The Bachelor of Science degree program in athletic training (AT) is designed to provide students with a firm foundation in the professional preparation for a career in athletic training.
Upon successful completion of the academic degree in athletic training, the student is eligible to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) exam. Students who pass the BOC exam may be employed at various settings such as high schools, clinic outreach programs, clinics, colleges and universities, professional sports, industrial wellness centers and performing arts.
Athletic Training BS Degree Requirements (124 hours)
Athletic Training BS Semester Guide
Availability: Hattiesburg Campus
Program Academic Policies and Requirements:
Clinical Experiences: Clinical experiences are divided into five clinical courses. Students must accumulate a minimum number of hours of supervised clinical experience in clinical courses each semester. These requirements are identified in the syllabus for each clinical course.
Accreditation: The athletic training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).
Program Application and Admission Requirements
All athletic training majors are subject to the admission procedures and standards of the University and a secondary application process to be selected into the program. Until they have completed prerequisites and been accepted into the athletic training program, students must select another major. The School of Health Professions recommends that students who intend to graduate with a major in athletic training start with a major in kinesiotherapy. Because of their intended degree, students will be advised by someone in athletic training as well as have support from kinesiotherapy. If students maintain interest in athletic training and are admitted, they will then change their major to athletic training at that time.
Admission to The University of Southern Mississippi does not ensure admission to the athletic training program. All athletic training majors must complete prerequisites for consideration for admission to the AT program. Prerequisite courses include the following:
Students must achieve a grade of C or better on all prerequisite courses. Students who have completed the prerequisites for admission to the AT program must also complete a program application that can be obtained from the AT website. Application to the AT program is made during the fall semester. The deadline for submitting part A of the application is August 31 and for part B is November 1 of each year.
Progression to the upper division athletic training courses is reserved for students admitted to the AT program. The following are required to be considered for admission to the AT program:
- Completed application forms and two letters of recommendation
- Cumulative collegiate GPA of 2.80 (includes USM and transfer courses, excluding remedial coursework) All official transcripts are required.
- Minimum grade of C in each of the required prerequisite courses, as previously noted
- Forty hours of observation with a certified athletic trainer
- Submission of a complete physical examination by a physician or nurse practitioner, a TB skin test (or chest X-ray if positive), a current tetanus immunization (within 10 years) and verification of Hepatitis B vaccination. Each of these should be completed no earlier than June and no later than August of the application year to remain in effect for that academic year. Students admitted to the AT program will be required to repeat this process annually while enrolled in the program.
Athletic Training is a limited-access program. Top candidates who qualify for consideration will be invited for formal interviews with the AT admissions committee. Admission decisions will be made by December 1 and admission will be contingent upon successful completion of all prerequisites taken during the application semester and a cumulative collegiate GPA of 2.80 at the end of the fall semester. Candidates who are not accepted may reapply the next application period.
Students admitted to the AT program may be required to purchase liability insurance through The University of Southern Mississippi. Students will be required to sign indicating that they can meet the technical standards for admission provided below.
Program Application and Admission Requirements for Transfer Students
Students wishing to transfer to The University of Southern Mississippi may complete prerequisite courses and observation hours that are approved by The University of Southern Mississippi AT program coordinator. Transfer students must apply to the program by the August 31 and November 1 deadlines. For additional information and a review of official college transcripts, transfer students should contact the AT program coordinator prior to transferring to The University of Southern Mississippi.
Program Application and Admission Requirements for Transfer Students from Another AT Program
Students who were enrolled in another AT program and wish to transfer to The University of Southern Mississippi are considered for admission to the AT program provided there is space available. In addition to all AT program application requirements, transfer students are considered based on the following criteria:
- Official college/university transcripts are evaluated on an individual basis for credit toward AT requirements. To be considered for credit toward AT requirements, each course must meet at least the minimum grade requirement for the class in which credit is requested. Transcript courses at the 100 and 200-level are generally not accepted as a 300 or 400-level equivalent.
- One of the two letters of recommendation must be from the student's previous AT program coordinator.
- Prospective transfer students must provide course syllabi of all relevant coursework. The level at which the student may be placed depends on the evaluation of the course syllabi and available space in the AT program.
- Prospective transfer students must be in good standing with and eligible to return to the college/university they last attended. Any applicant who is under suspension is not considered for admission until the terms of the suspension are satisfied.
