Athletic Training Transition to a Master’s-Level Professional Degree
Phase Out of the Undergraduate Athletic Training Major
Our last cycle for admitting students through the undergraduate Athletic Training major will be Fall Semester 2020. This means first-year students entering Penn State in Fall Semester 2019 would still be eligible to graduate from this degree program (since students typically formally apply to the major in the third semester of their second year).
Comprehensive information on the Athletic Training major can be found at https://hhd.psu.edu/kines/undergraduate/major-athletic-training.
Information on Penn State admissions can be found here https://admissions.psu.edu/.
Frequently Asked Questions and Current Responses
1. What majors/options within HHD or KINES are best for students to go on to a master’s in athletic training?
Answer: Per Ostrowski et al (https://natajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.4085/090136), the vast majority of students that enroll in an athletic training master’s-level professional degree completed undergraduate studies in Exercise/Sports Science or Kinesiology. A sprinkling come from Biology or Psychology. Our current recommendation is that Penn State students interested in pursuing a master’s in athletic training complete the Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (Movement Science Option) degree program (https://bulletins.psu.edu/undergraduate/colleges/health-human-development/kinesiology-bs/). Subsequently, similar to other graduate allied health care programs, students must be aware that each College/University may have unique requirements necessary to be eligible for enrollment. Confirming these specific related requirements is the responsibility of the student, and can be done by researching individual programs. A collection of programs can be found at https://caate.net/search-for-accredited-program/. General details on becoming an athletic trainer are accessible at https://www.nata.org/about/athletic-training/obtain-certification.
2. Will there be a specific Athletic Training Option within HHD/KINES?
Answer: Just as there is no PT, OT, or PA Option, there will be no AT Option in KINES.
3. Where is Penn State within its planning to offer students a master’s in athletic training, and will there be an integrated undergraduate-graduate option?
Answer: A timeline, here, of Penn State’s progression with transitioning to a master’s-level professional degree is provided below. Per a recent consultation with an industry expert, and in discussions among faculty and administrators, our priority is to onboard a traditional two-year master’s degree initially. While not part of our current planning, the potential for an integrated undergraduate-graduate program is something we may consider for the future depending on demand, feasibility, and market trends.