Athletic Training Curriculum - Much More Than A Scope & Sequence

Explore our 4 Pillars Plus Curriculum—centered upon the development of clinical expertise, the workings of the medical mind, and necessity for deliberate practice.

Program Overview for the Professional, Graduate Degree Program

Years 4 and 5, along with one summer semester session between the 2 comprise our professional, graduate degree in Athletic Training. Students who successfully complete all requirements in the BS, Exercise Science, Pre-Athletic Training degree at Ithaca College are eligible for matriculation into the master’s degree portion.

Our professional athletic training curriculum intentionally emphasizes and encapsulates the requisite human and biological sciences with the medical and clinical sciences as the program’s foundation. But content and knowledge are not enough to become an expert healthcare clinician, so our program deliberately focuses on the explicit development of the clinical reasoning skills and adaptive expertise you will need to become clinically capable as an athletic trainer.

Collectively, our 10 academic and clinical AT faculty have amassed 163 years of clinical experience at the high school, clinical, college, university, private practice and professional sports levels; and clocked 168 years of teaching experience at numerous educational institutions, big and small. The faculty’s expertise and dedication to the profession are witnessed in part by almost 400 national and international presentations, and nearly 500 professional and academic publications produced over the length of their careers. Quite simply, the faculty and clinical staff are highly accomplished, recognized and well respected leaders, scholars and educators in the profession, and enjoy national and international reputations for their work as educators, scholars and clinicians.

As you progress in the classroom, laboratory and various clinical settings in the professional phase of the program, you will learn how to prevent, care for, evaluate, manage, and rehabilitate physical and psychological injury and illness in athletic and physically active populations. Successful students are eligible to sit for the national Board of Certification Exam (BOC) in their last academic semester; and passing the examination certifies you as an athletic trainer (earning the "ATC" credential) so that you can begin practicing as an entry-level professional.

Since the program's inception in 1975, Ithaca College's AT graduates have consistently exceeded the national averages for the BOC examination by an average of 20 points, annually. Over the last 10 years, 99% of our graduates have passed the national board examination on their first attempt, highlighted recently by a 9 year, 163 student streak. Ithaca athletic training majors have won over $174,000 in professional scholarships over the last 36 years, averaging 2.5 state, regional and national awards, annually. Program graduates have historically enjoyed outstanding placement in the nation's top graduate & post professional degree programs or initial employment with a 98% placement rate within 6 months of graduation.

Familiarize yourself with the athletic training program at Ithaca College from. A personal perspective:

Watch and listen to familiarize yourself with the athletic training program at Ithaca College:

Our 4 Pillars Plus Curriculum

Being a capable healthcare provider requires much more than knowing thousands of facts and skills; it requires a certain type of thinking and the ability to problem solve in unique and unpredictable contexts. Our unique and integrated 4 Pillars Plus Curriculum is much more than prerequisites, labs, and required sequence of classes. Over the course of the last decade, we have painstakingly explored the evidence and reflected upon our experiences as clinicians and educators to design an intentional and dynamic curriculum centered upon clinical expertise, the medical mind, and deliberate practice. Our 4P+ Curriculum is founded upon a master of the 4 Pillars for the healthcare professions (Humanitas, Anatomia, Physiologia & Kinesis), is integrated in a spiral fashion, and operationalized with a deliberate and focused thinking-based approach to education that instills and inculcates the ability to problem solve, reflect, seek and appraise information, and demonstrate superior clinical capabilities.

Our pre-athletic training education, via the BS, Exercise Science, Pre-Athletic Training program (years 1-3) includes carefully selected and required foundational coursework in human anatomy and physiology, psychology, biology, medical science history and literacy, statistics, epidemiology, nutrition, kinesiology, biomechanics, biopsychosocial aspects of healthcare, exercise physiology, research methods, prevention and care of athletic injuries, and evidence-based medicine & clinical reasoning—all designed to build a successful foundation and prepare you for the rigors of the graduate, professional program in athletic training in years 4 & 5.

Our professional phase (years 4 & 5) builds off and connects to your undergraduate preparation by providing you with a progressive and capability based clinical education program that consists of 4 Practicum courses, a 4-week clinical immersion experience, and interprofessional education. The master’s phase includes challenging class and laboratory based work in the biomedical foundations of clinical science, acute and emergency care, clinical pathoanatomy, therapeutic interventions, medical science, assessment of musculoskeletal injuries, healthcare administration, advanced clinical capabilities, and clinical research to help you master emerging and critical issues in athlete health and safety.

Courses, Course Sequencing, and Timelines

IC's Unique 4P+ AT Curriculum

Explore more deeply the athletic training curriculum:

  • Athletic Training Course Descriptions & Program Requirements

    This information outlines our graduate level, 5-semester sequencing of all athletic training didactic and experiential requirements for graduation. Master’s degree candidates will work closely with their academic adviser in order to arrange and finalize their specific program of study from  semester to semester.


Our Graduates

Currently, there are over 500 Ithaca College athletic training graduates employed in various high school, college, and professional sports settings across the country. Numerous others are working in sports medicine clinics, hospitals, fitness centers, and even industrial settings treating the "industrial athlete." Over two-thirds of our graduates have pursued graduate studies after leaving South Hill, and many have received graduate assistantships and scholarships in athletic training at more than 40 different colleges and universities across the country.

Today, many of our graduates are using their demanding, medically based and hands-on experience opportunities to combine their athletic training preparation with advanced study in physical therapy, physician assistant studies, and even medical school.

Technical Standards

Download the Technical Standards for Admission and Retention in the Ithaca College Athletic Training Education Program here:

file-outline AT Technical Standards.pdf - AT Technical Standards.pdf (76.11 KB)


Paul Geisler
Program Director, Athletic Training
G71 Hill Center
Ithaca College
953 Danby Road
Ithaca, NY 14850