Pacific University undergraduates who are interested in a career as an athletic trainer may choose to complete a pre-athletic training track along with their bachelor's degree in preparation for graduate school. The Pacific University College of Health Professions offers a master’s degree in athletic training for qualified graduates. Pacific also offers several other pre-professional tracks for students.

Another option is the Kinesiology & Athletic Training 3:2 Pathway that allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and master's degree in athletic training in just five years. Our accelerated athletic training program combines a major in kinesiology with two years in the clinical program.

About Athletic Training

Athletic trainers are highly-skilled healthcare professionals who make a positive impact in their patients’ lives. They provide services including primary care, injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

There are over 53,000 athletic trainers around the world. Some athletic trainers work with professional, collegiate, and high school sports teams. In fact, 100% of professional sports teams in the USA employ athletic trainers. Athletic trainers also work in other environments such as medical offices, military units, occupational health, performing arts, public safety and rehabilitation centers. 

Career opportunities for athletic trainers are forecasted to grow 17% from 2021 to 2031 — much faster than the average for all occupations — by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with an average of 2,500 openings each year. 

Program and Requirements

In 2015, the AT Strategic Alliance established the professional degree in athletic training at the master’s level. A master’s degree in athletic training from an accredited college or university prepares you for certification and licensure as an athletic trainer. 

Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from an athletic training program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Accredited programs include instruction in areas including:

  • Injury and illness prevention and wellness promotion
  • Examination, assessment and diagnosis
  • Immediate and emergency care
  • Therapeutic intervention
  • Health care administration and professional responsibility 

Students also complete mandatory clinical education experiences to gain real world experience in the athletic training field. Pacific University’s MSAT program, for example, utilizes a variety of clinical settings to prepare graduates for employment post-graduation. These settings include high schools, universities, industrial, professional baseball and hockey organizations, medical clinics and fire and rescue. Athletic training programs typically take two years to complete.

To become an athletic trainer, graduates must pass the BOC exam offered by the Board of Certification. After successfully passing the BOC, graduates can apply for licensure in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Each state, commonwealth or territory may have additional requirements for licensure such as a jurisprudence assessment.


Below are the prerequisites for Pacific University’s athletic training master’s degree program, which are similar to those for most universities.

Biological Science

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology with labs (complete series; combined courses or as separate courses)
  • General or Introductory Biology (one course)


  • General or Introductory Physics (one course)


  • General or Introductory Chemistry (one course)

Exercise Science

  • Exercise Physiology (one course)
  • Anatomical Kinesiology or Biomechanics (one course)
  • Nutrition (one course)


  • General Psychology or Sports Psychology (one course)


  • General Statistics or Behavioral Statistics or Social Statistics (one course)

Other recommended courses:

  • Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries
  • Motor Control
  • Medical Terminology
  • Health and Wellness