A clinician is performing an evaulation on a knee.

The Master’s degree in Athletic Training is a professional program that provides rigorous and comprehensive preparation for students seeking a health care career in athletic training. Athletic trainers (ATs) are multi-skilled health care professionals who collaborate with physicians as part of the health care team to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical condition. Athletic trainers provide health care in a variety of practice settings for people involved in all levels of physical activity. Practice environments include youth to professional sports, military and public service personnel, secondary schools, colleges, universities, performing arts, workers with physically demanding jobs, physician practice settings, and much more.  

Prospective students should visit the program website for additional information on program outcomes and opportunities.

The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education and students are eligible to sit for the national Board of Certification exam after successful completion of the MSAT program.


Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline The program does not admit in the fall.
Spring Deadline The program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline April 1
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not exclusively in English, must provide an English proficiency test score earned within two years of the anticipated term of enrollment. Refer to the Graduate School: Minimum Requirements for Admission policy: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1241.
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3


Admission Criteria and Prerequisite Courses

Admission to the MSAT (professional program in athletic training) requires:

  • Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from a regionally accredited school of higher education by the start of the program.
  • Transcripts from each college, university, or technical college attended showing work completed and in progress.
  • Observation of two Certified Athletic Trainers in different clinical practice settings.  Refer to the MSAT Program website for forms and guidelines for required observation experiences.
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation.
  • Personal statement responding to prompts provided on the graduate application.
  • A grade of "C" or better in the following prerequisite courses or their equivalent:
​Required Prerequisite Courses: UW-Madison Course(s) or Comparable Coursework
ZOOLOGY/​BIOLOGY  101 Animal Biology3-5
or ZOOLOGY/​BIOLOGY/​BOTANY  151 Introductory Biology
CHEM 103 General Chemistry I4
PHYSICS 103 General Physics4
PSYCH 210 Basic Statistics for Psychology3
or STAT 301 Introduction to Statistical Methods
or STAT 371 Introductory Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences
PSYCH 202 Introduction to Psychology3-4
ANAT&PHY 335 Physiology 15
ANAT&PHY 337 Human Anatomy 13
KINES 314 Physiology of Exercise4

If anatomy and physiology are taken as a combined course, two semesters are necessary to meet this requirement.

Recommended Prerequisite Courses / UW-Madison or Comparable Coursework
NUTR SCI 132 Nutrition Today3
or NUTR SCI 332 Human Nutritional Needs


Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

Financial assistance may be available through School of Education fellowships. The Athletic Training Program also has scholarships available to both incoming and returning students. For more information, please contact the MSAT Program Director.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

Mode of Instruction

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No Yes Yes No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.

Curricular Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement 58 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 29 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 58 credits must be graduate level coursework. Refer to the Graduate School: Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement policy: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required. Refer to the Graduate School: Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement policy: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1203.
Other Grade Requirements No other grade requirements.
Assessments and Examinations No formal examination required.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required Courses

Summer I
KINES 570 Anatomical Foundations in Athletic Training (Summer I)3
KINES 571 Emergency Procedures for Athletic Trainers2
KINES 572 Foundational Skills in Athletic Training1
KINES 620 Clinical Practicum in Athletic Training I2
Fall I
KINES 621 Clinical Practicum in Athletic Training II (Fall I)3
KINES 650 Foundations of Professional Practice in Athletic Training1
KINES 651 Public Health, Policy, and Practice3
KINES 652 Evaluation and Therapeutic Interventions I4
KINES 654 Clinical Medicine in Athletic Training I3
KINES 670 Enhancing Performance and Wellness1
Spring I
KINES 622 Clinical Field Experience in Athletic Training I (Spring I)3
KINES 650 Foundations of Professional Practice in Athletic Training1
KINES 653 Evaluation and Therapeutic Interventions II4
KINES 655 Clinical Medicine in Athletic Training II3
KINES 656 Scientific Inquiry in Athletic Training3
KINES 671 Diagnostic Imaging in Athletic Training1
Summer II
KINES 623 Clinical Field Experience in Athletic Training II (Summer II )3
KINES 672 Principles of Pharmacology for Athletic Trainers1
Fall II
KINES 624 Athletic Training Preceptorship I (Fall II)6
KINES 657 Role Transition and Professional Practice in Athletic Training1
KINES 673 Healthcare Informatics and Quality Improvement in Athletic Training1
Spring II
KINES 625 Athletic Training Preceptorship II (Spring II)7
KINES 674 Practice Based Research in Athletic Training1
Total Credits58

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Credits Earned at Other Institutions

With program approval, students may transfer no more than 15 credits of graduate course work from other institutions. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a master's degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements. 

