Master of Science in Athletic Training

Athletic trainers (ATs) are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.  Athletic Training encompasses the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of emergent, acute or chronic injuries and medical conditions. Athletic training is recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA), Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an allied health care profession (National Athletic Training Association).


The mission of the Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) degree program is to develop diverse contemporary clinicians who collaborate with healthcare professionals and community partners to deliver patient-centered culturally competent care. The program strives to instill the qualities of a life-long learner that will progress graduates to clinical expertise.


The MS in Athletic Training degree program strives to:

  1. Equip athletic training students for contemporary practice in an evolving health care system through academic, clinical, and professional excellence;
  2. Value professional development of faculty, staff, and students to inspire life-long learning that aligns with personal and professional goals;
  3. Engage and promote interprofessional education and practice with other professions;
  4. Prioritize diversity among faculty, staff, students, and clinical placement sites to foster cultural competence and collaboration in the delivery of healthcare;
  5. Integrate community engagement and service-learning experiences for faculty, staff, and students; and
  6. Conduct student-led research by allowing students to become creative in their discovery of new and ever advancing knowledge.

Applications to the Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) program are reviewed on a rolling basis with one admission process annually.  The priority deadline for admissions is November 15and the final deadline is April 15, annually. The MSAT program is a cohort model which starts each summer during the Summer 1 term. Applicants to the MSAT must meet the following requirements to be considered for regular admission.

Admission Requirements

Students must meet the following admission requirements to be considered for full regular admission to the MSAT program:

  1. Demonstrate completion of a bachelor’s degree with an official transcript from the awarding institution
  2. Have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or higher
  3. Have official scores from the GRE obtained within the past 5 years (if you are currently enrolled at SHSU you do not need to complete the GRE exam) 
  4. Have earned a grade of C or higher in all program prerequisite coursework
  5. Completed a minimum of 75 clinical observation hours under the supervision of a Certified and Licensed Athletic Trainer 
  6. Have proof of current Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification from the American Heart Association
  7. Have a completed program Immunization Review Form that is signed by a Primary Care Provider (MD, DO, PA, NP)
  8. Have a minimum of two signed evaluation forms. One of the forms must be from a licensed and certified Athletic Trainer who supervised your observation hours.
  9. Complete all program prerequisites prior to the start of the program

Application Process

Applicants must complete the following two-step application process, which involves two separate application fees:

  • The SHSU Graduate School application fee is $50.

  •  ATCAS charges $90 for the first program you apply to and $55 for each additional program.

Step 1:  Apply to the Graduate School at SHSU by using the ApplyTexas Portal

Step 2: Apply to the MSAT Program at SHSU using the ATCAS Submission Portal

The following documents will need to be submitted to ATCAS: 

  • Official Transcripts
  • GRE Score within the past five years (not required for 3+2 students)
  • Clinical Observation Hours Log (minimum of 75 clinical observation signed by a certified and licensed athletic trainer)
  • Proof of Basic Life Support (BLS Certification) from the American Heart Association
  • Completed Immunization Review Form
  • Two completed references. One must be from an athletic trainer who supervised the student's observation hours.
  • Personal Statement

Program Prerequisites

The following prerequisite coursework is designated as either required or recommended.  The required coursework must be satisfactorily completed (a grade of C or better) to be considered for regular admission to the MSAT program. The recommended coursework is optional but completed work in this area may benefit the student in their pursuit of admission to the MSAT program. Recommended prerequisite coursework that is completed at the time of program application will add additional points to the candidate acceptance rubric for the proposed degree.

