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Arnold School of Public Health

Graduate Degrees in Athletic Training

Athletic Training (AT) encompasses the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of emergent, acute or chronic injuries and medical conditions to minimize subsequent impairments and functional limitations.  We currently have two graduate degree options: 1) Master of Science in Athletic Training for students interested in becoming a certified athletic trainer, and 2) a post-professional Master of Science in Advanced Athletic Training for individuals who are already certified (BOC) as an athletic trainer. 

Master of Science in Athletic Training

If you are interested in becoming an athletic trainer, this is the degree for you.  The AT Program at the University of South Carolina has been CAATE-accredited for over 25 years and is regarded as one of the top programs in the nation.

The mission of the MS in Athletic Training program is to:

  1. provide interdisciplinary approaches to medicine through designed clinical educational experiences for students in a variety of settings and interactions with different health care professionals.
  2. teach students to access, interpret, and integrate relevant research into their clinical decision making through didactic and clinical education that focuses on evidence-based medicine.
  3. enhance professional development of students through community engagement and recognize the role of the athletic trainer as a healthcare provider within the larger context of a changing healthcare system.

The MS in AT Program is an intensive 2-year graduate degree consisting of 66 credit hours of coursework. The program includes a 6-hour cadaver anatomy class, 3 course lecture series on Evaluation & Therapeutic Intervention of Lower, Upper and Head, Neck and Spine, Advanced Clinical Skills Class, as well as a final semester long clinical immersion that can be done anywhere in the world. The AT program at USC was re-accredited by CAATE in May of 2019 for 10 years.

The Clinical Education component of the AT program includes 5 clinical courses where students are assigned to a USC Preceptor and gain valuable clinical experiences through USC men’s & women’s athletics, USC campus recreation, local high schools, sports medicine clinics, youth sports, physical therapy clinics, hospitals, physician offices, and small colleges. Our program at USC is committed to providing students with clinical opportunities in diverse settings across athletic training.  This will include educational opportunities with clients/patients of different sexes, different socioeconomic statuses, throughout lifespan (pediatric/adult), varying level of athletic ability and those who participate in non-sport activities (military/performing arts). For the last clinical class, students will complete a semester long clinical immersion at a clinical site that meets their profession goals and can be done anywhere in the world!!! The Clinical Education Coordinator (CEC) at the University of South Carolina AT program (Amy Hand) oversees the clinical education experiences of all athletic training students.

Students who graduate from this program will be eligible to sit for the BOC Examination and practice as an athletic trainer.  Graduates of the University of South Carolina AT program currently work in a variety of settings, including; NFL, MLB, NBA, professional soccer, NASCAR, cirque du soleil, collegiate athletics, high school athletics, US Military, secondary schools in China and Europe, orthopedic offices, hospitals, performing arts, and industrial settings.

 The curriculum  identifies which courses need to be taken during each semester over your 2-year program of study.

Applicants for the MS in Athletic Training must apply through the Athletic Training Centralized Application Service (ATCAS):

For additional information, please reference the following documents:

Master of Science in Advanced Athletic Training (for certified athletic trainers)

If you are already a certified athletic trainer and looking for advanced preparation in the field of athletic training, this is the degree for you.

The Advanced Athletic Training Program at the University of South Carolina (USC AT Program) is dedicated to preparing athletic trainers for advanced clinical practice, research and scholarship in order to advance the quality of patient care, optimize patient outcomes, and improve patient’s health-related quality of life.

The Advanced Athletic Training Program is committed to distinguishing itself as a state and national leader in its efforts to address the needs of its students, the athletic training profession, and community. The pursuit of excellence in both the academic and clinical education setting is our program’s approach for providing graduate students with the knowledge and skills required to enhance their athletic training skills and to successfully contribute to the profession of athletic training. The graduate athletic training program at the University of South Carolina will also provide a coordinated balance of education and clinical exposure.

