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Athletic Training (ATTR)

Athletic trainers are allied health professionals who treat active individuals and athletes at all levels. Because of this, a quality master’s degree program is critical to enhance post-professional education. The athletic training master’s program gives students comprehensive academic instruction paired with professional experience and academic research. The degree is completed over a two-year period, although a one-year option is available. A research project or thesis or concentration is required for the two-year degree.

The program equips students with evidence-based athletic training knowledge and professional experiences through higher level classes, clinical opportunities and thesis/research projects. With NCAA Division I teams at WVU, Division II at Fairmont State, Division III at Waynesburg University, local high schools and WVU club sports and intramurals, Morgantown offers WVU students many opportunities for clinical experiences. By combining academic coursework with applied athletic training experience, students leave the program prepared to be professional athletic trainers. 

What our alumni have to say:

  • Rachael R.

    "The graduate athletic training program was the perfect atmosphere of supervised learning and independent growth. The staff members truly care about your future and will do everything they can to help you succeed as a certified athletic trainer."

    Rachael R.

    M.S. ATTR, 2014
  • Kenneth f.

    "The clinical experience, coursework, and mentors at WVU were crucial in my growth as an athletic trainer. The opportunity to gain real world experience with the support of the WVU faculty was invaluable."

    Kenneth F.

    M.S. ATTR, 2014
  • Bridget M.

    WVU fostered my professional growth opportunities by providing me with an excellent clinical experience, and more importantly, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to begin my teaching career under the guidance of my mentor Vinnie Stilger.

    Bridget M.

    M.S. ATTR, 1999

What you'll study

Although students are encouraged to complete the two-year program, a one-year program is also available but does not include a graduate assistantship or a capstone.

The two-year program requires 38 hours of graduate coursework, which includes research (individual thesis or research project) or a concentration option. The first year in the program is focused on the enhancement of evaluation skills and knowledge through coursework in anatomy, biomechanics, evaluation and medical practices as well as research methods and clinical experiences. The second year allows students to focus on their research project, thesis or concentration while also furthering their knowledge in both the physical and psychological aspects of rehabilitation.

Fundamental Courses

Students delve into the deeper aspects of athletic training through cutting-edge and evidence-based coursework. Courses in anatomy, biomechanics, athletic training medical practices and evaluation and rehabilitation concepts combined with research methods courses to provide a solid foundation to move into research projects, thesis or concentration.

Professional Experiences

Throughout the program, students further develop their clinical knowledge and expertise via a graduate assistantship. This way, students can apply their knowledge of athletic training to their practice on a daily basis. The evidenced based-practitioner model of learning prepares students to develop experience as professional athletic trainers. 

Learn more about graduate assistantships 


Four credit hours are allotted for thesis work or concentration option while the research project uses three credit hours for a group or individual project and one hour of independent study. The course of study will be determined by the student and adviser during the first year in the program. The one-year program requires completion of 35 graduate credit hours with no thesis or research project needed.

Program faculty

Who you'll learn from

  • Clement

    Damien Clement

    Professional Highlights

    • Assistant Dean, WVU Honors College (July 2017 – Present)
    • Resident Faculty Leader, Summit Hall (2015-16)
    • Recipient West Virginia University Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching (2015)
    • Recipient Association for Applied Sport Psychology Dorothy V. Harris Award (2014)
  • Sandrey

    Michelle Sandrey

    Professional Highlights

    • Main passion and research focus is on Lower Extremity Overuse and Chronic Musculoskeletal injuries affecting tendon, ligament, muscle and bone in regard to healing and rehabilitation
    • Guest Reviewer for several athletic training and medical journals as well as an Editorial Board Member for the Athletic Training Education Journal
    • A BOC certified Athletic Trainer and Graston Technique M1 Certified Instructor
Beyond The Classroom

Field Experiences and Research

Surrounding WVU is a plethora of clinical opportunities. Clinical Assignments are available at WVU (D1), Fairmont State University (D2), Waynesburg University (D3), local high schools in West Virginia and Pennsylvania and WVU club sports and intramurals. Athletic training master’s students have the potential to become a preceptor at six clinical sites with opportunity to obtain teaching experience. Students may also present at the NATA Annual Meeting and publish research studies.

Research and Concentration Options

Concentration Option

ATTR 685/686

Format: Based on availability of concentration sites in the Morgantown area.

  1. Submission of a proposal prior to fall start date indicating a concentration area in athletic training, rationale for selection, concentration supervisor, description, documentation and evaluation.
  2. This is an individual concentration option limited to 4 students.

