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Exercise and Sport Science
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  • Athletic Training

    Athletic Training collage

    The athletic training program at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse  was the first accredited athletic training program in the state of Wisconsin, and offers one of the most competitive, in-depth and  hands-on athletic training programs in the country. The Athletic Training Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The athletic training program has gained an excellent reputation for involving their athletic training students in various year-round athletic training opportunities. 100% of our 36 graduates who took the BOC Exam in the previous three years passed. Our student's first time pass rate for the last three years on the BOC Examination is 97.22% (35 out of 36)!! 



    Each student must first be accepted for admission to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

    Program application materials are available in downloadable form and are also available by contacting the program director.

    If you would like a copy by mail please contact the program director directly.

    Application materials that are mailed will include an Athletic Training Candidacy application, selection and retention procedures, a copy of the curriculum requirements , and (4) letters of recommendation forms to be distributed to appropriate personnel with requests for submission. Completed recommendation forms must be sent  directly to Mr. Mark Gibson  by the person providing the reference. The following people are suggested as appropriate persons to provide references:

    • Head Athletic Trainer
    • Team Physician
    • Athletic Director
    • Coaches of different sports

    The  applicant must provide official high school transcripts and transcripts of any college credits completed . These must be sent directly to Mr. Mark Gibson.

    Those who have completed a semester or more of college  need not  send high school transcripts.

    The applicant must provide ACT scores on application.

    Deadline for receipt of all materials will be February 1 . All application materials should be sent to the program director at the following address: Mr. Mark Gibson, 135 Mitchell Hall, UW-La Crosse, La Crosse WI. 54601.

    Upon receipt of all application forms  (application form, official and current transcripts, and four recommendation forms) by the Athletic Training Program Director, the student will be eligible for selection into the Athletic Training Program based on the selection guidelines listed below. Students will be notified by May 1 of their eligibility to enroll in ESS 181 - Introduction to Sports Medicine.

    Statement on Athletic Participation . Students accepted to the athletic training education program after the observational year may not participate in intercollegiate athletics secondary to scheduling conflicts with clinical and field experiences required in the educational program.


    All applicants will be ranked numerically on the following criteria (20 point total):

    • Non-weighted, cumulative high school GPA/4.0 scale (0-4pts)
    • GPA/4.0 scale in high school science and sports medicine related course work (0-4pts)
    • Rank in class, SAT / ACT score (0-4pts)
    • Previous athletic training / sports medicine experience (0-2pts)
    • Strength of students athletic training commitment as reflected on recommendations (0-2pts)
    • Sport participation, extracurricular activities, leadership experience (0-2pts)
    • Selection committee ranking (0-2pts)

    The upper thirty-five (35) applicants in this ranking are eligible to enroll in ESS 181 - Introduction to Sports Medicine.


    Students not selected for enrollment in ESS 181 - Introduction to Sports Medicine, prior to entering the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, may apply for admission while enrolled at UW-L. Applications will be received along with all other entering freshman for fall enrollment into ESS 181.

    The cumulative GPA for university credit from UW-La Crosse will replace high school cumulative GPA. Grades received in BIO 103/105, ESS 201, and other science courses will replace the GPA in high school science and sports medicine related classes. Rank in high school class will not be used for advanced student application.

    Advanced students must recognize that the observational year and program require at least four academic years to complete.


    From the thirty five (35) students enrolled in ESS 181 - Introduction to Sports Medicine, ten (10) to fourteen (14) students will be selected into the Athletic Training Program after completion of two (2) semesters as athletic training program candidates at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. The selection process is final and there is no reapplication process. Selection will be based on the following criteria:

    • Academic Performance - Cumulative University GPA (35%)
    • Evaluations by Clinical Supervisors (40%)
    • Formal Interview  (25%)

    Students admitted to the program may incur costs of transportation to clinical placements within 20 miles of La Crosse.

    Students must complete the following items, at their cost, to complete admission to the program: 


    Retention in the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Athletic Training Program will be based on the following criteria:

    • Cumulative University GPA no lower than 2.75 (4.0 scale)
    • GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) in all course work in the major
    • Clinical evaluation scores of 3.0 or above (5.0 scale)

    Failure to meet any one of the retention criteria requires the student to be on probationary status. If the student does not meet all criteria for two consecutive semesters, the student will be removed from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Athletic Training Program.


