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What degree do I need to become an Athletic Trainer?

To become and athletic trainer, candidates must graduate with a degree in Athletic Training fron an accredited athletic training program and successfully pass the Board of Certification (BOC) Exam. To practice as an athletic trainer in most states, the individual must be credentialed within the state, also. 


Degrees in sports medicine, physical education, physical therapy, exercise science, strength and conditioning or others DO NOT qualify the candidate to sit for the BOC examination.


Professional Programs are Entry-Level programs that lead to eligibility to sit for the Board of Certification examination and to enter the profession of athletic training. Professional Programs are only available at the master's degree level.

Post-Professional Degree Programs lead to a degree (masters or doctorate) for learners who are already credentialed as athletic trainers and expand the depth and breadth of the applied, experiential, and propositional knowledge and skills of athletic trainers through didactic, clinical, and research experiences.  However, these programs do not qualify the learner to sit for the BOC exam.

Post-Professional Residency Programs are formal ducational programs that offer structured curricula, including didactic and clinical components, to educate Athletic Trainers. They are designed to build upon and expand the Athletic Trainer’s knowledge and experience acquired during professional (entry-level) education.

For more information on Athletic Training Education, visit

Professional Master's Degree Programs
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