MSAT Program Required Prerequisite Coursework

The following bachelor’s level coursework must be completed prior to applying to the MSAT Program to be considered for full admission. Prerequisite coursework can be in progress when the application is submitted for Conditional Admission. All required coursework must be completed prior to starting the MSAT program and includes: 

SHSU Course Listing: Required Program Prerequisites 1
ATTR 3370Prevention & Care of Injuries3
BIOL 1413General Zoology4
or BIOL 1411 General Botany
or BIOL 1406 General Biology I
or BIOL 1407 General Biology II
BIOL 2403Human Anatomy & Physiology I4
BIOL 2404Human Anatomy & Physiology II4
CHEM 1411General Chemistry I4
or CHEM 1406 Inorganic & Envir Chemistry
FACS 2362Nutrition3
KINE 3362Functional Kinesiology3
KINE 3373Physiology of Exercise3
MATH 3379Statistical Mthods in Practice3
or MATH 1342 Elementary Statistics
or MATH 1370 Intro Biomedical Statistics
or STAT 3379 Statistical Methds in Practice
or BIOL 4374 Biostatistics
PHYS 1301General Phy-Mechanics & Heat3
or KINE 4362 Biomechanical Analysis
PSYC 1301Introduction To Psychology3

Or equivalent. 

MSAT Program Recommended Prerequisite Coursework

The recommended prerequisites for the MSAT are not required for admission to the program, but can increase the admission score if completed with a grade of C or higher. Students seeking admission to the SHSU MSAT program are encouraged to enroll in these courses if electives are available on a student's undergraduate degree plan.

The following bachelor’s level coursework is recommended to be completed prior to applying to the MSAT Program:

SHSU Course Listing: Recommended Program Prerequisites 1
ATTR 2300Intro to Athletic Training3
HLTH 2372Health & Medical Terminology3
HLTH 2383Multicultural Health Issues3
HLTH 3350Principles of Public Health3
HLTH 3360Epidemiology3
KINE 4335Sport and Exercise Psychology3
KINE 4362Biomechanical Analysis3
SOCI 2319Introduction To Ethnic Studies3

Or equivalent. 

Retention Requirements

In alignment with the requirements of all graduate students at Sam Houston State University (Policy 910312), students must meet the following requirements to remain in good academic standing:

  • Maintain an SHSU GPA of 3.0 or higher each semester
  •  Additionally, each MSAT student must meet the following program specific benchmarks at their respective level to progress to the next level in the MSAT program:
    •   Maintain a Cumulative MSAT GPA of 3.0 or higher,
    •  Complete specified didactic assessments (as outlined in the course syllabus) at a grade of 75 percent or higher,
    •   Complete all Lab Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)  assessments with a grade of 75 percent or higher, and
    •   Complete all assessed skills in the clinical setting at the level of ‘proficient’ or ‘exceeds proficient’.
  • The MSAT program at SHSU has established 75% as the benchmark for competency and proficiency within the specific assessments listed here. Students who do not meet these benchmarks within the policies outlined in the course syllabi will be placed on probation within the MSAT program and will need to retake the course the next time it is offered. This will delay the student’s progression in the MSAT program. Students who do not meet programmatic benchmarks a second time will be terminated from the MSAT program. Students who fail to meet two or more programmatic retention criteria which are unrelated to one another (i.e. separate courses) in a single semester will be terminated from the MSAT program.

Academic Probation, Termination, or Dismissal for graduate students at SHSU can be found in policy 910312 and includes the following:

  •  A graduate student who falls below a 3.0 SHSU GPA at the close of any semester or summer semester will be placed on probation. Two summer sessions are equivalent to one long semester. If an enrolled student fails to achieve a minimum of a 3.0 SHSU GPA at the close of the next semester following the start of the probation, the student will be terminated from graduate studies.
  •  A graduate student that earns an F in any graduate course at SHSU will be terminated from graduate studies.
  •  A student who earns a grade of C or below in any course at SHSU (repeated or distinct course) within the academic program may have their graduate status reviewed by a committee of the department or college graduate faculty. The committee will recommend appropriate remediation for the student.
  •  A student who fails to meet any approved program-specific standards for academic performance will be placed on programmatic probation with remediation or terminated from the program and not permitted to register for the subsequent cohort courses in the program.

