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Department of Health and Exercise Science - MS Athletic Training

Program Administrators and Advisors

Robert Sterner, Ph.D.
Director of Athletic Training Education
(856) 256-4500, ext.3767

Douglas Mann, DPE, ATC
Coordinator of Clinical Education
(856) 256-4500, ext. 3706

Laurie Dwyer, MS
Academic Advisor
(856) 256-5835


The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) has mandated that the entry-level degree to enter into the Athletic Training profession will move from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s degree by 2022. Thus, eventually without a Master’s degree a student will not be able to sit for the national Board of Certification Exam, which is the gatekeeper to practicing within the Athletic Training profession. Rowan University is pleased to announce that it has developed an MSAT curriculum.

A Substantive Change is scheduled to be submitted to the CAATE in August 2016. Thereby in accordance with CAATE standard,s no student may enter the previous Bachelors in Athletic Training from that point (August 2016). Therfore the following are mandated by the CAATE:

1. All Fall 2016 incoming freshman and four year plan transfers will be required to complete the 5 year Master’s Program.

2. Fall 2016, 3 year plan transfer students will still have the choice to enter the Bachelor's in Athletic Training curriculum. This is because they will be applying with next years sophomores who are still part of the Bachelor's in Athletic Training. This is the last group of transfers that will have the option to stay in the BSAT.

3. Current students (defined as expected graduation dates from May 2017-2019 cohorts) will have the choice to complete the Bachelor’s or the Master’s degree.

Overview of MSAT Curriculum

The MSAT has a unique curriculum. It is a 5 year Master’s Program, in that there will be no Bachelor’s degree associated with this program. Some of the previous BSAT conceptual structure will continue to be a part of the MSAT, in that many of the courses, Professional Phase application process, benchmark exams and clinical experiences will remain a part of the MSAT. A student will start this Master’s program beginning their freshman year as part of the Pre-professional Phase, apply to the Professional Phase, and finish in the 5th year as part of the Professional Phase of the Program. Thus, once students are accepted to the Professional Phase, they are committing to a three year curriculum which will, after successful completion, lead them to the Master of Science in Athletic Training.

Students will apply to the Professional Phase of the Athletic Training Program in the spring of their sophomore year. Once admitted to the Professional Phase of the program, the student will make a 3 year commitment to the Professional Phase of the Program to obtain the MSAT, rather than only two as seen in the previous Bachelor’s degree. Students will seamlessly transition into advanced level (graduate) courses beginning spring of their 4th year without needing to reapply to begin the MSAT level coursework. Most of the graduate level didactic classes will be taken the summer between the 4th and 5th year. In the 5th academic year, students will complete two completely immersive clinical experiences within the newly developed courses Fellowship in Athletic Training I and II, respectively. Students will also be required to complete a thesis during the 5th year prior to graduation. Please see Profession Phase Admission Requirements and Course Requirements for a more detailed description.

What does this mean? It means that students will not have to reapply to enter the Master's portion of the Program as long as they maintain all retention criteria (please see Retention Criteria). Once they are accepted into the Professional Phase of the Program at the end of their sophomore year, they are also accepted into the Master's portion of the Program. Because of the seamless transition from the undergraduate to the graduate level courses, students will continue to pay undergraduate tuition for the graduate level courses. Likewise, once students begin their graduate course work, they will be eligible for the Rowan Global Scholarship.


The mission of the RUATP is to provide a challenging and dynamic learning environment for the professional preparation of students so that they not only master the competencies and proficiencies needed to become an entry-level certified athletic trainer, but are equipped to be at a level of competency and professionalism which puts them among the most proficient graduates in the country.

Program Goals

The main goal is to continue to graduate exceptional Athletic Training candidates from the MSAT. The BSAT continually challenged students to strive for excellence by maintaining high standards for graduation. Outcome assessment data has historically indicated that the current BSAT prepares students equally or better than other Athletic Training programs. It is expected that the MSAT will continue to honor this tradition of excellence.

The previous BSAT prepared students to take and pass the Board of Certification Exam which is needed to practice in the Allied Health Care Profession of Athletic Training. This is at the forefront of every CAATE accredited program. The previous BSAT had a six year aggregate first time pass rate of 100% on this exam (national average pass rate is 80%). Consequently, the MSAT will strive to continue this excellent pass rate.

An additional goal for the MSAT is to provide students with advanced and immersive clinical education experiences. There is national data to support that undergraduate students sometimes lack the clinical expertise necessary to enter the profession at the Bachelor’s entry-level. The previous BSAT only allowed for two years of supervised clinical education within a limited geographical area before students graduate. The MSAT has the opportunity to offer advanced and immersive clinical experiences at affiliated locations throughout the state, national and international level. These opportunities will enhance a student’s clinical expertise above that of the BSAT level, thereby making them much more salable in the job market. In fact, the MSAT is specifically designed to allow students in their 5th year to complete clinical education experiences without the distraction of classes.

