Athletic Training

Program Contacts

Steve Tucker, PhD, LAT, ATC: Department Chair
Telephone: (501) 450-3148 | Email: stucker@uca.edu

Ellen Epping, MA, LAT, ATC: Graduate Program Coordinator
Telephone: (501) 450-5112 | Email: eepping@uca.edu

[1] The Athletic Training Profession

Athletic training is one of the nation’s emerging health care fields and is recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA). An athletic trainer is educated and experienced in the prevention, treatment and management of the health care needs of physically active individuals. In cooperation with physicians and other health care professionals, the athletic trainer functions as an integral member of the health care team.

[2] Master of Science (Entry-Level)

[2.1] Mission

The Athletic Training Program is committed to mentoring professionals who will enhance the quality of health care for the physically active and advance the athletic training profession as clinical scholars. This is achieved through a comprehensive curriculum that prepares graduates for entry-level athletic training positions using evidence-based practice. Graduates of the program will be prepared to be members of an interdisciplinary health-care team in a variety of settings.

[2.2] Accreditation/Approval

The Master of Science in Athletic Training degree is not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), 6850 Austin Center Blvd, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78731-3184. We have submitted our intent to transition to a graduate level program with CAATE and will provide progress updates on the Department of Exercise and Sport Science MS in Athletic Training Program web page.

[2.3] Certification and Licensure

When the Master of Science Program gains accreditation approval by CAATE, graduates of the MS in Athletic Training will be eligible to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) examination for the athletic trainer. In addition, most states require licensure to practice as an athletic trainer. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the BOC examination or attain state licensures.

[3] Course of Study

Students are admitted to the Athletic Training Program via a competitive admission process. Admitted students will complete 59 (non-thesis) graduate credit hours, scheduled across a 24-month period. Within the course of study, the students are engaged in classroom, laboratory and clinical study experiences. (See section 7 below for a list of courses in the professional curriculum.)

The curriculum leading to the Master of Science in Athletic Training requires prior completion of a baccalaureate degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accreditor recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Students must meet the minimum grade requirements for 30 semester credit hours of prerequisite courses to be considered for admission. Prerequisite courses may be completed at UCA or at another regionally accredited college or university. Students who plan to complete prerequisites at another university are strongly urged to assure course equivalency. If students complete courses at other public colleges and/or universities in Arkansas, they can verify transferability using the Arkansas Course Transfer System (ACTS) maintained by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE).

[4] Program Admission Requirements

[4.1] Program Prerequisites

Applicants will be required to provide evidence of completing the prerequisite courses (a total of 30 credit hours) with a grade of C or better in each course.

* SCH = semester credit hours

Prerequisite CoursesSCH*
Total prerequisite credits30
Anatomy & Physiology (2 semesters)8
Physics4
General Psychology3
Statistics3
Biomechanics3
Exercise Physiology3
Sport Nutrition3
Pharmacology3

Additional courses may be required by other disciplines as prerequisites to the courses listed above.

[4.2] Program Admissions Criteria

Students must provide evidence of completing/submitting the following:

  1. Completion of a baccalaureate degree by May of the application year.
  2. Completion of an online application through the centralized application service for athletic trainers (AT-CAS) and supported by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training.
  3. Possession of a cumulative GPA of at least 2.70 on 4.00 scale or at least a 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale on the last 60 hours of course work.
  4. Completion of an online supplemental application for the Athletic Training Program.
  5. Completion of a minimum of 20 observation experience hours under the supervision of one Certified, Licensed Athletic Trainer and submission of a performance rating from this experience.
  6. Completion of the Technical Standards Form.
  7. Submission of a criminal background check from an approved agency. The cost of the criminal background check is set by an approved external agency (e.g. Arkansas State Police).
  8. In addition to meeting the general requirements of the Graduate School, applicants must complete an on-line UCA Graduate Application and pay the $25 application fee.
  9. Completion of all prerequisite course work with a grade of C or better. Prerequisite coursework 10 years or older will not be accepted.

Admission to the Athletic Training program is a selective and competitive admission process to ensure that quality educational experiences are maintained. Completion of prerequisite courses is required prior to formal admission into the program. All students are subject to the same admission procedures and criteria. Candidates are advised that their acceptance into this program is not an assumed right. Candidates will be ranked according to GPA from all courses completed. Top ranked candidates will be invited to participate in an interview; numerical scores will result from the interview. The final ranking of candidates will be based on these criteria: cumulative GPA, prerequisite course GPA, interview scores, and observation hour ratings. One cohort is admitted each year. The top ranked 16 candidates will be offered a position in the program. If needed, the next candidates below the cut-off point on the list will be informed of their alternative status.

The Athletic Training Program reserves the right to determine appropriateness of transfer work related to the MS in Athletic Training degree. All college course work must be submitted when students submit their application to the UCA Graduate School. Transfer students must meet the same academic, clinical and technical admission standards as all other students seeking admission into the program. Prior to admission, transfer students with no previous coursework at UCA must complete the same admission requirements as those enrolling at UCA without transfer work.

