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School of Education

Application and Admission: Athletic Training Program

Admission to the School of Education as a Pre-Athletic Training Student

New freshmen and transfer students from off-campus are admitted directly to the School of Education with a “pre” classification of some sort—Pre-Elementary, Pre-Kinesiology, etc.

Pre–Athletic Training students receive a classification of PKN. This classification indicates that a student is interested in the Athletic Training program or the Exercise and Movement Science program, but hasn't completed the eligibility requirements for admission into either professional program. To be eligible for admission to the School of Education with a PKN classification, UW–Madison students must have earned a cumulative GPA of 2.5. This GPA requirement may be modified by the Last 60 Credits Rule (see below).

On-campus students wishing to be admitted to the School of Education while working on a program’s eligibility requirements can apply for admission to the School of Education by completing a pre-professional application form. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required, based on UW–Madison course work. This GPA requirement may be modified by the Last 60 Credits Rule (see below). It is not necessary to be a "pre" before applying to any of the School of Education's professional programs.

It is strongly recommended that students interested in a School of Education program meet with an academic advisor in Education Academic Services (EAS), 139 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 608-262-1651.

Admission as a pre-professional student does not guarantee admission to the professional program.

Transitioning to the Professional Program

Students complete prerequisite course work in liberal studies and sciences and then apply for admission to the professional program, usually during the sophomore year. Students are admitted only once a year, effective for the summer following admission. Once admitted, students in Athletic Training typically spend two-and-a-half years completing remaining course work.

Professional program applicants who are not already enrolled on the UW–Madison campus must be admissible to the University to enroll in a School of Education professional program. Thus, program admission is contingent upon admission to the campus. Admission to UW–Madison requires a separate application and admission process. See Office of Admissions and Recruitment for application information.

Eligibility for Admission to the Professional Program—Fall 2015

To be eligible for admission, applicants must:

  • Complete at least 54 credits of college course work by the end of the spring semester of the application year.
  • Complete the following course work by the end of the spring semester of the application year:
    • Chemistry 103/104 OR Chemistry 109 (fall semester only) OR Chemistry 115/116
    • Biology 101/102 OR AP Biology score of 4 or 5 OR Biology 151/152 OR Biocore 301/302
    • Kines 119 Introduction to Kinesiology
    • Physics 103 OR 201 OR 207 (first semester of Physics required for admission, second semester required for graduation).
    • Note: Effective for Fall 2015 admission, Psychology 201 OR 202 OR 281 is no longer a prerequisite for program eligibility. This course is still required to complete the degree.
  • Complete all but two of the prerequisite courses listed above by the end of the fall semester of the application year. Exception: Students enrolled in Biology 152 during the spring semester of the application year may have this course AND up to two additional prerequisites above in progress during the spring semester of the application year. For this purpose, Chem 109 satisfies the full general chemistry requirement but constitutes ONE course. AP Biology scores of 4 or 5 constitute TWO courses. Biology 101 and 102 are also counted as TWO courses in determining eligibility for the program.
  • Complete these additional prerequisite courses by the end of the spring semester of the application year:
    • Kines 127 Introduction to Athletic Training
    • Kines 197 Basic Techniques in Athletic training
    • Kines 116 First Aid and Basic Life Support, or American Red Cross-certified First Aid and CPR for the Professional Rescuer courses
    • Kines 227 Introduction to Clinical Anatomy of Human Movement
  • Athletic Training Experience—Complete a minimum of twenty (20) total hours of volunteer or observation experiences in athletic training. Students must gain experience in at least two different locations. Each experience must be a minimum of (10) hours in length. Documentation of the experience (forms signed by certified athletic trainers) must be submitted along with application materials by the February 1 deadline. Students may seek observational experiences in any setting employing a certified athletic trainer where the athletic trainer is performing job duties consistent with the BOC Role Delineation domains of athletic training.
  • Earn a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA or last 60 credits GPA by the end of the fall semester of the application year.
  • File by February 1, 2015, the materials indicated below. Applications are available in October. Off-campus students must also submit an undergraduate application to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by February 1.
    • Application form including personal statement, biographical sketch, and checklist
    • Official, non–UW–Madison transcripts
    • Two (2) letters of recommendation
    • Athletic Training Observation Requirement forms

Selection to the Program for Fall Semester 2015

The Admissions Committee will review application files with four key areas in mind: (1) academic qualification; (2) goals; (3) recommendation letters; and (4) other contributions.

