Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT)

Master of Science in Athletic Training

Do you have a passion for helping people heal and a passion for science?

Do you get excited about learning more about the human body? Do you love sports? Then athletic training may be the career for you. Athletic training involves emergency management, patient caregiving, medicine and sports all wrapped into one profession. If you think athletic training is the career for you, then UCCS may be the right place for you.

What is an Athletic Trainer?
Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals, recognized by the American Medical Association, who provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions in collaboration with physicians. ATs provide care for a breadth of patients including, but not limited to, professional, collegiate, secondary school and youth athletes, dancers, musicians, and military personnel. ATs can work in a variety of locations including schools, physician clinics, performing arts centers, hospitals, and manufacturing plants. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 21% employment growth for ATs between 2012 and 2022. The profession of athletic training has a positive career forecast. The National Athletic Trainers' Association Salary Survey (2018) indicated a national average salary of $57,203, The average salary for an entry-level (< 1 yr) athletic trainer was $38,651 with a median salary of $39,000.

Programmatic Framework

The MSAT is designed to guide you from basic skill and knowledge acquisition towards becoming an independent proficient athletic trainer. Our model of development focuses on your growth, not only in athletic training skills, but also in critical thinking abilities, interprofessional health care, and leadership skills. We aim to make you a high-quality athletic trainer with the ability to become a leader and advance the field of athletic training.

Interprofessional and Evidence-Based Health Care

Our classes and hands-on experiences will help you to understand how to use what research says and work side-by-side with other health professionals to ultimately provide the best quality health care for a physically active person.

Clinical Education

Our clinical hands-on experiences will help you learn how to become an athletic training and connect what you learn in class to the real world. With exposure to a variety of people and settings, you will start with shorter rotations and transition into more full-time experiences as you move through the program. You will work with our program's excellent preceptors at locations like high schools, colleges, physician offices and military installations.

Our Program

Our Program

The Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) professional program at UCCS is committed to high quality education through team teaching by experienced faculty, hands-on clinical experiences with skilled preceptors across diverse clinical sites, and high-impact learning opportunities. The MSAT became the first graduate athletic training program in Colorado when it was awarded CAATE accreditation in Spring 2020. The MSAT program moved into our unique learning environment in Fall 2020 in the 100,000 square-foot Hybl Sports Medicine & Performance Center.

CAATE Accreditation


Master of Science in Athletic Training at UCCS
Choose an area to learn more about our program
  • Athletic training education began at UCCS in 2006, with the introduction of the post-professional Master's of Sciences in Sports Medicine (MSc-SM) program which was open to both athletic training and non-athletic training prepared students. In 2008, the MSc-SM program underwent a revision to more clearly define the program with two tracks in post-professional Athletic Training and Strength & Conditioning. The revision strengthened both the ability to deepen the athletic training content, as well as integrate the athletic training students with the strength & conditioning students preparing professionals for enhanced interdisciplinary practice as well as improved clinical skills. Students in the MSc-SM Athletic Training track have provided athletic training services to UCCS Athletics, as well as a variety of area high schools and colleges and club sports teams through graduate assistantships while enrolled in the program.

    In 2015, with the decision by the accrediting body to transition to the Master's degree level for entry into the athletic training profession, UCCS demonstrated its commitment to athletic training through the approval of the Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT), which will be a professional Master's degree program aimed at preparing high quality students for the national board exam in athletic training. The current MSc-SM Athletic Training track will phase out with the introduction of the new MSAT. This transition will allow UCCS to continue to provide athletic training into the future.  

  • The mission of the UCCS Master of Science in Athletic Training program is to prepare students as autonomous, clinically competent athletic trainers through exceptional, holistic, progressive coursework and clinical education experiences; development of interprofessional collaborative practice and leadership skills; and successful completion of the Board of Certification (BOC) examination.

  • The program aims to develop:

    • Clinically and culturally competent entry level athletic trainers
    • Confident practitioners grounded in interprofessional evidence based practice
    • Leaders in the profession of athletic training
    • Graduates who are successful on the Board of Certification examination
  • Through the interprofessional and integrated evidence-based athletic training curriculum, our students will:

    • Translate health care theory and research to the practice of athletic training.
    • Develop and utilize quality hands-on clinical injury diagnosis and management skills.
    • Provide culturally sensitive and holistic health care to diverse populations, including age, disability, ethnicity, and gender identity.
    • Develop critical thinking and independent decision making skills to the care of athletic related injuries and illnesses.
    • Demonstrate leadership skills for interprofessional collaborative practice.