[4.3] Technical Standards for Admission

Technical standards establish essential qualities considered necessary to acquire the knowledge, skills, and competencies of an athletic trainer as well as to meet the expectations of the Athletic Training program’s accrediting agency, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. For selection, an applicant must demonstrate

  • The mental capacity to assimilate, analyze, synthesize, and integrate concepts and problem solve to formulate assessment and therapeutic judgments and be able to distinguish deviations from the norm.
  • Sufficient postural and neuromuscular control, sensory function, and coordination to perform appropriate physical examinations using accepted techniques and to accurately, safely and efficiently use equipment and materials during the assessment and treatment of patients.
  • The ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds; this includes, but is not limited to, the ability to establish rapport with patients and communicate judgments and treatment information effectively. Students must be able to understand and speak the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice.
  • The ability to record the physical examination results and a treatment plan clearly and accurately.
  • The capacity to maintain composure and continue to function well during periods of high stress.
  • The perseverance, diligence, and commitment to complete the athletic training program as outlined and sequenced.
  • The flexibility and the ability to adjust to changing situations and uncertainty in clinical situations.
  • The affective skills and appropriate demeanor and rapport that relate to professional education and quality patient care.

In the event a student is unable to fulfill these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodations, the student will not be admitted into the program.

For more detailed information (e.g., about admissions/technical standards, transfer credit, etc.), contact Ellen Epping, Director of the Athletic Training Program through e-mail at EEpping@uca.edu or by phone at (501) 450-5112.

[4.4] Program Admission Progression

Upon acceptance into the athletic training program, students are to present the following documentation to the Program Director on the first day of classes:

  • Current CPR/AED certification from a provider adhering to the most current standards for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Certification must be valid through the first semester in the program;
  • The first and second of the series of three hepatitis B vaccinations must be submitted prior to the first day of classes of the summer semester or signed declination waiver (the third of the series must be submitted prior to the end of the subsequent fall semester); and
  • TB skin test or state health department verification of freedom from tuberculosis infection.

During the second year, prior to the first day of class and or clinical experiences, program students must present the following written documentation to the Program Director:

  • TB skin test or state health department verification of freedom from tuberculosis infection.

Failure to present required documentation to the Program Director will result in administrative withdrawal from the program.

[5] Tuition and Fees

Athletic Training students pay UCA general registration and other mandatory fees plus college fees of $14 per credit hour for all ATTR courses. A $5.00 per credit hour department lab fee is assessed for most EXSS and ATTR courses. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from their clinical experiences as well as living expenses. Information about tuition and other mandatory fees is available from UCA’s Office of Student Accounts. Fees are subject to change.

[6] Retention in the Athletic Training Program

To remain in good standing in the program, students must

  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  • Not have more than three C’s throughout the program. A fourth C will result in being withdrawn from the program. Grades of D or F will not count toward completion of the program. Courses with a grade of D or F can be retaken a maximum of one time in order to earn a grade of C or better. If a course is retaken and results in a D or F, the student will be dismissed from the program.
  • Complete required Athletic Training Program Orientation and pre-season clinical requirements for students enrolled in ATTR 5301 and 6304 (note: orientation and pre-season clinical is held prior to the fall semester).
  • Earn a passing score on the research project in athletic training.
  • Observe the fundamental rules of ethical conduct as described in the NATA Code of Ethics and the Board of Certification (BOC) Standards of Practice.
  • Meet all UCA Graduate School requirements for graduation.

Failure to meet the retention requirements will place the student on probationary status for a maximum of two semesters. If the requirements are not met at the conclusion of the probationary period, the student will be withdrawn from the program and will need to reapply for admission into the Athletic Training Program. Re-admission to the program is not guaranteed, and is based on available spaces.

[7] Professional Courses

Required courses for the program are listed here in curriculum-sequence order by year and term:

CourseCourse TitleSCH
Year 1, Summer 1 (9 semester credit hours)
ATTR 5300Foundations in Athletic Training3
ATTR 5325Emergency Care in Athletic Training3
ATTR 5310Human Gross Anatomy3
Year 1, Fall 1 (12 semester credit hours)
ATTR 5351Orthopedic Assessment I3
ATTR 5335Therapeutic Interventions I3
ATTR 5301Athletic Training Clinical Experiences I3
EXSS 6315Research Methods in Ex. and Sport Science3
Year 1, Spring 1 (12 semester credit hours)
ATTR 5354Orthopedic Assessment II3
ATTR 6355Head, Neck, and Spine Injury Management3
ATTR 5345Therapeutic Interventions II3
ATTR 5302Athletic Training Clinical Experiences II3
Year 2, Summer 2 (8 semester credit hours)
ATTR 6353General Medical Conditions3
ATTR 6203Athletic Training Clinical Experiences III2
EXSS 6316Data Analysis3
Year 2, Fall 2 (12 semester credit hours)
ATTR 6330Health Care Administration3
ATTR 6304Athletic Training Clinical Experiences IV3
ATTR 6365Special Topics in Sports Medicine3
EXSS 5332Critical Analysis in Research3
Year 2, Spring 2 (6 semester credit hours)
ATTR 6305Athletic Training Clinical Experiences V3
ATTR 6215Professional Development2
EXSS 6V08Research Project in Sports Medicine1

[8] Graduate Courses (ATTR, EXSS)

Follow this link to ATTR course descriptions: course link.

Follow this link to EXSS course descriptions: course link.