The program is a collaborative effort between the Department of Exercise Science, School of Medicine, and Athletics Department of the University of South Carolina. The two-year program is designed to offer advanced studies and clinical experiences in athletic training to BOC certified athletic trainers, while also providing health care to patients and student-athletes in the state of South Carolina. Graduate assistantships with stipends, out-of-state tuition waivers, and tuition credits are available for qualified students.

The USC AT Program provides students with the theoretical knowledge and understanding of the allied health profession of athletic training as well as current procedures and techniques in sport injury management. Students gain this knowledge through required coursework and clinical experiences as they prepare to make successful contributions to the athletic training profession. The program combines formal classroom instruction and clinical experiences to enhance a certified athletic trainer’s clinical skills.

Students who graduate from the program and will be qualified to be employed as an athletic trainer in a variety of allied health settings, including secondary schools, two- and four-year colleges and universities, professional athletic teams, sports medicine clinics, or in industrial preventative medicine clinics.

All USC Graduate Assistants are required to be certified through the Board of Certification to be enrolled in the Graduate Advanced AT Program. The graduate athletic training student’s professional preparation is directed toward the development of advanced clinical knowledge. USC’s athletic training program requires all graduate students have completed an entry level bachelors or master’s degree in athletic training.

MS in Advanced Athletic Training                                     (Credit Hours)

ATEP 733

Evidence Based Practice in Medical Emergencies


ATEP 734

Evidence-Based Approach to Evaluation, Treatment, and Rehabilitation of Injuries


ATEP 735

Contemporary Issues in Athletic Training


ATEP 738

Advanced Athletic Training Practicum I


ATEP 739

Advanced Athletic Training Practicum II


ATEP 740

Evidenced Based Practice in Weight Management Assessment 


ATEP 741*

Advanced Clinical Skills in Athletic Training


PUBH 700*

Perspectives in Public Health


Research Requirements

PEDU 770/EXSC 755

Research Methods in Physical Education and Athletic Training


ATEP 798/799

Project/Thesis in Athletic Training


BIO 700

Introduction to Biostatistics


Professional Elective (Pick one)

ATEP 736

Advanced Treatment and Rehabilitation of Injuries


ATEP 737

Current Research in Athletic Training Education



Application: A completed application with all requested information and supporting documents supplied.

Application Fees: A nonrefundable application fee of $50 is required of all first-time applicants to the Graduate School and for applicants reapplying after a three-year period of non-enrollment. A Change of Status fee of $15 is charged when requesting a change in program or degree intent with submission of a Change of Status (COS) form.

Transcripts: Official transcripts showing all college-level course work attempted and the award of the baccalaureate or higher degree by an accredited college or university. Official transcripts verifying all previous college-level course work are required for the University’s records. To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to The Graduate School or delivered in a sealed envelope bearing a registrar’s stamp. Please send transcripts to:

The Graduate School
1705 College Street
Close-Hipp Suite 552
Columbia, SC 29208

Letters of Recommendation: Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit at least three letters of recommendation through the electronic application process. Please consider carefully the waiver of right to view letters of recommendation because this decision cannot be altered after submission.

Test Scores: Most programs require an admissions test such as the GRE, GMAT or MAT. Please consult the of the Graduate Studies Bulletin appropriate program for the test requirements for admission. Applications for the GRE and the GMAT can be obtained from the Educational Testing Service, Box 955, Princeton, NJ 08540 or by visiting the website Applicants from western states should contact the Educational Testing Service, 1947 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704 or visit the website. Note: GRE, GMAT, and MAT test scores are valid for five years.

International Applicants: International applicants whose native language is not English are also required to submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 80 Internet-based or 570 paper-based. The minimum acceptable overall band score on the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam is 6.5. Programs may set higher score requirements. See International Students and Credentials for more information. Note: TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years.

For additional information, please reference the following documents:


Our departmental graduate directors are also here to help with any program-specific questions you may have.

Master of Science in Athletic Training:
Jim Mensch, Ph.D., SCAT, ATC
Phone: 803-777-3846

Master of Science in Advanced Athletic Training (for certified athletic trainers): 
Toni M. Torres-McGehee, Ph.D., SCAT, ATC
Phone: 803-777-0636

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