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MSAT Admissions

Admissions Process & Selection Criteria

Admission into the MS in Athletic Training program involves a (2) part application process:

  1. Application for admission to the Graduate School at the university
  2. Secondary Selective Admission Application specific to the program of study in Athletic Training.

This two-part process is used to admit (1) new cohort of students who begin their program of study during the Summer term.  Beginning in August, completed applications are reviewed as they are received and subsequent interviews offered to qualified candidates.  Applications will be accepted until the class is filled or Apr. 15, whichever occurs first.  

Application Process to the Graduate School

Students interested in applying are encouraged to begin the application process for the university as soon as possible.  Once a student’s Graduate School application is complete, the Graduate School will forward this information to the AT Program Director.  This information will be used in combination with the secondary program application materials to assist in decision making.  

The following key materials are required by the Graduate School:

  • Online application
  • Application Fee of $35.00:
  • Official Transcript(s) – current at time of application.

If students have not completed a Bachelor’s degree at the time of application, an official copy after the degree is complete is required.  An applicant must be accepted by the Graduate School before a final decision on the secondary selective admission process will be made.  The MS in Athletic Training does not require completion of the GRE.

International Students

A GPA of 3.0 is required to receive unconditional acceptance into a program. Students holding visas may not be conditionally accepted. Incomplete transcripts are not accepted. An official, complete bachelor's transcript and degree certificate must be submitted. Applications will not be processed unless the degree certificate and complete transcripts are submitted. It is mandatory that international transcripts be interpreted by a transcript service such as WES. International students must provide professional credential evaluation of all international university academic transcripts. Services include either WES ( or ECE (  The TOEFL (minimum 550 paper-based or 79-80 internet-based), IELTS (6.0), or Duolingo (110) score is required of all students from countries in which English is not the official language. This score must be an original document sent directly from the center or a verifiable copy. Institution code for SDSU Graduate School is 6653 for TOEFL. Scores must be within two years of examination date.  Evidence of available financial support for at least two years for Master’s degrees or four years for Doctor of Philosophy degrees must be submitted to the International Student Affairs (ISA) Office at Briggs 119. For any financial assistance from this institution, the applicant should correspond with the Head or Graduate Coordinator of the program. Documents for entry into the U.S. will be issued by the International Student Affairs Office after academic admission and financial certification are complete. Students on visa cannot be admitted conditionally.

Secondary Selective Admission Application Process for the Athletic Training Program

The second step of the application process is to complete more detailed information required for the program.  There is NO additional fee to process these forms.  Students can initiate the secondary application process through the Athletic Training Centralized Application System (ATCAS) or by contacting the Program Director.  The following forms are required for admission consideration:

  • Program Application (includes verification of prerequisite coursework completion)
  • Letter of Interest
  • Signed Verification and Understanding of Technical Standards
  • (2) Letters of Recommendation
  • Observation Record (20 hours with a certified/licensed athletic trainer; requirement waived for the 2021 cohort due to COVID restrictions)
  • Health Assessment (This is in addition to the immunization record required by Student Health)

The purpose of requiring a health assessment is to ensure that students meet the Technical Standards of the AT program and that students can provide safe patient care.  A Health Assessment form will be provided at the beginning of the application process.  It is the student’s responsibility to arrange and pay for a Health Assessment with a licensed health care provider (i.e. Physician or Nurse Practitioner). 

** Pre-Selection to the Athletic Training Program: Students who are of Junior-level standing at SDSU, or sophomores who are enrolled in the early assurance/accelerated track, can apply for pre-selection to the MSAT program by beginning the Secondary Selective Admissions process up to 1 year in advance of their first eligible cohort.  Applying for pre-selection requires completion of a sub-set of the total application requirements for program admission. The program will pre-select up to 12 students into the athletic training program.  If the number of qualified pre-selection applications exceeds 12, the top 12 will be selected based on weighted criteria.  Pre-selection does not guarantee unconditional admission into the MSAT program; only students who have successfully completed ALL application requirements for the Graduate School, and those required of the Secondary Selective Admissions application, will be officially admitted.

Selection Criteria

Qualified candidates at minimum will:

  • Have completed a Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited institution. *Students on the early assurance/accelerated track complete their Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science while concurrently completing the first year of the AT program.
  • Possess a minimum overall GPA of 3.0/4.0
  • Be accepted into the SDSU Graduate School
  • Possess current (or be eligible for) Emergency Cardiac Care Certification from a BOC-approved program. *Students must possess current ECC certification in order to participate in all required clinical experiences for the AT program.
  • Have earned a “C” or better in all prerequisite coursework and completed all Secondary Selective Admissions application forms

Although a high GPA and quality grades are favorable, we also take into consideration the following:

  • Ability to physically and mentally perform the duties of an athletic trainer as described in the Technical Standards.
  • Strong interpersonal skills (both in written and oral communication).
  • Skills related to ethics in working with a patient/client population.
  • Interest and desire of candidate to become an athletic trainer.

Once all application materials are received, the AT Program faculty review the applicant file and determine whether or not the candidate meets the minimum qualifications and is eligible for an interview.

Admissions Interview

Individuals whose application files are complete and that meet the program qualifications will be contacted to arrange an interview. Interviews will generally be on campus, however, telephone or virtual interviews will be considered if absolutely necessary.  In an effort to assist students with future planning, prospective students will be notified of acceptance or non-acceptance to the AT program within one week of the interview.

Financial Aid

Students in the early assurance accelerated track of the athletic training program are considered graduate students after completion of their 3rd academic year.  As such, these students must file their FAFSA as a graduate student if seeking financial aid for their 4th and 5th academic years.