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Master of Athletic Training

Master of
Athletic Training

Life University has notified the CAATE of its decision to voluntarily withdraw accreditation for its Master of Athletic Training program, effective September 30, 2020. Students currently enrolled in the MAT program who do not complete all graduation requirements by September 30, 2020, will NOT be eligible to sit for the BOC examination. Should you have any questions regarding this decision or concerns about the program, please be in touch with Dr. Jana Holwick, Dean of the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies at

LIFE’s Master of Athletic Training (MAT) degree is housed in the Department of Sport Health Science. This 84-credit hour graduate degree is a two-year, full-time professional program. We were given national accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) in October 2014 (through 2019). The first class graduated in June 2014 and was eligible to sit for the Board of Certification exam.

As a professional program, students in the AT program would enter with no or minimal knowledge and experience in athletic training. After completing the requirements for this degree, students would meet and exceed all the minimal requirements to sit for the national Board of Certification (BOC) exam. These are the current three-year BOC pass rate of Life University. Life University’s MAT program has been placed on Probation as of February 24, 2017, by the CAATE, 6850 Austin Center Blvd., Suite 100, Austin, TX 78731-3101.​

The program curriculum is in the process of being updated to be compliant with the new 2020 CAATE standards. Currently, the anticipated start date for a new cohort of students is slated for Winter quarter (January) 2021, with an application deadline of October 1, 2020.

Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education logo

Click here to download information.

For more information, contact:

Program Director
Karen E. Pfeifer, MS, LAT, ATC
(770) 426-2771 (office); (770) 630-2436 (cell)

Application Requirements Specific to the MAT

Instructions for the graduate school application are found in the Academic Policies section of the Academic Catalog.

  • Acceptance into the professional graduate MAT degree program occurs on an annual basis (anticipated start of program is January of each year). The application process for the Master of Athletic Training degree is highly competitive, as the number of students accepted is limited.
  • All admissions requirements should be met and all official documentation received in the Office of Enrollment 30 days (45 days for all international students) prior to the beginning of the quarter of intended matriculation. Due to the competitiveness of the MAT degree program, application materials should be received by October 1 of each year.

Anticipated 2021 Admissions Criteria

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution
  • Completed pre-requisite courses with a required grade of “C”, but a “B” or better is preferred in the following classes:
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Anatomy
    • Physiology
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with 280 cumulative and 3.5 writing.  Applicants are urged to complete all testing well in advance of applying for admission to Life University.
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 (required) 3.3 or higher preferred with regard to completion of academic requirements
  • Three recommendation letters (two academic and one from an athletic trainer who supervised their 75 hours observation)
  • Letter of intent and resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Completion of the Life University Online application(and $50 application fee)
  • TOEFL exam scores (minimum and for international students only): 500 on paper copy, 173 computer version or 61 on IBT format
  • Meet Technical Standards for Admission into MAT
  • Completion of Physical Exam & Medical History form, including PPD (tetanus) test. A separate document with immunization records is permitted.  NOTE:  some clinical sites require immunizations.
  • Minimum of 75 observation hours supervised by a BOC certified athletic trainer).  This experience is documented on a form provided to the applicant and signed by the supervisor(s). These hours can be completed at multiple facilities and/or with multiple supervisors. Please use the Clinical Observation formto record these hours.
  • Only upon formal admission into the MAT program, students will be required to have a criminal background check and drug screening before the first clinical rotation in February (This information will be provided and explained once accepted into the program).
  • CPR for Healthcare Professionals is not required for admission, but students will be required to obtain the certification prior to starting clinical rotations. More information will be provided upon acceptance into the program.

First Year

Course # Course Name *Prereq. Lec. Hrs. Lab Hrs. Credit Hrs.
MSHS 605 Evaluation Fundamentals 2 Hours 0 Hours 2 Hours

This course provides the student with an introduction to the injury evaluation principles of patient care. Topics include: patient interviewing and history taking, medical documentation, monitoring vital signs, positioning, transfers, the use of assistive equipment for ADL activities, gait instruction, and wheelchair prescription and training. Students will also be introduced to goniometry, manual
muscle testing, reflex testing and sensory testing.

MSHS 641 Athletic Injury Care 3 Hours 2 Hours 4 Hours

Students continue to learn about the athletic training profession. They are taught basic principles in the prevention, evaluation and care of athletic injuries. Students also learn basic taping and wrapping; and CPR/AED for the professional rescuer.

MSHS 661.11 Clinical Education I 0 Hours 2 Hours 1 Hours

Students are introduced to the profession of athletic training and the athletic training education program. Students will learn basic taping and wrapping; modalities, wound care, splinting, environmental and other basic skills. They will also be assigned to clinical education rotations under the direct supervision of a preceptor.

Sub-total: 7 credit hours

Fall Courses

Course # Course Name *Prereq. Lec. Hrs. Lab Hrs. Credit Hrs.
MSHS 650 Injury Assessment: Lower Extremity 3 Hours 2 Hours 4 Hours

This course presents the systematic evaluation of exercise-induced injuries to the lower body including the hip and groin. Prevention and management of these injuries are also considered.

MSHS 661.12 Clinical Education II 0 Hours 2 Hours 1 Hours

The student will develop advanced taping, wrapping, bracing, fitting sports equipment. They will also be assigned to clinical education rotations under the direct supervision of a preceptor.

