Athletic Training M.S. Professional Practice Program

54 credits

Purpose of degree:

The Professional Practice Master of Science degree in Athletic Training is designed to enable the post-baccalaureate student the opportunity to demonstrate entry-level competency as an athletic trainer while exhibiting scholarship and advanced competency in specific areas of the sports medicine community.

A primary outcome of the Professional Practice Program is to prepare the student to challenge credentialing as an athletic trainer through Board of Certification (BOC®) and appropriate state regulatory bodies. Furthermore, there may be opportunities to acquire other value-added knowledge and skills within the program that would allow for potential candidacy of specialty certifications through the National Athletic Trainers' Association and other health, orthopedic, and fitness-related associations.

National accreditation(s) of the program:

The Master of Science in Athletic Training Professional Practice Program will pursue entry-level accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CaATe).

Outcome expectations of students and degree completion:

Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Athletic Training: Professional Practice Program will:

  • demonstrate a sound understanding of the knowledge and skills addressed within the athletic training competencies for best practice.
  • demonstrate a sound evidence-based approach to (1) injury prevention and health promotion, (2) orthopedic clinical examination and diagnosis, (3) acute care of injuries and illnesses, (4) therapeutic interventions, and (5) psychosocial strategies.
  • cultivate a professional responsibility and development through a structured progression of clinical education that evolves into a commitment of continuing education at clinical/professional symposia.
  • complete the eligibility requirements for the Board of Certification (BOC®) for Athletic Trainers.
  • demonstrate appropriate professional and ethical behavior in relation to the NATA Code of Ethics, BOC® Standards of Professional Practice and state regulations and statutes

Special Degree Offerings for the Non-traditional student:

The didactic aspects of this program (i.e. course sequencing and scheduling) have been designed with sensitivity for the post-professional learner. Courses may be delivered on ESU campus or at ESU's Lehigh Valley Center in Bethlehem, PA. The program's coursework will be delivered through the traditional academic semester. The Professional Practice Program contributes to an innovative, convenient and flexible pedagogical format aimed towards degree completion and certification eligibility as a certified athletic trainer.

Program of Study

Admission Requirements:

Admission requirements for the M.S. in Athletic Training (Professional Practice Program) candidates are as follows:

  • Bachelor's degree from and accredited institution
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA 2.75/4.00
  • Admission to the ESU Graduate Studies
  • Submit score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • Letter of intent and statement of professional goals with resume or curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Minimum of 50 hours of direct observation of Certified Athletic Trainers in at least two different settings
  • Reliable transportation

Successfully complete the following pre-requisite coursework:

  • Anatomy with laboratory (4 credits)
  • Physiology with laboratory (4 credits)
  • Physics (3 credits)
  • Nutrition (3 credits)
  • Statistics (3 credits)
  • Sports Psychology or similar course (3 credits)
  • Prevention & Management of Athletic Injuries (3 credits)
  • Kinesiology: Applied Anatomy (3 credits)
  • Exercise Physiology (3 credits)
  • Current Advanced First Aid and CPR Cert. (3 credits)

Typical time to finish:

6 academic semesters (2 years)

Required plan of study:

Summer I: 6 credits

ATEP 501Foundations in Athletic Training Practice

3 credits

ATEP 510Clinically Oriented Anatomy

3 credits

Fall I: 10 credits

ATEP 529Evaluation and Measurement of Lower Extremity Injuries

3 credits

ATEP 533Therapeutic Exercise in Sports Medicine

3 credits

ATEP 544Current Athletic Injury Prevention and Management

3 credits

ATEP 594Athletic Training Clinical Laboratory I

1 credits

Spring I: 10 credits

ATEP 530Evaluation and Measurement of Upper Extremity Injuries

3 credits

ATEP 531Organization and Administration in Athletic Training

3 credits

ATEP 532Therapeutic Modalities in Sports Medicine

3 credits

ATEP 595Athletic Training Clinical Laboratory II

1 credits

Summer II: 6 credits

ATEP 540Functional Rehabilitation and Sport Specific Conditioning

3 credits

ATEP 570Introduction to Research

3 credits

Fall II: 12 credits

ATEP 513Applied Statistics and Analysis in Athletic Training

3 credits

ATEP 536Primary Care for the Athletic Trainer

3 credits

ATEP 597Athletic Training Externship

6 credits

Spring II: 10 credits

ATEP 545Rehabilitation for Special Populations

3 credits

ATEP 550Seminar in Athletic Training

3 credits

ATEP 574Research Practicum

3 credits

ATEP 596Athletic Training Clinical Laboratory III

1 credits

Admission requirements and deadlines

  • Admission is competitive and is limited to those meeting minimum admission standards. Student must complete admission application to the Graduate Studies program.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA 2.50 (4.00 scale)
  • Admission to the ESU Graduate Studies program
  • Submit scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Letter of intent and statement of professional goals with resume or curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Minimum of 50 hours of direct observation of Certified Athletic Trainers in at least two different settings
  • Proof of professional liability insurance
  • Proof of Act 34 & 151 (Criminal Record and Child Abuse Clearances) and Act 114 (Fingerprinting)
  • Reliable transportation