The goals of the MSAT program are fourfold:
1. To challenge students to become competent and expert Athletic Trainers.
2. To instruct students in the principles of Professional practice.
3. To challenge students to continue to become involved in scholarly and professional activities.
4. To challenge students to think and make critical and responsible personal and professional judgments.

Faculty and Staff Commitment to Athletic Training Students

The faculty and staff are devoted to maintaining the standard of academic and clinical excellence long associated with the RUATP program. All educators, both academic and clinical, are dedicated to exceeding the standards established by CAATE so that students become a competent and well-rounded Athletic Trainer. Furthermore, the RUATP program is committed to maintaining the objectives and philosophies in line with those established by the Department of Health and Exercise Science, the College of Education, and Rowan University. The faculty and staff are therefore fully dedicated:

1. to striving to be fair and consistent in the administration of the policies, procedures, and regulations which govern the RUATP.
2. to establishing admissions criteria which are consistent with the program’s mission and goals.
3. to establishing retention criteria which are consistent with the program’s mission and goals.
4. to monitoring student progress in the program using retention criteria, academic evaluations, and clinical evaluations as a means to provide an opportunity for students to develop as professionals and individuals.
5. to orienting students to the NATA Code of Ethics so they can develop the appropriate standards of practice expected of Athletic Trainers.
6. to providing students with direct supervision and guidance in order to facilitate the application of theory into the clinical practice of Athletic Training.
7. to fostering and encouraging the development of professional relationships and leadership skills necessary for the practice of Athletic Training.
8. to providing an environment for the development of each student’s potential both professionally and personally.
9. to achieve student success on the Board of Certification examination and job placements that exceeds national normative data.

Board of Certification, Inc. Exam Results

The Board of Certification, Inc Exam is the gate keeper to being able to practice in the athletic training profession. A student must graduate from or be in the last semester of a CAATE accredited program before they are able to sit for this exam. The RUATP has had a high first time pass rate on the BOC, Inc exam. The Athletic Training Program (ATP) is consistently above the national average for the first time pass rate. Those students that did not pass on their first attempt were successful on their second attempt. Since 2006, no student has had to take the BOC, Inc Exam for a third time. Below is an illustration of BOC, Inc Exam first time pass rates for seniors graduating between the years 2011-2016. The table below also illustrates the number of students graduating from the program who took the examination, number and percentage of students, who passed the examination on the first attempt, and overall number and percentage of students who passed the examination regardless of the number of attempts.

2016 BOC REsults

The yellow bar indicates the national average (80%) for the BOC, Inc. Exam.

Board of Certification Exam, Inc. Statistics

  2013-14 Graduates 2014-15 Graduates 2015-16 Graduates
Number of students graduating from the Athletic Training Program 17 11 15
Number of students who passed the examination on the first attempt 17 11 15
Percentage of Students who passed the examination on the first attempt 100 100 100
Number of students who passed the examination regardless of the number of attempts. 17 11 15
Percentage of students who passed the examination regardless of the number of attempts. 100 100 100


Potential Additional Costs:

The Athletic Training Program will require some additional costs above the standard tuition, fees and books. These costs may include but may not be limited to:

  1. Professional Memberships
    Students will be conditionally accepted into the Professional Phase at the conclusion of the application process. All students MUST become NATA student members by May 1 of their application year to be fully accepted into the Professional Phase of the Program. Students must also maintain this membership during their progress through the Athletic Training Program. Cost will depend on NATA membership fees. Please see for membership applications.
  2. Travel
    Students can expect to be given a clinical assignment that will require them to travel to an off-campus affiliated clinical to obtain their clinical education under the direct supervision of an Athletic Trainer. All fees associated with this travel (ie, gas, food, etc) are the responsibility of the student. Students can expect to be given an off-campus for a total of 1-2 semesters. All attempts will be made so that students are not given off-campus clinical assignments on consecutive semesters.
  3. Professional Polo Shirts
    Students will be given one polo shirt when entering the professional phase. All additional professional clothing purchases are the responsibility of the student.
  4. Professional Equipment (Optional)
    Students may choose to acquire a side kit for on-field needs. If the student chooses to purchase a side-kit, the student is responsible for the costs to supply equipment (ie, scissors, airways, resuscitation masks, etc). Supplies (ie, gauze pads, ace wraps, band aids, etc) will be provided by the assigned clinical site.
  5. Professional Conferences
    Attending professional conferences is highly encouraged by the Athletic Training Program. A partial reimbursement program has been established through the Athletic Training Club. The student must be an active member of the club in order to receive any reimbursements for going to professional conferences. The left over balance for the conference is the responsibility of the student.
  6. Background and Fingerprinting Checks
    Students may be required to obtain background checks, at their own expense, to be able to attend clinical education experiences at affiliated sites.
  7. Other Costs:
    There may be additional classroom supplies (e.g., tape) that may needed that are not be reflected on this list. Students will be made aware of these costs at the beginning of each semester for any class that may require additional costs.