Sep 26, 2023  
2023/2024 University Catalog 
2023/2024 University Catalog

Athletic Training

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Curricula by Department

OFFICE: Exercise and Nutritional Sciences 351
TELEPHONE: 619-594-5541

Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education for Athletic Training (CAATE).


DirectorMahar, Matthew T., Professor of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, Director of School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences (B.S., State University of New York, Cortland; M.Ed., Ed.D., University of Houston)

Director of Athletic Training ProgramGreicar, Margo, Lecturer of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, Director of Athletic Training Program (B.S., University of North Dakota; M.Ed., Temple University; Ed.D., Bowling Green State University)

Graduate Advisor/LecturerPetrisko, Mayumi J., Exercise and Nutritional Sciences (M.S., San Diego State University)

Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty:

Lebsack, Denise A., Associate Professor of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences (B.S., Central Michigan University; M.Ed., Ph.D., University of Virginia)

Weber Rawlins, Michelle L., Assistant Professor of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences (B.S., Linfield College; M.S., A.T. Still University; Ph.D., University of Georgia)


Detwiler, Kimberly, D.A.T., Exercise and Nutritional Sciences 

Graduate Information

Associateships and Assistantships

Graduate teaching associateships are available for a limited number of qualified students. These provide essential education, technical training, and creative experience necessary for future professional and scholarly activity or college-level teaching. Graduate assistantships are also available in some cases to aid faculty research. Applications and additional information on graduate programs may be obtained from the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences website at

General Information

The School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences offers graduate study leading to the Master of Science degree in athletic training. As a CAATE-approved Professional program, the degree leads to the eligibility to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) Certification Examination and to enter the profession of athletic training. Athletic trainers provide health care including the management, prevention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions in the physically active patient. The athletic training program consists of two components of study - a didactic component and a clinical education component. The didactic component encompasses a holistic and integrative approach to education established upon evidence-based practice principles that optimize patient outcomes. The clinical education component consists of intensive, practical application that provides students with the opportunity to apply psychomotor skills in a variety of clinical settings under the direct supervision of a preceptor (athletic trainer or physician). Students are given the opportunity to learn and practice their skills in a variety of clinical education settings. Due to the CAATE-required supervision of the clinical education component, a limited number of spaces are available for students in the professional program per year. Therefore, the application process is competitive and based upon a variety of criteria outlined under “Requirements for Admission.”

The program is a cohort model program beginning in mid-to-late May of each year. The program is delivered over two calendar years. Students enter as a cohort during the first summer session and matriculate through sequenced didactic and clinical courses over the subsequent two years.

Graduates with the MS degree in athletic training are employed in a variety of settings including:

  • Public and private secondary schools, colleges and universities, and professional and Olympic sports;
  • Youth leagues, municipal and independently owned youth sports facilities;
  • Physician practice settings;
  • Rural and urban hospitals, hospital emergency rooms, and urgent and ambulatory care centers;
  • Clinics with specialties in sports medicine, cardiac rehabilitation, medical fitness, wellness, and physical therapy;
  • Occupational health settings;
  • Police and fire departments and academies, municipal departments, and branches of the military;
  • Performing arts, including professional and collegiate level dance and music.

Requirements for Admission to the Master of Science in Athletic Training

All students must satisfy the general requirements for admission to the university with classified graduate standing. In addition, a student applying for admission to the graduate program in athletic training must meet the following requirements:

  • An undergraduate degree earned at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association. A kinesiology or exercise science degree is recommended.
  • Completion of the prerequisites or equivalent coursework to include biomechanics; exercise physiology with a laboratory; fundamentals of nutrition; general, abnormal, or developmental psychology; human anatomy with a laboratory and physiology; introduction to athletic training with a laboratory; introductory or general chemistry; introductory or general physics; introductory or general statistics; and introductory weight training. Additional recommended prerequisites include courses in applied or clinical kinesiology, medical terminology, and research methods. Classes can be in progress at the time of application but must be completed prior to the start of the program.
  • Prerequisite coursework completed with a “C” or better. Grades of C- or lower will not be accepted for prerequisite completion.
  • A grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in the last 60 units of coursework.
  • Demonstrated evidence of exposure to the field and an appreciation of the breadth, depth, and scope of practice. This can be accomplished through either volunteer or paid work experience in an athletic training setting. Verification of at least 100 total hours of observation under a certified athletic trainer in two or more settings (e.g., university/college, high school, and/or clinic) within two years of the application date.
  • Emergency Cardiac Care (ECC) certification at the time of application. Students are expected to maintain current ECC certification throughout the time of enrollment in the program.

All students upon admission to the athletic training professional program must have medical clearance by a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant for the following technical standards of abilities and expectations:

  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 CPR, primary and secondary surveys, emergency transport and transfers, appropriate physical examinations, and manual therapeutic exercise procedures; including the safe and efficient use of 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; this includes, but is not limited to, the ability to establish rapport with patients and communicate judgments and treatment information effectively. Students must be able to understand and speak the English language at a level consistent with the competent professional practice.
  4. The ability to write effectively as it relates to the discipline.

Admission to Graduate Study

Applicants for admission should complete the steps to apply as described on the SDSU Graduate Admissions website:

All applicants must also submit supplemental materials via Interfolio as detailed on the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences website:

Students who do not fully meet the requirements for admission with classified graduate standing may be considered for conditionally classified graduate standing upon recommendation of the admissions committee and the graduate advisor.

Admission to the Degree Curriculum

The following admissions materials must be completed and submitted electronically via the ATCAS website by the application deadlines noted on the admissions website.

  1. Applicant observation form;
  2. Curriculum vitae or resume;
  3. Prerequisite course checklist;
  4. Professional essay of 400-500 words including the student’s professional goals and reasons for selecting athletic training as a career and an understanding of the challenges facing the athletic training profession and willingness to work with diverse clients in a variety of athletic training settings;
  5. Program disclosure form;
  6. Supplemental application form;
  7. Technical standards for admission document;
  8. Three references (at least one academic and one clinical) who will be invited to complete a recommendation for the applicant electronically;
  9. Video (1-3 minutes) explaining the student’s desire to be an athletic trainer and interest in the program;

Students will be admitted only in the first summer semester.


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Curricula by Department