Academic Qualifications. The Athletic Training Program seeks students with strong academic credentials. This includes cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA), course selection and trend of college grades.

Goals. The required personal statement provides an opportunity for students to express their reasons for studying kinesiology and can provide insight into the student's long-term goals.

Recommendation Letters. Thoughtful letters from teachers or employers addressing the student's interest and experience are beneficial to the selection process. Recommendation letters should provide information about a student's intellect, imagination, or diligence that is not evident in other parts of the application.

Other Contributions. The Athletic Training Program seeks students whose diverse work experience, life experience, stated goals, and cultural background are assets to the learning environment in the Athletic Training Program.

Instructions for the Personal Statement (Essay). The personal statement provides an opportunity for students to share with the Admissions Committee their personal characteristics and goals, and to give the committee insight into their experiences and background (750 words or less).

Students should explain their decision to apply to the Athletic Training Program. When composing the essay, they should be sure to:

  • Explain how they have explored the AT profession.
  • Give a description of what they learned about athletic training from their clinical observation experiences.
  • Explain how these experiences have impacted their academic goals and decision to pursue an athletic training career.

Application Review and Selection. Applicants for Athletic Training will compete for an identified number of admission openings assigned to this program. Each application will be reviewed by at least two academic faculty or staff from the Admissions Committee. Each committee member will independently examine and rate applicants' files on a scale of 1 (do not accept) to 5 (definitely accept) based on the criteria above. Committee members will then share and discuss their ratings and select the final cohort for admission.Students will be provisionally accepted in April. The offer of admission will be revoked and the student withdrawn from fall Kinesiology courses (typically during July) if any of the following requirements are not met:

  • all prerequisite courses completed by the end of the spring semester of the application year
  • maintenance of a cumulative GPA or last 60-credit GPA of at least 2.75

Last 60 Credits Rule

Two grade point averages will be calculated to determine candidates' eligibility and selection to programs. GPAs will be calculated using (1) all transferable college level course work attempted, and (2) the last 60 credits attempted. The higher GPA of these two will be used for purposes of admission. If fewer than 60 credits have been attempted, all credits will be used to calculate the GPA. Graded graduate course work will also be used in all GPA calculations. ("Attempted" course work indicates course work for which a grade has been earned.) More information on this rule is available here.

Students with a Previous Degree

Persons who already hold an undergraduate degree are admitted to the School of Education as either an Education Special student or a Second Degree student, depending on their interests and academic background. The term Special student indicates that the student has an interest in pursuing certification in a subject area studied during the initial degree; the student does not receive a degree for this "certification only" course work. Second Degree students are seeking a second, unrelated degree from the School of Education, which may, or may not, include teacher certification. Candidates for limited enrollment programs must meet all admission eligibility requirements for the program and must compete with the eligible applicants for program admission. More information is available here.

Criminal Background Investigation and Disclosure Statement

Criminal background investigations will be conducted for all students admitted to this program. Detailed instructions on how to complete the required criminal background check will be included in offers of admission. This is not completed until after an applicant has been offered admission.

Applicants to School of Education programs that involve a practicum, internship, or other field placement must complete a disclosure statement indicating (1) whether they have been admitted to, then withdrawn from, asked to withdraw from, or been dropped from a student teaching, clinical experience, or other intern/practicum program, and (2) if they have ever been placed on probation or disciplined by any college or university for academic dishonesty.

More detailed information is available here.

Advising after Admission

Included with the offer of admission is information about mandatory spring orientation sessions for new majors, led by a departmental advisor. Sequencing of course work and enrollment in Kinesiology courses will be addressed at these meetings. Students will be authorized to enroll in Kinesiology courses after the orientation meetings are completed. Upon formal admission to the program, advising about the major will be provided by the Department of Kinesiology. Majors are required to meet with the departmental advisor at least once per semester.


This page was updated 11/14/14.