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Graduate AT Program


Advanced Master of Science Degree

Post-Professional Program in Athletic Training

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Programmatic Overview

The Post-Professional Master of Science degree in Athletic Training at Texas State University is a 2-year advanced master’s program for individuals who have already obtained BOC certification as athletic trainers. Our program is not to be confused with the more than 60 CAATE-accredited “entry-level master’s” programs that prepare their graduates to enter the profession of athletic training by passing the BOC certification examination.

With programmatic emphases on therapeutic interventions and evidence based practice, we offer the opportunity to combine 34 to 37 of graduate credits in Athletic Training, Exercise Science, and Physical Therapy. We offer exciting coursework that allows students to gain advanced, evidence-based knowledge and skills in the rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries.

Advanced graduate coursework includes the study of gross anatomy and neuroanatomy, evidence-based practice, rehabilitation interventions including manual therapies, and research/instrumentation. All students engage in the research process whether through the 34 credit hour thesis track or the 37 credit hour culminating project track. We currently have 5 full-time and 2 adjunct graduate athletic training faculty members guiding 32 full-time graduate students through this program.

  • Dr. Rod Harter, Professor of Athletic Training and Graduate Coordinator

  • Dr. Justin Rigby, Assistant Professor of Athletic Training

  • Dr. Gabriel Fife, Assistant Professor of Athletic Training

  • Dr. Melissa “Missy” Fraser, Assistant Professor of Athletic Training

  • Dr. Marie Pickerill, PhD, Lecturer of Athletic Training

  • Dr. Darcy Downey, EdD, Adjunct Graduate Faculty in Athletic Training

  • Dr. Kirk Painter, DPT, Adjunct Graduate Faculty in Athletic Training

In addition to these 7 faculty members, Dr. Joni Mettler, PhD, ATC, Assistant Professor of Exercise and Sports Science and NATA Foundation grant recipient, also chairs and serves on AT thesis and culminating project committees.

Collectively, our graduate faculty possesses research expertise in concussion diagnosis and clinical management, ACL injury prevention, therapeutic modality methodologies and efficacy, neuromuscular aspects of injury, evidence-based practice, clinical outcomes assessment, clinical education pedagogy and clinical reasoning.

Educational Goals

The 4 central educational goals for students graduating from Texas State University. Graduates with an advanced Master of Science degree in Athletic Training are to:

  • have a strong theoretical understanding of biomechanics, neuromuscular control, and therapeutic interventions;

  • use evidence and patient values to guide decisions on therapeutic interventions that address impairments, functional limitations and disabilities;

  • be competent in the application of advanced rehabilitative techniques, functional assessment and manual therapy; and

  • promote scholarship within the profession by creating new evidence and by being critical consumers of the available evidence.

Athletic Training graduate course descriptions for this program may be viewed online:

 


Post-Professional Program in Athletic Training Advanced Master of Science Degree in Athletic Training Two-Year Course Sequence
Year 1    
Fall Semester Course Credits
AT 5310 Proprioception and Neuromuscular Control in Rehabilitation 3
AT 5311 Biomechanics of Musculoskeletal Injuries 3
ESS 5346 Research Methods in Health and Human Performance 3
AT 5201† Graduate Assistant Development 2
Spring Semester Course Credits
AT 5312 Evidence Based Practice in Sports Medicine 3
ESS 5356 Applied Statistics in Health and Human Performance 3
PT 5400 Human Structure and Function 4
AT 5101† Graduate Assistant Development 1
Year 2    
Fall Semester Course Credits
AT 5318 Therapeutic Evaluation and Interventions 3
ESS 5306 Advanced Physiology of Exercise 3
AT 5399A  or Thesis   3
Elective Select from list below…  
Spring Semester Course Credits
AT 5308 Therapeutic Exercise and Rehabilitation 3
AT 5399B or Thesis 3
AT 5347 and Independent Study in Athletic Training 3
Elective Select from list below…  
  Total: 34 credit hours (Thesis)  
37 credit hours (Non-Thesis)
Non-thesis students must select a minimum of 6 credit hours from the following:
     ESS 5304 -- Motor Learning and Performance
     ESS 5305 -- Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription
     ESS 5307 -- Advanced Resistance Training and Conditioning
     ESS 5309 -- Biomechanics for Exercise and Sports Science
     ESS 5311 -- Applied Neuromuscular and Skeletal Muscle Physiology
     NUTR 5364  -- Sports Nutrition (Summer)
Required only for graduate instructional assistants (GIAs) who teach on-campus classes in the Athletic Training and Pre-Physical Therapy programs; graduate course tuition for these courses is waived by the university.

Selected Completed Thesis and Culminating Projects

Creating and disseminating research is an important component of our academic program. Below is a partial list of recent theses and culminating projects completed by graduate students in our Master of Science in Athletic Training program:

Class of 2016

  • Effects of focal knee cooling on different modes of quadriceps strength assessment (Funded by a $1,000 Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association (SWATA) Research Grant).

