Athletic Training Education

Expertly developing capable and compassionate clinical scientists since 1975…

Program History & Background

Since 1990, the American Medical Association has recognized the rapidly evolving field of athletic training as an official allied health profession, and Ithaca College's undergraduate Athletic Training program has long been at the head of the class when it comes to excellence. It has since been one of the country's most established & respected athletic training education programs, producing quality athletic trainers & sports medicine professionals since 1975. Our CAATE accredited degree program addresses the growing national need for enhanced care of the injuries & illnesses that disrupt the daily lives of athletes & the physically active.

Want to know a bit more about what athletic trainers do? Click here for a glimpse into the working life of an NFL athletic trainer! Or here for other video and print materials from the NATA.

The Athletic Training major in the Department of Exercise & Sport Science provides students with theoretical and professional preparation in allied health care for athletes and physically active persons. Our unique, medically based and integrated curriculum is designed to prepare students for the BOC certification examination, for competent clinical practice, and for entry into various and related professional and postgraduate programs of study in related health care fields. This allied health preparation is designed to facilitate an academic foundation that will allow graduating students to seek professional certification, professional career opportunities in both the public and private sector, or to continue their education beyond IC; our learning objectives are met through a combination of educational experiences incorporating related academic course work with supervised and deliberate clinical experiences. Graduates of our bachelor's degree program have long been respected leaders in the athletic health care industry in New York, the northeastern United States, and beyond (click here to see a sampling of what our alumni are doing now!).

Specific guidelines set forth by our accrediting agency, the CAATE impose restrictions on the number of students we can enroll in the program. Therefore, the program is selective, and interested students must maintain rigorous academic standards in order to secure & maintain their position in the program. At the end of the sophomore year, AT majors must apply to be formally reviewed for retention (those admitted to AT as a freshman) or for admission (internal/external transfers) in the major. Retention is a competitive process based on an applicant's level of achievement according to set criteria. Following is a descriptive overview of Ithaca College's athletic training education program by academic year.

Program Overview

The curriculum at Ithaca College places a heavy emphasis on the basic and applied bio and medical sciences as the foundations of the program, while emphasizing clinical proficiency, higher level thinking, clinical reasoning and differential diagnosis as advanced skills required to matriculate through the program.

While at Ithaca College, our AT students learns how to prevent, care for, evaluate, manage, and rehabilitate injury and illness in athletic and physically active populations. Upon completion of the curriculum, the successful student is eligible to take the nation Board of Certification Exam (BOC); certifying the athletic trainer (ATC) to practice in myriad and expanding professional settings. Since the program's inception, Ithaca College's athletic training graduates have consistently exceeded the national averages for the profession's certification exam (click here for our program outcomes), and have enjoyed outstanding placement in the nation's top graduate & professional programs, and various exciting and rewarding places of employment.

Currently, there are almost 500 Ithaca College AT graduates employed in various high school, college, and professional sports settings across the country; while numerous others are working in sports medicine clinics, hospitals, fitness centers, and even industrial settings treating the "industrial athlete". Approximately 2/3rds of our graduates have pursued graduate studies, and many have received graduate assistantships & 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. Click here to see what our 2006-2016 alumni are doing now with their Ithaca College education!

Click here to download an informative brochure about our program!

You can also see the many professional settings that athletic trainers now work in by clicking here to see a series of PowerPoint presentations on athletic trainers in action!

Better yet, to see what college can be like at IC as an Athletic Training major, click here to see a short movie!

Follow us on Twitter

Follow Ithaca College's Athletic Training Education Program on Twitter @IthacaATEd

A CAATE Accredited Program

CAATE accredits Professional, Post-Professional and Residency Programs in Athletic Training and is sponsored by The American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). The Standards for Athletic Training education are used to prepare entry-level athletic trainers and Ithaca College is responsible for complying with these Standards in order to maintain our status as an accredited athletic training program. The Standards guide the development, evaluation, analysis, and maintenance of our educational program.

Transition to Master's Degree Status
ATS Clinical

In the spring of 2015, the CAATE announced that all professional education programs in athletic training need to transition to the master's degree by the year 2023(2022 is the last undergraduate cohort that can be admitted). Ithaca College is currently studying whether or not it will be transitioning to the master's level in order to comply with this accreditation mandate. At this point in time, we will continue to operate as an accredited undergraduate professional program. As of fall, 2017 ALL students entering our program will earn a BS degree in AT and will be allowed to sit for the BOC examination. Direct questions on this issue to Program Director, Dr. PR Geisler at, and check here for updates on our progress and timeline.

Classes of 2011-17 Perfect on Athletic Training Boards

All SEVEN graduating classes of 2011 through to 2017 have all achieved a 100% first time pass rate on the national Board of Certification Examination (BOC) for athletic training, far exceeding the national average during this period. That's right, we are in the midst of a 112 for 112 first time pass rate; 112 graduating Athletic Training majors from Ithaca College took their BOC exams in the last 7 years in order to become certified athletic trainers, and all 112 PASSED on their very first attempt! Now that's #sustainedexcellence!

The BOC examination was incorporated to provide a certification program for entry-level Athletic Trainers (ATCs), and it establishes and regularly reviews both the standards for the practice of athletic training, and the continuing education requirements for BOC Certified athletic trainers. Students become eligible for BOC certification by completing an accredited professional degree program, that requires them to engage in rigorous classroom study and clinical experiences.

Athletic Training Not Just for Boys

Check out this great story in IC's spring "FUSE" magazine that highlights a few of our distinguished female Bomber alums working in exciting professional settings!

Ithaca College Top 3 in USA!

According to the US News & World Report, the Athletic Training Education Program at Ithaca College is rated in the number 3 in the Nation for educating athletic trainers!

Another Lofty Program Ranking
SENIOR NCUR has released its 2011 academic program rankings, and lists Ithaca College's Athletic Training Education program to be #1 in the country! In citing how we pride ourselves on "having a curriculum that blends theory with experience", and our 12:1, Student:Instructor ratio, Ithaca College came out ahead of such distinguished institutions as the University of Florida, Ohio State University and the University of Michigan!

Athletic Training Top Career Choice for 2011!

Athletic trainers are increasingly in demand, particularly at high schools, while competition is stiffer for positions with professional and college sports teams. Athletic trainers held 16,300 jobs in 2008, and by 2018 that number is expected to climb to 22,400, a 37 percent increase, far greater than the average increase for all professions, according to the Labor Department.