Student practices training on athlete

Frequently Asked Questions

About Athletic Training

  • What is a Certified Athletic Trainer and what does one do?
    • A certified athletic trainer (ATC) is practiced by athletic trainers, health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and participation of patients and clients. Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and intervention of emergency, acute, and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities. For more facts about Athletic Trainers.

  • How do I become a certified athletic trainer?
    • To become a certified athletic trainer, students must graduate from a CAATE (Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education) accredited athletic training education program to be eligible for the BOC, Inc. (Board of Certification) examination. Accredited programs include formal instruction in areas such as injury and illness prevention, first aid and emergency care, assessment of injuries and illnesses, therapeutic modalities, therapeutic exercise, nutrition, anatomy and physiology. Classroom learning is supplemented by hands-on clinical education experience with a variety of patients and in a variety of settings. The student must pass the certification examination to assume the title of Certified Athletic Trainer and use the ATC credential.

  • What are the different job opportunities after I become certified?
    • Traditionally, certified athletic trainers have worked with high school, college and professional athletic teams. However, today, athletic trainers can be found working almost anywhere people are physically active. This includes sports medicine clinics, hospitals, the military, industrial and commercial industries, the performing arts, auto racing, rodeo, and the traditional settings listed above. For further information please read the following Salary Survey article featured in the NATA News.

About Our Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP)

  • I'm currently in high school, how can I improve my chances of being accepted into the UNCW ATEP?
    • If possible, volunteer to help a certified athletic trainer at your high school or local physical therapy/sports medicine clinic. If you cannot do that on a regular basis, see if you can at least job shadow for 1-2 days. Ask as many questions as possible. Take classes such as anatomy to see if you like learning about the human body. Schedule a campus visit to meet with the athletic training education program director.

  • When do I apply to the Athletic Training Education Program?
    • As a freshman or transfer student you will apply to the Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP) during the spring semester. You must have completed the prerequisite course of BIO 201 before the spring semester. PSY 105 is a corequisite course and can be taken during the spring semester along with ATR 210. The application process will be explained in detail while the student is enrolled in the ATR 210: Introduction to Athletic Training course. Please contact Dr. Kirk Brown, Director of the ATEP for further information and dates.

  • How many hours are required to complete the ATEP and how many hours are students expected to complete per week?
    • Clinical experience hours are linked to the clinical education courses in the athletic training curriculum. Once a student has been accepted into the ATEP they will begin acquiring their formal clinical experience hours during the following fall semester and are identified as a Level I athletic training students. A Level I athletic training students will be required to obtain approximately 10-12 clinical experience hours each week during their first year in the ATEP; A Level II athletic training student will be required to obtain approximately 12-14 clinical experience hours each week during their second year in the ATEP; A Level III athletic training students will be required to obtain approximately 14-16 clinical experience hours each week during their third year in the ATEP.

  • What are the requirements for admission into the ATEP?
    • Perspective students must meet the following requirements to be admitted into the Athletic Training Education Program Major.

      Requirements for ATEP admission table


      Application form


      Two faculty recommendation forms


      Technical Standards


      Two page reflection paper


      Interview with Athletic Training Selection Committee


      40 Observation hours (completed while enrolled in ATR 210)


      Academic Transcripts or UNCW Degree Audit


      Proof of physical examination including immunization and tetanus shot records.


      Proof of CPR


      Clinical evaluation by the athletic training staff


      Proof of HBV or waiver


      Blood-borne Pathogens Training


      Signed Confidentiality Agreement


      Signed Professional Code of Conduct


      Completion of following prerequisite and corequisite courses with a Grade of “C-“ or better in for BIO 201, ATR 210, and PSY 10

  • Is UNCW Athletic Training Education Program accredited?
    • Yes, the ATEP was recently re-accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) for undergraduate programs. The next comprehensive review, including a self-study and on-site review, is scheduled to occur during the 2017 - 2018 academic year.

  • Can I transfer to UNCW and complete the ATEP?
    • Transfer students are welcomed to apply to the ATEP. However, transfer students must meet the same standards as other perspective athletic training students, including 40 hours of clinical observation at UNCW and satisfying the prerequisites to be accepted into the ATEP. Prior Athletic Training classes will not satisfy our ATR major degree requirements however those courses and credit hours will be brought in as general electives. Students considering transferring are encouraged to contact the Program Director for specific information.

  • How many students apply to the ATEP each year?
    • It varies every year, but on the average, there are about 35 to 40 applicants

  • How many students do you accept into the ATEP each year?
    • We accept 14 students every year.
  • I am currently a UNCW student, how can I improve my chances of being accepted into the ATEP?
    • The first thing you should do is set up an appointment with the Program Director Dr. Kirk Brown to discuss your career goals and go over your degree audit to see what prerequisite courses you may still need in order to apply to the ATEP. Talk with other athletic training students that are in the major and see what their experiences have been while in the ATEP. During your observation experience, try not to be too shy and let us know who you are. Be professional at all times, follow the dress code, speak appropriately, and maintain a professional relationship with the athletes.

  • Can I substitute clinical hours that I completed from sites other than from UNCW (i.e., my high school, sports medicine clinic) for the 40 observation hours which I need to apply to the ATEP?
    • No. Only observation hours completed at UNCW can be included. However, extra hours gained at other sites can strengthen your chance of acceptance into the ATEP.

  • What if I do not get accepted into the ATEP the first time I apply?
    • In most cases, you may reapply. The Program Director will assist you in identifying any of your deficiencies and help you make corrections. The Program Director will let you know if you should consider pursing another major/profession. Most of the time, those that do not get into the ATEP have poor grades, do not display a full awareness of our ATEP or the athletic training profession, or have demonstrated poor interpersonal skills or professionalism.

  • Can I take Athletic Training classes without being accepted into the ATEP?
    • No. The core athletic training courses which have a prefix of ATR can only be taken if you're an athletic training major. However there are basic study courses throughout the athletic training curriculum that can be taken any time.

  • Do you have any scholarships available for athletic training?
    • There are some scholarships for those athletic training students that have been formally admitted into the ATEP and have been a member of the NATA for one year. Click here for further information regarding North Carolina Athletic Trainers' Association Scholarship program.