Admissions Questions

Admissions information, including specific information on prerequisites and other requirements, can be found on our admissions page.

Admission to the MAT program is competitive and applications are reviewed as they are received beginning February 1. Students may continue to apply after February 1 and will be evaluated (rolling admissions) until seats are filled. It is important to apply early as enrollment is capped at 28 students. The final deadline for applications is April 1. (International student deadline is November 1.)

Rolling admissions means that we accept qualified students as their applications come in. This means that if we fill all of our seats in advance of the April 1 final deadline, we will not accept any more students even if they are qualified. Students should not expect seats to be available on April 1st.

The Master of Athletic Training degree program generally accepts approximately 28 students each year. The AT Program has stringent entrance criteria but meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not ensure acceptance. Students are evaluated on each of the criteria set forth in the admission requirements and a final score is used to determine which students are qualified. Qualified students are admitted on a rolling basis until seats are filled.

Yes. It is acceptable to be in progress with a prerequisite course, or in the last semester of your degree program, during the same spring that you are applying.  Be sure that the transcript you submit to ATCAS shows your fall grades, as well as your in-progress spring courses. If you are accepted with an in-progress prerequisite, your acceptance would be pending your completion of that course with a satisfactory grade. If you are accepted with an in-progress bachelor’s degree, you will need to submit your transcript to the College of Graduate Studies again (showing conferred degree) once you are done.

You are required to submit three letters of reference. One must be from an athletic trainer. The other must be from a current (or former) employer, coach, or professor/instructor. The third letter may be from a person of your choice, but clergy, family or close friends are inappropriate choices. You will be asked to provide contact details for this person within the ATCAS application. It is best to ask that person if they will serve as a positive reference before you enter their name/contact information.

A Florida resident is a student (dependent or independent) who has established and maintained legal residency in Florida for at least twelve months preceding the first day of classes of the term for which residency is sought. Please visit the following links for additional information on: Admission CostTuition information.

The observation requirement is an opportunity to observe an athletic trainer (AT) in action. The person being observed must hold the credential of ATC®. The aim of the observation hours is to show you what a “typical” athletic trainer position entails and to give you an idea of what clinical courses will be like once in the program. The 50 required hours must be completed at a high school, university/collegiate, and/or professional sports team setting. Observation hours must be complete when you submit your application. 

Documentation of completed observation hours is required and must be in the form of a verification letter from the athletic trainer(s) observed. The observation letter must include: 1) the name, contact information, and credentials of the athletic trainer observed, and 2) the nature of the experience and total hours observed. If multiple ATs were observed at the same setting, a letter from one athletic trainer that provides the necessary information is sufficient. If ATs were observed at different settings, a letter from each setting is required. Most ATs will want the student to use a spreadsheet to track their observation hours.

The hours do not need to be completed at UCF or a local facility. However, if you would like to complete them locally, possible local locations include Orange County or Seminole County high schools, Stetson University, the UCF Recreation and Wellness Center and UCF Athletics. It is best to reach out to multiple places as some may take a while to respond or not allow observation students. You can complete your hours at more than one location and/or with more than one person.

Students must complete training in bloodborne pathogens prior to beginning observation hours with an athletic trainer. The American Heart Association offers an online course. Other companies offer online instruction as well. The course chosen must meet OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens standard. Students should be prepared to show proof of course completion to complete their observation hours. Students completing observation hours may not engage in any activity that they are not trained for and/or that might be in violation of licensure laws.

Advising Questions

The bachelor’s degree may be in any discipline from a regionally accredited institution. We suggest students seek a bachelor’s degree that is relevant and provides the opportunity to complete the prerequisite courses and other admissions requirements. Suggestions for relevant majors include Kinesiology, Health Sciences, and Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on human health sciences.

You can use the MAT Milestone Map to help create a plan to complete the MAT requirements during your undergraduate degree.

In order to determine if the course you took will meet an MAT prerequisite requirement, you should look for same (or very similar) course title and course description when compared to the UCF course listed on this MAT Milestones Map. If you have a concern about whether a course is a match, you can send us the syllabus and we can provide an opinion.