    Approximate costs incurred by students accepted into the ATP may include:

    • ESS 182 course fee - $60
    • Physical Examination (if not paid by personal insurance) - $150
    • Criminal History Form - $12
    • Personal Liability Insurance - $30/year
    • Recertification of Professional Rescuer - $35
    • First Aid Recertification - $20
    • Optional Clothing - depends on student's needs - $100-$300 over 3 years
    • Personal transportation - dependent on gasoline prices and type of automobile owned (students without a car are not assigned to an off-campus clinical rotation)

    For an application please contact:

    Mark H. Gibson, MSEd, MS, ATC, LAT, PT 
    Director, Athletic Training Program 
    124 Mitchell Hall, UW-La Crosse 
    La Crosse, WI. 54601 
    Office 608-785-8190 
    Fax 608-785-8172

    This page is currently under construction; please visit back soon!





    Where can I get the REQUIRED UW-L physical form?
    Several possibilities include:

    1. your coach may send it to you,
    2. you can get it from the athletic office in Mitchell Hall,
    3. they are given out at Orientation & Registration for incoming students in June or
    4. you can  download it here.  (PDF)

    What do I do about the August 1st deadline if my physical is scheduled after that date?
    Get us the completed physical form as soon as your physical is done, however, you will not be able to try out or practice with your team until we receive it.

    I sent my physical to UW-L right before I came to school.  My first practice is tomorrow and you still do not have it because it is in the mail.  What do I do?
    You cannot practice until we receive your physical.  WE always advise you to BRING it with you if there is a chance we would not get it until after practice starts. 

    Can I wait to get a physical in La Crosse rather than in my home town with my own doctor?
    Yes, but there are only three choices and all require payment for this service.  You can call the UW-L Health Center, Gundersen Lutheran Clinic or Franciscan Skemp Clinic for an appointment.  Please allow at least a few days to get in.  Make sure you take our form for the doctor to fill out and complete.

    I had a physical in the summer but it is not on the UW-L physical form.  What do I do?
    We CANNOT accept a High School form or any other form for incoming freshmen.  Most doctors' offices will fill out ourform with the information from your previous physical using that date INSTEAD of getting a new physical.

    If I have a physical form from the armed services, is this acceptable?
    NO, you must use our form as it must clearly state that you are able to participate in intercollegiate athletics.

    Do I need a new physical every year I compete at UW-L?
    NO, physicals are good for 5 years.  However, if you compete beyond the 5 year limit, you will be required to get a new physical.

    What does SSN/SIN mean on the physical form?
    SSN is your social security and SIN is student identification number.  Only one or the other needs to be on the form.

    Do I need to have all the immunizations listed on the physical form?
    NO, only list the dates if you have had them.  Leaving it blank means you did not have it.

    My doctor forgot to sign and/or check the no restriction box on the physical form?
    We cannot accept this without these 2 items being completed.  You must get your doctor to fill in these vital areas before you will be allowed to try out for the team or begin practice.

    I had a physical on April 20, 2004 and your Medical/Insurance Requirements (green page) says that the physical may not be before May 1st.  What do I do?
    This physical will not be accepted.  You can ask the doctor to fill it out again and use the May 1st date.  If they decline, you will need a new physical after May 1st.


    I do not have insurance.  Can I play a sport at UW-L and if not, where can I get insurance?
    NO, you cannot play until you get insurance.  Most students get insurance through their parents policy.  If this is not possible, you can go anywhere to get a policy.  UW-L does offer a policy and applications are available at the Student Health Center.

    My parent's insurance will be changing (sometime) during the season.  What should I do?
    You must notify the athletic training staff as soon as you know the new information so we can properly change it in your file.

    My insurance has not changed since I gave you a copy of my insurance card last year.  Do I need to give you a new photocopy or can you just carry over last years copy?
    We need a new copy of your insurance card with your name and sport printed at the top  each year.

    If I get hurt playing a sport at UW-L and my insurance does not pay all my medical bills, will UW-Ls insurance cover the balance thus eliminating my out-of pocket expenses?
    NO, UW-L does not carry primary or secondary coverage on its student-athletes.  All athletes are required to carry their own medical insurance. 

    I am a military vet and have insurance through the VA, therefore, I have no insurance card.  What do I do?
    Simply bring us a photocopy of your military ID as proof of VA insurance.


    Coulee Chase is a 5K Fun Run/3K Family and Dog Walk put on by the UW-L Athletic Training Association in cooperation with the Coulee Region Humane Society. The goal of this event is to raise money for future education and research through the National Athletic Trainers' Association Foundation. A percentage of the money raised will also be donated to the CRHS. This year's event will be held on March 8th, 2015 at Myrick Park. Bring your family, friends, and your best walking pal to have a fun-filled day for a great cause!

    Coulee Chase

    Map of Courses 2013
    3K and 5K