MSHS 670 Kinesiology of Sport 4 Hours 0 Hours 4 Hours

This course offers the study of anatomical and kinesiological principles applied to the qualitative analysis of human motion in sports skills. Topics include movement terminology, muscle mechanics and function, levers, and an introduction to kinematics and kinetics of human motion.

Sub-total: 9 credit hours

Winter Courses

Course # Course Name *Prereq. Lec. Hrs. Lab Hrs. Credit Hrs.
MSHS 600 Exercise Physiology 4 Hours 0 Hours 4 Hours

This course offers the study of the physiological responses and adaptations to exercise in terms of how they relate to human performance limitations, training effects, and health-related benefits. Emphasis will be given to a study of the components of physical fitness. Exercise metabolism and nutrition will be covered.

MSHS 646 Therapeutic Agents 3 Hours 2 Hours 4 Hours

This course offers the study of selected physical agents commonly used in athletic training. Topics include hydrotherapy, massage, thermotherapy, cryotherapy, and traction.

MSHS 652 Injury Assessment: Upper Extremity 3 Hours 2 Hours 4 Hours

This course presents the systematic evaluation of exercise-induced injuries to the upper body including the head, neck, and low back. Prevention and management of these injuries are also considered.

MSHS 661.13 Clinical Education III 0 Hours 2 Hours 1 Hours

Students will be assessed on psychomotor skills learned from the previous quarter – lower extremity and therapeutic modalities. They will also be assigned to clinical education rotations under the direct supervision of a preceptor.

Sub-total: 13 credit hours

Spring Courses

Course # Course Name *Prereq. Lec. Hrs. Lab Hrs. Credit Hrs.
MSHS 612 Exercise Testing & Prescription MSHS 600 3 Hours 2 Hours 4 Hours

This course offers the study of the fundamental principles of exercise testing and prescription for healthy and diseased states. Ergometry commonly employed in human performance labs, clinical settings and health clubs will be evaluated. Topics discussed include medical screening, strength testing, power and flexibility, anaerobic and aerobic fitness assessment, body composition, exercise prescription, and metabolic calculations.

MSHS 647 Therapeutic Exercise Lab for Athletic Training 0 Hours 2 Hours 1 Hours

The purpose of this course is to provide an application of exercises and techniques based on current evidence. Skills taught in this course will include range of motion, flexibility, strength, balance, proprioception, aerobic exercise, aquatic exercise, manual therapy and others.

MSHS 648 Principles in Therapeutic Exercise 4 Hours 0 Hours 4 Hours

The study of the basic principles and techniques used to rehabilitate joints, muscles, and other soft tissue conditions. This course is required in the special interest curricula and athletic training.

MSHS 664 Clinical Education IV 2 Hours 0 Hours 2 Hours

Students will be assessed on psychomotor skills learned from the previous quarters – posture, body composition, therapeutic exercise and strength training. They will also be assigned to clinical education rotations under the direct supervision of a preceptor. Students must complete a minimum of 350 clinical education hours.

Sub-total: 11 credit hours

Clinical Education

Clinical education experiences are required each quarter in addition to the course load. Although academic courses take top priority over everything, students will complete a variety of experiences with progressive responsibilities and must obtain minimum hour requirements, depending on the quarter’s assignment.  NOTE:  The demand of the academic load and the clinical education rotations make employment difficult to impossible.  Two immersive clinical experiences are required during the program, which means that the student is full-time at the clinical site without classes during that time.

Clinical education experiences within the profession of athletic training serve to provide invaluable experiences and contacts that will enhance the students’ educational process. The experiences and requirements will vary by quarter, but the student will have a set minimum and maximum number of hours to complete. The student must have a minimum of one day per week without clinical experiences, except for during the immersive experiences. The student is expected to document each day. Students are not required to attend clinical sites during finals and holiday breaks.

The following hours cannot be counted toward documented clinical hours: time spent traveling with a team, meals, unsupervised time or academic hours. Clinical hours completed during winter break or breaks between quarters are optional. Students are not required to complete hours during breaks in the academic calendar or during finals week. However, if a student has the opportunity to complete the clinical learning experience during this timeframe, one cannot earn more than 25% of the clinical hours required for the following quarter. These experiences must be pre-approved by both the clinical preceptor and the program director/clinical coordinator.

Students must be supervised by a clinical preceptor during the delivery of athletic training services. The amount of supervision will adjust as the student progresses through the program (example:  direct supervision at the beginning vs. on-site supervision towards the end of the program).The clinical preceptor must be physical present and have the ability to intervene on behalf of the athletic training student and the patient. At no time is the student allowed to function as a first responder. During a clinical rotation, a student is not allowed to perform skills on a patient/client until the skill has been covered in a course or at the clinical site and evaluated by the faculty member or clinical preceptor.

Students can only obtain clinical hours from a pre-approved site that has completed clinical preceptor training and undergone a clinical site evaluation, submitted all necessary documentation (which may include but is not limited to contract, credentials, licensure, BOC cards, emergency action plan and equipment documentation). At no time will a student be allowed to obtain hours from a non-approved clinical site.

Clinical Education Rotation Plan

Students are assigned to their clinical preceptors (CPs) and clinical sites by the Program Director or the Clinical Coordinator based on a clinical education rotation schedule through the various athletic training settings and supplemental healthcare sites.  Considerations will also include the student’s strengths and weaknesses, career interests and goals, and prior experience. Additional factors, such as availability of CPs and physical capacity of the site, are also considered in assignment of students to clinical education rotation sites. Students must have a car as most clinical education sites are off campus.

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