Master of Science in Athletic Training(MSAT)

Why a Master of Science in Athletic Training?


McK Athletic Training

The Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) Program is a professional post-baccalaureate program for non-McKendree students who want to enter the profession of athletic training. Students enter the program as a cohort. The 54-hour curriculum is rigorous and challenging combining the 8th edition of the practice analysis by the Board of Certification (BOC), National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) Executive Council for Education (ECE), and the curriculum standards required of the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The two-year program extends over six semesters in a sequential order involving two 8-week summer sessions and four 16-week sessions.

McKendree also offers a 4+1 Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and Sports Performance and Master of Science in Athletic Training. The 4+1 Direct Entry Route is for first-year students and transfer students entering McKendree University. This allows students to complete both the undergraduate and graduate degree in 5 years.




Why McKendree University?


The McKendree University Undergraduate Athletic Training Program was started in 1997 with the hiring of Dr. Dawn Hankins. The first class graduated in 2000. In 2002, the program received initial accreditation and remained accredited until it was closed in the spring of 2019. The graduate program in athletic training was started in August of 2019 and received initial accreditation in 2021.

Over 125 students graduated from the undergraduate athletic training program before it was closed in 2019. 14 students have graduated from the current graduate program. 

Currently, our graduates are employed in a variety of settings including Professional Baseball (Baltimore Orioles, Washington Senators and Kansas City Royals), Cincinnati Professional Soccer, St. Louis City Soccer, the United States Military, Boeing Aerospace, Pharmaceutical Sales, Fitness Industry, Orthopedic Medicine, Family Practice, Hospitals, Sports Medicine Clinics, High Schools and Colleges and Universities.

Over 65% of our graduates have graduate degrees in other areas including healthcare administration, business administration, medicine, physical therapy and physician assistant. Other graduates have achieved credentials in nursing, physical therapy assistant and physician.

The Athletic Training Program at McKendree University combines academic coursework and diverse clinical experiences, which provides the foundation to prepare students to be successful as athletic trainers in a variety of work settings. Completion of clinical experiences allows students to demonstrate clinical skill proficiencies, while integrating knowledge into clinical decision making, during the performance of direct patient care. These experiences take place in a variety of settings including Division II athletics at McKendree University, high school, outpatient rehabilitation, primary care settings and occupational and industrial settings. Students receive personalized attention in the classroom with a teacher to student ratio average of 1:12 and the clinical experience ratio average of 1:2.

CAATE Program Information and Outcomes




Curriculum Requirements

The program is a residency program involving courses that are offered face-to-face and online.

Required Course of Study 54 Credits.

ATH 500 - Foundations of Evidence-based Practice (3 Credits)

ATH 501 - Diagnostics, Splinting, and Bracing (3 Credits)

ATH 510 - Evaluation & Assessment of Orthopedic Injuries I (3 Credits)

ATH 511 - Evaluation & Assessment of Orthopedic Injuries II (3 Credits)

ATH 512 - Evaluation & Assessment of Orthopedic Injuries III (2 Credits)

ATH 513 - Evaluation & Assessment of Medical Conditions & Illnesses (3 Credits)

ATH 514 - Therapeutic Modalities (3 Credits)

ATH 515 - Clinical Integration I (2 Credit)

ATH 516 - Clinical Integration II (2 Credit)

ATH 517 - Clinical Integration III (3 Credit)

ATH 518 - Clinical Integration IV (3 Credit)

ATH 519 - Clinical Integration V (2 Credit)

ATH 520 - Therapeutic Exercise & Reconditioning I (3 Credits)

ATH 521 - Therapeutic Exercise & Reconditioning II (3 Credits)

ATH 522 - First Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) (.5 Credits)

ATH 525 - Health & Recovery (2 Credits)

ATH 600 - Seminar I (1 Credit)

ATH 601 - Seminar II (2 Credits)

ATH 602 - Seminar III (2 Credits)

ATH 610 - Healthcare Administration I (2 Credits)

ATH 611 - Healthcare Administration II (2 Credits)

ATH 614 - Research & Professional Behaviors I (1 Credit)

ATH 615 - Research & Professional Behaviors II (3 Credits)

ATH 616 - Second Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) (.5 Credits)


Sample Degree Plan (PDF)





This program is offered in a campus-based day format. The two-year program extends over six semesters in a sequential order involving two 8-week summer sessions and four 16-week sessions.




Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition for the Master of Science in Athletic Training is $530 per credit hour for the 2024-25 academic year.  

Graduate financial aid opportunities are available.

Online and Graduate Tuition Discounts



Athletic Training Group Picture 

Admission Requirement

McKendree University admits students who present evidence of their potential to complete graduate level work. Applicants are considered on an individual basis without regard to sex, race, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, or religion. The following documentation is required for consideration of admission:

A completed application for admission (no fee).

2. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

3. Official transcripts from each college or university attended. Official transcripts are those sent from institution to institution.

