What it Means to be an Undergraduate in Athletic Training
Athletic Trainers are highly trained health care professionals. The undergraduate program for prospective Athletic Trainers is very competitive and requires individuals who are determined and passionate about their career path. Each student could have a different intention or goal with this area of study as it can be applied to many different careers and opportunities
To Always Keep at the Back of your Mind
Athletic Training is made up of six primary domains; Prevention, Immediate Care, Treatment/Rehabilitation, Clinical Evaluation, Organization, and Professional Responsibilities. Each domain being extremely important in the field and constantly stressed throughout one’s studies.
Be Ready to Fight for it
Being a 2-year major, the program is very competitive in admissions as students apply during February of their Sophomore year. The program at Michigan State University, is located in the College of Education under Kinesiology, being comprised of mostly KIN courses.
Kinesiology is the study of the body’s movement. Knowing exactly how the body can or cannot move, or how it should or shouldn’t move is very important as an AT is constantly evaluating individuals.
After freshman year, prospective Athletic Training majors start what is called ‘Clinical Rotations’ and begin working with the athletic teams at Michigan state. Each student is assigned a sport at the University to work with, shadowing the real Athletic Trainers. This part can be boring before if you’re not in the major yet because you simply observe, attending all practices and games, watching and learning as the ATs do their jobs.
How to Reach Success
Each student needs to show enthusiasm for what they’re doing and build good relationships with their professors and mentors. The Athletic Training admissions board wants students who are clearly passionate about the field
In February of their Sophomore year, the prospective students will apply to the major.
The decision regarding final admission is based on a lot of criteria. Although the program states that you must complete the five required KIN courses with a minimum average GPA of 2.5, that doesn’t mean you only need a 2.5 to be accepted. The average GPA of students admitted to the program is around a 3.7, so sliding by with the minimal requirements won’t suffice.
The admissions process also requires the following:
- An Essay expressing reasons for selecting Athletic Training
- 3 Letters of personal references
- An Interview with the Athletic Training admissions board
Unlike many understand, a degree in Athletic Training can be applied to many different areas of work. Whether it’s working in a hospital or clinical setting, to working with professional sports teams, performing arts, and even the military, athletic trainers are needed in each one.
“What I really like about the program is that I have the opportunity to work with
not just athletes, but soldiers or dancers, it’s not as limited as many believe.”
-Jensyn Bradley, current MSU Athletic Training Student.
Some possible careers with a degree in AT include:
- Intercollegiate/Professional Athletics
- Law Enforcement/Military
- Occupational Settings
- Performing Arts
- Physician Offices
- Professional Sports
- Sports Medicine Clinics
I had originally planned on going into Physical Therapy, but after I began taking classes I started really enjoying athletic training. I’m still brainstorming my final career plan as I’m currently in no rush to “have it all figured out.”
I’m also a Spanish minor so I have an idea of going to Spain and working with a soccer team there, that way I’d be putting both of my favorite things to use. But then I was a dancer all my life so part of me wants to work with a professional company, traveling the country or world, working with people who share that same love that I do. Obviously working with any professional athletes is a dream of mine, as I grew up surrounded by sports.
The possibilities are endless, you just have to figure out where your best fit is and where you’ll be thriving the most.