Home of Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Athletic Training (M.S.)

Program Director: Ali El-Kerdi, PhD, DPT, PT, ATC/L, CAT(C), CSCS, EMT

To provide students with the fundamental knowledge, concepts, and skills grounded in evidence-based practice as determined by the Athletic Training governing bodies: Board of Certification (BOC), Commission on Accrediting Athletic Training Education (CAATE) and the Educational Council.

To prepare students for employment in entry-level athletic training positions located in a variety of clinical healthcare settings and/or for the pursuit of advanced degrees in athletic training or health-related professions.

To provide practical experience and ethical reflection to enable graduates to assume leadership roles in various health care settings to enhance the quality of patient health care and to advance the profession of athletic training.

MSAT Program Learning Goals & Outcomes

At the completion of the program, the students will be able to:

Program Learning Goals Student Learning Outcomes
Participate as a part of a healthcare team by collaborating with colleagues through a complex medical system.

Communicate effectively with relevant stakeholders (clients, patients, coaches, families, others) and healthcare professionals.

Recognize, intervene and refer clients/patients exhibiting abnormal social, emotional, and mental behaviors.

Recognize, intervene and refer clients/patients with illnesses/diseases that are beyond the scope of an athletic trainer to the proper healthcare provider.
Use physiological, anatomical and evidence-based knowledge in the clinical settings.

Evaluate and manage injuries and illnesses.

Develop and implement injury prevention strategies to reduce the incidence and/or severity of injuries and illnesses.

Utilize clinical examination skills to diagnose and treat clients/patients with medical/musculoskeletal conditions.

Utilize the appropriate therapeutic equipment and techniques for the treatment of athletic related injuries.

Utilizing testing equipment and developing protocols for measuring fitness, body composition, flexibility, etc. to assess a client’s/patient’s physical status, readiness for physical activity and prevention of an injury.

Describe the importance of nutrition in regard to enhancing performance, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and preventing injuries/illnesses.

Identify and explain the reasons of use, general and adverse effects for commonly used therapeutic drugs, dietary supplements, performance enhancing drugs, and recreational drugs.

Demonstrate understanding of advanced human anatomy and physiology as it relates to human development, exercise, nutrition, performance and injury.

Utilize knowledge of advanced anatomy and physiology to diagnose and treat clients/patients with medical/musculoskeletal conditions.

Utilize the appropriate tests and measures to evaluate a clients’ vital and anthropometry data.
Behave in a manner consistent with the code of conduct and standards of professional practice set forth by the Athletic Training governing bodies.

Apply ethical reasoning to inform clinical decisions (professional relationship, respect for diversity, ethical practice, professional integrity etc.

Recognize cultural and social diversity and apply cultural sensitivity in interactions with peers and clients.

Demonstrate compliance with the laws and regulations governing the practice of athletic training.

Demonstrate professionalism in the attitudes, behaviors and responsibilities associated with being an athletic trainer.
Locate, evaluate and apply evidence-based resources to build knowledge and support athletic training practice. 

Develop and conduct a research project.

Submit research findings for publication (peer- reviewed journal, poster, etc.) or present at a regional or national conference.

Conduct literature reviews on various aspects of athletic training practice to critically evaluate the current and evolving body of scholarly literature that informs professional practice.

Utilize knowledge of research methodology and statistical principles to guide clinical practice.
Demonstrate administrative duties affiliated with the athletic training profession.

Develop policies and procedures, emergency action plans, standard operating procedures and guidelines for the athletic training facility.

Identify the components of budgeting, medical documentation and insurance when working in a healthcare facility.

Recognize the organizational structure and the role the athletic trainer plays in the hiring process and in the daily operations of the healthcare facility.
Identify, describe and develop management plans for individuals with psychosocial disorders and/or mental health emergencies.

Recognize and describe the signs, symptoms, physiological, and psychological responses of injuries, illnesses and catastrophic events.

Describe psychological techniques and interventions that can be used during injury treatment, rehabilitation and return to activities processes.

Describe how psychosocial considerations affect clinical decision-making related to return to activity or participation.

Explain the importance of educating patients, parents/guardians, and others to enhance the psychological and emotional well-being of the individual.

Identify role and functions of various healthcare providers and refer clients/patients in need of mental healthcare.

Explain the impact of sociocultural issues that influence the nature and quality of healthcare received.

Program Description
There is an ever-growing need for Certified Athletic Trainers (ATCs) in the work force. Athletic training is a very rewarding profession allowing its member to work in various healthcare settings. ATC’s work with clients to help prevent injuries, offer advice about appropriate equipment, recognize and evaluate injuries, administer emergency treatment, and determine need for specialized medical care. ATCs are an integral part of the healthcare team and provide health care to clients in the areas of injury prevention, evaluation, management and rehabilitation. The educational requirements for Athletic Training Education programs include not only cognitive (knowledge) and psychomotor (skill) content, but also a broad scope of foundational behaviors of professional practice, as well as a comprehensive clinical learning requirement that is embodied in the clinical proficiencies (professional practice-oriented outcomes).

