FAQ

General

In what academic department is the Master of Athletic Training Program housed?

The MATR program is housed in the Department of Allied Health within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois Springfield.

When I graduate what type of degree will I receive?

Students who successful complete all the requirements of the Master of Athletic Training will receive a Master of Athletic Training or MAT degree from the University of Illinois.

Do I need a master’s degree to be an athletic trainer?

About 70 percent of current athletic trainers have master’s degrees and a master’s is necessary to work at the college level. Currently, the profession of athletic training is phasing out athletic training programs at the baccalaureate level. By January 2026, only those students graduating from a master’s level athletic training program will be eligible to take the certification examination.

Is this an entry-level or post-professional Master’s degree?

The Master of Athletic Training Program is an entry-level or Professional Master’s degree designed to prepare students to enter the workforce as an athletic trainer.

I have already passed the Board of Certification Exam and am a Certified Athletic Trainer, and I would like to pursue a Master’s degree. Is this the program for me?
No, this is a professional degree program intended to prepare students to take the Board of Certification Exam.

How does this program differ from a post-professional master’s in athletic training?

A post-professional master’s degree program is designed for credentialed athletic trainers who want additional training beyond their professional degree. Professional programs, also referred to as entry-level programs, are meant for those who wish to become athletic trainers.

Will this program be a bridge for me to attend Physical Therapy School?

This program is not designed to be a pre-physical therapy degree.

Is the Master of Athletic Training Program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)?

Not yet. Athletic training education programs cannot gain accreditation until after they have accepted their first cohort of students. The MATR program will begin the accreditation process in August 2018 with a preliminary application, followed by a self-study in July 2019, and culminating in a site visit during the Spring 2020 semester.


Admissions

How long does it take to complete the Master of Athletic Training degree?
The MATR is an intense 2-year, 64-credit hour, that is offered over 6 consecutive semesters.

What are the prerequisites for the Master of Athletic Training Program?

View Prerequisites for the Master of Athletic Training Program.

Do I have to take the GRE?

No. The GRE is not required for admission into UIS or the MATR Program.

Is a bachelor’s degree required for admission?

Yes, completion of a bachelor’s degree in any field is required, along with completion of the prerequisite coursework and admission requirements.

What does the 50 hours of observation entail as a part of my application process?

Applicants are required to obtain 50 hours of supervised observation with a Board of Certification certified athletic trainer who also holds an appropriate credential as an athletic trainer in the state in which they are employed. An example of these initials would read “ATC, LAT”.

Can my 50 hours of observation be completed with multiple supervisors?

Yes, as long as each supervisor is a nationally certified Athletic Trainer and appropriately credentialed in the state in which they are employed.

Can I do my observational hours while pursuing my undergraduate degree?

Yes, you can complete your observational hours while pursuing your undergraduate degree but they need to be within 2 years of your application.

What undergraduate major should I declare to get the prerequisites I need to apply to the Master of Athletic Training Program?

There is not required undergraduate major that must be completed to get into the MATR but students are strongly encouraged to complete a health-related major as a means to completing the prerequisite courses required for admission into the MATR. A health-related major (exercise science, kinesiology, health, etc.) will be the most efficient path for completing the prerequisite courses.

Is an interview required?

An interview is not required. We encourage you to schedule a visit to our campus to learn more about the program. Please contact Dr. Celest Weuve at cweuv2@uis.edu for more information.

How many students will you accept into the program?

The number of students accepted into the program is based on the availability of lab space and clinical education sites. At this point, the maximum number we will accept is 20.

Do I have to have all my prerequisites complete at the time I apply?

Prerequisite courses must be completed or in-progress at the time of the application. Any in-progress courses must be completed prior to the start of the program, unless otherwise noted by the MATR Admissions Committee.

Can I submit my application even though I am still completing my prerequisite courses?

You may have prerequisite courses still in progress by the application deadline, but all prerequisites must be completed by the start of the program.

Can prerequisite courses be taken at a community college?

Yes, community college and online courses from accredited institutions are acceptable. Only courses that do not include a lab component may be taken online.

How do I know for certain that a class I’ve taken fulfills a prerequisite course requirement?

Questions regarding whether a course fulfills one of the above requirements should be directed to Dr. Celest Weuve at cweuv2@uis.edu. Please include a course description and syllabi with your inquiry. Additional information may be requested.

Will UIS MATR accept athletic training courses that I took at another university?

All courses in the MATR must be taken at UIS.

Who should I ask to complete my three professional recommendations?

At least one of your letters of recommendation must be completed by someone with whom you completed observation hours.  Your references should be completed by someone who can attest to your character, personality, and your ability to succeed as an athletic training student.

If I apply this year and don’t get accepted to the program, can I reapply next year?

Yes, but all application materials must be re-submitted.

When does the program start once I am admitted?

Classes begin with the start of the summer semester. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for the specific date.


Curriculum

What kind of clinical education experiences can I expect while a student in the Master of Athletic Training Program?

The Master of Athletic Training Program will use preceptors and clinical sites that incorporate the following CAATE-required clinical education opportunities:

  • Individual and team sports
  • Sports requiring protective equipment (e.g. helmet and shoulder pads)
  • Patients of different sexes
  • Non-sport patient populations (e.g. outpatient clinic, emergency room, primary care office, industrial, performing arts, military)
  • A variety of conditions other than orthopedics (e.g. primary care, internal medicine, dermatology)

Is the MATR Program research intensive?

The primary focus of the MATR program is to deliver a high-quality, clinical-based educational experience for each student that prioritizes instruction of the CAATE Curricular Content Standards and provides variety clinical education experiences. The MATR requires coursework and various research assignments but does not include a traditional thesis.

What kind of faculty and preceptors will I be working with while enrolled in the Master of Athletic Training Program?

Since the MATR program is so new, we are in the process of developing partnerships with healthcare professionals in the Springfield and surrounding areas who are experts in their respective disciplines. Eventually, we will have preceptors who are athletic trainers, physical therapists, strength and conditioning coaches, registered dietitians, physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses, and psychologists.

Can I be a part-time student?

No. The program is designed to be completed in a specific curricular sequence, with each semester of classes building on the previous semester.

Can the MATR degree be completed via distance learning?

No. All course work, with the exception of prearranged clinical education experiences, is offered on campus.

Do I need a car?

Yes, a car is recommended. Some clinical sites may be accessible via public transportation but many are not. Assignment to a clinical education site will not be based on the student’s access to a car.

Can I be a student athlete while in the Master of Athletic Training Program?

No. Students planning to compete in intercollegiate athletics should delay entrance into the MATR.


Financial

What is the cost of the Master of Athletic Training Program?

An explanation of the programmatic fees and associated cost, as well, links to further information regarding graduate tuition, fees, and assessments can be found on the Program Expenses page. (make hyperlink)

Can I work while completing the Master of Athletic Training Program?

Yes, many students work part-time during the academic year. When considering outside employment, it is important to also consider the high academic load (8-12 credits per semester) as well as the unique scheduling of the clinical education experiences. The MATR program is a full-time professional program that requires attendance in all classes and at all clinical education experiences which makes outside employment very difficult. It is not advisable to have a full-time job while completing the program. Please refer to the MATR Student Handbook for more information on outside employment.