Athletic Training (Graduate Program)
Master of Athletic Training (MAT)
Texas Lutheran University offers a competitive entry, professional level program in which students earn a Master of Athletic Training (MAT). The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) and upon completion, students are eligible for national certification through the Board of Certification (BOC) and for Texas State Licensure.
The program offers traditional college freshman a five year educational experience in which they are awarded concurrent Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Master of Athletic Training degrees upon graduation. The first 3 years are spent completing general education requirements, kinesiology major courses, and program pre-requisites. The final two years are dedicated to professional athletic training content delivered in conjunction with clinical educational experiences that prepare graduates to provide patient care upon graduation.
Students that already hold an undergraduate degree can apply directly to the professional athletic training program provided all admission criteria is met. Upon successful completion of the athletic training curriculum, a Master of Athletic Training is awarded.
Athletic Training Program
Advantages of TLU ATEP
Athletic training students at TLU are exposed to clinical and situational learning from the first day they begin the professional program. Students learn in real patient care situations and are provided increasing supervised autonomy as their proficiency grows.
Decision Making Situations
As athletic training students progress in competency and clinical proficiency, they are routinely placed in hands-on decision making situations under the close supervision of our clinical preceptors. TLU athletic training students interact directly with all patients in situations such as preventative programing, on-field and clinical injury evaluation, immediate care and referral, rehabilitation design, and return to play decisions. With consistent feedback from clinical preceptors, students build confidence in making immediate and challenging decisions for the care of their patients.
Real-World Immersive Experience
In the final two semesters, students are immersed in an athletic training clinical setting for increasing amounts of time to allow students to experience the full scope of athletic training patient care. Students interact directly with their patients, clinical preceptors, physicians, and administrative staff to coordinate care for their patient population. During the immersive period, minimal academic requirements are completed via online course delivery to maximize the student’s clinical experience.
Small Class Size
Athletic training courses are some of the smallest classes offered at TLU. Professional curriculum cohort size is between 10-12 students. Cohorts complete the same curricular sequence and learn from each other as well as through program experiences.
Pre-Professional Athletic Training Program
The pre-professional phase of the athletic training program is intended for the traditional college sophomore or junior who is interested in the athletic training field. This phase is geared toward orientation to the profession and the acquisition of basic clinical skills. Students in this phase are expected to concentrate on academic success while becoming familiar with the TLU athletic training clinic and the academic program. The pre-professional phase includes a small clinical experience requirement that is completed on campus as a part of the Practicum in Athletic Training courses that these students take. Although not required for admission to the professional phase of the program, students completing this phase will have ample exposure to clinical situations and be well prepared to begin making clinical decisions for their patients.
Entry into the Pre-Professional Phase
Applications for the pre-professional program can be obtained and submitted through the Athletic Training Program Director. Admission decisions are made on a semester by semester basis and are based on the listed criteria as well as available space in the pre-professional program.
Criteria for Admission
All students who wish to be considered for the pre-professional portion of the athletic training program must satisfy the following:
Unconditional acceptance to TLU via the Admissions Office
Completion of an athletic training program application form, returned to the program director.
An interview with the TLU Athletic Training Program Director.
A minimum of a 2.7 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale for all high school and college work. Preference is given to those with a GPA of 3.0 or above.
Retention in the Pre-Professional Phase
Students must meet the following criteria to maintain involvement in the pre-professional phase of the athletic training program:
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale in all courses taken at TLU. Students that fall below a 2.7 will not be allowed to participate in the program until their GPA is at the minimum requirement.
- On time attendance at all athletic training coursework, program meetings, and clinical experience hours. Students are expected to be proactive as conflicts arise and notify the appropriate staff or faculty member if the student will be late or absent. Students who are routinely late or absent to required athletic training responsibilities will be placed on probation and given specific guidelines to follow. Violation of probationary guidelines will result in suspension from the program.
- Successful completion of athletic training practicum coursework. Specific course requirements will be discussed at the beginning of each semester.
The professional phase of the TLU Athletic Training Program is intended for students who have chosen to pursue a career in the athletic training field. Academic and clinical components are designed to cover content leading to proficiency within the 5 athletic training practice domains identified by the BOC and CAATE curricular standards. The program consists of four traditional semesters and two mandatory summer sessions resulting a Master of Athletic Training and eligibility for BOC certification.
Criteria for Admission to the Professional Phase
- Unconditional acceptance to TLU via Admissions Office
- Completion of an Athletic Training Professional Program Application. Applications are due March 1 for students beginning the following summer semester.
- One academic and one professional letter of recommendation. Letters should be submitted to the TLU Enrollment Services Office.
- An interview with the TLU Athletic Training Program Faculty.
- A minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale for all college coursework.
- Completion of TLU general education requirements (for student obtaining concurrent degrees).
- Completion with a C or higher in the TLU equivalent of the following coursework:
- BIOL 245: Human Anatomy and Physiology 1
- BIOL 246: Human Anatomy and Physiology 2
- BIOL 233: Pathophysiology
- CHEM 147: Principles of Chemistry
- PHYS 141: General Physics
- PSYC 131: Introduction to Psychology
- KINS 130: Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries
- KINS 238: Foundations of Athletic Training
- KINS 331: Assessment of Injuries 1
- KINS 332: Assessment of Injuries 2
- STAT 374: Statistics
- PRWB 130: Personal Well Being
Preference will be given to applicants with a minimum of 80 observation hours in any athletic training setting under the supervision of a BOC certified athletic trainer.
