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Undergraduate Studies

Athletic Training

If you're pursuing a degree as an athletic trainer, you were probably a student-athlete yourself. It's also likely that you had to overcome an injury during your athletic career, and, if you were really lucky, you had a certified athletic trainer lending you encouragement and support.

What does a career in athletic training look like?

As an athletic trainer, you are a unique combination of educator and health care professional. Under the direction of a physician, some of the services you will provide student-athletes include preventive care, emergency treatment and rehabilitation of injuries. Athletic trainers at the middle school, high school and college levels spend most of their time on school campuses during workouts, practices and games. When you're not tending to athletes on-site at the school, you may be serving clinical hours at a hospital, physician's office or community facility.

Program highlights

  • Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education since 1991
  • One of the largest athletic training programs in the country, with 200+ undergraduate majors
  • Exceptional diversity in clinical experience is the cornerstone of the program's strength, including in USC athletics, physical therapy clinics, orthopedic clinics, doctor's offices and hospitals.
  • Program graduates are working not just in high schools, colleges and clinics, but also for companies like NASCAR and Cirque Du Soleil, at Fort Jackson and in communities worldwide.

Your course work

The course work for the athletic training program includes a very science-heavy curriculum of biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry and exercise science. As you advance into your core requirements, you will learn about the evaluation and assessment of lower extremities, upper extremities, head, neck, spine and abdomen injuries. You will also take classes in nutrition, community health and medical and scientific terminology.

Once you have received your degree, you must pass your certification test and then meet continuing education requirements in order to remain certified. According to the National Athletic Trainer's Association, more than 70 percent of certified athletic trainers hold at least a master's degree. Learn more about the specific degree requirements at USC by reading the academic bulletin.