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Master of Athletic Training

masters in athletic training

Athletic trainers provide health for sports and life.

No matter the activity, injury is inevitable. When injuries happen, quality care should be inevitable as well. Certified athletic trainers (ATs) evaluate and treat sports and activity-related injuries under the supervision of a physician: medical physician (MD), osteopathic physician (DO) or, in some states, chiropractic physician (DC). Often, ATs are the first healthcare provider on the scene, running in from the sidelines to examine an injured athlete, ready with appropriate care — from high school sports to college to professional sports.

Athletic trainers’ work isn’t restricted to sports. In addition to working with all levels of athletes, ATs also provide healthcare and rehabilitation services in factories as part of industrial medicine, for the military and police officers as part of tactile medicine, and for artists and dancers as part of performance medicine.

The Master of Athletic Training degree at William Woods University will prepare you with the skills needed to work in any of these settings by focusing on building strong clinical skills through practicing manual (hands-on) examination and treatment methods.

Graduates will learn the skills of general medical screening, orthopedic examination, and therapeutic interventions — skills necessary to pursue a career in any athletic training practice setting ranging from the traditional (high school, college, or professional sports) to emerging settings (industrial medicine, performance medicine or as an athletic trainer in a physician office).

William Woods University is currently seeking accreditation for their new Athletic Training program and has applied for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The institution will be submitting a self-study to begin the accreditation process on July 1, 2020. Submission of the self-study and completion of a site visit does not guarantee that the program will become accredited. Students that graduate from the program prior to accreditation will not be eligible to sit for the credentialing examination for athletic trainers and will not be eligible for licensure in most states.

Information regarding Board of Certification (BOC) Pass Rates and the number of Graduates from the Master of Athletic Training Program at William Woods University will be available in May, 2021.

Athletic Training Special Opportunities

  • Gain hands-on experience with William Woods University athletic teams, working one-on-one with athletes — helping them rehabilitate current injuries while working to prevent future injuries
  • Enhance your study with clinical education experiences through our own NAIA athletic programs as well as through nearby institutions in Missouri
  • Take advantage of the $1.3 million Center for Human Performance, which includes state-of-the-art equipment in exercise testing and rehabilitation
  • Earn additional certifications to stand out upon entering the job market
  • Complete training in kinesiology taping and Graston Technique, and upon graduation and certification as an athletic trainer, be certified in each. These certifications are some of the most prestigious in the industry and better prepare our graduates to improve patient outcomes while also making them marketable candidates in the field
  • Join the Athletic Training Student Organization and participate in various leadership and educational opportunities with other students and professionals with similar goals
  • Learn from, and work with, professors who have real-world, sports medicine and clinical experience at all levels and professional settings that remain active in the profession
  • Advance through innovative coursework, such as manual therapy which emphasizes hands-on treatments including massage, myofascial release and joint manipulations

Related Athletic Training Resources

Athletic Training Career Opportunities

Our alumni have found careers working all over the country:

  • Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports – Orlando, FL
  • Missouri Orthopedic Institute – Columbia, MO
  • William Woods University - Fulton, MO
  • Westminster College – Fulton, MO
  • Peak Sports & Spine – Columbia, MO
  • Lululemon – St Louis, MO
  • Children’s Hospital of Alabama – Birmingham, AL
  • Mary Lanning Healthcare System – Hastings, NE
  • Greenlee Textron – Rockford, IL
  • BLM Wellness Center – Lacey, WA


My professors in the athletic training program were professional and personable. They took the time to get to know me and my learning style. They have the real-life experience to learn from, in addition to the book knowledge. They have inspired me to continue my education to attain my master's degree while working as a graduate assistant for Peak Performance Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy in Columbia, Missouri. I hope to one day inspire and encourage athletic training students in the same manner.

— Myra Belshe, ATC, LAT, Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training

It's a lot easier to go on job interviews when the entire athletic training faculty is rooting for you, and to do well on those interviews with the hands-on experience and unique education you receive at William Woods. You're not just getting a good education; you're getting a running start on your future with a lot of support, guidance and encouragement from professionals who have already been there.

— Kathryn Buehrle, Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training

William Woods University is a small enough university where I was able to balance a life and a degree program. The best part of being a student at a small university is being a person to the faulty and staff and not just a name on a role call list. The professors were always more than happy to help and they have set me up for the future by their willingness to answer any question I had, whether it was mastering a certain special test or taping job.

— Ashley Parisi, ATC, LAT, Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training ‘17

William Woods is my happy place. I would not be where I am right now without the Woods. The athletic training program is personalized and relationship-based yet challenging and fun. My professors cared not only about me as their student but me and my goals as a person. Now with working as a practicing athletic trainer (AT) in the “real world”, I am confident in my knowledge, skills, and ability to succeed in my career. I owe all that to William Woods Athletic Training.

— Erin Strickland, ATC, LAT, Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training, ‘16


The Master of Athletic Training degree at William Woods University consists of 159 distinct credit hours for graduation with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with a sports medicine concentration and a Master of Athletic Training — including 100 observation hours and 800 hours of clinical education under the supervision of a licensed athletic trainer or physician.

William Woods University offers two routes to admittance to the Master of Athletic Training Program: incoming freshmen can take advantage of our innovative, accelerated Master-in-5 program consisting of three years of undergraduate coursework and two years of graduate courses. Potential majors will apply for the program in the spring semester of their junior year. Non-William Woods students who hold a Bachelor of Science and have completed the prerequisite coursework will follow a more traditional six year degree program consisting of four years of undergraduate courses and two years of graduate coursework; these students will apply in spring of their senior year. Application to the Master of Athletic Training is a separate application process from the university consisting of a formal application, personal essay, two letters of reference, a formal interview with faculty and staff, as well as completion of the 50 observation hours with a certified athletic trainer.

Non-William Woods students who hold a Bachelor of Science or similar degree may benefit from the Athletic Training Centralized Application Service (ATCAS). This service is designed to assist students in finding the best Athletic Training program based on the work already completed.

For more information, please contact the program director at

Masters in Athletic Training Curriculum


Fulton, MO

Admissions Information

Learn more about graduate admissions requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.

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