Learning More

We host MAT Open Houses from October through January. They are held online and will help applicants determine if UCF is a good fit for their goals and answer specific admissions questions.

The program also has a Facebook page (UCF Athletic Training Program), an Instagram account (UCF_MAT), and a Twitter account (@UCF_MAT). The Student Athletic Trainers’ Organization (SATO) is a club open to students interested in getting into the program and those who are already in the program. To find out more and get on an email list write to [email protected]. SATO has a Facebook page (UCF SATO), an Instagram account (UCFSATO) and a Twitter account (@UCFSATO).

Students engage in clinical practice during five semesters of the six-semester program. The MAT Program will ensure that students gain exposure to: individual and team sports; sports requiring protective equipment (e.g., helmet and shoulder pads); patients of different sexes; non-sport patient populations (e.g., outpatient clinic, emergency room, primary care office, industrial, performing arts, military); and a variety of conditions other than orthopedics (e.g., primary care, internal medicine, dermatology). Clinical practice provides students the opportunity to use knowledge and skills they learned in the classroom. Clinical education experiences are assigned by the Clinical Education Coordinator.

The time requirement varies each semester. You can view the approximate number of hours on the curriculum tab of the MAT website (ex. A course listed as 3(0, 20) is 3 credits, 0 classroom time, and approximately 20 hours of clinical time per week). Students must understand that time requirements are outside of the standard university calendar and outside of standard class hours. Clinical practice often require attendance on late nights, early mornings, weekends, and semester breaks. Once admitted, it is important to consult the Clinical Education Coordinator before any activities that may interfere with program requirements (e.g., vacations, work obligations).

Current expenses are listed in the UCF Graduate Catalog and total approximately $420.00 in year 1 and $300.00 in year 2. Other expenses specific to the MAT Program can include the following: books (variable); membership to professional organizations; NATA ($60/yr); nametags ($10.50); registration to conferences (optional); certification in CPR/First Aid/AED ($55); transportation/gas/tolls to clinical facilities (variable – but can be significant); background and fingerprint fees ($60-80 1-2 times); club dues (optional, $20- 40/yr); professional attire for clinical sites (variable); Board of Certification (BOC) application and exam fees.

An AT usually works with a population that includes physically active individuals who are young adult to middle aged. The job of an athletic trainer includes prevention of injury, recognition and evaluation of injuries and illnesses, emergency care, rehabilitation, and administration. ATs very often treat musculoskeletal conditions, but they are also trained to identify and treat/refer general medical conditions (e.g. ENT, dermatology), mental health concerns (e.g. eating disorders, depression), and provide acute care on-the-field for trauma (e.g. spinal cord and brain injury). ATs provide immediate care for those who sustain injuries, and often continue providing care as the patient goes through surgery, rehabilitation, and return-to-participation. ATs perform on-field evaluations and make “return to play” decisions during competitive events.

By contrast, physical therapists (PTs) treat individuals in a wider age range (e.g. newborn, geriatric) who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Their patients have a wider diversity of physical concerns (e.g. neuro, burns, MS, CP). Students must also understand that the work settings are very different in many cases. Although some ATs work in a hospital, medical office, or outpatient rehabilitation environment (like a PT might), most ATs work in high schools, colleges, professional sports, performing arts, and other settings where working hours are more varied (e.g. holidays, weekends), environment can be harsh at times (e.g. rain), and their patients are often engaging in the sport/activity.

ATs primarily address health/medical issues. Personal trainers mainly address strength and conditioning, aerobic fitness, and nutrition. However, there is some overlap because ATs also use principles of strength and conditioning and nutrition when rehabilitating athletes. ATs must possess a 4-year degree from an accredited institution and sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) examination. To be a personal trainer, one only needs to sit for an examination.

For general information you can call 407-823-2747 or email [email protected]. For detailed advising you can email the program director at: [email protected] to schedule a meeting via Zoom or in person.

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