Master of Science 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, 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 6-week summer terms and four traditional 15-week semesters. 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 in compliance with the standards 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.

Goals

  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.

Objectives

  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.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will acquire and apply cognitive and psychomotor competencies and clinical proficiencies to become competent entry-level athletic trainers, as defined in Athletic Training Education Competencies, 5th edition (NATA, 2011) by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.
  2. Students will describe, design, analyze, and assess evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation protocols to ensure efficient and high-quality care for every patient.
  3. Students will apply athletic training competencies and proficiencies in a variety of clinical settings with diverse patient populations.
  4. Students will communicate (in written and verbal format) and interact effectively with peers, medical professionals, injured individuals, and others with whom they come into contact.
  5. Students will utilize evidenced-based practice to make decisions in the application of athletic training competencies and proficiencies.
  6. Students will operate modern technology in the practice of athletic training.
  7. Students will describe and integrate relevant standards of professional practice and codes of ethics from the profession of athletic training to formulate clinical decisions.
  8. Students will examine a Christian worldview as it relates to the care of injured persons.

Admission Requirements

University graduate admission and program acceptance requirements must be met before an application is complete (see Admission to the University section of this catalog).

Program-specific application requirements are available online at apu.edu/gpc/admissions/requirements/program/.

International students have a separate application procedure. Contact the International Center at +1-626-812-3055 or visit apu.edu/international/.

Prerequisite Courses

The following prerequisites must be completed before entry:

BIOLOGY: Two required courses
Human Anatomy with lab
Human Physiology with lab
ADDITIONAL COURSES: (recommended, but not required)
Exercise Physiology with lab
Research Methods

Other Admission Criteria

  • Applications 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 admitted into the program, the following items are required:

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

Graduate and Professional Center: Admissions
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000

Located at:
Azusa Pacific University
568 E. Foothill Blvd.
Azusa, CA 91702
(626) 815-4570
Fax: (626) 815-4571
gpadmissions@apu.edu
apu.edu/gpc

International applicants send additional forms to:

International Center
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000 USA
+1-626-812-3055
Fax: +1-626-815-3801
international@apu.edu
apu.edu/international

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.

Course Requirements

Year 1, Summer (6 weeks)
AT 511Foundations of Athletic Training5
AT 515Anatomical Basis of Athletic Training4
Year 1, Fall (15 weeks)
AT 521Orthopedic Assessment and Diagnosis I3
AT 523Therapeutic Modalities3
AT 525Research Methods I3
AT 527Clinical Integration I2
Year 1, Spring (15 weeks)
AT 532Orthopedic Assessment and Diagnosis II3
AT 534Biomechanics3
AT 536Research Methods II3
AT 538Clinical Integration II2
Year 2, Summer (6 weeks)
AT 541Nutrition for Active People2
AT 543Strength and Conditioning3
AT 545Topics in Athletic Training3
AT 547Clinical Integration III2
AT 549Applied Research I1
Year 2, Fall (15 weeks)
AT 551Medical Conditions and Pharmacology3
AT 553Psychological and Spiritual Aspects of Injury and Illness3
AT 555Therapeutic Exercise3
AT 557Clinical Integration IV2
AT 559Applied Research II1
Year 2, Spring (15 weeks)
AT 562Health Care Administration3
AT 564Seminar in Athletic Training1
AT 568Clinical Integration V2
AT 569Thesis3
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, to develop entry-level clinical proficiency and professional behavior required of an athletic trainer as defined in Athletic Training Education Competencies. 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, specific policies governing minimum and maximum clinical hours requirements have been established. Students are required to complete a minimum of 100 hours per semester in each Clinical Integration course and achieve a minimum of 1,000 hours total of clinical experience for graduation.

Graduation Requirements 

Graduation requirements include successfully completing all coursework with at least a 3.0 GPA and a B- or better in all classes. See Grading and Academic Probation and Dismissal in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of this catalog.

Additional graduation requirements include:

  1. Completion of all Clinical Integration Proficiencies.
  2. Completion of all required professional education credits (attendance and participation in regional and national athletic training conferences, in-services, community service events).

AT 511, Foundations of Athletic Training, 5 Units

This course provides students with basic information and skills necessary in the clinical practice of athletic training. Topics include acute care, risk management, orthopedic taping and wrapping, and equipment fitting. Students will also learn the roles and responsibilities of a certified athletic trainer and the sports medicine team. Students are also introduced to evidence-based practice concepts. A laboratory component is included.

AT 515, Anatomical Basis of Athletic Training, 4 Units

This course provides an in-depth look at human anatomy, with an emphasis on musculoskeletal anatomy, functional anatomy, and basic kinesiology principles. The lab component will include the use of cadavers.

AT 521, Orthopedic Assessment and Diagnosis I, 3 Units

This is the first of two courses that include an in-depth inquiry into the pathophysiology of injuries to the physically active. This course emphasizes injuries to the trunk and lower extremity. Mechanisms of injury will be addressed as well as specific evaluation techniques and methods standard to the practice of athletic training. A laboratory component is included.

AT 523, Therapeutic Modalities, 3 Units

This course focuses on the theory and operation of various therapeutic modalities as they relate to the healing process and are used in the treatment of injuries to physically active individuals. Included are hydrotherapy, electrotherapy, thermotherapy, cryotherapy, therapeutic massage, and other manual and mechanical techniques. A laboratory component is included.

AT 525, Research Methods I, 3 Units

This is the first of two courses in research methodology. The focus of this course is on the critical reading of athletic training and sports medicine literature, the interpretation of research, and the analysis of research methodology appropriate to the field. In addition, students will create a research proposal as the first step toward their thesis.