Undergraduate Credits Earned at Other Institutions or UW-Madison

No credits from a UW-Madison or external undergraduate degree may transfer toward the MSAT degree.

Credits Earned as a Professional Student at UW-Madison (Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Veterinary careers)

Refer to the Graduate School: Transfer Credits for Prior Coursework policy.

Credits Earned as a University Special Student at UW–Madison

With program approval, students may transfer no more than 15 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken in UW-Madison University Special student status. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a master's degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements. 


Refer to the Graduate School: Probation policy.

  1. Good standing (progressing according to standards; any funding guarantee remains in place).
  2. Probation (not progressing according to standards but permitted to enroll; loss of funding guarantee; specific plan with dates and deadlines in place in regard to removal of probationary status).
  3. Unsatisfactory progress (not progressing according to standards; not permitted to enroll, dismissal, leave of absence or change of advisor or program).

An overall GPA below 3.0 will place the student on academic probation. If a 3.0 GPA is not regained in the subsequent semester the student may be dismissed from the program or allowed to continue provisionally for one semester based on advisor appeal to the Graduate School.

Advisor / Committee

The MSAT assigns an advisor to each student. MSAT students must complete one mandatory group advising meeting each semester. In addition, students must meet individually once per semester with an advisor to insure satisfactory progress toward their MSAT degree and to monitor clinical placement progress needs. 

Credits Per Term Allowed

15 credits 

Time Limits

Refer to the Graduate School: Time Limits policy.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

School of Education Grievance Policy and Procedures

The following School of Education Student Grievance Policy and associated procedures are designed for use in response to individual student grievances regarding faculty or staff in the School of Education.

Any individual student who feels they have been treated unfairly by a School of Education faculty or staff member has the right to file a grievance about the treatment and receive a timely response addressing their concerns. Any student, undergraduate or graduate, may use these grievance procedures, except employees whose complaints are covered under other campus policies. The grievance may concern classroom treatment, mentoring or advising, program admission or continuation, course grades (study abroad grade complaints are handled through International Academic Programs), or issues not covered by other campus policies or grievance procedures. 

For grievances regarding discrimination based on protected bases (i.e., race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, etc.), contact the Office of Compliance (https://compliance.wisc.edu/eo-complaint/).

For grievances or concerns regarding sexual harassment or sexual violence (including sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation), contact the Sexual Misconduct Resource and Response Program within the Office of Compliance.

For grievances that involve the behavior of a student, contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards in the Dean of Students Office at https://conduct.students.wisc.edu/).

For grievances about, or directed at, faculty or staff in a School of Education department, unit, or program, students should follow these steps:

  1. Students are strongly encouraged to first talk with the person against whom the concern is directed. Many issues can be settled informally at this level. If students are unable to resolve concerns directly or without additional support, step 2 or 3 should be pursued.
  2. If unresolved after taking or considering step 1:
    1. If the concern is directed against a teaching assistant (TA), and the student is not satisfied, the student should contact the TA's supervisor, who is usually the course professor. The course professor will attempt to resolve the concern informally.
    2. If the concern involves a non-TA instructor, staff member, professor, academic department, or School of Education office or unit, the student should contact the chair of the department or the director of the office or unit, or their designee. The chair or director, or their designee, will attempt to resolve the concern informally. If the concern is about the department chair or office/unit director, the student should consult the School of Education Senior Associate Dean for guidance.
  3. If the concern remains unresolved after step 2, the student may submit a formal grievance to the chair or director in writing within 30 business days1 of the alleged unfair treatment. To the fullest extent possible, a formal written grievance shall contain a clear and concise statement of the issue(s) involved and the relief sought.  
  4. On receipt of a written grievance, the chair or director will notify the person at whom the grievance is directed with a copy of the written grievance. The person at whom the complaint is directed may submit a written response, which would be shared with the student.
  5. On receipt of a written grievance, the chair or director will refer the matter to a department, office, or unit committee comprised of at least two members. The committee may be an existing committee or one constituted for this purpose. The committee, or delegates from the committee, may meet with the parties involved and/or review any material either party shares with the committee.  
  6. The committee will provide a written description of the facts of the grievance and communicate recommendations to the department chair or office/unit head regarding how the grievance should be handled.
  7. The chair or director will offer to meet with the student who made the grievance and also will provide a written decision to the student, including a description of any related action taken by the committee, within 30 business days of receiving the formal grievance.

