Athletic Training, Master of Science

Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training

College of Health and Human Services

The Master of Science in Athletic Training is an entry-level professional program that prepares you to take the Athletic Training Board of Certification exam. Certified athletic trainers are medical experts in preventing, recognizing, managing, and rehabilitating injuries that result from physical activity. Athletic training is recognized by the American Medical Association as an allied healthcare profession.

This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)

University Requirements
  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master's degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.

    Read the full policy here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 58
Additional Admission Requirements

Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam is required.
Additional Fees/Program Fees Required
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

This program may lead to licensure.

Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan Optional

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the Athletic Training graduate program is to prepare students to work with physically active individuals in a variety of settings to provide injury prevention and care services. To succeed in this, we emphasize both classroom (didactic) and clinical education every semester in our program. This provides our students with not only the necessary knowledge and skills to become Athletic Trainers, but also the practice to perfect their skills prior to becoming nationally certified. Our program is tailored toward students who want to be involved in both healthcare and sports, working with athletes to both prevent injuries and to provide a continuum of care to get them back to participation after injury.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Athletic Training Master’s Degree Program at Northern Arizona University is to provide a learner-centered graduate experience that effectively links didactic and clinical education in the prevention, evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. The program faculty promote professional and ethical conduct, encourage professional leadership, prepare students to be successful on the national Board of Certification (BOC) examination, and strive to produce competent and confident Athletic Trainers prepared for a career in athletic training.

Student Learning Outcomes

Outcomes align with Standards from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)

Foundational Knowledge
Core Competencies in:

  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Interprofessional Practice & Education
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Clinical Practice Quality Improvement
  • Health Care Informatics
  • Professionalism
  • Patient/Client Care, including examination, diagnosis, and therapeutic intervention.
  • Prevention, Health Promotion, and Wellness
  • Health Care Administration
See the full list of standards for the Athletic Training Program.


Graduate Admission Information
  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

    • Proof of CPR certification prior to beginning the program. 
    • Interested applicants need to complete an ATCAS application as the primary mechanism for admission into the MSAT program. Upon receiving an offer to be accepted into the MSAT program (from the program), you then MUST complete an application to the Graduate College to gain admission into NAU.
    • Prerequisite courses completed with a grade of C or better, or in progress at the time of application to the program:
    • 2 letters of recommendation, one of which is from a certified athletic trainer.
    • An interview with one or more program faculty (to be scheduled after the application review).

    We begin reviewing applications on the 5th of January each year. Students should apply through the Athletic Training Centralized Application Service (ATCAS) Following the 5th of January deadline, rolling admissions will be conducted until the program is full. If accepted into the program, students must then apply to the NAU Graduate College.

    Students who have been previously enrolled in another institution’s CAATE accredited professional master’s degree athletic training program and wish to transfer to our NAU MS-AT program, may transfer up to 25% (14 credits) of our total program credits (58 credits), per NAU Graduate College policy and at the program director’s discretion. Application requirements used for admission to their previous program will be accepted in total as equivalent to our NAU MS-AT program requirements, as long as the student attended classes and was not dismissed due to poor grades. We encourage transfer students and will work with each on an individual basis to ensure an appropriate educational background to ensure success in our program.

    Upon admission, we require that students have a physical exam by a physician of their choice; show proof of immunization for hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, and diphtheria; and attest that they meet the technical standards established by our program and by the Northern Arizona University's Disability Support Services.

    For more information details on individual program admission requirements, please visit Admission Requirements - Master of Science in Athletic Training.

Master's Requirements
  • This Master’s degree requires 58 units distributed as follows:

    • Athletic Training Content Coursework: 43 units
    • Clinical Education Components: 13 units
    • Comprehensive Exam: 2 units

    Take the following 58 units with a Grade of "C" or better:
  • Clinical Education Component (13 units)

  • Comprehensive Exam (2 units)


    Students enrolled for AT 597 must take and pass a written comprehensive exam.

  • The Graduate College requires a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA and no more than 6 hours of “C” while in the program, in order to graduate. You should be aware that you may be placed on probation if your grade point average falls below a 3.00, or if you receive a grade lower than a "C" in any course required for the program. If you are on probation, you will be assigned limited or no clinical experience.

Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Program
    • This program is available as an Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan wherein a student may start a master's degree while simultaneously completing their bachelor's degree.

    • Students enrolled at the Flagstaff campus for both undergraduate and graduate programs are eligible complete the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology and start a Master of Science in Athletic Training at NAU.


      Students enrolled at the Flagstaff campus for both undergraduate and graduate programs are eligible to complete the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences - Fitness Wellness and start a Master of Science in Athletic Training at NAU.

    • Students must apply to the master's program by the graduate program's application deadline, meet all admissions requirements listed in the policy Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Programs, as well as the admissions requirements for the specified master's plan to be considered for admission. Admission to programs is competitive and qualified applicants may be denied because of limits on the number of students admitted each year.

      Be sure to speak with the Master's Program Director/Coordinator regarding your interest in the accelerated plan.
    • Students accepted into the Accelerated Program should complete the same requirements for the graduate degree as defined above.

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.

  • Program Fee Information
  • Program fees are established by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). A program fee has been approved for this program. See program fee details. Program fees are subject to change and updated July 1 for the next academic year.