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.

The program seeks to admit highly qualified students until the class has been filled (approximately 12 students per year). The early decision deadline is November 1. After that date a rolling admission process is used until the class is filled. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.


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) at the time application submission and graduation. 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 with lab
    2. Human physiology with lab
    3. Introduction to biology
    4. Introduction to psychology
    5. Statistics
    6. Chemistry with lab
    7. Physics with lab
    8. Exercise physiology
    9. Biomechanics
    10. Introduction to nutrition
  3. Completion of 20 hours of observation of athletic training practice with a certified athletic trainer within 12 months of application submission.
  4. Two letters of recommendation: one from an academic reference, one from an athletic trainer with whom the applicant completed observation hours.
  5. GRE scores are optional if the cumulative GPA is >3.0. The Graduate School requires GRE scores when the cumulative GPA is below 3.0.   

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 71-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.

Athletic Training Requirements
ATRAIN 701Introduction to Clinical Education and Professional Development1
ATRAIN 702Ethics in Healthcare1
ATRAIN 703Foundations of Interprofessional Practice1
ATRAIN 704Professionalism and Leadership in Healthcare1
ATRAIN 705Foundations of Clinical Research3
ATRAIN 708Clinical Gait Analysis2
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 744Healthcare Systems and Administration3
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 759Therapeutic Interventions for the Upper Extremity2
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: IV3
ATRAIN 800Athletic Training Board of Certification Exam Preparation1
Select the following for 4-8 credits per semester to equal 12 credits:12
Capstone Clinical Education in Athletic Training
Kinesiology Requirements
KIN 550Psychological Aspects of Human Movement3
KIN 551Psychology of Injury: Prevention, Rehabilitation & Return to Participation3
Total Credits71

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.

Accelerated Program Option

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