Removal of Academic Probation for Graduate Students:

  •  The student will be removed from probation at the close of the semester or summer semester in which the SHSU GPA achieves the required standard or
  •  In the case of program specific benchmark requirements for the MSAT, the student will be removed from probation when the remediation requirements set forth by the program have been met.


  •  All graduate students in the MSAT program must use procedures outlined specifically in SHSU Policy 910312 for filing an appeal

Degree Awards

  •  MSAT degrees will be awarded at the completion of the degree plan only when a student is in good standing with a 3.0 GPA or higher and has met all program specific benchmarks within didactic, laboratory, and clinical courses.
  •  For students in 3+2 MSAT degree options, both the undergraduate and graduate degree of MSAT will be awarded at the completion of the MSAT requirements only when a student is in good standing only when a student is in good standing with a 3.0 GPA or higher and has met all program specific benchmarks within didactic, laboratory, and clinical courses. 3+2 MSAT students who are not able to complete the MSAT degree are encouraged to revert back to their original BS degree plan and complete the undergraduate degree.
  •  MSAT students are required to complete a research project to complete the degree.  The student’s research faculty mentor must verify that all components of the research project have been met in order for degrees to be awarded.
Master of Science in Athletic Training
Required Courses
ATTR 5210Clinical Experiences in Athletic Training I2
ATTR 5220Clinical Experiences in Athletic Training II2
ATTR 5230Clinical Experiences in Athletic Training III2
ATTR 5240Clinical Experiences in Athletic Training IV2
ATTR 5300Injury Prevention and Protective Strategies3
ATTR 5310Clinical Evaluation and Assessment Fundamentals3
ATTR 5311
ATTR 5111
Lower Extremity Injuries
and Lower Extremity Injuries Lab
ATTR 5312
ATTR 5112
Upper Extremity Injuries
and Upper Extremity Injuries Lab
ATTR 5313Head and Facial Injuries in Sport3
ATTR 5314Spine and Pelvis Injuries3
ATTR 5315
ATTR 5115
Non-Orthopedic Pathologies in Sport and Exercise
and Non-Orthopedic Pathologies Lab
ATTR 5320Acute and Emergency Care in Athletic Training3
ATTR 5330
ATTR 5130
Therapeutic Interventions I
and Therapeutic Intervention I Lab
ATTR 5331
ATTR 5131
Therapeutic Interventions II
and Therapeutic Intervention II Lab
ATTR 5340Administration in Athletic Training3
ATTR 5350Immersive Clinical Experiences in Athletic Training3
HLTH 5371Health Care Quality & Safety3
HLTH 5378Health Care Informatics3
KINE 5374Applied Research Methods in Kinesiology3
Total Hours58


  • Maintain an overall graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (A 3.0 is the absolute minimum required for graduation).
  • Grades of “B” or better are required for all graduate level coursework. A student who earns a “C” in any course within the program will have his/her graduate status reviewed by a committee comprised of the department or college’s graduate faculty, and appropriate remediation will be implemented.  If a second grade of “C” is earned the student will be terminated from the program and from graduate studies at SHSU.
  • Complete all assessed skills in the clinical setting at the level of ‘proficient’ or ‘exceeds proficient.'
  • Complete all lab practical assessments with a grade of 75 percent or higher.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state’s 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers.  Marketable skills are those skills valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The Master of Science in Athletic Training is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Communicate and collaborate with other healthcare professions.
  • Promote healthy lifestyle behaviors to minimize the risk of injury and illness.
  • Implement systematic, evidence-based examinations and assessments to determine best care for active patient populations.
  • Utilize best practices in immediate and emergency care situations.
  • Apply therapeutic interventions, including therapeutic modalities, manual therapies, and therapeutic exercise.
  • Integrate best practices of policy development, documentation practices, and basic business practices to promote optimal patient care.