Jul 24, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Pre-Athletic Training

According to the National Athletic Trainers Association athletic trainers are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Athletic trainers work under the direction of a physician as prescribed by state licensure statutes (https://www.nata.org/about/athletic-training).

Athletic trainers provide medical services to all types of patients, not just athletes participating in sports, and can work in a variety of job settings. Athletic trainers relieve widespread and future workforce shortages in primary care support and outpatient rehab professions and provide an unparalleled continuum of care for the patients. Athletic trainers must graduate from an accredited master’s program, and most students entering accredited programs do so with either an exercise science or undergraduate athletic training degree.

USD’s Pre-Athletic Training program is designed to provide students with specialized knowledge related to the treatment of athletic injuries within the sport and exercise industry. These skills would complement those developed in programs across the School of Business, School of Education, and School of Health Sciences. Athletic trainers are licensed or otherwise regulated in 49 states and the District of Columbia and students in athletic training programs gain knowledge and experience related to the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sport and exercise. This may include, but is not limited to, majors in biomedical sciences, health, business (particularly healthcare administration), exercise science, sport management, and education. Many of the courses in this program are common prerequisites for admission to athletic training master’s programs. Some programs require observation hours, which can be fulfilled through the field experience option (KSM 396.) Further, while most athletic training master’s programs will accept students from several majors, having related coursework may bolster the applications of students in non-medical majors. 

Athletic trainers improve functional outcomes and specialize in patient education to prevent injury and re-injury. Preventative care provided by an athletic trainer has a positive return on investment for employers. ATs can reduce injury and shorten rehabilitation time for their patients, which translates to lower absenteeism from work or school and reduced health care costs (https://www.nata.org/about/athletic-training).

USD’s pre-athletic training curriculum includes coursework in chemistry, biology, physics, statistics, psychology, anatomy and physiology and nutrition as well as exercise physiology, biomechanics and athletic training disciplines. The pre-athletic training student should consult with an advisor to help plan a course of study that complies with the requirements for admission to a graduate Athletic Training program of the student’s choice. Some graduate programs require the applicant to take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and complete a varied number of clinical or observation hours.

For more information about Athletic Training contact: National Athletic Trainers’ Association, www.nata.org; School of Education Academic & Career Planning Center or by visiting the following web site: https://www.usd.edu/admissions.

Dr. Jessie Daw
Chair, Division of Kinesiology and Sport Management
University of South Dakota
Sanford Coyote Sports Center A311K
Vermillion, SD 57069
605.658.5551 Jessie.Daw@usd.edu

Suggested Coursework (43 credit hours)


Some schools may require additional courses. Many schools require clinical or observation hours for application. KSM 396 - Field Experience (C)  (credits: 1-6) is a viable option to obtain these hours and receive credit.