Athletic Training Major

What is an athletic trainer?

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 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. For more details, see the information below.



Program Information and Requirements

Admission Requirements

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:

More information (Athletic Training website) »

Transfer Students

Students who wish to transfer to Iowa State University’s Athletic Training Education Program from another institution must first be formally admitted into ISU.  Interested students should contact the ISU Office of Admissions for requirement and deadlines.  Following admission to ISU, the Office of Admissions determines which courses will be accepted for course credit towards graduation.


The Athletic Training Program director will review all athletic training courses to determine if they will transfer into the ISU Athletic Training Education Program sequence of didactic and clinical courses.  Meeting ISU admissions requirements does NOT guarantee admission into the Athletic Training Education Program.  All transfer credits may not apply, and additional semesters may be needed to complete the athletic training academic and clinical requirements.

Course sequence

The Athletic Training Education Program is a six-semester sequence of classes and clinical experiences.  For transfer students, previous athletic training courses and clinical experiences will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine appropriate placement within the Athletic Training Program course sequence.  It is strongly encouraged for all transfer students to meet with the Athletic Training Program Director to determine where to start in this course sequence.

More information (Athletic Training website) »

Related Majors

Community and Public Health option (Kinesiology and Health major)

Pre-health Professions option (Kinesiology and Health major)

Exercise Science option (Kinesiology and Health major)

Physical Education Teacher (Kinesiology and Health major)

Diet and Exercise B.S./M.S.

Get Involved

Learning Communities

Learning communities connect students with social and learning activities that extend well beyond the classroom. Students in many communities take a few courses together, get to know upperclassmen peer mentors, study together as a group, do service projects, and gather just for fun.

Visit Kinesiology’s learning community page

Clubs and Organizations

Connect with people who share similar interests across the ISU campus.

Visit Kinesiology’s related clubs and organizations page

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 health care providers.  They give the student hands-on clinical education and introduce students to various settings in the health care field.

More information (Athletic Training website) »

Certification Test Results for ISU

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. 

  Graduation Year  
  2015-16 2014-15 2013-14 3-year aggregate
Number of first-time ISU
15 13 9 37
Number who passed on
first attempt
13 12 9 34
ISU first-time pass rate 86.7% 92.3% 100.0% 91.9%
National first-time pass
82.1% 80.7% 82.9% 81.9%
Overall number of ISU
15 13 11 39
Overall number who
passed exam
14 13 11 38
ISU overall pass rate 93.3% 100.0% 100.0% 97.4%
National overall pass rate 85.3% 83.9% 86.3% 85.1%

Facilities and Laboratories

The Kinesiology Department utilizes numerous research and teaching laboratories. We have exercise labs, motor skills labs, bio labs and more. You can check out all the different labs under Research.Additionally, Athletic Training facilities are utilized by students, faculty and staff.