CAATE Program Information and Outcomes Page


Degree Options

Students may select from one of two routes towards admission to the MSAT program.

Concurrent Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree
The concurrent degree program is the route through which a current UCCS undergraduate student (without a Bachelor's degree) may seek 5-year program completion of both the BS in Exercise Science and the MS Athletic Training.
Two-Year Master's Degree
Students who have already completed a Bachelor's degree and the required pre-requisites will apply directly to the MSAT program.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Athletic Training is a 52-credit program. Students in the concurrent degree program can earn up to 10 credits of dual credit that count towards both the bachelor's and master's degrees, essentially making their master's degree 42 credits. To graduate, students must have a cumulative graduate point average of at least 3.0 GPA and complete all required MSAT courses at a B- or better.

Master of Science in Athletic Training Courses

Retention Requirements

Students enrolled in the MSAT must:

  • Achieve a B- or better in all graduate level MSAT required courses
  • Maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Continue demonstration of meeting the Technical Standards
  • Continue adherence to program policy
Clinical Education

Clinical Education

We believe that quality clinical education is the cornerstone of athletic training education as it integrates didactic knowledge from the classroom with practical application of athletic training skills and decision making, under direct supervision of a licensed or certified professional, to develop the confidence and real-world experience while adhering to the standards of supervision of clinical education set forth by the CAATE. Foundational behaviors of professional practice will be required and evaluated during all clinical education experiences. The clinical education portion of the student’s education is a component of each of the following courses (ATRN 5061, 5062, 6063, and 6064). To ensure a meaningful educational experience and to meet accreditation requirements strict clinical education requirements and guidelines are upheld by the program.

Clinical education experiences are coordinated to maximize student learning through periods of engagement at our clinical sites in Colorado Springs and surrounding area. Our clinical sites offer students progressive experiences and opportunities to engage with diverse and sometimes unique populations. Students will gain hands-on experience under the guidance of our high-caliber preceptors, with the end-goal of developing independent decision-making skills in preparation for interprofessional practice. 

Clinical education experience placements are made based on course sequencing, site availability, and student needs for meeting accreditation requirements. In accordance with UCCS's discrimination policies, placements shall not be prejudicial nor discriminatory. Students are required to complete 13 credit hours of clinical education during the MSAT program. Over the course of the four semesters in the program, the student will be assigned to both on-campus and off-campus clinical education experiences. Clinical education experiences will increase in time commitment over each semester, with the final experience involving full-time 40 hour per week immersion in athletic training. When assigned to an off-campus clinical education site, the students should be prepared to fulfill any additional requirements for that site (e.g. background check, immunizations, orientation) as well as plan for transportation to and from that site.

Where might you do your clinical rotations?
We have several sites eager to provide opportunities for student clinical education.
    • Cheyenne Mountain School District 12
    • Colorado Springs Christian School
    • Colorado Springs School District 11
      • Coronado High School
    • Fountain Fort Carson School District 8
    • Lewis Palmer School District 38
      • Lewis Palmer High School
    • Manitou Springs School District 14
    • UCCS Department of Athletics
    • UCCS Gallogly Recreation and Wellness Center
      • Student Health
    • United States Air Force Academy Department of Athletics
    • United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School
    • David Webb, DDS
    • Penrose-St. Francis Medical Center (Centura Health)
      • Centura Orthopedics
      • Pride Soccer Club
      • High School Outreach
      • UCCS Club Sports
      • Orthotec
    • Tim Stacy, DDS
    • UC Health Primary Care—Academy

Admissions Information

Program Pre-requisites
The following pre-requisite courses apply for all students applying to the MSAT.
Concurrent Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree
BS/MSAT Concurrent Degree Program Admissions Requirements
Two-Year Master’s Degree
Two-Year Master’s Degree Program Admissions Requirements

How & When to Apply 

Students should utilize the Athletic Training Centralized Application System (ATCAS) to apply. Current UCCS students should contact Dr. Elder for further information on applying.

  • There is a one-time application processing fee charged by ATCAS. Application materials provided within ATCAS will be brought into the UCCS admissions system when complete and verified by ATCAS. The UCCS Graduate Application fee is still required. Pay your fee here

Priority Application deadline is January 5th. Applicants meeting this deadline with a completed and verified application will be given priority consideration for admission.  Please submit your application materials early enough to ATCAS to ensure verification by the deadline.