Technical Standards for Admission
The AT program at The University of Southern Mississippi is a demanding and concentrated program that places detailed and specific requirements on the students enrolled in the program. An objective of this program is to prepare graduates for entry-level employment in a variety of employment settings and to render care to a wide spectrum of individuals engaged in physical activity. The technical standards set forth by the AT program establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills and abilities of an entry-level athletic trainer, as well as meet the expectations of the program's accrediting agency (Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education [CAATE]). The following abilities and expectations must be met by all students admitted to the AT program. The AT program technical standards are available on The University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Training Website.
Compliance with the technical standards does not guarantee students' eligibility for the Board of Certification (BOC) exam.
Candidates for selection to the Southern Miss AT program must demonstrate:
- The mental capacity to assimilate, analyze, synthesize, integrate concepts and problem solve to formulate assessment and therapeutic judgments and to be able to distinguish deviations from the norm.
- Sufficient postural and neuromuscular control, sensory function and coordination to perform appropriate physical examinations using accepted techniques; and accurately, safely and efficiently use equipment and materials during the assessment of patients.
- The ability to record physical examination results and a treatment plan clearly and accurately.
- Accurately, safely and efficiently use equipment and materials during the assessment and treatment of patients.
- The ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds; this includes, but is not limited to, the ability to establish rapport with patients and communicate judgments and treatment information effectively. Students must be able to understand and speak the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice.
- The capacity to maintain composure and continue to function well during periods of high stress.
- The perseverance, diligence and commitment to complete the AT program as outlined and sequenced. This includes reporting to campus on or about August 1 of each year for orientation and to begin your clinical experience. This also includes a minimum of 810 logged hours in the clinical experience. The clinical experience may include hours during early mornings, late evenings, weekends and time outside of the academic calendar.
- Flexibility and the ability to adjust to changing situations and uncertainty in clinical situations.
- Affective skills and appropriate demeanor and rapport that relate to professional education and quality patient care.
Candidates for selection to the AT program are required to verify that they understand these technical standards and believe that they can meet each of these standards.
There are additional costs (above tuition/fees and costs of textbooks) for course materials, lab fees and expenses related to travel to the clinical sites or conferences/workshops. Costs may include but are not limited to (a) professional liability insurance, (b) physical examination and immunizations, (c) professional state and national association fees and educational workshops and conferences, (d) transportation to all off-campus clinical sites and (e) uniforms. Each student has a minimum of one off-campus clinical assignments during the curriculum. Students may contact the AT program coordinator for a complete list of expenses.
Program Progression Standards
All students admitted to the AT program must adhere to the program retention policies as stated in the AT Program Policies & Procedures Manual.
The following policies apply to all students admitted to the AT program:
- Any student who drops below a cumulative collegiate 2.80 GPA is placed on probation in the program for one semester. If the student does not obtain a cumulative collegiate 2.80 GPA during the probation semester, he/she is dismissed from the program. The AT program coordinator notifies the student of dismissal from the program.
- Any student who receives a grade lower than C in any program curriculum course (see current degree plan page) is placed on probation and must retake the course the following year and make a grade of C or better in order to continue in the program.
- Any student on program probation earning a grade lower than a C in a program curriculum course that is being repeated will be dismissed from the program.
- Any student earning a grade lower than a C in three program curriculum courses including labs will be dismissed from the program.
- A student may be on program probation only two times after which the student will be dismissed from the program.
- Clinical settings and rotations require that students conduct themselves in a professional manner, including a strict professional dress code as established by the clinical site. Failure to follow the dress code, lack of attendance, excessive tardiness, the inability to fulfill technical standards, or function safely in a clinical setting is cause for dismissal from the program (see AT Program Policies & Procedures Manual).
- Students who violate established clinical site policies or codes of moral and ethical conduct are subject to dismissal from the AT program (see current policies in the AT Program Policies & Procedures Manual and Code of Ethics of the National Athletic Trainers' Association).
Students who have previously enrolled in AT courses, have a break in attendance of one or more terms, and leave in good standing may reapply. The deadlines for return of completed applications are March 15 for fall term readmission and October 15 for spring term readmission.
The following are considered when an application for readmission is received by the AT program director:
- Student's standing in both academic and clinical courses prior to withdrawal
- Student's cumulative collegiate GPA
- No grade lower than a C in any completed program curriculum course
- Availability of space in the AT program
Any student requesting readmission to the AT program must follow the appeal process as outlined in the AT Program Policies and Procedures Manual.