Standards for Admission & Progression

Candidates in the Professional Practice Athletic Training Program at East Stroudsburg University must possess the necessary intellectual, physical, emotional, social and communication skills to provide safe and effective athletic training services. The Athletic Training Program has established Technical Standards for students interested in pursuing a career in athletic training. In addition to specific academic criteria, these Technical Standards are considered necessary for students are considered necessary for students engaged in all phases of the Athletic Training Program at East Stroudsburg University.

Prior to clinical engagement, any student

Prior to clinical engagement, any student selected into the Athletic Training Professional Practice Program must demonstrate:

  • 1. The mental capacity to assimilate, analyze, synthesize, integrate concepts, and problem solve to formulate assessment and therapeutic judgments, and to be able to distinguish deviations from the norm.

    2. Sufficient postural and neuromuscular control, sensory function, and coordination to perform appropriate physical examinations using accepted techniques; and accurately, safely, and efficiently use equipment and materials during the assessment and treatment of patients.

    3. The ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds (in verbal and written form).

    4. The ability to establish rapport with patients and communicate judgment and treatment information effectively.

    5. The ability to understand and speak the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice.

    6. The ability to record the physical examination results and treatment plan clearly and accurately; the capacity to maintain composure and continue to function well during periods of stress.

    7. The appropriate affective skills, flexibility and ability to adjust to changing situations and uncertainty in clinical situations, as well the demeanor, and conduct that relate to professional education and quality patient care.

    8. The perseverance, diligence and commitment to complete the athletic training program as outlined and sequenced. 

A student enrolled in the Athletic Training Program at East Stroudsburg University must verify and understanding an ability to meet these Technical Standards, or, that with certain reasonable accommodations can meet these technical standards. In order to request accommodations to meet these technical standards, a student may make the appropriate request of the Office of Disability Services: 570-422-3954.The Office of Accessible Services Individualized for Students will evaluate a student who states he/she could meet the technical Standards with accommodations and confirm that the stated condition(s) qualifies as a disability under applicable laws. The Director of Disability Services, in consultation with the Director of the Athletic Training Program, and the student, will determine if the Technical Standards can be met with reasonable accommodations.

Clinical Education Plan

The Graduate PPP places equal emphasis on both the coursework and clinical fieldwork aspects of students’ education. The clinical fieldwork is a critical EDUCATIONAL requirement of the ATEP. Clinical fieldwork is where students learn to apply and refine the knowledge and skills they learn in their coursework. More importantly, clinical fieldwork is where they integrate all phases of Athletic training knowledge, skills, abilities and values to become competent practitioners. It is where students make the transition to clinical practice, develop a practice style and ultimately embrace the culture of the profession.

Clinical education will follow a logical progression that allows for increasing amounts of clinically supervised responsibility leading to autonomous practice upon graduation. The clinical education plan outlines the sequence of formal instruction and will provide students with authentic, real-time opportunities to practice and integrate athletic training (AT) knowledge, skills, and clinical abilities, including decision-making and professional behaviors required of the profession in order to develop proficiency as an Athletic Trainer.

Clinical education will allow the athletic training student (ATS) the opportunities to practice with different patient populations, health care providers, and in various health care settings relative to the ESU-Graduate Professional Practical Program (PPP) mission statement. Students enrolled in this program will be directly supervised by a clinical preceptor who will assist the student in their efforts to integrate theory into practice. 

Athletic Training Professional Organization

The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) is the professional membership association for certified athletic trainers. Founded in 1950, the NATA has grown to more than 30,000 members worldwide today.

The Eastern Athletic Trainers' Association (EATA) formed in January 1949 when a few athletic trainers in the northeast decided to gather and share information. Today, the EATA encompasses all members of the National Athletic Trainers' Association who reside in either District I or District II. The Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers' Society (PATS) is a progressive organization of health care professionals who work under the direction of a licensed physician.

Certified athletic trainers working in the Commonwealth protect and enhance the health and welfare of our clients through prevention, recognition, management, and rehabilitation of injuries.

For more information, contact: Dr. Keith A. Vanic at 570-422-3314 or