Multi-skilled healthcare professionals.

Anchored in the Mercyhurst tradition of excellence, the Athletic Training Department is always looking for ways to refine their craft so students receive the best and most cutting-edge experience. Athletic Training combines science-based knowledge with contemporary evidence-based practices to train majors to treat a variety of populations. From athletes to military personnel to the weekend warrior, athletic trainers learn how to help the physically active get back on their feet following an illness, injury or surgery. Through our decades of educating aspiring future professionals, we have come to understand that it is not the initials after a name that define the work, but rather the impact a person will make. Between hours of hands-on clinical experiences, classroom learning with state-of-the-art equipment, and faculty dedicated to whole-person discovery and development, our graduates leave with the most fulfilling education experience and the skills to lead a successful professional life.

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Fast Facts

  • An in-demand field, the athletic training profession is expected to grow by 23 percent by 2030 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • An AT major is flexible, offering opportunities for students to double major or minor in a wide array of fields like Public Health, Exercise Science or Psychology to increase their professional development

  • Students have the opportunity to gain first-hand observation of clinical athletic trainers to experience what all athletic trainers may do on the job or further focus on their field of study through internships with local minor league sports teams, major sports affiliates, ESPN and other professional settings.

  • Our graduates lead successful careers as professors, orthopedic surgeons, program managers for sports medicine companies, and clinical athletic trainers

Learning Outcomes

Program Goal 1: Clinical Knowledge

ATS will be able to demonstrate advancing clinical proficiency emphasizing sound principles of clinical research and critical thinking skills culminating into a system of quality patient care.

Program Goal 2: Academic Knowledge

Students will demonstrate the ability to synthesize and critically analyze their knowledge in the classroom that ultimately is representative of a qualified professional in the field.

Program Goal 3: Professional Responsibility

ATS will be prepared to make a difference in the world by demonstrating the common values and behaviors of the AT profession while employing professional excellence and ethical leadership.

Program Goal 4: Socially Merciful

Students will embody the mercy mission and demonstrate dispositions essential to becoming role models for the athletic training profession.

Program Overview

Athletic Trainers treat injuries, optimize movements, and support the overall well-being of physically active individuals across all settings, from professional athletes to performing artists to anyone engaged in the activities of daily life. If you’re interested in a career in this in-demand field, Mercyhurst’s Pre-Athletic Training program prepares students for continuing education and careers related to health care of physically active individuals and athletes. In this program, you’ll learn health-related skills and professions that prevent and manage injuries and illnesses related to active individuals and organized sports. The pre-health courses in Sports Medicine prepare and qualify you for entrance into graduate and professional health degree programs.

Master’s-level training and certification is needed for careers in athletic training, and the Pre-Athletic Training program prepares students for entry into a range of Master of Science in Athletic Training or Master of Athletic Training graduate programs. In this undergrad program, students will also learn essential clinical skillsets that may allow for related careers and additional employable certifications beyond athletic training.

The Pre-Athletic Training program is offered in two paths: an Accelerated (“3+2”) path and a Traditional path. Both paths involve the same coursework, but differ only in their time to completion and anticipation of enrolling in graduate athletic training. Students in both paths are given “Preferential Consideration” for the graduate Master of Science in Athletic Training Program at Mercyhurst, provided admission criteria is met. Certain Accelerated route students can earn guaranteed entry into the graduate program, upon review from the university.

Clinical Experience

The clinical education sequence begins first term freshman year with the pre-clinical experience. During the freshman year students accumulate 100 hours of direct observation of affiliated athletic trainers. Starting first term sophomore year, student engage in six hands-on clinical experiences and one senior capstone experience involving patients of both genders across 15 diverse clinical settings including high schools, clinics, colleges & universities, professional athletic teams and hospitals. Clinical experiences are progressive in nature and correspond with the curriculum.

Technical Guidelines

Because athletic training is a physically, intellectually and psychologically demanding profession, degree candidates must meet minimum standards in certain skills and abilities. The athletic training education program at Mercyhurst university is a rigorous program that places specific requirements and demands on its students. The program has established technical standards to ensure that students have the essential qualities considered necessary for them to achieve the knowledge, skills, and competencies of an entry-level athletic trainer, as well as meet the expectations of the program's accrediting agency. Students must sign the technical standards waiver, and meet these standards in order to be admitted to the program.

Mission and Vision


The mission of the professional athletic training program at Mercyhurst University is to provide the student with the necessary didactic, theoretical, and clinical skills and experiences required to qualify for the BOC examination. In the spirit of the core values of Mercyhurst University, athletic training students shall achieve this by becoming self-aware, culturally competent, and ethical healthcare professionals prepared to enter the allied health field.


The Mercyhurst University professional athletic training program aspires to offer an extensive academic and clinical experience with devoted faculty to ensure the professional and personal growth of each student pursuing BOC certification.

annual student experiences


Students can participate in a yearly medical mission trip to Valladolid, Mexico to observe and work with orthopedic surgeons, athletic trainers and physical therapists in a culturally immersive setting.

clinical experience


Clinical Observation is earned with clinical athletic trainers in which students have Professional-level student mentors to earn required clinical observation. These observations occur as part of specific Pre-AT courses and are set up in conjunction with the respective professor. 

career outcomes


Our graduates have found rewarding careers within the AT profession and beyond. AT alumni include a professor/researcher on pediatric concussions and orthopedic injuries, an orthopedic surgeon, a clinical athletic trainer, and the Duke University assistant director of athletic rehabilitation.


Contact Us

Joshua Long, M.S., ATC, CSCS, CES
Program Director, Athletic Training
Office: Mercyhurst Athletic Center 203
Phone: 814-824-2403