Athletic Training M.S.

Start May 2020 | Credits 57 | Cost/credit $700 | Program length 2 Years (6 semesters) | Format In-person

Prepare for a career in athletic training.  As an athletic trainer (AT), you may be one of the first on the scene, quickly assessing an injury. You have the opportunity to serve many types of patients, by providing assessment and preventative, therapeutic or rehabilitation care of injuries. Through Northwestern's program, you will be equipped as a multi-skilled health care professional who provides quality, ethical care to patients in a variety of settings from highschool, university athletics and professional sports to hospitals and corporations. 

Make an impact by helping athletes feel and perform at their best. 

Program description

Northwestern College’s Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) is a faith-based, 6-semester graduate program that trains students seeking certification and licensure as an athletic trainer (AT). Students will complete 57 graduate credits over 6 consecutive academic terms, including the first 4 terms of practical skills-based learning and clinical experiences at Northwestern College and in the surrounding community. The final 2 terms of advanced clinical experiences and online coursework enables students to complete their clinical rotations in diverse settings around the country.

Following the completion of the program, Northwestern graduates will be prepared to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) exam to become certified athletic trainers. 

Applications are open.  See how to apply and prerequisites.
All application materials are due April 1, 2020.
The first cohort of students will begin classes on June 1, 2020, with orientation May 28-29, 2020.

AT program goals

  1. Exceptional training. Students will demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of a competent athletic trainer.
  2. Faith integration. Students will articulate the influence of their Christian faith on their practice as an athletic trainer.
  3. Ethical practice.  Students will demonstrate professional and ethical behaviors in their research, clinical experiences, and collaboration with colleagues.
  4. Collaborative environment. Students will communicate effectively and respectfully with others regardless of their culture, social status, or beliefs.
  5. Professional preparation. Students will contribute to the body of knowledge in athletic training.

Hands-on experience

Northwestern's program is uniquely focused on training through real practice. Throughout the 2-year MSAT program, you will gain hands-on clinical experience with diverse patient populations and settings. Simulation and case studies are incorporated throughout the curriculum to develop clinical decision making and problem-solving skills that you will use on the job. The program intentionally allows you to explore the ways your faith integrates with your role as an athletic trainer.
Hands-on experience may include:

  • NWC Red Raider athletics
  • High school athletics
  • Physical therapy clinic
  • Family practice medical clinic
  • Orthopedic clinic
  • Student-initiated options also available

To prepare for diverse career opportunities, you will learn through a variety of athletic training and supplemental clinical experiences. Participate in AT clinical experiences alongside a certified athletic trainer or physician preceptor. Students assigned to supplemental clinical experiences will be supervised by health care providers other than athletic trainers or physicians. In the final year of the program, hone your skills in an immersive clinical experience.

*Students will be responsible for all travel arrangements and expenses to and from all clinical sites.  

Guaranteed application process for Northwestern College graduates

Admission to the NWC MSAT program is competitive, and the Northwestern College MSAT program plans to accept approximately 15 students per year. Any Northwestern College graduate who completes all application materials and meets all admissions criteria will be granted a guaranteed spot in the Northwestern College’s MSAT Program.


Northwestern graduates who have taken the Board of Certification examination for athletic trainers have proven the excellence of our program. In the last two years, our BOC exam pass rate has been 100%.


Northwestern College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) for the Master of Science in Athletic Training program. 

*The undergraduate program has been placed on probation as of February 23, 2018, by the CAATE, 6850 Austin Center Blvd., Suite 100, Austin, TX 78731-3101. This temporary probation does not affect current or prospective athletic training students' degrees or eligibility to sit for the BOC exam to become credentialed as an athletic trainer. If you have questions, contact the program director.

Caring for athletes

Emily always knew she would help others in some way. Working as an athletic trainer gives her the opportunity to guide athletes on a path to recovery and back to the sport they love!

Emily 's story