    For the purpose of this policy, business days refers to those days when the University Offices are open and shall not include weekends, university holidays, spring recess, or the period from the last day of exams of fall semester instruction to the first day of spring semester instruction. All time limits may be modified by mutual consent of the parties involved.

If the grievance concerns an undergraduate course grade, the decision of the department chair after reviewing the committee’s recommendations is final. 

Other types of grievances may be appealed using the following procedures:

  1. Both the student who filed the grievance or the person at whom the grievance was directed, if unsatisfied with the decision of the department, office or unit, have five (5) business days from receipt of the decision to contact the Senior Associate Dean, indicating the intention to appeal.   
  2. A written appeal must be filed with the Senior Associate Dean within 10 business days of the time the appealing party was notified of the initial resolution of the complaint.
  3. On receipt of a written appeal, the Senior Associate Dean will convene a sub-committee of the School of Education’s Academic Planning Council. This subcommittee may ask for additional information from the parties involved and/or may hold a meeting at which both parties will be asked to speak separately (i.e., not in the room at the same time).
  4. The subcommittee will then make a written recommendation to the Dean of the School of Education, or their designee, who will render a decision. The dean or designee’s written decision shall be made within 30 business days from the date when the written appeal was filed with the Senior Associate Dean.  For undergraduate students, the dean or designee’s decision is final.

Further appealing a School of Education decision – graduate students only

Graduate students have the option to appeal decisions by the School of Education dean or designee by using the process detailed on the Graduate School’s website.

Questions about these procedures can be directed to the School of Education Dean's Office, 377 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 608-262-1763.




Professional Development

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand the role of the athletic trainer within the broader health care system.
  2. Demonstrate appropriate oral and written communication skills.
  3. Develop and apply strategies to prevent the incidence and/or severity of injury and illnesses.
  4. Demonstrate the clinical skills needed to appropriately diagnose patients for treatment and referral.
  5. Apply clinical and decision-making skills to respond to acute injury and illness, including emergencies.
  6. Assess patient status and develop treatment and rehabilitation that are consistent with contemporary disablement models.
  7. Demonstrate clinical scholarship in the form of evidence appraisal and application to influence athletic training practice.
  8. Maintain the highest standards of clinical practice by examining the quality of patient care through the use of patient outcomes.
  9. Apply research methods to develop and evaluate clinical questions applicable to practice-based research environments while demonstrating an understanding of ethical research practice.


Andrew Winterstein, PhD, ATC
MSAT Program Director
Distinguished Clinical Professor

David Bell, PhD, ATC
Associate Professor

Shari Clark, MS, ATC
Faculty Associate


Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education

Accreditation status: Accredited. Next accreditation review: 2025–2026.  


The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education and students are eligible to sit for the national Board of Certification exam after successful completion of the MSAT program.

Currently, 49 states and the District of Columbia regulate the practice of athletic training. Individuals must be legally recognized by the appropriate state regulatory agency prior to practicing athletic training. The Board of Certification (BOC) exam is recognized by all athletic trainer state regulatory agencies to meet their exam requirement. Compliance with state regulatory requirements is mandatory and the only avenue to legal athletic training practice.

Professional Certification/Licensure Disclosure (NC-SARA)

The United States Department of Education (via 34 CFR Part 668) requires institutions that provide distance education to disclose information for programs leading to professional certification or licensure. The expectation is that institutions will determine whether each applicable academic program meets state professional licensure requirements and provide a general disclosure of such on an official university website.

Professional licensure requirements vary from state-to-state and can change year-to-year; they are established in a variety of state statutes, regulations, rules, and policies; and they center on a range of educational requirements, including degree type, specialized accreditation, total credits, specific courses, and examinations.  

UW-Madison has taken reasonable efforts to determine whether this program satisfies the educational requirements for certification/licensure in states where prospective and enrolled students are located and is disclosing that information as follows.

Disclaimer: This information is based on the most recent annual review of state agency certification/licensure data and is subject to change. All students are strongly encouraged to consult with the individual/office listed in the Contact Information box on this page and with the applicable state agency for specific information.

The requirements of this program meet certification/licensure requirements in the following states:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, District of Columbia

The requirements of this program do not meet certification/licensure requirements in the following states:

Not applicable

Updated: 1 June 2024