After priority admission is completed, rolling admissions will occur through May 30th Rolling admissions applications completed and verified after the priority deadline will be considered if seats are available, and in the order in which a completed and verified application is received. Please note there may be financial aid implications for applications received after the priority deadline.

Note: The MSAT is a controlled admissions program, meaning we have a set number of students who may be admitted each year. Acceptance into the MSAT is, therefore, not guaranteed. Students who are unsuccessful in gaining admission may choose to reapply at a later date.

International Student Admissions
International students interested in applying to the MSAT program should follow the same application guidelines as all other applicants for either the concurrent or two-year route to admission. Plus, these additional steps.
Admissions Decisions
Additional information regarding selection process and grievances
After Admission

After Admission

Immediately after admission, students will be required to complete the following tasks to finalize admission to the program prior to the beginning of courses (failure to complete these requirements will be reviewed by program faculty and may result in revoking of admission).

After Admission Requirements
Complete the following tasks to finalize admission
  • Submit official final transcript(s) demonstrating successful completion of any pre-requisites in progress at time of application or award of bachelor’s degree.

  • Criminal Background Checks

    All clinical experience sites utilized by the MSAT require criminal background checks for the protection of vulnerable populations. The Department of Health Sciences complies with all policies for this purpose. Please refer to the MSAT Background Check policy for further details.

    Students who have a previous conviction for a misdemeanor or felony may not be eligible for placement in internship/practicum sites and may have an impact on their ability complete the degree requirements. The Department Chair will review background checks for decisions related to outcomes of the background check.

    Drug Testing

    All students will be required to submit to a drug test and provide verification of successful screening prior to the first day of classes for each year they are enrolled in the MSAT. Students must complete the Drug Testing process in accordance with Health Science Department Policy. The Drug Test may be conducted in conjunction with the Criminal Background Check. All drug testing results will be reviewed by the Department Chair for decisions related to the outcomes of the test. Please refer to the MSAT Drug Screening Policy for further details.

  • Provide verification of CPR/AED for the Health Care Professional.

    In order to engage in clinical education, students must maintain current certification in emergency cardiac care (Basic Life Support for Health Professionals or Professional Rescuer). While the program will make re-certification opportunities available, re-certification is ultimately the responsibility of the student. Should a student’s certification lapse, he/she will be removed from their clinical education experience pending re-certification. This break in education experience could delay timely progression in the MSAT program or course completion.  Students should plan to complete their re-certification well in advance of expiration if the certification will occur during clinical education course.

    Students must provide documentation of current American Heart Association or American Red Cross Basic Life Support Healthcare Provider CPR with the demonstration portion taken in a classroom setting (online course is not acceptable). Students are responsible for identifying training and renewal classes. If CPR certification expires during a clinical course, then it must be renewed prior to the start of the clinical course.

  • Provide proof of immunization for the following.

    • Hepatitis B (HepB), or declination of immunization
    • Two (2) measles, mumps & rubella (MMR or MMRV) (not required for students born before January 1, 1957)
    • Tetanus and Diphtheria (TDAP) within the last 5 years

    Please refer to the MSAT Health and Wellness Policy document for further details.

  • Provide verification of baseline testing for mycobacterium tuberculosis infection consisting of:

    • A two-step tuberculin skin test (TST), or
    • A single blood assay for mycobacterium tuberculosis (BAMT), or
    • Documentation of previous positive TST or BAMT or completed treatment for latent tuberculosis infection.

    Please refer to the MSAT Health and Wellness Policy document for further details.

  • Students are required to provide evidence of adequate health insurance to cover long-term and emergency treatment or to be prepared to pay for services not covered. Please contact the UCCS Student Wellness Center for insurance information if necessary.

Technical Standards

Athletic training is an intellectually, physically, and psychologically demanding profession. The abilities that an athletic trainer needs to practice safely are those described below, in the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) standards, and in the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer role delineation study/practice analysis. All admitted and enrolled students of the Masters of Science Athletic Training (MSAT) program must be able to meet these minimum standards for successful completion of degree requirements. Review of the technical standards by the program will take place after admission to avoid discrimination in the admissions process, however a student must still be able to determine that they can meet the technical standards with or without reasonable accommodation to be granted final admission into the program.

