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California State University, Long Beach
Athletic Training Program
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Frequently Asked Questions

About Athletic Training/Sports Medicine

About theProgram

About Program Admissions

About Our Clinical Assignments



What is an Athletic Trainer?

Athletic training is recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA) as an allied healthcare profession, and the AMA recommends BOC certified athletic trainers in every high school to keep America's youth safe and healthy. BOC certified athletic trainers (ATC) are highly educated and skilled medical professionals specializing in injury prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses, particularly in the orthopedic and musculoskeletal disciplines. Specifically, the certified athletic trainer has demonstrated knowledge and skill in six practice areas or domains:

  • Prevention
  • Clinical Evaluation and Diagnosis
  • Immediate Care
  • Treatment, Rehabilitation and Reconditioning
  • Organization and Administration
  • Professional Responsibility

As part of a complete healthcare team, the certified athletic trainer works under the direction of a physician and in cooperation with other healthcare professionals, athletics administrators, coaches and parents. The certified athletic trainer gets to know each patient/client individually and can treat injuries more effectively

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What is the National Athletic Trainer's Association (NATA)?

The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) is a not-for-profit organization with more 30,000 members nationwide. The mission of the NATA is to enhance the quality of health care provided by certified athletic trainers and to enhance the athletic training profession.

Founded in 1950 with a membership of 200 athletic trainers, the NATA is based in Dallas, Texas, and provides a variety of services to its membership including continuing education, governmental affairs and public relations. The NATA also publishes the Journal of Athletic Training, a quarterly scientific journal, and NATA News, a monthly membership magazine.

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How do I become an athletic trainer?

In order for you to become an athletic trainer, you must pass the BOC certification exam. For those to sit for the BOC certification exam, candidates must graduate from a CAATE (Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education) accredited athletic training program. CAATE is the agency responsible for the accreditation of professional (entry-level) Athletic Training educational programs. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in Sports Medicine (AAOSSM), and the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc. (NATA), cooperate to sponsor CAATE and to collaboratively develop the Standards for Entry-Level Athletic Training Educational Programs.

Accredited Athletic Training Programs include the following curricular areas:

Athletic Training Curricula

  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Prevention and Health Promotion
  • Clinical Examination and Diagnosis
  • Acute Care of Injury and Illness
  • Therapeutic Interventions
  • Psychosocial Strategies and Referal
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Professional Development and Responsibility

What is the BOC certification exam?

Once you have successfully earned your degree at California State University, Long Beach, you will be eligible to sit for the certification exam that will give you the credential of ATC.

Where do BOC Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC) work?

In cooperation with physicians and other allied health personnel, the ATC functions as an integral member of the athletic health care team in secondary schools, colleges and universities, sports medicine clinics, professional sports programs, industrial settings and other health care environments.

What are average starting salaries for ATC?

This is a question that is difficult to answer because it really depends on which area of the country and what setting you work in. According to the latest survey across all settings, of those ATCs with 0-1 years starting salaries are about $29,667 and those with 6-10 years of experience make about $38,570.

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What is the employment outlook for ATCs?

Currently, many efforts are being made to improve the employment opportunities for ATCs.  Great strides have been made in attaining third-party insurance reimbursement for the services provided by ATCs. If this trend continues it will open the door to many future employment possibilities and most likely an increase in salaries.  In addition, increasing state regulation of the practice of athletic training (e.g., licensure) in most states throughout the country and public awareness of the value of an ATC are proving to protect and enhance the athletic training profession. According to the BOC, the following sites are avenues for employment:

Employers of Athletic Training Services

  • Professional & Collegiate sports
  • Secondary & Intermediate schools
  • Sports medicine clinics
  • Hospital ER & rehab clinics
  • Occupational settings
  • Fitness centers
  • Physicians offices

Ideal Practices for Athletic Trainers' as Physician Extenders

  • Orthopaedics
  • Osteopathy
  • Family Practice
  • Primary care
  • Physiatry
  • Occupational medicine
  • Chiropractic

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Is the program CAATE accredited?

Yes.  The program is accredited by CAATE until 2021.

Is there any scholarships available for Athletic Training?

Not at this time, but we have a variety of scholarship/awards for outstanding student performance through the Kinesiology department and the college and university.

Do you accept undergraduate transfer students?

Yes, but transfer students must apply to the university and also submit a supplementary application to the program in order to be considered as a candidate. Please refer to our "Transfer Admissions" page for further information.

What are the fees associated with the program?

