Purpose: Athletic Training (AT) education is undergoing a major change with the transition to the professional Master’s degree. This evolution provides opportunity for faculty to reassess programmatic requirements. Admissions criteria is the first benchmark set for students and may predict future success. Currently, there is no evidence describing common AT entrance requirements. Objective(s): To determine current practices in AT admissions, establish best practices for developing admissions criteria, and discuss the potential impact of the transition to professional master’s degree on the admissions process.

Methods: Design: Cross-Sectional Study. Setting(s): Web-based survey in the fall of 2014. Participant(s): 361 undergraduate program directors received the survey; 117 (32.4%) responded. Intervention(s): The survey consisted of 28 questions: 15 demographics questions and 13 questions relating to: Academic structure (1 question), Program admissions procedures (5 questions), and Selection Process (7 questions). Main Outcome Measure(s): Descriptive statistics were calculated for each variable.

Results: There were 117 responses, representing all 10 NATA districts. Ninety-seven percent (n=114) use a secondary admission process. Additionally, the majority of programs (n=94, 89.5%) reported using a combination of GPA data when making admissions decisions (i.e. major GPA and overall GPA). Seventy-two percent (n=84) of programs require clinical experience hours (mean 47.64 ±33.68) prior to admission. Personal attributes were assessed through the use of interviews, essays, and other written documents.

Conclusions: There are many factors that may affect a program’s outcome. However, it all begins with the individual program’s admission process. To strengthen the program’s quality, faculty members must review their current admission criteria to ensure each requirement is purposeful, relevant, and non-discriminatory.

Author Bio(s)

Christopher Brown PhD, ATC, CSCS is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Florida. He is also an Athletic Trainer in the state of Florida.

Kelly Potteiger PhD, ATC is an Associate Professor at Northern Illinois University. She is also an Athletic Trainer in the state of Illinois.

Kimberly Keeley PhD, ATC is an Assistant Professor at Slippery Rock University. She is also an Athletic Trainer in the state of Pennsylvania.

Andrew Lundgren MEd, ATC, CSCS is an Associate Professor at North Park University. He is also an Athletic Trainer in the state of Illinois.

Shannon David PhD, ATC, PES is an Assistant Professor at North Dakota State University. She is also an Athletic Trainer in the state of North Dakota.


The authors would like to acknowledge and thank Malissa Martin, Linda Platt-Meyer, and Paula Turocy for their support during this project.





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