Athletic trainers work with physicians, patients, and clients to prevent, diagnose, and intervene in emergency, acute, and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities.

Why Study at Iowa?

Iowa's Athletic Training Program combines the course work and clinical experiences students need to be eligible for national certification. The program prepares students for careers in clinical health care settings and for athletic training positions in high school or college athletics.

The program is unique among similar programs nationally because it is cosponsored by departments in two separate parts of the university: the Department of Health & Human Physiology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the Carver College of Medicine. The American Medical Association has described it as a model athletic training program.

Students who major in athletic training get a well-rounded education. They acquire solid communication skills, have high academic achievement, and are very motivated. About half are preparing for graduate or professional school.

Course Work

Before students can be admitted to the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree program in athletic training, they must take a prerequisite course exploring athletic training. Other prerequisites before taking courses for the major include biology, chemistry, psychology, human anatomy, educational psychology, and statistics. Most students are admitted to the major during their first year to begin the program of study during their sophomore year.

After being admitted to the program, the curriculum includes courses in clinical sciences, human physiology, exercise physiology, biomechanics, pharmacology, nutrition, and emergency care.

There are also clinical practicum requirements each semester as well as a senior project.

See Health & Human Physiology in the UI General Catalog to learn more about the program's admission requirements, course work, and graduating with honors.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the athletic training program is competitive. Each year, only 16 students are admitted from about 50 applicants. Most students are admitted as sophomores because a minimum amount of college course work and satisfactory grades are required to be eligible to apply for admission.

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Student Opportunities

In addition to having nearly 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple Living-Learning Communities, Study Abroad Programs, and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

Students in this major may enjoy living in the Health Sciences or Well Beings Living-Learning Communities in the UI residence halls.

Faculty, Facilities, and Resources

Faculty members in athletic training place a high priority on teaching, clinical service, and research. They actively care for patients and clients, do clinical research, and publish articles in professional journals on topics such as ACL rehabilitation, ankle sprains, unloader bracing, eating and exercise disorders, social support following injuries, and concussion injury databases. Students also are encouraged to participate in clinical research.

The health and human physiology department houses classrooms and a teaching laboratory. The orthopaedics department houses the Sports Medicine Center, oversees four athletic training rooms and two satellite treatment areas, and supports research laboratories. Undergraduates use these facilities for instruction, clinical instruction and experiences, and research.


The athletic training major prepares students for jobs in sports medicine clinics, patient care settings, preventive care settings, and industrial settings.

Additional education usually is required for employment with professional or collegiate athletic programs. Teacher certification is recommended but is not required.

Iowa’s athletic training program has an outstanding placement rate. About half of its graduates are admitted to graduate or professional schools, while others are employed in hospitals or clinics. Typically, 100 percent of graduates are awarded graduate assistantships or find employment.

The Pomerantz Career Center at Iowa offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.


The Office of Admissions, the Office of Student Financial Aid, and departmental websites are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Application Process

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Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


Athletic Training (BS)
Honors Courses
Four-Year Graduation Plan
Competitive Admission
Accepts 16 students per year