AT 527, Clinical Integration I, 2 Units

This is the first of five clinical education courses. Each student will be assigned to a preceptor who directly supervises them as they practice and refine their skills in an athletic training setting. As students display competence with/through the Clinical Integration Proficiencies in Athletic Training, they will be given increased responsibility in directly working with patients.

AT 532, Orthopedic Assessment and Diagnosis II, 3 Units

This is the second of two courses that include an in-depth inquiry into the pathophysiology of injuries to the physically active. This course emphasizes injuries to the upper extremity, head, and cervical spine. Mechanisms of injury will be addressed as well as specific evaluation techniques and methods standard to the practice of athletic training. A laboratory component is included.

AT 534, Biomechanics, 3 Units

This course focuses on qualitative and quantitative analysis of human movement. Screenings and calculations will focus on skills common in sport and physical activity as well as gait analysis by the application of principles of anatomy, kinesiology, and physics.

AT 536, Research Methods II, 3 Units

This is the second of two courses in research methods. The focus of this course is on statistical concepts with the emphasis on correct usage and interpretation, using spreadsheets and computer analysis. In addition, students will have the opportunity to explore advanced research methodology, specific to their chosen research.

AT 538, Clinical Integration II, 2 Units

This is the second of five clinical education courses. Each student will be assigned a preceptor who directly supervises then as they practice and refine their skills in an athletic training setting. As students display competence with/through the Clinical Integration Proficiencies in Athletic Training, they will be given increased responsibility in directly working with patients.

AT 541, Nutrition for Active People, 2 Units

This course focuses on nutrition related to exercise and physical performance. These aspects include the energy systems in exercise, nutritional aspects of substrate utilization (digestion, absorption, metabolism, etc.), assessment of nutritional needs, and diet modification. Dietary development for weight loss, body composition changes, and performance will be covered from a nutritional viewpoint.

AT 543, Strength and Conditioning, 3 Units

This course uses a scientific and integrated approach to the assessment, development, implementation, and management of strengthening and conditioning. A laboratory component is included.

AT 545, Topics in Athletic Training, 3 Units

This course offers students the opportunity to discuss current trends from the literature and practice of athletic training. Topics may include: clinical and classroom learning styles and methods of assessment, emerging evaluation and treatment strategies, alternative medicine, ethics, cultural competence, and technology in medicine.

AT 547, Clinical Integration III, 2 Units

This is the third of five clinical education courses. Each student will be assigned to a preceptor who directly supervises them as they practice and refine their skills in an athletic training setting. As students display competence with/through the Clinical Integration Proficiencies in Athletic Training, they will be given increased responsibility in directly working with patients.

AT 549, Applied Research I, 1 Unit

In this course, students meet with their research team and mentor to identify a clinical question of interest, conduct a literature review, and plan the methods and data collection for their research project.

AT 551, Medical Conditions and Pharmacology, 3 Units

This course covers the knowledge, skills, and values that the entry-level certified athletic trainer must possess to recognize, treat, and refer, when appropriate, the general medical conditions and disabilities of those involved in athletics or other physical activities. Pharmacology is included as related to medical conditions and disabilities of the active, as well as ergogenic aids common to the population. A laboratory component is included.

AT 553, Psychological and Spiritual Aspects of Injury and Illness, 3 Units

The purpose of this course is to provide the necessary knowledge and skills to manage psychosocial issues in athletic training. Psychological and spiritual interventions and referral strategies specific to the role of an athletic trainer will be discussed for common problems such as: eating disorders, anxiety issues, substance abuse, catastrophic injuries, ergogenic aids, peer pressure, depression, and response to injury.

AT 555, Therapeutic Exercise, 3 Units

This course focuses on the theory and operation of various contemporary methods of therapeutic exercise in the rehabilitation of injuries to the physically active. The student is introduced to manual as well as mechanical testing and other primary components of comprehensive rehabilitation designs and implementation, including determining therapeutic goals, progress, and ability to return to participation. A laboratory component is included.

AT 557, Clinical Integration IV, 2 Units

This is the fourth of five clinical education courses. Each student will be assigned to a preceptor who directly supervises them as they practice and refine their skills in an athletic training setting. As students display competence with/through the Clinical Integration Proficiencies in Athletic Training, they will be given increased responsibility in directly working with patients.

AT 559, Applied Research II, 1 Unit

In this course, students meet with their research team and mentor to collect and synthesize data for their research project.

AT 562, Health Care Administration, 3 Units

This course addresses the organization and administration aspects of health care in a variety of athletic training settings including interscholastic, private clinics, and others. Students study topics such as medical record keeping (paper and electronic), facility design and maintenance, leadership strategies, insurance issues, public relations, and legal and ethical issues related to health care.

AT 564, Seminar in Athletic Training, 1 Unit

This course provides an integration of prior coursework and expertise in athletic training preparation for the BOC Certification Exam, and a forum for discussion of current athletic training issues.

AT 568, Clinical Integration V, 2 Units

This is the fifth of five clinical education courses. Each student will be assigned to a preceptor who directly supervises them as they practice and refine their skills in an athletic training setting. As students display competence with/through the Clinical Integration Proficiencies in Athletic Training, they will be given increased responsibility in directly working with patients.

AT 569, Research Capstone, 3 Units

Students will work with their research team and mentor to complete their research project. The project will be presented in print and poster format following appropriate professional guidelines.

Faculty

Professor

Cynthia McKnight, Ph.D., ATC

Associate Professors

Christopher Schmidt, Ph.D., ATC

Jennifer Livingston, Ph.D., ATC

Assistant Professor

Christy Hancock, DAT, ATC