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Athletic Training

“Athletic trainers (ATs) are unique health care providers and an essential member of any health care team skilled and trained in the prevention of injury and illness, examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of emergency, acute or chronic injuries and medical conditions.”

“The Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) program prepares students to function as health care providers in injury prevention, recognition, treatment, and rehabilitation and is specifically designed to prepare students for a career in allied health care as a certified athletic trainer. Athletic trainers are currently employed in colleges and universities, public and private high schools, corporations, physical therapy clinics, professional organizations, the military, factories, and hospitals.”

What does an athletic trainer do?

  • Promote healthy lifestyle behaviors through education to enhance personal and community wellness
  • Examine, assess, and diagnose injuries and illnesses
  • Handle a variety of injuries and illnesses
  • Use therapeutic exercise, modality devices, and manual techniques to rehabilitate and recondition injuries, illnesses, and general medical conditions
  • Practice best practices to promote optimal patient care

Idaho State University does have an Athletic Training program offered on Pocatello campus. 

Students looking to be admitted into athletic training programs generally complete a bachelor's degree before being admitted. The following courses are the prerequisites for ISU’s Athletic Training Master's Program. See a Pre-Health Advisor for assistance with course planning.

Prerequisite Courses: 



ISU Course

General Biology

4 credits

BIOL 1101, 1101L

Anatomy and Physiology


BIOL 2227, 2227L, 2228, 2228L OR BIOL 3301, 3301L, 3302, 3302L


3-5 credits

CHEM 1101 OR CHEM 1111, 1111L


4 credits

PHYS 1100 or PHYS 1111, 1113


3 credits

MATH 1153

Nutrition or Sports Nutrition

3 credits

NTD 2239 OR NTD 3340 OR HPSS 4414

Exercise Physiology

4 credits

HPSS 3301, 3301L


4 credits

HPSS 3302, 3302L

Sport Psychology*

3 credits

HPSS 3322

*Other upper division psychology courses also accepted

We recommend keeping a record of all extracurricular activities. Be sure to track contact information for supervisors and athletic trainers you work with or shadow, and write reflections on each activity. The Pre-Health Extracurricular Tracker can help with this and is found under the resources tab.

Observation with an Athletic Trainer

Observation with an athletic trainer helps you understand what the profession is actually like, and helps you gain valuable experience in the field. The ISU program requires documentation of a minimum of 50 hours of observation.

CPR/AED Certification

A CPR/AED certification is a requirement of the ISU program and demonstrates a basic skill needed to become an effective athletic trainer.

A personal statement is a written description of your achievements, interests, and motivations as part of an application to a graduate program. Personal statements should answer the questions “Why did I choose athletic training?”, “What are my professional goals?”, and ”What motivates me?” You should begin writing your personal statement three to six months before your application process. For more information see the Personal Statement Guide.

Letters of recommendation are an essential part of your application. The ISU program will require two letters of recommendation. Some common recommended letters come from a science professor, and two from physical therapists. You should avoid asking family members, clergy/bishops, and lab instructors for a letter of recommendation. Your letters will be submitted to ATCAS and then distributed to the schools you applied to. Schools will request your letters after receiving your primary application, so don’t delay submitting your primary application while waiting on your letters. For more information, see the Letters of Recommendation Guide. Consult your pre-health advisor if you have any further questions.


Before applying, ensure that you are researching schools and making sure they meet your needs and wants.

Applying to the ISU athletic training program can be reduced down to these essential steps: 

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (if GPA is lower than 3.0)

The GRE is the test required for admission into the athletic training program (if GPA is lower than 3.0). The GRE is administered throughout the year. Register to take the GRE and receive test scores 10-15 days after. Check with programs to determine what is a competitive score.

Primary Application

Primary applications are submitted through a central application service, ATCAS. The same primary application will be sent to all schools you apply to. ATCAS is open from late June to mid June. Deadlines range from August to January. Many schools opt for rolling admissions so it is a good idea to submit early, however don’t rush and make a mistake! Take your time, and submit as early as you can. Most students take a few weeks to complete an application. Your application will include your GRE score, transcripts, extracurriculars, personal statement, and letters of recommendation.

Secondary Application

Students must also apply to the ISU Graduate School. If applying for the dual pathway of MSAT/DPT, please apply for MSAT first to receive a discount for your DPT application.

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