M.S. in Athletic Training

APU’s M.S. in Athletic Training program prepares students for successful completion of the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) exam and for successful careers in athletic training.

For more information: (626) 815-5086

The Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) is an intense, demanding, and rewarding program of study. The MSAT is a full-time residency program that prepares students for successful completion of the national Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) examination and for careers in athletic training. Multiple clinical experiences provide students with practical learning designed to strengthen professional preparation and career placement, and a Christian worldview is woven throughout the program, giving students a Christ-centered perspective of this service profession.

The MSAT is a 63-unit, two-year program including two 8-week summer terms and four traditional 16-week semesters. The final spring semester includes 8 weeks of clinical immersion. Through academic coursework and hands-on clinical experiences integrated with a Christian worldview, students learn to provide immediate and follow-up care to patients while under the direct supervision of a preceptor. Students observe, learn from, and interact with a variety of healthcare personnel and members of the public, including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, patients, athletes, coaches, and parents.

Students enrolled in this program complete coursework in the areas of acute care and emergency management of injuries, orthopedic assessment and diagnosis, therapeutic modalities, therapeutic exercise, biomechanics, pharmacology, general medical conditions, strength and conditioning, healthcare administration, psychological and spiritual aspects of injury and illness, and research methodology.

Program requirements are compliant with the current Standards for Accreditation of Professional Athletic Training Programs established by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Students who apply must successfully complete prerequisite courses and other admissions requirements prior to enrolling. Following completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the BOC examination to become a certified athletic trainer.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) program is to fully equip athletic training students with a quality education that includes a Christian perspective to become lifelong learners. The program incorporates current research and scholarly instruction in both the clinical and didactic portions of the program, preparing athletic training students to enter the profession as entry-level athletic trainers upon successfully passing the BOC examination.

Values and Beliefs

We value:

  1. The use of Christian principles in teaching and athletic training.
  2. Student-centered teaching and learning, and providing all the resources necessary to equip students to enter the athletic training profession.
  3. Experiential and clinical learning with impact on the greater community.
  4. Educating the whole student: spiritually, intellectually, and physically.


  1. To provide an accredited athletic training program in a Christian environment for athletic training students seeking Board of Certification, Inc. certification.
  2. To offer diverse clinical education experiences that expose athletic training students to the variety of employment settings available in the field of athletic training.
  3. To produce entry-level athletic training professionals who conduct themselves ethically and make decisions using a Christian worldview.


  1. To provide athletic training students with the required knowledge and skills to become competent entry-level athletic trainers.
  2. To assist athletic training students in becoming true servants of God as they minister to injured persons.
  3. To provide athletic training students with the ability to critically analyze evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation protocols to ensure efficient and high-quality care for every athlete/patient/client.
  4. To help athletic training students learn how to effectively communicate and interact with others.
  5. To foster an understanding of multiple perspectives to facilitate learning, particularly within the clinical setting.
  6. To impart the ability to make informed decisions regarding the prescribed standards of practice and ethics in the profession of athletic training.
  7. To equip athletic training students with the skills necessary to seek, assimilate, analyze, and interpret data and other information vital to continued growth and understanding of the ever-changing field of athletic training.


University graduate admission and program-specific requirements must be met before an application is complete (see Admission to the University). Program-specific application requirements are available online.

International students should contact Graduate and Professional Admissions for application procedures.

Prerequisite Courses

The following prerequisites must be completed before entry:

Required Courses
Human Anatomy with lab
Human Physiology with lab
General Biology
General Chemistry
General Physics
General Psychology
Exercise Physiology with lab
Additional Course (Recommended, but Not Required)
Research Methods

Note: The application for the 2021 cohort will open in July 2020 and follows the 2020 CAATE Standards requirements for prerequisite courses.  

Other Admission Criteria

  • Application cycles begin in July for the following year’s cohort. Application review begins in the fall, and students are accepted on a year-round, rolling admission basis. However, to ensure consideration for the summer start date, completed applications should be submitted early in the admission cycle
  • No more than 20 percent (13 units) of the total amount of units for this program may be transferred in from a comparable graduate program. Each request will be evaluated according to the established transfer credit requirements. Refer to the Transfer Credit requirements listed in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of the Graduate and Professional Catalog. Specific questions regarding eligibility for transfer credit can be directed to the Graduate and Professional Center at (626) 815-4570.
  • Once a student is offered admission into the program, a nonrefundable deposit of $500 for the program is due within 21 days of receipt of the acceptance letter. This will be applied to the first term’s tuition fee. The deposit should be submitted to:

Azusa Pacific University
Graduate and Professional Center Cashier
901 East Alosta Avenue
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000