Students will be judged on academic accomplishments, as well as their physical and emotional capacities to successfully complete the program requirements and enter the profession of athletic training. Admitted students should read and understand the technical standards and determine whether or not they can meet the standards with or without reasonable accommodation.

After acceptance, admitted students must provide a signed technical standards form for attesting that he/she meets or requires reasonable accommodation of the technical standards established by the MSAT and UCCS Disability Services for final admission processing. Admitted students should also provide a signed physical exam form after completion of physical exam by health care provider (MD, DO, PA, NP) of the applicant's choice. The exam needs to attest to the applicant's ability to meet the technical standards for the program.  Attestation by a physician or other healthcare provider (i.e.: PA) is required using the MSAT Physician Attestation form.

MSAT Program Technical Standards
Choose a technical standard to learn more about it
  • Observation requires the functional use of vision, hearing, and somatic sensations. Students must be able to:

    • participate in lectures and laboratory demonstrations
    • observe and palpate a patient accurately to determine variations from normal and observe output readings to determine a patient’s condition and the status of a treatment

    Examples in which these observational skills are required include, but are not limited to:

    • palpation of anatomical structures
    • visual and tactile assessment for the presence and degree of edema
    • listening to a patient describe his or her medical history and current symptoms
  • Students must be able to:

    • understand, speak and write in the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice
    • communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds, to elicit information regarding mood, activities, and health complaints, as well as perceive nonverbal communications
    • communicate effectively and efficiently with other members of the health care and athletic community to convey information essential for safe and effective care
    • read, communicate in writing, and demonstrate computer literacy to complete assignments
  • Students must have sufficient motor function to:

    • elicit information from the patient examination, using palpation, muscle strength assessment, joint range of motion measurement, and other evaluative maneuvers
    • be the first responder in a potentially catastrophic injury (e.g., in-line stabilization of cervical spine, rescue breathing, obstructed airway management, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation) Some tasks require the ability to lift the equivalent of an adult human’s body weight.
    • execute movements required to provide therapeutic care, such as performing mobilization and wound care techniques

    These skills require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movement and equilibrium.

  • To effectively solve problems, students must be able to:

    • measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, and synthesize information in a timely fashion
    • synthesize knowledge and integrate the relevant aspects of a patient’s history and examination findings to develop an effective treatment program
    • comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand spatial relationships of structures
  • Students must possess the psychological ability required for them to:

    • fully use their intellectual abilities
    • exercise good judgment
    • promptly complete all responsibilities inherent to the assessment and care of patients
    • develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients
    • Students must be able to:
    • tolerate physically and mentally taxing workloads
    • function effectively under stress
    • adapt to a changing environment
    • function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients
    • demonstrate ethical behavior, both in the classroom and during their clinical experience

Reasonable Accomodations

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a qualified student who has a disability may request reasonable accommodations. Please work with UCCS Disability Services to discuss your particular circumstance.  If a student states he/she can meet the technical standards with accommodations, the University will determine whether it agrees that the student can meet the technical standards with reasonable accommodations; this includes a review of whether the requested accommodations are reasonable, taking into account whether accommodations would jeopardize clinician/patient safety, or the educational process of the student or the institution, including all coursework, clinical experience, and field experience deemed essential for graduation.

Admitted students must be able to meet the MSAT Program Technical Standards throughout the program. Should a student’s physical ability status change, the student shall update their technical standards document and confer with the UCCS Office of Disability Services to determine whether or not accommodation can be made for continuance in the program.

Tuition & Costs

Tuition Assistance & Associated Costs

In addition to the costs of application and regular graduate student tuition and fees, there are other expenses directly associated with the MS in Athletic Training program. These costs are estimates, and subject to change from year to year. Estimated cost, and frequency the cost will be incurred are listed.

Tuition Assistance

Students are encouraged to submit their FAFSA to UCCS as early as possible.

UCCS Scholarship Applications open Dec 1 and close March 1 each year, students must be admitted to UCCS before they can apply.

General scholarship information may be found on the UCCS Financial Aid website, as well as the UCCS Tuition and Fees page. Financial Aid may be contacted by phone at (719) 255-3460.

