter can come from another professor, an athletic trainer with whom the applicant spent a significant amount of time, or a work supervisor. The recommenders should be able to speak towards the applicant’s readiness for graduate level study and aptitude for the athletic training profession.
  4. Optional: Completion of observation of athletic training practice with a certified athletic trainer within 12 months of application submission. 10-20 hours of observation is preferred.
  5. Optional: GRE scores are optional unless the cumulative GPA is below 2.75. 

Prospective Students 

Prospective applicants who have questions about pursuing athletic training are encouraged to contact the program via email at Students can also contact the Pre-Athletic Training advisor in the College of Health Professions and Sciences Office of Student Affairs. Prospective applicants are encouraged to carefully review the entirety of this website prior to scheduling an advising appointment.

Need to complete prerequisite courses?

Prospective applicants who have already completed a bachelor’s degree and are interested in taking courses at UWM to satisfy MSAT program prerequisites should contact the Pre-Athletic Training advisor Torry Rufer at 414-229-2758 or

You will also need to apply for admission to UWM. On the application, applicants should identify their reason for applying as “Undergraduate courses as a visitor/guest student” and their “applying as” status as “Undergraduate non-degree student with a bachelor’s degree.” Applicants should apply as a second-degree student only if they plan to complete a second bachelor’s degree. Questions regarding financial aid for non-degree students should be directed to Gayla Jenkins in the UWM Department of Financial Aid.

Curriculum Overview

The MS Athletic Training provides students with a structured, tracked curriculum that contains coursework as well as community-engaged opportunities for clinical education, research, and professional development. Philosophies of evidence-based practice, integrated person-centered care, cultural competence, and clinical problem solving will be incorporated into all courses within the curriculum. There are several courses that are taught interprofessionally, where students from multiple healthcare professions learn about, from and with each other. The curriculum meets all of the competencies and requirements set forth by the Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. At the completion of the program, students will be eligible to sit for the national certification exam, administered by the Board of Certification, and enter the healthcare workforce.  

Clinical Education

Clinical education experiences provide the student with the opportunity to practice and refine their clinical and decision-making skills in the context of direct patient care under the supervision of a licensed athletic trainer or physician. Students commit an average of 12 hours per week to clinical education. Students will begin the clinical education placements during their first semester and will continue these for each semester of the program. The final two semesters will include a capstone clinical education placement. Clinical placements are guided by concurrent coursework, type of practice setting (i.e., collegiate, high school, clinical, professional sports, industrial), injury risk level, and sociodemographic factors (i.e., gender, age, urban/suburban/rural). All clinical education experiences will be strategically mapped to ensure that each student is exposed to as many of the above factors as possible.

Credits and Courses

This is a 69-credit, two-year program conducted on a 12-month calendar. Students will matriculate at the start of the Summer term, and take courses for the following Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Spring. Graduation will occur at the end of the Spring term.

Required Courses
ATRAIN 701Athletic Training Foundational Skills1
ATRAIN 705Athletic Training Practice Based Research I2
ATRAIN 706Athletic Training Practice Based Research II1
ATRAIN 710Prevention & Care of Emergent Medical Conditions in Athletic Training4
ATRAIN 723Physiological Regulation in Exertion & Disease3
ATRAIN 725Gross Anatomical Kinesiology4
ATRAIN 726Pathoetiology of Musculoskeletal Injury1
ATRAIN 744Organizational Competencies in Athletic Training3
ATRAIN 745Administrative Management in Athletic Training2
ATRAIN 747Clinical Exam and Diagnosis of the Lower Extremity in Athletic Training3
ATRAIN 748Clinical Exam and Diagnosis of the Head and Spine in Athletic Training3
ATRAIN 749Clinical Exam and Diagnosis of Upper Extremity in Athletic Training3
ATRAIN 753Medical Physiology II3
ATRAIN 754Clinical Exam and Diagnosis of Medical Conditions in Athletic Training1
ATRAIN 757Foundations of Therapeutic Interventions in Athletic Training3
ATRAIN 758Physical Agents2
ATRAIN 759Advanced Therapeutic Interventions3
ATRAIN 785Clinical Education in Athletic Training: I1
ATRAIN 786Clinical Education in Athletic Training: II2
ATRAIN 787Clinical Education in Athletic Training: III2
ATRAIN 788Clinical Education in Athletic Training: IV2
ATRAIN 800Athletic Training Board of Certification Exam Preparation2
ATRAIN 883Capstone Clinical Education in Athletic Training (ATRAIN 883 is 6 credits repeated twice)12
PRPP 551GPsychology of Injury: Prevention, Rehabilitation & Return to Participation3
PRPP 553GPsychological Considerations for Optimizing Health & Performance3
Total Credits69

Additional Requirements

Major Professor as Advisor

The Graduate School requires that each student have a major professor to advise, supervise, and approve the program of study. Students are assigned a faculty advisor upon acceptance to the program.  

Time Limit

The student must complete all degree requirements within seven years of initial enrollment.

Athletic Training MS Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from the Master of Science in Athletic Training program will be able to: 

  • Perform an examination to formulate a diagnosis and create a plan of care for patients with health conditions commonly seen in athletic training practice. 
  • Collaborate with other professionals as part of a patient-centered health care team. 
  • Practice cultural competency, demonstrate cultural humility, and demonstrate respect in professional interactions and relationships. 
  • Advocate for the health care needs of their patients and communities, and advocate for the professional needs of themselves and the athletic training profession. 
  • Develop clinical questions and summarize, synthesize, and critique relevant evidence to determine best practices and support patient care decisions. 
  • Collaborate with researchers to develop and generate practice-based research to improve patient care and advance the athletic training profession. 

Accelerated Program Option

This program is offered as part of an accelerated graduate program. For more information, see Accelerated Graduate Degrees.