  • In addition, accepted students must submit the following items to the program:
    1. Documentation of the following up-to-date immunizations: HBV series, MMR, Tdap, chicken pox, and meningococcal.
    2. Verification of a recent (within the last 12 months) negative TB test.
    3. Copy (with instructor’s signature or QR code) of current, valid certification card(s) for Adult, Child, and Infant CPR.
    4. Copy (with instructor’s signature or QR code) of current, valid certification card for Standard First Aid.
    5. Documentation of ability to meet MSAT Technical Standards (PDF) with or without reasonable accommodations.
    6. A signed copy of the MSAT Oath of Confidentiality (PDF) regarding all medical information.
    7. A signed copy of the MSAT Communicable Disease Policy (PDF).
Postacceptance materials should be submitted to:

Azusa Pacific University
Department of Kinesiology
Master of Science in Athletic Training
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000

International applicants send additional forms to:

International Center
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000 USA
Fax: +1-626-815-3801

In addition to meeting the admission requirements, students whose first language is not English must meet the required English proficiency standard as demonstrated by passing the following minimum international iBT (internet-based TOEFL) scores:

Reading: 25
Speaking: 25
Writing: 25
Listening: 25

All international students must complete international student applications, which must be approved through APU’s Office of International Enrollment Services.


Year 1, Summer
AT 501Foundations of Athletic Training3
AT 513Fundamental Skills in Athletic Training3
AT 515Anatomical Basis of Athletic Training4
Year 1, Fall
AT 518Foundations of Examination and Diagnosis: Lower Extremity3
AT 522Foundations of Therapeutic Interventions: Lower Extremity3
AT 524Principles of Evidence-Based Practice2
AT 528Clinical Integration I3
Year 1, Spring
AT 531Examination, Diagnosis, and Interventions: Upper Extremity4
AT 534Biomechanics3
AT 535Data Analysis and Patient Outcomes2
AT 539Clinical Integration II3
Year 2, Summer
AT 542Examination, Diagnosis, and Interventions: Spine and Core4
AT 545Topics in Athletic Training3
AT 547Clinical Integration III2
Year 2, Fall
AT 552Examination, Diagnosis, and Interventions: Medical Conditions4
AT 554Holistic Aspects of Athletic Training3
AT 541Nutrition for Active People2
AT 557Clinical Integration IV2
Year 2, Spring
AT 562Health Care Administration3
AT 564Seminar in Athletic Training1
AT 566Patient Populations in Emerging Settings1
AT 570Clinical Integration V5
Total Units63

Clinical Education

Clinical education experiences provide students with the opportunity to practice and integrate their cognitive learning with the associated psychomotor skill requirements of the profession, and to develop entry-level clinical proficiency and the professional behavior required of an athletic trainer as defined in the 2020 Standards for Accreditation of Professional Athletic Training Programs. These clinical experiences are completed under the direct supervision of a qualified preceptor in an appropriate clinical setting. The primary settings for clinical experiences include athletic training and allied healthcare facilities, athletic practices, and competitive events. Ample opportunities are provided for students to gain clinical experience associated with a variety of populations including both genders, diverse age groups, and varying levels of risk, protective equipment, and medical experiences that address the continuum of care that would prepare students to function in a variety of settings and meet the domains of practice delineated for a certified athletic trainer.

Clinical experiences are accomplished through several clinical rotation assignments that expose students to a variety of athletic training settings, sports, and patient populations. Clinical rotations include a diversity of professional settings such as on-campus varsity athletics, high schools, colleges, professional sports, physician offices, and rehabilitative clinics. Students complete multiple rotations purposefully scheduled to complement coursework, introduce students to several types of employment settings, and provide perspectives from multiple professionals.

As required by CAATE, students complete two academic years of clinical experiences, including clinical immersive experiences.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements include successfully completing all coursework with at least a 3.0 GPA and a B- or better in all courses. See the current MSAT Student Handbook for details on academic probation and dismissal. See also Grading in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of this catalog.

Additional graduation requirements include:

  1. Completion of a minimum of 1,000 clinical experience hours.
  2. Completion of all Clinical Integration Proficiencies.
  3. Completion of all required professional development units (attendance at and participation in regional and national athletic training conferences, in-services, community service events).

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  1. Communicate with a variety of audiences including, but not limited to, peers, medical professionals, coaches, injured individuals, family members, and policy makers.
  2. Demonstrate awareness of others' values and beliefs during professional interactions.
  3. Use current evidence to help inform clinical decisions.
  4. Exhibit mastery of contemporary athletic training content.
  5. Conduct themselves as ethical professionals.
  6. Understand how to apply Christian values to patient care.



Jennifer Livingston, Ph.D., ATC

Cynthia McKnight, Ph.D., ATC

Associate Professor

Christopher Schmidt, Ph.D., ATC

Assistant Professor

Christy Gendron, DAT, ATC