Athletic Training

Athletic trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians. The services provided by athletic trainers comprise prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Athletic trainers work under the direction of physicians as prescribed by state licensure statutes.

Iowa State University’s athletic training program has transitioned to a professional Master’s degree program. The last cohort of undergraduate athletic training students were admitted into the bachelor’s degree program fall of 2018. We offer a 3+2 athletic training program with the first cohort of athletic training graduate students having started summer session 2020.

Incoming students will enter the pre-athletic training program with an undergraduate curriculum in the Department of Kinesiology and must later apply for graduate admission during their junior year and be accepted into the program. The program is designed so you can earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years and be academically and be clinically prepared to pass the Board of Certification examination upon completion of the program to seek employment in a variety of settings.

Hall of Fame

Eight members of the National Athletic Training Association Hall of Fame are either alumni or former staff members at Iowa State: Richard “Dick” Cole, Warren Ariail, Frank Randall, Mark Smaha, Denny Miller, Peg Houglum, Pete Carlon, and Mary Beth Horodyski.

Pre-Athletic Training Program

The pre-athletic training program prepares undergraduate students with foundational knowledge and prerequisite courses for application to the Master’s of Athletic Training program as well as university and departmental requirements needed for an undergraduate degree.  Prerequisite classes are in biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, anatomy, and physiology. Students must also gain knowledge in statistics, biomechanics, exercise physiology, nutrition and at the graduate level in research design, epidemiology, pathomechanics, public health, and health care delivery systems.

State-of-the-art laboratories in sports medicine enhance the learning environment for athletic training students. Program faculty and clinical preceptors are experienced clinicians and engaged teachers and students will get frequent interaction with team physicians, chiropractors, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and other health care providers with an interprofessional focus in the coursework and clinical experiences. Students will also get the opportunity to participate in surgical and emergency room observation, clinical experiences with varied client and patient populations including pediatric, adult, elderly, special populations, as well as competitive collegiate and high school athletes and those who are physically active in non-sport activities. Athletic training students will have opportunities to engage with patients in real time or with simulation methods in the areas of prevention and wellness, urgent and emergent care, primary care, orthopedics, rehabilitation, behavioral health, pediatrics, and performance enhancement.

Our athletic trainers...

• Volunteer yearly at the Iowa Special Olympics, Drake Relays, and the Iowa High School state wrestling tournament.
• Opportunity to obtain numerous professional sports internships.
• Are employed in high schools, colleges and universities, the military, performing arts, physical therapy clinics, and industry settings.


Study abroad

Students also have an opportunity to study abroad in Italy and Greece!
Visit the study abroad program's website for more information.


CAATE Accreditation Status

Iowa State University is currently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), 6850 Austin Center Blvd., Suite 100, Austin, TX 78731-3101. The program is currently applying to the CAATE for a change in level of degree and is pending approval.

Iowa State University is proud of its long tradition of providing excellent athletic training services, academic coursework, and clinical experiences to its students. 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, 2012, and is accredited until our next comprehensive review in 2021-2022.

The institution will be submitting a self-study to continue the degree change process on July 1, 2021.