Hours: ATTR 685/686 (4) hours (2 hour course/semester)

  • 70 hours/semester (40 hours on-site and 30 hours outside preparation)
  • Individuals in this option will complete the following at the end of the experience:
    1. A written comprehensive exam
    2. An oral impromptu question or a demonstration based on the concentration area.

Research Outcome

A written comprehensive based literature review evaluating best clinical practice and the literature in the concentration area. Experimental studies, literature reviews and systematic reviews are acceptable. The comprehensive question (s) will be written collaboratively with the concentration supervisor and the instructor of the concentration course. The student will have three weeks to complete the comprehensive literature review. Comprehensive literature review will be evaluated by the concentration supervisor and the instructor of the concentration course.

Possible Concentrations

  • Orthotic Fabrication and Bracing
  • Functional Rehabilitation and Testing
  • Aquatic Rehabilitation
  • Sacroiliac Joint Evaluation and Treatment
  • Concussion Evaluation and Rehabilitation
  • WVU Department of Orthopedics

Research Option

Thesis ATTR 698


  1. Submission of a white paper (pre-proposal) for selection including topic, rationale for a thesis, description of the research, and committee chair and members
  2. The thesis committee formed by the student will decide on approval
  3. This is an individual research study.
  4. Outcomes based research studies

Hours: ATTR 698 (4) = 4 research hours

Research Outcome: Thesis in manuscript format with Appendices

Research Project; ATTR 697 & ATTR 695


  1. Research projects consisting of 1 to 2 members/group
  2. Research projects will be outcomes based research and systematic reviews.

Hours: ATTR 697 (3) research hours

Research Outcome: Manuscript in format with Appendices

Course: ATTR 695—Independent Study (1)

See sample thesis and research projects
Career Preparation

After Graduation

Not only are our graduates fully prepared for a career within the athletic training industry, but they also leave WVU to become life-long learners.

Example employers and job titles of graduates

  • Valentina B., Assistant Athletic Trainer at Division I, II and III level Collegiate Setting
  • Amanda D., Head Athletic Trainer in High School Setting
  • Nicole S., Athletic Trainer in Sports Medicine Clinic
  • Matthew R., Physician’s Office Setting, Orthopedic Surgeon or Sports Medicine Physician
  • Brian K., Athletic Trainer providing functional screening and evaluation/rehabilitation of work related injuries in Industrial Rehabilitation Setting
How To Apply

The Admission Process

This is a post-professional master’s program. Students applying for the program must be NATA-BOC certified or certified eligible to be considered for admission. The deadline to submit application materials is December 15. Only those applicants with complete files will be considered for admission into the program and for graduate assistantships.

How to apply

  • Students apply online at
  • Submit official transcripts from graduating institution and GRE to the Office of Admissions.
    • Current undergraduate students must send official transcripts from graduating institution, including fall semester grades by January 5.
  • Upload the Graduate Athletic Training Program application, personal statement, and resume in the supplemental materials section of the online application linked above.
  • Complete the recommendation section (Recommendation Provider List) with contact names and e-mail addresses of three references that can attest to your athletic training experience and background.

Prerequisites and requirements

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 at a CAATE accredited athletic training program (4-point scale)
  • Graduate Athletic Training Program Application
  • Personal Statement Specific to Athletic Training
  • NATA-BOC certified or eligible
  • Current resume
  • Three references
  • On-campus interview for those invited
  • Graduate Record Examination recommended (300 minimum, qualitative and verbal together) 

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.

The previously listed materials are submitted online as part of the WVU Graduate Admission Application. Applicants must submit their official copies of transcripts and test scores directly to the WVU Office of Admissions, PO Box 6009, Morgantown, WV 26506.

All graduate students must achieve and maintain a 3.0 GPA or better (4-point scale) prior to graduation.

Additional program admission information

Admission application form deadline: December 15


Letter of recommendation

The Athletic Training faculty advise individuals to comment specifically on the following in their letter of recommendation.

  • Athletic training experience
  • Athletic training skills and knowledge
  • Potential to work independently
  • Potential to supervise undergraduate athletic training students
  • Potential to successfully complete the academic requirements of graduate school.
NOTE: Highlighting the items above greatly increases the value of the recommendations submitted on your behalf. The review committee uses this information to determine which students are granted on campus interviews for selection into the program and consideration for Graduate Assistant positions.

Applications will be reviewed in late December or early January, and will continue until the class is filled. Selection process for assistantships also begins in late December or early January and continues until all positions are filled. Finalists will be contacted for an on-campus personal interview in mid-January.