4. A minimum 3.0 GPA on a four-point scale in undergraduate studies.

5. Three recommendation forms completed by professors who can comment on your qualifications for graduate study. They should not be requested from a non-academic person unless you have extensive work experience with that individual and/or you have been away from academic institutions for some time. Forms will be emailed to you after you have applied. 

6. A two-to three-page essay identifying: a) personal characteristics, skills and experiences that make you well suited for professional practice as an athletic trainer, b) primary career goals, and c) an explanation of how your primary career goals are connected to the current issues and trends in the profession of athletic training.

7. Technical standards form.

8. A grade of C or higher in the following prerequisite courses:

Human Nutrition - 3 hours

Introduction to Psychology - 3 hours

Health and Wellness – 2-3 hours

General Biology or Principles of Biology (with lab) – 4 hours

College Chemistry (No lab required)  – 3-4 hours

General Physics 1 (with lab) – 4 hours

Anatomy and Physiology (with lab) – 8-10 hours

Medical Terminology – 3 hours

Kinesiology – 3 hours

Exercise Physiology – 3 hours

Pharmacology - 3 hours (students who do not have an acceptable pharmacology course prior to acceptance into the program must satisfactorily complete this course by the end of the second semester of the graduate program) 

Statistics – 3-4 hours

Principles of Athletic Training (must include taping competencies) – 3-4 hours

Application Deadline

The program admits students once a year, for the summer semester. Applicants should use the deadline of April 1 in order to receive consideration for admission to the program.

Applicants who are completing pre-requisite coursework after the April 1 application due date may apply to the program, however, final review and full acceptance into the program will not be made until official transcripts showing all required pre-requisite coursework have been submitted.

If it is not clear from the course title, as listed on the official transcript, that the prerequisite has been met, the student is asked to provide a course syllabus to the Program Director. The Program Director reviews the course description, required textbooks and weekly schedule to determine if the course meets the prerequisite requirement.

The following items are required after admission and prior to registration:

1. Copy of current certification in: a) Red Cross First Aid, b) Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Provider or CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer, c) Epipen and d) Administering Emergency Oxygen.

2. Copy of immunizations - Hep-B, MMR, T-dap, Chickenpox and Meningococcal.

3. Background check through Castlebranch (Certified Background) by May 30.




Career Opportunities

Graduates with a Master of Science in Athletic Training find employment in:

    • College/University

    • Professional Sports

    • Secondary Settings

    • Military

    • Occupational Health

    • Performing Arts

    • Physician Practice

    • Public Safety

    • Health Care Administration & Rehabilitation




Program Highlights


  • You’ll receive personalized attention from a teacher/student ratio for classroom courses of one professor to every 12 students. In clinical settings, the maximum ratio for clinical preceptor to student is 1:2; however, the ratio is frequently one-to-one.

  • Athletic Training Faculty and Staff join together in providing didactic and clinical instruction and supervision to all students.

  • Each student spends 5 semesters in clinical rotations. Three of these rotations involve direct contact with our team physicians. On campus clinical rotations provide exposure to a wide variety of intercollegiate activities including collision, contact and non-contact sports as well as team and individual sports.

  • All students complete a minimum of one off-site clinical experience, which can include: high school, outpatient rehabilitation, primary care setting and/or occupational and industrial settings.





McKendree University is a fully accredited CAATE Program.   




Alumni (74%) of the McKendree University undergraduate and graduate Athletic Training Program currently work as athletic trainers in a variety of settings including: college/university, high school, health care administration and rehabilitation (outpatient sports medicine and rehabilitation), physician practice, military, performing arts (Mixed Martial Arts), occupational health, and professional sports (Baltimore Orioles, FC Cincinnati Soccer, Kansas City Royals, Washington Nationals and St. Louis City Soccer). Another 20% of alumni work as nurses, physical therapists, or physician assistants.



Next Step

Contact your student service specialist below and get details on the admission process and our next start date.  

Student Service Specialist

(618) 537-6943




Key Faculty

Photo of Dawn HankinsDawn Michele Hankins, Ph.D., LAT, ATC

Professor of Athletic Training
Program Director for Athletic Training
Bearcat Hall 102
(618) 537-6917



Photo of Katy GayfordKaty Gayford, PhD, LAT, ATC

Associate Professor of Athletic Training
Clinical Coordinator for Athletic Training
Chair, Division of Health Professions
Bearcat Hall 101
(618) 537-6472


Photo of Mary McKeeMary McKee, Ed.D., LAT, ATC

Assistant Professor of Athletic Training
Division of Health Professions, 300 Stanton St. House
(618) 537-6581




Photo of Lawrence Stein

Lawrence N. Stein, M.D.

Medical Director/Team Physician
Adjunct Professor/Clinical Preceptor




 Bob Dizes Head Shot

Robert Dizes, PA-C, MPAS

Board Certified Physician Assistant
Adjunct Professor




Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)

Bureau of Labor Statistics

National Athletic Trainers’ Association

Twitter: @McKendreeAT (Dawn Hankins)




Take the First Step  Apply Today!