Master of Science in Athletic Training

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Northern Illinois University is currently seeking accreditation for its new Master of Science in Athletic Training program and is not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

The institution will be submitting a self-study to begin the accreditation process on July 1, 2022. Submission of the self-study and completion of a site visit does not guarantee that the program will become accredited. Students that graduate from the program prior to accreditation will not be eligible to sit for the credentialing examination for athletic trainers and will not be eligible for licensure in most states. If you have any questions regarding the program and its accreditation status please contact the AT program director at athletictrainingprog@niu.edu.

Athletic trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians and other allied health care professionals to provide care to a variety of patient populations. Athletic trainers specialize in prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis and therapeutic intervention. If you are passionate about helping others to maintain or return to peak activity and life participation, check out our Master of Science in Athletic Training program. Through our innovative curriculum, you will gain the necessary skills to sit for the Board of Certification examination, which will allow you to practice as a certified athletic trainer.

Admission to the M.S. in Athletic Training Program is competitive and limited. We accept 20 to 25 highly qualified students each year. To be considered for admission, you must submit:

  • Letter of interest
  • Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts

Prerequisite baccalaureate course work must be completed prior to admissions. You are also required to complete a minimum of 50 observations hours with a BOC certified athletic trainer.

To receive priority consideration, your application materials must be completed and submitted before February 1.

How to apply

The MSAT Program embeds diverse, real-world learning opportunities.

  • You will practice in high schools, universities, hospitals and clinics, and with amateur and professional sports teams, such as the Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Fire, Chicago Sky and Chicago Bandits.
  • Additional special opportunities include local, large-scale events, such as the Chicago Marathon, Shamrock Shuffle and Special Olympics.
  • Additional student experiences include the ESPN Wide World of Sports inside Walt Disney World, and with several top NCAA teams, including Northern Illinois University, University of Tennessee and University of Louisville.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for athletic trainers is expected to grow by 19% over the next 10 years.
  • Traditional athletic training settings include colleges, universities and secondary schools Our graduates hold positions in some of the most prestigious sports programs, universities and hospitals throughout the country, including the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Midwest Orthopaedic Institute, the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital and the U.S. Naval Academy.
  • Beyond athletics, other job opportunities for athletic trainers are available within physician practices, performing arts, health care administration, occupational settings, armed forces, public safety, rehabilitation clinics and private and emerging settings.

Through our innovative curriculum, you will learn clinical evaluation and diagnosis, therapeutic interventions, health care administration and more. In our state-of-the-art labs, you will hone clinical skills through mock evaluations and integrated simulations using standardized patients. Year One clinical programming has a focus on practical experiences at a variety of clinical sites, including small and large high schools, small and large college/universities, rehabilitation clinics, orthopedic clinics and emergency services. The Year Two clinical programming has a focus on professional experiences, involving immersive clinical practice. Our faculty and clinical staff bring a diversity of experiences to exemplify excellence in teaching, professional service and cutting-edge research to ensure the success of our students.

Year One

Summer

  • KNAT 500 Principles of Athletic Injury and Illness Management and Emergency Care (3)
  • KNAT 501 Foundations of Athletic Training (3)

Fall

  • KNAT 502 Clinical Physical Examination and Diagnosis in Athletic Training I (3)
  • KNAT 503 Clinical Physical Examination and Diagnosis Lab I (3)
  • KNAT 520 Integrated Therapeutic Interventions in Athletic Training I (3)
  • KNAT 521 Integrated Therapeutic Interventions in Athletic Training Lab I (3)
  • KNAT 551 Athletic Training Clinical Experience I (3)

Spring

  • KNAT 504 Clinical Physical Examination and Diagnosis in Athletic Training II (3)
  • KNAT 505 Clinical Physical Examination and Diagnosis Lab II (3)
  • KNAT 522 Integrated Therapeutic Interventions in Athletic Training II (3)
  • KNAT 523 Integrated Therapeutic Interventions in Athletic Training Lab II (3)
  • KNAT 552 Athletic Training Clinical Experience II (3)

Year Two

Fall

  • KNAT 519 Athletic Training Clinical Administration (3)
  • KNAT 550 Research Methods and Evidence Based Practice in Athletic Training (3)
  • KNAT 553 Immersive Athletic Training Clinical Experience I (4)

Spring

  • KNAT 515 Special Topics and Culminating Experience in Athletic Training (3)
  • KNAT 650 Directed Research and Applied Evidence Based Practice in Athletic Training (3)
  • KNAT 556 Immersive Athletic Training Clinical Experience II (4)

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

Medical Directors

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

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"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