Planning for first cohort to begin Fall 2021

Ithaca College Plans

Ithaca College has decided that we will be transitioning to the MAT degree, as required by the CAATE. At this juncture, we anticipate enrolling our first MAT cohort in the fall of 2021. This means that cohorts entering in the falls of 2019 and 2020 will earn a Bachelors of Science, Athletic Training degree, and per CAATE standards will be eligible for the national certification exam (BOC) upon graduation from the program.

Stay tuned for more details and specifics, including the curriculum, the timeline and the admissions criteria for enrolling. 

Background on CAATE Requirements for Masters-Level Education

Beginning in 2023, the CAATE (AT Education's accrediting body) will require all accredited professional athletic training education programs to be offered at the graduate level. Specifically, students must earn a master's degree from an accredited professional program from fall of 2023 on, in order to be eligible for the Board of Certification Examination (and thus be eligible to practice). Understandably, there is some confusion regarding this transition and the requirements, so here’s what we can tell you regarding the transition process and Ithaca College's status:

  • All AT Ed programs wishing to retain accreditation status need to convert to a master’s degree by the fall of 2023 in order to have a continuous, fully operating program that allows its graduates to sit for the BOC. 

  • Thus, all currently accredited undergraduate (BS) programs can operate “as is” until the fall of 2022, which at that point means that they will enter their first master’s degree cohort. In other words, the last undergraduate cohort that they can admit will be in the fall of 2022 (intending to graduate in spring of 2026).

  • Some current programs will “go away” (not convert and graduate their last eligible cohort), some will convert to “hybrid” or joint 3:2 programs, offering a 3 yr. BS degree in “something” and a connected 2 years MS in AT. Some will just convert to an independent, stand alone 2-3 yr. MS-AT or MAT degree which basically requires a 4 year BS degree as the primary pre-requisite for admission.

  • Any student initiating (and successfully graduating from) study in an accredited undergraduate program between now and the fall of 2022 is still eligible to take the national certification exam and thus be eligible for state licensure and practice…they will NOT need to go back and get a master’s degree after graduating--they can earn a "post professional" or "advanced" master's degree if they so wish.

  • The final and formal accreditation standards (including new content) from the CAATE (accred. body) were not distributed until March, 2018, delaying the ability somewhat to fully plan what the new master's degree needs to look like and include.


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