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Undergraduate AT Program

Undergraduate AT Program

CAATE-accredited Athletic Training Program

A certified athletic trainer (ATC®) is a health care professional who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, clinical management and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries and medical conditions. As part of a complete health care team, the athletic trainer works under the direction of a licensed physician and in cooperation with other health care professionals, administrators, coaches and families.

Our CAATE-accredited undergraduate academic program is dedicated to developing highly-respected professionals who are competent in diverse situations. Graduates from the Texas State University Professional Program in Athletic Training are well-prepared for the rigors of the profession, have a high commitment to service, and are dedicated to providing superior quality health care.


1 – Texas State University was the first Athletic Training program in Texas accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

11 – Total number of the Athletic Training instructional faculty.

20 – The number of new athletic training students admitted to the academic major each year following a competitive admissions process.

30 – the number of BOC certified athletic trainers currently employed at Texas State University.

43 – Preceptors associated with our Professional Program in AT who mentor our undergraduate students during their clinical educational experiences.

49 – Number of undergraduate athletic training students currently in the Professional Program in AT.

500+ – Number of Texas State University Athletic Training alumni.

1971-1972 – The academic year during which the Texas State’s undergraduate Athletic Training Program was first accredited.

2013 – Texas State University’s Quiz Bowl team wins the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association’s (SWATA) Quiz Bowl, and represents NATA District 6 (Texas and Arkansas) at the NATA’s annual Quiz Bowl competition at the national meeting held in June 2013, placing fourth of 10 teams.

2020 – The year that Texas State’s current period of accreditation of its undergraduate Athletic Training program from the Committee on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education will expire.

2022 – The year that Texas State University plans to celebrate 50 years of continuous national accreditation of its Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training program.


1. Do Texas State University athletic training students receive scholarships?

Yes. We have a university program that funds academic performance-based scholarships for athletic training students during their sophomore, junior and senior years. For the 2016-2017 academic year, 28 Athletic Training majors were awarded a total of nearly $38,000 in competitive academic scholarships from this fund; the average scholarship amount was $1,345 and allowed all non-Texas resident and international student recipients to pay Texas resident tuition rates.

There are now two new, additional scholarships available to Texas State University athletic training students—the David Gish Scholarship and the Dr. Bobby Patton Scholarship. In addition to other general Texas State University scholarships, outside sources of scholarships for AT students include our national and regional athletic training professional associations, e.g., National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association (SWATA).

2. Do Texas State University athletic training students get paid?

No, students are not paid during their clinical educational experiences.

3. Can I have a job and still be an athletic training student?

Yes, but this combination is not recommended. In addition to formal academic coursework, our sophomore athletic training students have a 3-credit clinical course each semester that requires 15 hours of clinical education activities per week. Junior and senior AT students have a 4-credit course each semester that requires 20 hours of clinical education activities each week.

4. Can the athletic training education program be completed in less than 4 years?

No, not at this time. All prospective Athletic Training majors must participate in a competitive admissions process during their first year at Texas State. Once admitted to the Athletic Training cohort, an athletic training student's coursework and clinical education experiences must be accumulated over 6 full (long) semesters in accordance with our accredited program of study that has been approved by our accrediting agency, CAATE. Therefore, the Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training degree at Texas State University will require at least four years to complete.

5. Do I need prior high school experience in athletic training in order to apply?

No, but the familiarity with the athletic training profession gained in high school is highly beneficial, not only during our AT Program’s competitive admissions process, but also as a strong foundation for a successful career as an athletic trainer.

6. Can I be an NCAA Division I athlete and an athletic training student at the same time?

Unfortunately, no. Texas State University is now a member of the Sun Belt Conference and the overlapping nature of athletic training clinical education experiences and NCAA Division I practices and games creates a conflict that cannot be resolved.

7. How many hours of clinical education experience are required?

As a freshman or transfer student vying for admission to the undergraduate AT Program, you will be required to obtain 50 hours of directed observation of Texas State University staff athletic trainers at work. These observation hours are obtained over the course on one semester as part of the requirements for AT 1298 – Orientation to Athletic Training Education.

Once admitted to the Athletic Training cohort, the minimum number of clinical education hours is 10 hours/week for 15 weeks each long semester (Fall or Spring). Sophomore students in the AT program (Level 1 students) are permitted to engage in no more than 20 hours of clinical education per week, Level 2 students (juniors) have a 25 hour per week maximum, and senior athletic training students (Level 3) may participate in up to 30 hours of clinical education per week.

8. What are the daily expectations of an athletic training student?

Our expectations are quite high. Each athletic training student is expected to conduct him or herself in a professional manner. Evidence of professional conduct includes being on time for classes and clinical assignments, taking responsibility for one’s own behavior, and making the most of the structured learning opportunities that occur in our classrooms, laboratories and clinical education experiences.

9. How are sport assignments made? Can I pick my sport assignment?

The clinical education experiences at Texas State University are highly-structured and designed to encompass a three-year period.

Every semester, each athletic training student is assigned to an individual certified athletic trainer or health care provider who serves as that student’s preceptor. The athletic training student learns under the direct supervision of a particular allied health professional in the performance of his or her clinical practice for part or all of an entire semester, and obtains supervised clinical education experiences in that clinical instructor’s specific intercollegiate sport assignment or realm of clinical practice of medicine or physical therapy.

Our students do have some input into the process of assigning preceptors and venues, e.g., the Dr. Bobby Patton Athletic Training Room, the David Gish Bobcat Stadium End Zone Complex, 1 of our 8 affiliated local high schools, but do not directly choose their clinical assignments. During the senior year (Level 3), an athletic training student can request a clinical education assignment that reflects her/his professional goals, e.g., a senior who wants to work as a high school athletic trainer after graduation will be assigned to a local high school for an additional semester of clinical education/experience at that level.

10. Do athletic training students get to travel with the Texas State University teams?

Yes, athletic training students may have the opportunity to travel with their supervising athletic trainer depending upon their level within the program and clinical education assignment. Travel schedules vary from semester to semester and from sport to sport.

11. What about summer Athletic Training internships with professional sports teams?

Recently we have had quite a number of our students accepted for summer internship positions with various professional sports teams. We have had students selected for internships with five NFL teams— Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and the St. Louis Rams. In 2015, one of our female AT students obtained a paid summer internship with the LA Galaxy in the Major League Soccer (MLS).

12. What is the difference between accredited and non-accredited athletic training education programs?

The accrediting agency for entry-level athletic training programs in the United States is the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), and its headquarters are in Austin, Texas. There are currently 22 entry-level CAATE-accredited programs (15 bachelor’s degree programs and 7 entry level masters’ degree programs) in Texas.

Only graduates from CAATE accredited programs may sit for the national BOC examination and become certified athletic trainers (earning the “ATC” credential). Completion of Texas State University’s program also qualifies the graduate to take the examination offered by the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration (TDLR) to become a licensed athletic trainer (earning the “LAT” credential) in Texas.

If you have additional questions about our program, please contact the Program Director, Dr. Darcy Downey at or by phone at 512-245-2980.

Thank you for your interest in Texas State University!!