Out-of-State Scholarship: The UCCS Graduate School awards high caliber incoming graduate students through the Out-of-State Scholarship. As funds are available, MSAT Program faculty will make decisions for any awards allocated to the MSAT program. Two-year degree seeking students who meet the criteria set forth by the graduate school are considered for the award (concurrent degree students are not eligible for this award). Award(s) will be made to the highest ranked qualified out-of-state student(s), based on the admissions selection criteria. Should there be a tie in ranking among applicants, the MSAT Program Director, Clinical Coordinator, and one other MSAT faculty member will vote on which of the tied applicants will receive the award(s).

Associated Costs
The following are other expenses directly associated with the MSAT program
Non-Discrimination Policy
UCCS is committed to providing an environment where all individuals can achieve their academic and professional aspirations free from unlawful discrimination or harassment based on protected class status.


Amanda Elder, EdD, ATC
Professor | Program Director
Mandi Elder is an Associate Professor in the Health Sciences Department where she is the program director for the post-professional athletic training education program. Mandi has been at UCCS since 2008. She has been an athletic trainer at the high school and collegiate level and with rodeo as part of the Justin Sports medicine team. Her research includes emergency action planning and rodeo injuries. Prior to coming home to Colorado, Mandi was the clinical coordinator for the undergraduate athletic training program at Southeast Missouri State University. Mandi has also worked as a Visiting Instructor at Oklahoma State University and the Head Athletic Trainer and Instructor at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. She earned her Doctorate from Oklahoma State University, her Master's from San Jose State University, and her Bachelor's from Adams State College. Mandi has been involved in curriculum development for athletic training and serves as an accreditation site visitor for the Commission on Accreditation for Athletic Training Education. Her scholarship interests include emergency action planning, and rodeo injuries. Mandi works as an athletic trainer with the Justin Boots Sports Medicine team and serves as their data control coordinator.
Margaret Hunt, MS, ATC
Senior Instructor | Clinical Education Coordinator
Margie Hunt is currently a Senior Instructor for the Department of Health Sciences, teaching within the Athletic Training program as well as some undergraduate courses. Prior to UCCS, Margie was employed by the United States Olympic Committee for over 19 years, serving as a staff athletic trainer and sports medicine staff administrator. Margie has collegiate athletic training experience and she continues to work with numerous National Governing Bodies and community sporting events. Prior to her position at UCCS, she was employed by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) for over 19 years, serving as a staff athletic trainer and sports medicine staff administrator. Her experiences cover a breadth of areas including sports medicine support in clinical and field settings, staff development and management, as well as international event sports medicine planning and implementation. Margie worked as a collegiate athletic trainer at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI prior to her time at the USOC. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in physical education with an emphasis in athletic training from the University of Iowa, and her Master of Science degree from Syracuse University. In her spare time, she works as an athletic trainer with numerous National Governing Bodies and various community sporting events.
Kathy Liu, PhD, ATC
Associate Professor
Dr. Liu earned her BA in Athletic Training from Washburn University, MS in Biomechanics from University of Northern Colorado, and PhD in Biomechanics & Movement Sciences from University of Delaware. She has clinical experience as an Athletic Trainer at the high school and collegiate levels, as well as, in physical therapy clinics. Dr. Liu’s research background involves injury prevention and chronic ankle instability. Dr. Liu joins UCCS after 7 years at the University of Evansville. Prior to coming to UCCS, Dr. Liu was the graduate athletic training program director at the University of Evansville in Indiana.
Alex Constantinides, DO
Medical Director
Dr. Alex brings is osteopathic training knowledge to the athletic training program and a holistic approach to care. Dr. Alex serves as a high school team physician and is a Certified Ringside Physician working with Mixed Martial Arts and boxing. In addition to being the Medical Director for the athletic training program, Dr. Alex serves as the Team Doctor for Doherty High School and Evangelical Christian Academy. He is a Certified Ringside Physician and works most of the professional boxing and Mixed Martial Arts events for the Colorado State Boxing Commission. He has appeared multiple times with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Showtime boxing, HBO Boxing, and NBCSports.

Contact Us

For information regarding the Master of Science in Athletic Training and admission requirements

Dr. Mandi Elder
Professor | Athletic Training Program Director
Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences
University of Colorado Colorado Springs

For information related to the ONLINE APPLICATION PROCESS

Admissions Contact                   
Susan J. Eldridge, MA
Graduate Recruitment Specialist
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway

International Admissions Contact
Susan J. Eldridge, MA
Graduate Recruitment Specialist
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway