What Is an Athletic Trainer?

Athletic trainers are healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians and other members of the health care team to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

Athletic trainers are employed in a wide variety of settings including secondary schools, colleges and universities, outpatient rehabilitation facilities, medical offices, hospitals, clinics, the performing arts, the military, and industry.

All states require athletic trainers to be certified and most states require athletic trainers to have a license. To become a certified and/or licensed athletic trainer, you must graduate from an accredited professional athletic training program ― such as UCF’s Master of Athletic Training program ― and pass a comprehensive exam.

If you are interested in being a respected member of a healthcare team and you enjoy working with active populations, a career in athletic training may be for you.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the outlook for athletic training employment is expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations.

UCF’s Master of Athletic Training Program

UCF offers a rewarding two-year, full-time accredited graduate program in athletic training leading to the Master of Athletic Training (MAT)*. The program’s classroom component is divided into two sections: athletic training theory and practice, and clinical experiences. The courses are designed to expose students to information through multiple didactic, laboratory, and clinical experiences. These courses incorporate the Curricular Content Standards set forth by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

Courses are taught in a prescribed sequence (as described in the UCF Graduate Catalog) over six semesters and include 18 credit hours of clinical education experiences under the direct supervision of a certified and licensed athletic trainer. By combining excellence in teaching, the latest technologies available in education, and outstanding clinical site affiliations, graduates of the program are fully prepared to take and pass the comprehensive Board of Certification (BOC) exam and start their careers as athletic trainers.

Total credit hours required for the MAT: 65

Application deadline: Extended to April 1

Undergraduate Preparation

No one type of bachelor’s degree is required by the MAT program. However, students should seek a degree that is relevant and covers the MAT prerequisites and admissions requirements. Learn more

Athletic Training Program

The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) through 2026-27.

*UCF’s Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training program is being discontinued and is no longer accepting applications. 

Educational Eligibility for Certification and Licensure

At this time our program meets the educational eligibility criteria for certification by the Board of Certification (BOC©) and the requirement for licensure by the Florida Board of Athletic Training in the state of Florida.

To attain BOC certification, an individual must complete an entry-level athletic training education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) and pass the BOC certification exam. A list of accredited programs can be found on the CAATE website.

To qualify as a candidate for the BOC certification exam, an individual must be confirmed by the recognized program director of the CAATE-accredited athletic training education program.

Licensure is required in most, but not every state. Licensure requirements vary state by state, but BOC certification serves as the foundation for each state where licensure is required. We advise you to contact the applicable state credentialing authority to familiarize yourself with its specific requirements and determine if our program meets its eligibility criteria.

You are welcome to contact Kristen Schellhase, Ed.D., the program director, with questions in this regard and we will do our best to assist you in your career planning.

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