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Master of Science in Athletic Training


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.

MSAT Virtual Open House 

Monday, October 4, 2021 at 11:00-1:00 pm OR 4:00-6:00 pm

Do you have questions about the MSAT Program? Classes? Clinical education experiences? Application process?
Join us for a virtual open house and come chat with us! This is a drop in format, so join us when you can.


MSAT Student


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 graduates 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.

Why MSAT at WCU?

  • Fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
  • Clinical experiences available in varied settings including immersive clinical opportunities at sites throughout the U.S.
  • Focused coursework in primary care, behavioral health, public health, orthopedic evaluation and treatment, manual therapy, and emergency care
  • Embedded areas of focus throughout the program emphasizing inclusive patient care and serving diverse patient populations
  • Student involvement at the local, state, district, and national levels of the professions
  • Inter-professional learning and practice with a variety of health professions
  • Overall BOC exam first-time pass rate greater than 95%
  • Clinical and simulation labs, virtual anatomy dissection, and cadaver lab suite

MSAT Student


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)
    • 4 Credits Physics (must include lab)
    • 3 Credits Psychology (introduction)

GRE is not required.

Apply Now

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

Dr. Tara Peterson, EdD, LAT, ATC

Assistant Professor

Coordinator of Clinical Education

Dr. Melissa Snyder, LAT, ATC, CSCS

Assistant Professor

Undergraduate Program Director

Medical Director

Dr. Larry Supik, MD
ATP Medical Director

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