Master’s in Athletic Training

Get ready to launch your career as a certified athletic trainer.

Built on a legacy of excellence in classroom and clinical education, PennWest’s MSAT program provides a unique experience for students who want to become leaders in their professional practices.

Opportunities abound for athletic trainers and there’s no better place to prepare for a career in this rewarding field than PennWest University. If you have undergraduate experience in exercise science, health science, nutrition and fitness, rehabilitation sciences, or any pre-professional program, you are a prime candidate for this valuable degree.

Choose the PennWest program option that works for you. The two-year, stand-alone program is designed for individuals who already have an undergraduate degree. The 3+2 accelerate program allows current undergraduates to earn two degrees in just five years, saving both time and money.

As a student, you will hone your skills under the guidance of faculty with extensive clinical experience and contemporary expertise. You’ll conduct your own student research, develop knowledge of evidence-based clinical practice concepts and have a variety of interprofessional education and practice opportunities.  

The didactic portion of training is coupled with a year-long clinical immersion, ensuring you acquire strong foundational behaviors of professional practice in a variety of settings. Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible to sit for the Board of Certification examination and become a certified athletic trainer.

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CAATE Program Information and Outcomes

Fully Accredited

PennWest’s MSAT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

Interdisciplinary Approach

Enjoy cross-curriculum opportunities to obtain diverse perspectives and collaborate with professionals both on and off campus.

Exceptional Facilities

Including a contemporary AT lab, cadaver lab and access to experiential learning.

Fast Facts


Fully immersed clinical rotations at sites across the country.




Hybrid: Students must perform clinical immersions and practicums




Graduate Admissions

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Careers and Salaries

Jobs Await

The U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics projects a 23% growth in the Athletic Training professionals from 2020-2030, with an average of 3,100 openings per year. Further enhance your job opportunities by taking advantage of PennWest’s extensive network of alumni currently working in the field.

Current clinical sites:

  • PennWest California - Intercollegiate Athletics
  • PennWest Clarion - Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Clarion Area High School
  • Clarion Rehabilitation Services, INC
  • Marianne Family Medicine
  • Penn Highlands Orthopedics and Sports Medicine – Dubois
  • University of Georgia (Football)
  • Washington and Jefferson College Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Greensburg Central Catholic High School
  • North Carolina State University (Football)
  • SUNY Buffalo State University Intercollegiate Athletics
  • NovaCare Physical Therapy
  • Brownsville Area School District
  • California Area School District
  • The Orthopedic Group – Penn Highlands Healthcare

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Provide a rigorous educational program that ensures athletic training students are properly trained and knowledgeable to function in a variety of settings and provide continuum of care for a diverse population of patients engaged in a range of activites with varying conditions.
    - Collaborate with health care professionals from multiple disciplines to provide appropriate patient care.
    - Demonstrate preparedness to transition to autonomous clinical practice by providing athletic training students with authentic real-time patient interactions.
    - Incorporate patient outcomes and best available evidence to develop clinical care plans for a diverse population in a variety of employment settings.
  • To prepare students to successfully integrate evidence-based practice in their ability to critically think and apply clinical skills and decision-making in their role as healthcare providers.
    - Demonstrate proficiency in developing and answering a focused clinical question.
    - Demonstrate competency in searching, examining, and critically assessing the efficacy of current literature for relevant evidence associated with means of clinical diagnosis, rehabilitation, therapeutic interventions, and reconditioning programs.
    - Incorporate available evidence into the design and implementation of rehabilitation programs to meet the client/patient needs and goals according to their level of performance and function.
  • Understand and promote professional responsibilities and avenues of professional development to support athletic training as a healthcare profession through professional and community involvement.
    - Engage in professional development and networking through interaction and attendance at professional meetings and educational opportunities.
    - Participate in opportunities that promote lifelong learning, professional development and serve to benefit the community at large without regard to personal gain.
  • To prepare students to function as patient advocates in an evolving healthcare network which incorporates patient education, literacy, and communication in a coordinated shared decision-making model.
    - Describe the importance of respecting patient autonomy and the value of individualized patient care plans.
    - Demonstrate characteristics and values that align with sociocultural and global resonance in clinical practice.
    - In collaboration with various heathcare professionals, incorporate a customized and comprehensive care plan based on specific patient objectives to guide clinical decision-making.

Admissions, Program, and Retention and Graduate Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Students who intend to apply for the Master of Science in Athletic Training Program must apply online using the ATCAS application. Applications are reviewed as they are received and admission decisions are made on a rolling basis until enrollment is full. Cohorts begin during the second 7-week summer session (late June). To be considered for admission to the MSAT, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  1. Submit official transcripts for all previously attended institutions
  2. Preferred minimum GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0)
  3. Completion of the following courses (or their equivalents) with grade of C or better:
    - Biology
    - Two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology with labs
    - Chemistry
    - Physics
    - Exercise Physiology
    - Nutrition
    - Biomechanics or Kinesiology
    - General Psychology
    - Statistics
  4. Complete a successful interview with PennWest’s athletic training faculty (invitation only)
  5. Two electronic references (one must be from an athletic trainer or healthcare provider who provided clinical supervision within the past two years)
  6. Resume
  7. Evidence of 25 hours of clinical observation
  8. Students who do not consider English to be their primary language are required to submit official TOEFL iBT scores or IELTS score completed in the last two years. Minimum scores (TOEFL internet: 79, IELTS 6.5 or higher).

Program Requirements

Prior to enrollment, students must complete the following:

  • FBI Federal Criminal History Record (Act 114)
  • Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Records Check (Act 34)
  • State of Residence Police Criminal Records Check (non-Pennsylvania residents only)
  • Child Abuse Clearance (Act 33)
  • Additional clearances may be required by affiliate sites.
  • Immunization Records
    - Hepatitis B series
    - Varicella vaccine or titer
    - MMR
  • Technical Standards Form
  • Communicable Disease Policy

Retention and Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for graduation, a student must:

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Students that fall below this criterion will be granted one semester of probationary status in which to raise their GPA above the minimum standard. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the MSAT Program.  
  • Receive no more than two grades of “C” in any program courses
  • Retake no more than two MSAT courses.
  • Complete a minimum of 50 continuing education points
  • Maintain documentation of yearly PPD (TB skin test) and seasonal flu vaccine
  • Maintain professional liability insurance
  • Adhere to all policies and procedures as outlined in the MSAT Student Handbook.

The Power of PennWest

PennWest’s three campuses, California, Clarion and Edinboro universities, have been delivering award-winning online programs for more than 20 years. You’ll graduate with a degree from Pennsylvania Western University, completely supported by the expertise and community of learners on our brick-and-mortar campuses.

Flexible. Affordable.
Designed to Meet Your needs.