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Master of Science in Athletic Training

Master of Science in Athletic Training


This comprehensive masters' degree is a 2-year program that starts annually in June.

Incoming students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in athletic training should pursue a bachelor's degree in any program and obtain the necessary prerequisites.

Potential undergraduate programs at Western Carolina University include Integrated Health Sciences, Emergency Medical Care, or Recreational Therapy.

Student in the MSAT program


Student in the MSAT program


Athletic Trainers (ATs) are healthcare professionals who provide patient-centered care in collaboration with a physician. As part of the healthcare team, services provided by ATs include injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

The Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) program prepares graduate to be professionally engaged while delivering high quality patient-centered care as athletic trainers. The MSAT is a 2-year, 6-semester program that combines didactic education with diverse clinical experiences.

Through a comprehensive and innovative experience, the Western Carolina University Athletic Training Program aspires to be a recognized leader in preparing highly skilled and professionally progressive leaders in the field of athletic training. 

Points of Distinction

  • Two immersive clinicals (one for 8 weeks & one for 16 weeks) at clinical sites throughout the United States
  • Focused coursework in primary care, spine evaluation and treatment, neuroanatomy, and manual therapy
  • Student involvement at the local, state, district, and national levels of the profession
  • Opportunities for interprofessional learning and practice
  • Overall BOC exam first-time pass rate greater than 95%

Students in program frequently receive student scholarships through the NCATA, MAATA, and NATA Foundation 

Explore information about tuition and fees

Application Deadlines

Early Application Deadline: October 15th

Regular Application Deadline: February 1st

Application Requirements

Student in a Knee Brace


The following are requirements for application to the Master of Science in Athletic Training Program. All of the following requirements must be submitted through ATCAS.

  • 50 hours of observation with an athletic trainer
  • 3 letters of recommendation- one must be from an athletic trainer
  • Statement of Interest/Cover Letter that includes why you want to become an Athletic Trainer
  • Resume
  • Unofficial Transcript(s)- (official transcripts will need to be sent after acceptance to program and completion of undergraduate degree)
  • Required Pre-requisite Courses with a grade of a “C” or higher
    • 3 Credits Nutrition
    • 8 Credits of Anatomy and Physiology (must include lab)
    • 4 Credits Biology (must include lab)
    • 4 Credits Chemistry (must include lab)
    • 8 Credits Physics (must include lab)
    • 3 Credits Psychology (introduction)

GRE is not required.

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Student on a treadmill


The Master of Science in Athletic Training Program (MSAT) is a full-time program beginning in June.

The current curriculum is 67 credits of both didactic and clinic education courses over two years.


Students in the MSAT program


The WCU AT program uses a combination of traditional and immersive clinical experiences.

Students complete clinical rotations at local secondary schools, colleges, and physicians’ offices; additionally, students have opportunities to complete clinical rotations in various settings across the country.

Explore the Clinical Education Examples

Travel to and from Clinicals

Students will be required to supply their own transportation to and from clinical sites. All costs associated with transportation to and from all clinical education sites will be paid solely by the student. 

Clinical Assignments   

Students in this program, in addition to normal weekday practices and competition, may be required to complete clinical experiences during weekends, holidays, and vacation periods and/or during semester breaks. Assignments to clinical education sites are based on the requirements of the CAATE, needs of the individual student, and availability of affiliated sites.

Students in the MSAT program


Students in the WCU AT will have additional opportunities to grow professionally and give back to the community. Opportunities include:

  • Scholarship- Original Research or Case Studies
  • Conference Attendance- Local, State, District, and National Levels
  • Student Positions on Committees- Eg. MAATA Student Senate
  • Volunteer Opportunities- Local and State Athletic Events
  • Community Service

Athletic Training Faculty

The faculty and staff of WCU’s Athletic Training Program are committed to students’ success and to building strong, competent athletic training professionals.

Core Faculty

Dr. Ashley Thrasher, LAT, ATC

Associate Professor

MSAT Program Director

Tara Peterson, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS

Assistant Professor

Coordinator of Clinical Education

Dr. Melissa Snyder, LAT, ATC, CSCS

Assistant Professor

Undergraduate Program Director

Associated Faculty

Medical Director

Dr. Larry Supik, MD
ATP Medical Director

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