  • Analysis of plantar fasciitis risk factors among intercollegiate and recreational runners: a matched case-control study. (Funded by a $2,000 Texas State University Graduate College Thesis Research Fellowship).

  • Effectiveness of a novel balance and hip strengthening program to improve isometric hip strength in active collegiate students: a randomized controlled trial. (2016 SWATA Annual Meeting Graduate Student Poster Award).

  • Analysis of risk factors for patellar tendinopathy among intercollegiate athletes: a case-control study. (Funded by a $500 College of Education Graduate Student Research Grant).

Class of 2015

  • Resultant effects of head impacts on vestibular function in Division I male lacrosse players (Funded by a $1,000 Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association (SWATA) Research Grant).

  • Comparison of the effects of two recovery methods after collegiate baseball pitching. (Funded by a $2,000 Texas State University Graduate College Thesis Research Fellowship).

  • The reliability of instrumented knee and ankle orthopedic special tests performed with a LigMaster™ multijoint arthrometer. (Funded by a $500 College of Education Graduate Student Research Grant).

Class of 2014

  • The effectiveness of a traditional strengthening program versus a plyometric program on Landing Error Scoring System (LESS) test scores. (Funded by a $500 College of Education Graduate Student Research Grant).
  • Understanding El Salvador's sports medicine services for elite amateur athletes through a quality assessment model. (Funded by a $500 College of Education Graduate Student Research Grant).
  • The relationship between disability and fear avoidance constructs in athletes with acute musculoskeletal injuries.
  • The effect of cryotherapy on muscle fatigue between maximal endurance exercise bouts.

Application Process

Applicants to this program must apply online Apply Texas Application for the Texas State University Graduate College.  After all admission materials have been received by the Office of the Graduate College, an applicant’s graduate point average will be calculated and an admission recommendation will be made by the program’s graduate faculty.

For most programs, an admission decision from the Texas State University Graduate College will follow within three to four weeks from the time that all application materials have been received. The number of applicants for a particular program influences the response time for decisions. After an application decision has been made, the applicant will receive an email notification from the Office of the Graduate College stating the admission decision.

Admission requirements for the Texas State University Graduate College and selection of students for the M.S. in Athletic Training program are based upon the following criteria:

  • Applicants must possess a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 GPA over the last 60 semester hours or last 90-quarter hours (According to departmental regulations, applicants with GPAs ranging from 2.99-2.75 may be accepted on “Conditional Admission” basis).
  • Applicants must either be a BOC certified athletic trainer or eligible to take the BOC examination)
  • The Athletic Training graduate program does not require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) but applicants are encouraged to report their scores.

NOTE: Admission to the Texas State University graduate program is contingent upon the submission and receipt of all required documents.  A conditional admission status to the university may be given during the final semester of the senior year.  An official transcript with the appropriate degree posted is required for final admittance.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are awarded to highly qualified applicants. For the current 2016-2017 academic year, all 32 full-time graduate students in our program hold graduate assistantship positions, with no one “self-funding” their graduate education. Graduate assistant selection is based on the graduate student’s academic background, professional experience, letters of recommendation and interview performance

For the 2017-2018 academic year, we anticipate that we will have 17 graduate assistantships vacancies available, and 36 funded athletic training graduate assistantships in total.

There are currently 8 types of graduate assistantships available:

  • 12-month Texas State University Athletics GA positions;

  • 10-month Texas State University Athletics GA positions;

  • 9-month Texas State University teaching (75%) and Athletics (25%) positions;

  • 9-month Texas State University 100% teaching assistant positions;

  • 9-month Texas State University research assistant positions;

  • 9-month and 10-month NCAA DII and DIII University Athletics GA positions;

  • 9-month and 10-month local High School Athletics GA positions;

  • 9.5 month clinic outreach GA positions to local high schools/middle schools.

Graduate Assistantship Stipends

Again anticipating a university-wide 3% increase in graduate assistant stipends, our graduate assistantship stipends will range from $12,954 (9-month positions) to $14,394 (10 month positions) to $17,272 (12 month positions) for 2017-2018. Healthcare benefits are available to purchase through the University as well.

All graduate assistant positions are two year positions, with reappointments for the second year contingent upon satisfactory academic and job performance.

Resident Tuition Costs

Texas, similar to other states, e.g., California, Virginia, does not allow tuition waivers for graduate assistant positions at institutions of higher learning. That said, all Texas State University graduate assistant appointments include a waiver of out-of-state tuition, so that all students pay the Texas resident tuition rate—a 50% tuition savings!

Here is an example of the costs for tuition and fees for all of our 32 graduate assistants during Fall semester 2016, each of whom pay Texas resident tuition rates.

