Pre-Athletic Training program

Help athletes succeed in work, life and play.

Athletic trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide emergency care and prevent, diagnose and treat injuries and medical conditions for people in work, life and play. While athletic trainers commonly work with athletes, they also work with military service members and public servants. Learn more about athletic trainers from the National Athletic Trainers' Association and the At Your Own Risk website.

Pre-Athletic Training is NOT a major at UW-La Crosse. It is a statement of your intention to apply to AT programs. You will still need to select a major to complete your undergraduate degree. UWL offers a Master of Science degree in Athletic Training- leading to board certification - and we encourage you to consider it as you make plans for continuing your education.

What is athletic training?

Athletic training encompasses the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of emergent, acute or chronic injuries and medical conditions. Athletic training is recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA), Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an allied health care profession, according to the National Athletic Training Association.

The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) provides resources on how to become an athletic trainer.


  • General Biology BIO 105
  • Anatomy & Physiology I & II (BIO 312 & BIO 313) 
  • General Chemistry I (CHM 103) required for BIO 312 
Mathematics & Statistics
  • College Algebra (MTH 150) required for CHM 103
  • Elementary Statistics (STAT 145) or Mathematical Models in Biology (MTH 265) 
  • Fundamental Physics I (PHY 103) orGeneral Physics I (PHY 203) 
    • UWL program prefers students also complete Physics II 
Additional requirements
  • General Psychology (PSY 100)
  • Physiology of Exercise (ESS 302) 
  • Motor Learning or Behavior (ESS 207) 
  • Biomechanics or Kinesiology (ESS 303) 
  • Nutrition (ESS 323 or NUT 200) 

Make your intention to pursue a career in Athletic Training official by adding it as an "intended pre-professional track".

Declaring a Pre-AT track will help you determine common requirements for AT programs in our region. However, each program's requirements vary. When selecting coursework, it is important to consult the websites of the programs where you plan to apply.

  • Many professional schools do not accept prerequisite courses that have been taken online or at non-U.S. institutions; AP, IB, AICE, and community college credit policies vary by school/program

Grow through experience

Shadow or observe ATs

 Programs will expect applicants to have experience observing the profession. 

Gain related experience

Any care-related experience where "touch" is involved is a good idea, paid or unpaid. This will help improve your comfort level working closely with people. 

Join the club

Visit the Athletic Training Association at UWL on MyOrgs to learn more about the advantages of being involved and when they meet.

Prepare to apply

Selecting programs

To search accredited programs, the caATe website is a good place to start. Always consult the individual programs' websites for the most accurate and up-to-date information.


UWL's program does not require the GRE exam, but some programs will. Learn more about standardized testing.

How to apply

Most AT programs, including UWL's, participate in the centralized application service "ATCAS". This is a single online site where you can submit most or all of your applications. Visit the ATCAS Help Center to learn more. 


Timelines vary. For example, UWL's applications are due by December 1 for the following summer's cohort. Following the December 1 deadline, admissions will be rolling. Check individual AT programs' websites for specific information. 

Need more help?

Princeton Review has a free organizational tool to help you track prerequisites, record experiences, and organize your school search. Check it out here

See Apply with confidence for more information on personal statements, letters of recommendation, interviewing, and more.