Athletic training

Certified athletic trainers are medical professionals who specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries to athletes and others who are engaged in everyday physical activities. To gain certification, candidates must:

  • Graduate from a CAATE-accredited athletic training education program
  • Successfully pass the Board of Certification (BOC) examination

Many states also have licensure requirements to practice athletic training.

The athletic training program at Iowa State University (ISU) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The educational program is housed in the Department of Kinesiology within the College of Human Sciences. The program consists of 124 credits and a minimum of six clinical rotations.


The kinesiology department utilizes numerous research and teaching laboratories. We have exercise labs, motor skills labs, biomechanics and biochemistry labs, and more. You can check out all the different labs under Research laboratories. Additionally, athletic training facilities are utilized by students, faculty, and staff.

Program information

A student interested in entering the athletic training program must enroll in the kinesiology department’s pre-athletic training program. During that time, the student must complete a number of prerequisites including coursework and application procedures. The full list of requirements can be found on the athletic training website as well as the application for the pre-athletic training program.

Athletic training

Curriculum requirements

2017-18 catalog requirements

4-Year plans

2017-18 sample 4-year plan

Transfer students

The athletic training program director will review all athletic training courses to determine if they will transfer into the Iowa State Athletic Training Education Program sequence of didactic and clinical courses. Meeting Iowa State Admissions requirements does not guarantee admission into the athletic training program. More information can be found on the athletic training website.

Clinical rotations

Clinical rotations are performed in the following areas:

  • Iowa State University athletic training rooms (5)
  • Local highs schools
  • Physical therapy clinics
  • Physician clinics
  • Emergency rooms
  • Drake University

These clinical rotations are performed under the supervision of certified athletic trainers, physicians, and other allied healthcare providers. They give the student hands-on clinical education and introduce students to various settings in the healthcare field.

To review the responsibilities of the student, preceptor, clinical hours, certifications, and costs, visit the Clinical Education Policy page.

Certification test results

The following are results for ISU students who have taken the Board of Certification (BOC) Athletic Trainers' Certification Examination in the past three years. National first-time and overall pass rates are also included for comparison.

  2016-17 2015-16 2014-15 3-year aggregate
Number of first-time ISU
20 15 13 37
Number who passed on
first attempt
20 13 12 34
ISU first-time pass rate 100.0% 86.7% 92.3% 91.9%
National first-time pass
--- 82.1% 80.7% 81.9%
Overall number of ISU
20 15 13 39
Overall number who
passed exam
20 14 13 38
ISU overall pass rate 100.0% 93.3% 100.0% 97.4%
National overall pass rate --- 85.3% 83.9% 85.1%

Get involved

Kinesiology study abroad programs

Are you considering a study abroad opportunity to broaden your educational perspectives and personal view of the world? We hope so! The kinesiology department offers various international opportunities through the College of Human Sciences International Programs office.

Careers and internships

Graduates of the athletic training program are well-prepared for entrance in careers helping athletes at all levels. Staff will guide you through the coursework and experiences you’ll need to prepare for future opportunities.

Career services
Prepare for your next job or internship with Career Services, where staff help you with job searches, interview preparation, and resume/cover letter reviews.

Look at a list of career possibilities inside the athletic training industry.


Internships are available with various high school sports teams, and various special events such as Special Olympics. Students also may have the opportunity to intern in professional sports such as with NBA or WNBA teams, as well as within hospitals and sports medicine clinics. For more information, visit our careers and internship pages.

To apply for internships and full-time positions, use CyHire, on-campus career fairs, career services, or talk to your internship coordinator: Debra Power.

See where other students have interned. Visit Career Connections.