A group of SRU athletic trainers posing in front of the waterfall on campus

Become an Athletic Trainer

Collaborate with other medical professionals to optimize the physical activity and wellness of athletes, patients, and clients in sport, work, and life.

Athletic Training (Master of Science)

Offered by: Athletic Training

Slippery Rock University's Master of Science in Athletic Training (AT) program prepares graduate students to deliver patient-centered healthcare utilizing clinical decision-making and problem solving processes necessary for quality health care delivery.  Graduates have the knowledge and skills needed to successfully work and collaborate with other medical professionals to optimize the activity and wellness of patients and clients in sport, work, and life.

SRU's AT Graduate Program is unique because it has an established history and tradition of excellence in athletic training education with the undergraduate program that was founded in 1974.

  • For the last decade, the SRU BOC Pass Rate (first time) has averaged 9.94% above the national rate
  • Forty-three scholarships awarded to students by the National Athletic Trainers' Association since 1991

Why complete a master’s degree in Athletic Training at SRU?

We prepare athletic trainers with the professional skills employers want. The AT Graduate Program at Slippery Rock University is a combination of rigorous academic instruction and authentic clinical experience. Students are fully engaged in the science of athletic training focused on patient-centered injury and illness prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. Specifically, the SRU AT Graduate Program emphasizes a distinct concentration on advanced therapeutic rehabilitation interventions.

We prepare athletic trainers with the professional qualities employers want. The AT Graduate Program is guided by the athletic training professional standards and core program values of professionalism, respect, compassion, interprofessional collaboration, evidence-based practice and student-centered learning. Students develop communication, organization, teamwork, problem-solving, and decision-making skills necessary for proficient practice with a diverse population.

We prepare athletic trainers to pass the BOC examination. Students successfully completing the AT Graduate Program are eligible to take the Board of Certification (BOC) examination. Graduates who pass the BOC examination are qualified to deliver quality healthcare in various employment settings, such as high schools, colleges, professional sports, industrial, military and performing arts. Graduates are also prepared to contribute to the global medical community by reducing healthcare costs, improving healthcare accessibility, preventing and managing diseases, and promoting wellness.

What will you learn?

The SRU AT Graduate Program is structured to provide students with real-world learning experiences and clinical reasoning. For example, the knowledge and skills related to evaluation and rehabilitation were traditionally taught in separate courses. However, at SRU, essential professional knowledge and skills are integrated together into combined courses.

  • The coursework emphasizes content in advanced therapeutic rehabilitation interventions. 
  • The graduate program is committed to providing diverse, authentic, and immersive clinical experiences.
  • Essential opportunities are provided for intentional collaboration of learning and clinical practice with students in other healthcare programs at SRU.


Beginning July 1, 2019, all applicants should complete the ATCAS (Athletic Training Centralized Application Service) application and read the instructions.   All applications completed by November 15 will receive priority consideration for admission to the program. Applications will be accepted until the cohort seats are full.

Admissions requirements include the following:

  1. A minimum of a baccalaureate degree (4+2) or completion of the first three years of a SRU 3+2 Pre-Athletic Training Concentration AND the following prerequisites (taken within the past 5 years):
    • Anatomy & Physiology I with lab (3-4 credits)
    • Anatomy & Physiology II with lab (3-4 credits)
    • Chemistry (3-4 credits)
    • Kinesiology or Biomechanics (3-4 credits)
    • Physics I with lab (3-4 credits)
    • Exercise Physiology (3-4 credits)
    • Nutrition (3 credits)
    • Psychology (3 credits; introductory, developmental or abnormal)
    • Statistics (3 credits)
    • Medical Terminology (at least 1 credit)
  2. A "C" or better in all prerequisite courses
  3. Official transcripts from any accredited college/university where credits have been earned - GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale (students with a GPA below 3.0 may apply for conditional admission)
  4. Two Electronic Reference Forms.
    • One from an academic advisor or instructor
    • One from a healthcare provider; an athletic trainer is preferred
  5. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  6. Evidence of 50 hours of clinical observation/shadowing with an athletic trainer

For more information on the Athletic Training graduate program, please visit SRU Athletic Training's About the Graduate Program page.

Note:  Upon formal admission to the program, the applicant is required to confirm the ability to meet the Technical Standards of the program. By July 1, the student must provide valid proof of Professional Rescuer Level CPR and First Aid Certification. Before participating in an assigned Athletic Training Clinical Experience and/or Advanced Athletic Training Clinical Residency, the student will need to provide valid proof of:PA State Criminal History Background Check (Act 34)

  • PA Child Abuse History Clearance Form (Act 151)
  • PA Department of Education or Department of Human
  • Services FBI Federal Criminal History Record (Act 114) [depending on affiliate site assignment]
  • PA child Abuse Recognition and Report Act (Act 126) [depending on affiliate site assignment]
  • Inoculations current with OSHA requirements for healthcare providers
  • Others as required by affiliate site

Careers in Athletic Training

Athletic training graduates can work in more than just sports. Graduates also find careers as athletic trainers in schools, businesses, medical facilities, and the performing arts. This industry typically pays well, especially for those with graduate degrees. The state of Pennsylvania features one of the highest employment rates for athletic trainers in the country.

Graduates have gone on to work with organizations such as Boeing and the Atlanta Falcons. There are also many high-level internships both locally and across the country.


Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) located at 6850 Austin Center Blvd., Suite 100, Austin, TX 78731-3184. The program will have its next comprehensive review during the 2021-2022 academic year.

professional certification and licensure

All students successfully completing the AT program are eligible to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC), Inc. examination.  Additionally, athletic trainers must hold licensure credentials in the state they practice.  As regulations vary by state, please check the proper state regulatory credentials.


SRU has partnered with several universities and colleges to create the opportunity for select students successfully completing prerequisites at their respective institutions to continue their path to becoming an athletic trainer.

Dr. Bonnie Siple, with students Trevor Lotz and Brianna Spencer, talk about transitioning the Athletic Training Education Program from undergraduate to graduate level education. The first Masters Degree cohort class will begin in the summer of 2020. In the AT program at SRU, students learn with hands on experience in a variety of labs, internships, and events at the university.