Fall semester 2016 9 graduate credits (“full time”)
Graduate Resident Tuition 2,774.97
Graduate Resident Fees 851.66
Total $3,626.63
   
Graduate Non-Resident Tuition 6,446.97
Graduate Non-Resident Fees 851.66
Total $7,298.63

At this time, only the Fall 2016 graduate tuition and fee schedule is available:

Clinical Sites for Graduate Assistants

On-campus: Texas State University (NCAA Division I - Sun Belt Conference) Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Volleyball, Baseball, Softball, Cross Country/Track and Field (2 positions); Tennis/Cheer/Dance, Football/Rehabilitation Specialist. Department of Health and Human Performance Teaching Assistants (8), Research Assistant (1).

Off-campus: NCAA Division II St. Edwards University (Austin), NCAA Division III Texas Lutheran University (Seguin – 2 positions), Baptist Sports Medicine (San Antonio – 6 positions); Hays Consolidated Independent School District (Kyle and Buda – 6 positions), St. Andrews Episcopal High School (Austin), St. Stephen’s Episcopal School (Austin – new position for 2017-2018).

Graduate Assistant Position Descriptions

Texas State University Athletics 12-month positions – the contracts for these 2 positions (Rehabilitation Specialist and Tennis/Cheer/Dance) start on June 1 and end May 31 each year. GAs may be designated to help provide patient care during summer workouts, provide rehabilitation services to one or several teams and may also have a specific team assignment. GAs are expected to serve as preceptors for Texas State University’s CAATE-accredited Professional Program in Athletic Training.

Texas State University Athletics 10-month positions – the contracts for these 7 positions start August 1 and run until May 31 (or late June for the Texas State baseball GA). Graduate assistants have a clinical assignment with a specific sport, with each of these sports is supervised by a full-time staff athletic trainer. GAs are expected to serve as preceptors for Texas State University’s CAATE-accredited Professional Program in Athletic Training.

Texas State University combined Academics/Athletics 9-month positions – the contracts for these combined 75% teaching assistant and 25% clinical graduate assistant athletic trainer positions have contracts that start August 15. These graduate assistants will teach 3 laboratory sections per semester in the Athletic Training Division. and require teaching duties in labs/classes in the Athletic Training Division and/or research assistant duties to the Athletic Training Division Graduate Faculty and the Biomechanics/Sports Medicine lab. TA/RA GAs are also tasked with inventory/ maintenance of teaching spaces and help provide support during oral/practical testing. GAs are expected to serve as preceptors for Texas State University. Students teach three laboratory sections per semester in the Athletic Training Division. GAs are expected to serve as preceptors for Texas State University’s CAATE-accredited Professional Program in Athletic Training.

Texas State University Academic Unit 9-month 100% teaching positions – the contracts for these positions begin August 15 annually, and require teaching duties in labs/classes in the Athletic Training Division and/or research assistant duties for the Athletic Training Division Graduate Faculty in our research laboratories. These graduate teaching assistants (GTAs)/graduate instructional assistants (GIAs) will teach 2 to 4 laboratory sections per semester in the Athletic Training Division. They are also tasked with equipment and medical supply inventory, and the organization of our teaching laboratory instructional spaces. These GTA/GIAs are expected to serve as preceptors for Texas State University’s CAATE-accredited Professional Program in Athletic Training and assist with oral/practical (“proficiency”) testing.

Off-Campus NCAA Division II and Division III Athletics positions – these 3 positions start around August 15 and students are assigned to provide athletic training services to athletes participating in Intercollegiate Athletics at either Texas Lutheran University (2 positions) in Seguin or St. Edward’s University in Austin. Typical positions include multiple sport assignments throughout the year. These GAs may also serve as preceptors for the respective programs.

Off-Campus High School Athletics and Clinic Outreach to High Schools/Middle School positions – these positions start as early as August 1st and include providing athletic training services to designated high schools and/or middle schools. These graduate assistants provide sports medicine services to athletics in multiple sports throughout the year, and they may serve as preceptors for Texas State University’s CAATE-accredited Professional Program in Athletic Training.

Graduate Assistant Application Process Timeline:

  • January 15th – applications due
    • Applicants are screened by the Texas State University Athletic Training Division, assessed using a rubric (rubric assesses strength of all materials submitted), and ranked according to the overall score. The student’s choices for GA positions are taken into account and the lists are shared with the various GA sites.
  • Late January through February - interviews
    • Each GA site uses the ranked list of students to begin scheduling interviews. Interviews may be face-to-face, phone or online interviews. A Graduate Student Visit Weekend will be designated for the early Spring 2017 semester (late February). Students are not required to attend the Graduate Student Visit Weekend, but those that do may complete interviews during this time.
  • February through April – positions are offered
    • Students will receive a call from the Graduate Coordinator with a potential offer for a GA position. Although offers are typically made in March, Texas State University follows the resolution put forth by the Council of Graduate Schools that states “Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15.”

Please contact Graduate Coordinator Dr. Rod Harter by phone at 512-245-2972 or via e-mail at rod.harter@txstate.edu  with any unanswered questions you might have about our advanced Master of Science degree program in Athletic Training. Thank you.