This program provides concentrated studies and clinical experiences rooted in evidence to students interested in becoming certified athletic trainers (ATCs). It is intended for highly motivated students interested in a healthcare career in which they can treat clients in traditional athletic settings (high school, college, University, professional sports, etc.) or in non-traditional settings (medical offices, emergency departments, industrial setting, etc.). The concentrated 60-graduate credit-curriculum (with the B.S./M.S. option) is designed to challenge students to learn a wide variety of skills that will make them exceptional athletic trainers with a thirst for knowledge.

Program Requirements

  • Pre-Calculus (3 credits)
  • Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab (4 credits)
  • Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab (4 credits)
  • General Chemistry (3 credits)
  • General Physics (3 credits)
  • Nutrition (3 credits)
  • Kinesiology (3 credits)
  • Exercise Physiology (3 credits)
  • Biostatistics (3 credits)
  • Research Methods (3 credits)
  • Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)

Admissions Criteria
Any individual who has or is about to receive a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is eligible to apply OR sophomores from institutions with articulation agreements with the athletic training program specifically. The Master of Science in Athletic Training program designed to accommodate students from all undergraduate disciplines so long as students meet the admission critirea and prerequisites listed above. Students applying to the program will be selected on a competitive basis from candidates submitting complete applications with all required supporting materials through the athletic training centralized application system (ATCAS) located at info.liaison-intl.com/atcas.

Academic Background

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0, and completion of all prerequisite foundation coursework with a minimum average 3.0 GPA is required. Candidates may apply for consideration prior to completion of all prerequisite requirements as long as a reasonable plan for completion of required coursework prior to entrance into the program is delineated. All prerequisite foundation courses must be completed prior to matriculation in the program, with no less than a B in each.

Exception: Students from institutions with a signed articulated agreement may apply in their sophomore year so long as they meet the articulation agreement conditions. Students are directed to their program directors/chairs for the specifics of said agreement.

  • Career goals statement/ personal essay: 500 words or less - Describe how you became interested in Athletic Training and/or the physical rehabilitation field, and the qualities you possess that will enable you to be a successful practitioner, and what what medical or health science background do you possess? (Describe any relevant courses, internships, volunteer work, shadowing or certifications.)
  • Two letters of recommendation: one academic and one professional.
  • Documentation of work and volunteer experiences: highlight achievements, recognitions, accomplishments
  • Documentation of minimum 100 hours of clinical observation under the supervision of a licensed rehabilitation professional, preferably a certified athletic trainer
  • Current CPR/First aid professional rescuer certification (American Heart Association OR American Red Cross only)

Acceptance Classifications
Students may be admitted to this program under one of the following acceptance classifications:

Full Acceptance: Students who have met all admissions requirements with satisfactory performance are granted full acceptance. Full acceptance is granted only when the student’s file is complete, and all the program-specific requirements for entry have been met.

Conditional Acceptance: Students may be offered a conditional acceptance classification when a student’s file is missing evidence that s/he has successfully completed all prerequisite coursework. Prior to admission under this category, students must show evidence of registration for all outstanding prerequisite courses. Students will not be allowed to take any courses in the program prior to completion of all prerequisite coursework. Upon successful completion of all prerequisite course requirements, students must apply to the Office of Graduate Admissions for a change in admission status.

All students must be fully accepted into the program before they can enroll in any courses.

Accepted Student Requirements
Students in the program are expected to fulfill the following requirements during their student experience at Thomas Jefferson University:

Participation in clinical experiences is a required part of the curriculum and a requirement for graduation. Many settings require students to be fingerprinted, undergo a drug screening and/or gain clearance from the PA Sex Offender Registry. Students are responsible for the costs of these processes, as well as for transportation arrangements and costs associated with clinical experiences. Information regarding how to meet these requirements is provided by the program.