There are some additional fees associated wtih the program. The following table contains a list of these costs that will provide a general idea of additional costs a student in the AT program may incur. The information is estimated and is subject to change. Information about common student costs, such as tuition, student fees is available at the university enrollment servieces website.

Item Year 1 Year 2
NATA/FWATA membership $105 $105
Student Liability Insurance $26(included in student fee) $26 (included in student fee)
Apparel for Clinical Rotation $50-100 $50-100
Travel to off-site clinical Varies Varies
Professional Conferences* Varies (average $250) Varies (average $250)
BOC Exam N/A
  • $35 Application Fee
  • $300 Exam Registration Fee
Sports Medicine Club Fee (if desired) $70 $70
Background Check $49 N/A
TB test $3 $3

* AT program students are required to attend at least one professional conference a year. These can be regional (FWATA, CATA) or national (NATA).



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What are the requirements for admission into the Athletic Training Program?

The following documents need to be submitted:

  1. Online Application Form

    Within the online application form, you need to show the following. To To view a sample of the application form, click here.

    • Overall grade point average of 2.7.
    • Following prerequisite courses, each with grade of "C" or better (visit to verify transfer course equivalents)
            • BIOL 207 (Human Physiology)
            • BIOL 208 (Human Anatomy)
            • PSY 100 (General Psychology)
            • ATEP 207 (Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries)
            • MATH 109 (Modeling with Algebra); or MATH 113 (Precalculus Algebra); or MATH 117 (Precalculus Mathematics); or MATH 119A (Survey of Calculus I); or MATH 122 (Calculus I)
            • NUTR 132 (Introductory Nutrition)
            • PHYS 100A (General Physics)

            The above courses can be "In Progress" when you apply to the program.

      • Minimum of 150 hours of athletic training experience.
      • Three references (one of the references must be your supervising ATC)

      Individuals listed as a reference will be sent a request to complete the online recommendation form.

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When do I apply to the Athletic Training Program?

The application deadline is February 1st of each academic year. However, please note that our program utilizes a cohort group, and the clinical rotation for the cohort only starts in the spring semester.

Where should I complete my pre-professional (observational) hours?

At least 100 of the 150 hours must be attained by participation in a traditional athletic training setting under the supervision of a BOC-certified athletic trainer. This is either a college/univresity athletic training room or a high school athletic training room. We have several affiliated sites which you can contact to arrange completing these hours.

A maximum of 50 of the 150hours may be attained in an allied clinical setting, such as sports medicine clinics, summer sports camps, sports performance facilities, hospital facilities, or dance performance centers

Who should I ask to list as my reference?

At least one of the reference person must be a BOC certified athletic trainer who has observed you in a clinical setting to attest to your dependability, responsible nature, and desire to become an athletic trainer. The other two can be from other athletic trainers, teachers, coaches, and employers.  Avoid asking neighbors or friends of the family who may less objectively attest to your academic ability or work ethic.

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When do I begin my clinical assignments?

Whether you are accepted into the professional program during the spring semester (February 1st deadline), you will begin the formal clinical program during the subsequent spring semester.

What clinical experience will I receive?

Students will engage in variety of clinical experiences/assignments with LBSU teams and off-campus affiliated sites during their tenure in the Athletic Training Program. All clinical experiences are under the supervision of a preceptor.  Clinical assignments are categorized and expose students to lower extremity injuries, upper extremitiy injuries, equipment intensive sports, and medical conditions.. These assignments will be distributed through individual and team sports, in-season/out-of-season sports, contact and non-contact sports, and men and women's sports. Further, each student will complete a clinical experience with football during their second semester in the program. Athletic training student clinical assignments will be made by the Clinical Education Coordinator. The majority of the clinical experiences will be completed in the afternoon during 12-6 PM. However, certain sports will practice either earlier or later than this time, and many games are in the evening or on weekends. Once a student is assigned to an approved clinical instructor/sport, they are to check with the ACI about the practice time for that sport.

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Can I work part-time or participate in extra-curricular activities (e.g., club sports, fraternities or sororities) while in the Athletic Training Program?

Once formally accepted into the program, athletic training students are required to complete a minimum of 250 clinical hours per semester for four consecutive semesters. The hours should average 20-25 each week throughout the semester. These hours typically occur from 12:00 - 6:00 pm Monday through Friday, and also on weekends depending on the clinical rotation. Because of this time commitment, it may be very difficult to work part-time or participate in extra-curricular activities during these hours. However, most of our current students do work part-time. Individuals who have concerns about meeting the clinical hourly requirement should meet with the Clinical Education Coordinator prior to applying into the ATEP.

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