Athletic training

Iowa State University's Athletic Training Program is transitioning to a Professional Master's degree program. The last cohort of undergraduate athletic training students have been admitted into the bachelor's degree program for fall of 2018. Pending approval of committees and Board of Regents, we anticipate offering a 3+2 athletic training program with the first cohort of Athletic Training Graduate Students starting summer session 2020.  Pre-Athletic training students will continue to have an undergraduate curriculum in the Department of Kinesiology.

CAATE Accreditation Status

Iowa State University has a long and proud history in the profession of athletic training. The Athletic Training Program obtained initial accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in April of 2001. The program received continuing CAATE (Commission of Accreditation in Athletic Training Education) in 2006 and again in August 2012. Our next comprehensive review will be in the 2020-2021 academic year. The AT program officially became a University major in February 2012, producing its first graduating class in December 2012 with a Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training. 

The Athletic Training program at Iowa State University is currently an undergraduate program leading to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Athletic Training. The program currently consists of approximately 124 credits and six clinical rotations. Athletic Training courses focus on competencies within the 12 NATA educational domains:

  • Risk management and injury prevention  

  • Pathology of illness and injuries

  • Assessment and evaluation

  • Acute care of injury and illness

  • Pharmacology

  • Therapeutic modalities

  • Therapeutic exercise

  • General medical conditions and disabilities

  • Nutritional aspects of injury and illness

  • Psycho-social intervention and referral

  • Health care administration

  • Professional development and responsibilities

The athletic training program at Iowa State prepares a student to become a BOC certified athletic trainer.  The degree awarded is in Athletic Training and is a combination of clinical and classroom experiences.  State-of-the-art laboratories in Sports Medicine enhance the learning environment for athletic training students.  Certified athletic trainers teach all of the athletic training professional didactic courses. Students get frequent interaction with the team physician, team orthopedic surgeons, and two physical therapist/certified athletic trainers. The athletic training students also get the opportunity to participate in surgical observation experiences with team orthopedic surgeons and emergency room observation at local hospital.

The program is designed to both prepare the athletic training student to sit for the BOC Examination and to accept athletic trainer positions.  In addition, graduating students are well qualified to enter graduate programs in athletic training.  Students who concurrently complete the teacher credential program will be well qualified for the high school job market.


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.  The program is currently transitioning to a 3+2 Professional Master's degree.  Students can matriculate in the Pre-Athletic Training program and seek admission into the graduate program. 

Athletic training

Curriculum requirements

2019-20 catalog requirements

4-Year plans

2019-20 sample 4-year plan

Clinical rotations

Clinical rotations are performed in the following areas:

  • Iowa State University athletic training rooms
  • Local high 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.

Board of Certification Exam Scores

Report for the Board of Certification (BOC) Athletic Trainers’ Certification Examination

For each testing year (April – February), the BOC certification exam consists of 175 questions representing a variety of item types, including multiple-choice, multi-select, drag-and-drop, and focused testlets presented in one part. Candidates have a total of four hours to complete the exam, and candidates have the ability to move forward or backward throughout the entire exam prior to submitting the exam for scoring. For more information on the BOC certification exam, please review the BOC website:

Iowa State University Results:  Institutions are required by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education to provide data for the most recent three exam years

 Iowa State Athletic Training Program Statistics 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 3-Year Aggregate
Number of students graduating from program 21 20 16 57
Number of students graduating from program who took examination 20 20 16 56
Number of students who passed the exam on the first attempt 15 20 14 49
Percentage of students who passed on the first attempt 75% 100% 88% 88%
Number of students who passed the exam regardless of the number of attempts 17 20 15 52
Percentage of students who passed the exam regardless of the number of attempts 85% 100% 94% 93%
Retention rate for class 96% 87% 72% 85%
Graduation rate 100% 100% 100% 100%
Employment/Placement rate within 6 months of graduation 100% 100% 94% 98%

*For more detailed information on all BOC statistics related to our CAATE accredited program, please click here.

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.