Athletic training student works with athlete

About the Athletic Training Program

The UNCW Athletic Training Program is a limited access program designed to prepare students for a successful career as a qualified health care professional, educated and experienced in the management of health care problems associated with the physically active.

If admitted, students must successfully complete required criteria set forth by the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, in addition to completing the regular university application process. Successful completion of the degree qualifies students to sit for the Athletic Training Board of Certification examination, as well as all relevant state practice requirements.

The Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) will prepare entry level professionals to enter the field of Athletic Training. The degree is built around 60 credit hours of required coursework to satisfy the eligibility requirements for the students to sit for the national Board of Certification examination. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Graduates from the program establish successful careers as Athletic Trainers in secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional sports programs, sports medicine clinics, and other athletic health care settings. 

History of Athletic Training at UNCW

The Athletic Training Program (ATP) at the University of North Carolina Wilmington began in the early 1980s as an internship program. The first discussion of accreditation began in the summer of 1998, when Program Director Kris Foster spearheaded the efforts to change the athletic training program from a concentration to a stand-alone major in Health, Physical Education and Recreation. That same summer, the initial accreditation self-study was performed by an ad-hoc campus committee and submitted to the Joint Review Commission on Athletic Training (JRC-AT). Having brought the accreditation process to this height, Kris Foster left the program in the fall of 1999 to pursue other professional goals. Tom Lemley, head athletic trainer and member of the Athletic Training Program Accreditation Committee, became the interim program director. In the fall of 1999, the Athletic Training Program began its two-year candidacy status. In the fall of 2000, Dr. Kirk Brown was hired as the new Athletic Training program coordinator and appointed a new Athletic Training Program accreditation committee. Dr. Brown remained AT program coordinator until the fall of 2018, when Dr. Steve Zinder assumed the duties as coordinator.

The UNCW ATP earned initial accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Professions (CAAHEP) in October of 2002, and was granted continuing accreditation status in 2007 and 2017. The UNCW ATP has prepared and graduated over 150 athletic training students, most of which have entered into the athletic training profession.

Athletic Training Program

Program Directors

  • Steve Zinder: 2018-present
  • Kirk Brown: 2000-2018

Coordinators of Clinical Education

  • Lindsey Schroeder: 2016-present
  • Andrea Bender: 2009-2016
  • Margo Greicar: 2007-2009
  • Ryan Green: 2006-2007
  • Kyle Momson: 2003-2005
  • Wes Brown: 2002-2003

Directors of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainers

  • Scott Hill: 2007-present
  • Wes Brown: 2004-2007
  • Tom Lemley: 1995-2004
  • Terry Middleswarth: 1977-1995
  • Tracy James: 1973-1977

Mission Statement

The mission of the UNCW Athletic Training Program is to provide our students with a comprehensive, educational and clinical foundation on which to build a career in Athletic Training. Our curriculum consists of evidence-based content and instruction in the prevention, recognition, evaluation and rehabilitation of physically active patients. Upon successful completion of this program, our students are eligible to sit for the Board of Certification examination.


The vision of the UNCW Athletic Training Program is to be recognized as a leader in the field of Athletic Training by contributing to and advancing the knowledge base of injury prevention, injury recognition, injury management and inter-professional collaboration. Through the acquisition of evidence-based information and the use of new techniques and research, UNCW Athletic Training will serve as a model for community partnerships and innovative programming.

Outcomes and Goals

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Master of Science in Athletic Training Program will:

  1. Be prepared for an entry-level position in Athletic Training in a variety of settings with a wide range of athletic populations.
  2. Demonstrate specific knowledge in the field of Athletic Training as demonstrated by passing the national Board of Certification (BOC, Inc.) examination for athletic trainers.
  3. Be recognized as prepared for entry-level positions or advanced study in Athletic Training by external constituencies, program faculty, potential employers, and self-evaluation.
  4. Find ready employment in the field of Athletic Training.

Program Goals

  1. Develop the critical thinking, decision-making, and communication skills necessary for success in Athletic Training, allied health care, and a broader spectrum of professions in today's society.
  2. Expose students to hands-on experiences, clinical settings, and professionals representing a wide range of allied and medical health care professions.
  3. Provide a foundation for success predicated on both a didactic and clinical knowledge base.
  4. Provide an effective and interactive learning environment for students wishing to pursue a career in Athletic Training.
  5. Create an environment consistent with quality health care for the athletes/patients in the clinical setting, while achieving the educational goals of the student and the program.