Note: Clinical sites may deny a student's participation because of a felony or misdemeanor conviction, failure of a required drug test or inability to produce an appropriate health clearance, all of which would result in delayed graduation or, in the inability to graduate from the program.
Students are expected to obtain materials and/or complete documentation required for clinical experiences:

  • Health Clearance (must be completed prior to first academic year)
  • Annual physical examination
  • Annual update of immunizations according to clinical site requirements
  • Annual proof of active health insurance coverage
  • Legal Clearance: Annual criminal background check and annual child abuse history clearance
  • CPR/First aide certification (infant, child, adult – professional rescuer)

Students are expected to maintain professional organization memberships in the following organizations:

  • National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA)
  • Pennsylvania Athletic Trainer’s Society (PATS)

(Program of Study)

FALL (Year 1)

  • Functional Human Anatomy
  • Emergency Care
  • Fundamentals of Athletic Training
  • Basics of Rehabilitation
  • Practicum in Athletic Training I
  • Medical and Professional Ethics

SPRING (Year 1)

  • Prevention, Evaluation and Treatment of Athletic Injuries I (Upper Extremity)
  • Therapeutic Modalities
  • Human Physiology
  • Motor Control and Human Movement
  • Practicum in Athletic Training I

SUMMER (Year 1)

  • Specialty Practicum in Athletic Training

FALL (Year 2)

  • Prevention, Evaluation and Treatment of Athletic Injuries II (Lower Extremity)
  • Social and Psychological Aspects of Physical Activity
  • Special Topics in Athletic Training
  • Pharmacology and Medical Documentation in Athletic Training
  • Practicum in Athletic Training III
  • Research/Collaborative Project I

SPRING (Year 2)

  • Prevention, Evaluation and Treatment of Athletic Injuries III (Spine and Advanced Techniques)
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Organization and Administration in Athletic Training
  • Research/Collaborative Project II
  • Practicum in Athletic Training IV

Professional Accreditation Information
Thomas Jefferson University is currently seeking accreditation for their new Athletic Training program and is not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The institution will be submitting a self-study to begin the accreditation process on July 1, 2018. Submission of the self¬‐study and completion of a site visit does not guarantee that the program will become accredited. Students that graduate from the program prior to accreditation WILL NOT be eligible to sit for the credentialing examination for athletic trainers and will not be eligible for licensure in most states.

Athletic Training Program Academic Standards
The Athletic Training (AT) Program admission criteria are designed to select candidates who are most likely to succeed both in the University academic environment as well as in athletic training professional practice. While the program faculty is dedicated to assisting students in their professional education, the student also has responsibilities. Students enrolled in the program must demonstrate achievement in academic and clinical competencies necessary for professional practice, and meet academic standards consistent with graduate school criteria. Students must also demonstrate effective professional behavior as detailed in the Athletic Training Student Handbook and the National Athletic Training Code of Ethics and The Board of Certification Standards of Practice. In order to remain in good academic standing, students must meet the following standards. These academic standards are in addition to the university academic standards as described in the Graduate Catalog and on the Thomas Jefferson University website.

Academic and Professional Conduct
In order to remain in good academic standing, students must meet the University’s academic standards. These academic and conduct standards are in addition to the university academic standards as described in the University Student Handbook, University Catalog and on the University web site.

Students’ academic records are reviewed at the end of each semester, including summer, to evaluate academic standing and satisfactory progress toward degree requirements. The program director or coordinator of clinical education will notify the student when problems in academic performance may jeopardize a student’s good standing. Official notification of probation or dismissal will be in writing and sent directly to the student by the program director. Performance criteria resulting in probation or dismissal are listed below.




A student will be placed on probation if:


Students must repeat any course in which they have received a passing grade below B- or Fail in a Pass/Fail course. An academic course or clinical experience may be repeated only once during a student’s tenure at Thomas Jefferson University, and it must be repeated within the academic year immediately following probation or readmission. Upon completion of the repeated academic course or clinical experience, the subsequent grade earned will replace the initial grade in determination of cumulative grade point average (CGPA) only. If a student does not achieve a minimally acceptable grade necessary for progression (minimum B) or CGPA (minimum 3.0) is not achieved within the 1 year timeline when an academic course or clinical experience is repeated, he or she will be dismissed from the athletic training program. Students are not eligible to apply for readmission when unsuccessful in a course a second time.

  • A passing grade of below a B- must be repeated in the next academic year but the student will be permitted to continue in the program
    • If the students earns this grade in Year 2 of the program, they will not be able to graduate until the course is repeated with a grade of B- or better.
    • A grade between D- and C+ must be repeated in the next academic year and the student will need to sit out for an entire academic year and complete academic remediation as stipulated in the probation notice. Remediation is considered on a case by case basis.

At the end of the probation period:

  1. The student achieves the minimum cumulative grade point average and is reinstated in good standing,


  1. The student fails to achieve the minimum grade point average at the end of the probationary period and is dismissed from the program for academic underachievement.

 In extraordinary cases, where the student has made significant progress toward achieving the minimum grade point average, the Program Director may recommend granting one additional probationary semester. If, at the conclusion of the extended probationary semester, the cumulative grade point average is still below 3.00, the student is dismissed for academic underachievement.