Master of Science in Athletic Training


If you're passionate about helping others maintain or return to peak activity and life-participation, check out NIU's experiential and research-informed Athletic Training program. As a highly skilled health care professional, a certified athletic trainer collaborates with physicians, coaches, parents and others. You will prevent, evaluate and diagnose medical conditions that include impairment, functional limitations and disability. Our master of science in Athletic Training is nationally recognized and our program reflects the requirements of the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). All students who wish to practice as certified athletic trainers must complete an accredited program and pass the Board of Certification Exam.

We are pleased to announce our transition to a Master of Science in Athletic Training (M.S.A.T.) as required by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Because of this transition, the NIU Athletic Training Program is no longer accepting undergraduate students to the Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training Program.

We strongly encourage all students who are interested in applying to the new MSAT program to complete the NIU Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology as the best preparation towards pursuing the masters degree. Our B.S. in Kinesiology is a direct-entry, science-based program that offers NIU students rigorous classroom, laboratory, and field experiences.

We anticipate offering the first MSAT cohort in summer 2020. In order to practice as a certified athletic trainer, students must complete a graduate level athletic training program as well as successfully pass the Board of Certification (BOC) examination.

If you have any questions regarding the upcoming M.S.A.T program contact us at

How to apply

The NIU College of Education embeds diverse, real-world learning opportunities in its programs, including Athletic Training.

  • You can practice your skills at Chicago Marathon and the Special Olympics.
  • We also send to students to practice in high schools, universities, hospitals and clinics, and with amateur and professional sports Chicago professional teams such as the Bears, Cubs, Sky, Bandits and Rush.
  • Our students have tackled out-of-state experiences at the ESPN Wide World of Sports inside Walt Disney World and with several top NCAA teams, including Notre Dame and the University of Tennessee.
  • Two students in Athletic Training took advantage of our recent Educate U.S. program to spend an all-expenses-paid week practicing their skills and broadening their perspectives in the Houston Independent School District.
  • Our graduates hold positions in some of the most prestigious sports programs, universities and hospitals throughout the Midwest and beyond, including the National Athletic Trainers' Association, the Midwest Orthopedic Institute, the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and the U.S. Naval Academy.
  • Beyond sports and medicine, other job opportunities for certified athletic trainers are available with the military, the performing arts and public safety.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for athletic trainers is expected to grow by 21 percent in coming years.

Nicholas Grahovec, Ph.D., LAT, ATC, CSCS, Assistant Professor, Program Director

William Pitney, Ed.D., ATC, FNATA Professor, Acting Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Phil Voorhis, M.S.Ed., ATC Associate Instructor, NIU Head Athletic Trainer

Tyler Wood, Ph.D., LAT, ATC, Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Clinical Education

Karisa Fuerniss, ATC Graduate Teaching Assistant

Medical Directors

Steve Glasgow, M.D., F.A.A.O.S., Midwest Orthopedics Institute


"NIU’s Athletic Training program taught me patient interaction and developed and polished my history-taking skills, something I use every day. Throughout our curriculum, we were given many clinical opportunities and hands-on experiences to help us grow as students and professionals. The professors and instructors truly care for their students’ development and success after graduation."by Kari Meyers, ATC, B.S.Ed. Athletic Training, Physician Extender, Midwest Orthopaedic Institute