Applications are obtained and submitted through the TLU Admissions Office. Students whose application file meets the admission criteria will be reviewed by the Athletic Training Admission Committee. Applications will be evaluated and ranked based on the above criteria. Students accepted into the professional phase of the program will be required to sign a technical standards document and submit a general medical physical completed by a medical doctor before beginning the clinical portion of the program.
Applicants that already hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university who are interested in the TLU Master of Athletic Training program should follow the application procedures listed above. If the applicant’s degree is not equivalent to a B.S. in kinesiology or is missing coursework in which athletic training competencies are instructed, the applicant must complete courses to address those deficiencies.
The Texas Lutheran University Athletic Training Education Program encourages all prospective athletic training students to visit our campus to get firsthand knowledge of TLU and our educational program. Depending on the type of visit selected, prospective students have the opportunity to meet athletic training staff, talk with current students, attend program classes, observe normal athletic training room operations, tour the campus and residential facilities, and meet with TLU admissions and financial aid staff. There are a variety of visit opportunities available to students interested in athletic training:
Athletic Training Visit Days
The TLU athletic training education program holds special visit days for those interested in a career in athletic training. These are group visit days that include information on athletic training as a profession, a campus tour, and question/answer sessions with program alumni and current students. In addition, student skill demonstrations and presentations give visitors examples of the clinical and academic skills TLU athletic training students acquire in the program. An athletic training visit day is held in the fall semester for high school seniors, and in the spring semester for high school juniors. Interested students are encouraged to contact the ATEP Director for further information.
Home Football Game Visit
During the fall football season, prospective students are welcome to visit during one of TLU's Saturday home football games. Visitors typically are able to tour the campus, meet with an admissions representative, then observe TLU athletic training staff and students preparation and coverage of the football game. This allows the visitor the opportunity to get to know our staff, current students, and observe the clinical experience TLU athletic training students receive. Interested students should contact the ATEP Director for dates, times, and other details.
Personal Visit Days
Prospective athletic training students also have the opportunity to visit TLU on a weekday, when TLU classes are in session. In addition to campus tours and admission information, visitors that use these days have the opportunity to attend athletic training classes, meet with current students, and observe normal athletic training room operations. Interested students should contact the ATEP Director to schedule a personal visit.
University Visit Days
Prospective students are welcome to attend TLU's university visit days to gain general information about the campus, admissions, and financial aid. Further information on these events can be found on the TLU admissions page. Visitors planning to attend these events are encouraged to inform the admissions office or the ATEP Director regarding interest in athletic training to ensure athletic training staff or information will be available.
Required Program Costs
- Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from clinical sites. The actual cost of transportation will vary based on location of clinical site and the current price of gasoline. The average distance to off-campus clinical sites is 15 miles (range 2 - 35 miles).
CAATE Accredited Athletic Training Program
TLU’s Athletic Training Program was granted initial accreditation in 2005 through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). In 2006, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) was formed as an independent accrediting agency dedicated to the advancement of the education of athletic trainers. In 2010-2011, the athletic training program at TLU went through a re-accreditation process and received a 10 year accreditation award through the 2020-2021 academic year. For more information on athletic training accreditation or to find a listing of accredited programs, visit http://www.caate.net/.
TLU Athletic Training Student Success
*Program Retention Rate: Percentage of students who have been admitted to the professional program who return to the institution to continue their studies in the program the following academic year.
**On-time graduation Rate: Percentage of students who graduated within the “normal time” for completing the program.
****Graduate Employment Rate in Athletic Training: Percentage of students following graduation that have obtained positions in the following categories: employed as an athletic trainer, employed as an athletic trainer in a residency program, employed as an athletic trainer and in a degree program, or not employed due to enrollment in another athletic training degree program.
*****Note: Students in the 2017-18 cohort had the option of transitioning to the graduate level professional program. Of the 8 students that were admitted to this cohort, 4 transitioned to the graduate level program, 3 did not continue the program, and 1 graduated from the undergraduate program.
To learn more about the program download the athletic training fact sheet.
Athletic Training (Graduate Program) Faculty
Assoc. Professor, Dir. of Athletic Training
Asst. Prof, Clinical Coordinator
TLU AT Facts
- TLU athletic training educational experiences often transcend TLU with regular involvement in national and regional athletic training organizations.
- Over the past four years, 88% (15 of 17) of graduates have attended either the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) or Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association (SWATA) Annual Symposia while students in the program.
- Since 2008, 100% of graduates have been able to continue in their chosen field.
- Graduates currently practice athletic training in a variety of settings including the NFL, NCAA Division 1, NCAA Division 3, high school and rehabilitative clinics.
- TLU athletic training graduates regularly expand their educational experiences beyond TLU. Over the past three years, 11 of 14 graduates have gone on to pursue an advanced graduate degree.