Undergraduate Athletic Training Education Program

Mission Statement


The University of Northern Iowa is a comprehensive institution that offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Athletic Training.  The Division of Athletic Training is committed to providing outstanding didactic and clinical experience for undergraduate students.




The Division of Athletic Training at UNI boasts four tenure line faculty and numerous clinical field experience supervisors both on and off campus.  The faculty and clinical field experience supervisors have a variety of expertise and experiences that are brought to the classroom and clinical settings to provide students with a variety of talents.


Accreditation Status


The University of Northern Iowa's Athletic Training Education Program was accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP) from October 19, 2001 through July 1, 2006.  Effective July 1, 2006, existing CAAHEP accredited programs were transitioned into the new accrediting agency, or the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training (CAATE).  Therefore, the UNI ATEP is now accredited by CAATE as of July 1, 2006.

The School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services offers a major in Athletic Training.  The athletic training education program prepares students for the National Athletic Training Board of Certification (NATABOC) Examination.  In addition, UNI graduates are also eligible for an Athletic Training License in the State of Iowa.  In order to become eligible to sit for the NATABOC examination, students within this major must complete all of the course work within the pre-professional and professional areas.  In addition, students will complete a clinical experience requirement each semester.


Undergraduate Applicant Requirements


  1. Students must have completed, or be enrolled, in   42T:023 (Introduction to Athletic Training), or the equivalent, before applying into the program.
  2. Students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5.
  3. Students must obtain a minimum of 50 hours of observation of a certified athletic trainer by the March 1st deadline.
  4. It is strongly recommended that the students have a Hepatitis B Vaccination before being admitted to the program.
  5. Students must show proof of a physical examination within the past six months upon acceptance into the program.
  6. Students must allow for a two-year (four semesters) minimum time period for the completion of the clinical experience once the student is admitted into the program.  To view the program plan click here.
  7. Transfer students should click here to learn more about the transfer process. 
  8. Complete the application and submit it by March 1st of each year.  (Word Format/PDF Format).
    • Three letters of reference.
    • An essay stating why you want to be an athletic trainer, career goals, and the attributes you possess that will make you successful in life and in athletic training.
    • Verification of your observation hours (Use hour verification form).
    • Athletic Training Education Program Application.
    • Additional information can be found in the next section (Selection Criteria).
  9. Each student must be enrolled in the Athletic Training Education Program a minimum of four (4) semesters.
  10. Each student must maintain current CPR and First Aid certifications.
  11. Each student must have an annual physical examination.
  12. Each student must attend the College of Education OSHA Training once each year.
  13. Each student must maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA and a 3.0 GPA for athletic training courses.
  14. Each student must complete the athletic training major.
  15. To view the Currcular Plan click here.
  16. Each student must pass all clinical experience courses.
  17. Each student must receive favorable field experience evaluations.
  18. Each student must pass the exit interview.
  19. Each student must take the NATABOC Certification Examination.
  20. Each student must complete a supervised athletic training clinical experience over a minimum of two years.


Application Procedures

Students should submit the following materials to Machelle Stickler by March 1st of each year. 

    Application - Word

    Application - PDF  

Send Application Materials to:

Machelle Stickler
Athletic Training Education Program
2351 Hudson Road, Human Performance Center
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0244
Further questions regarding UNI's Athletic Training Education Program should be directed to our Undergraduate Program Director, Kelli Snyder (319-273-7401) or kelli.snyder@uni.edu. 


Selection Criteria


Entrance into the UNI ATEP is competitive.  The following information is provided to assist applicants prepare for the application process.  
Written Essay Format
  1. Title page should include: title of essay, name, social security number
  2. Second page should be the beginning of your essay
  3. Type-written, 8 1/2" x 11", with 1" margins
  4. Maximum of two double spaced pages
  5. The essay should include the following: statement of why you want to be an athletic trainer, career goals, and the attributes you possess that will make you successful in life and in the field of athletic training.
  6. Essay should be paper clipped together.


Applicant Interviews

The top applicants will be chosen for interviews (maximum 30).  These candidates will be contacted during the month of March.  A committee of 3-5 faculty, staff and students will interview each candidate.  Interview candidates will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Cumulative GPA
  • Pre-Requisite grades and GPA
  • Letters of reference
  • Essay
  • Background
  • CPR and First Aid Certifications
  • Hours of Observation


Format of Interviews

  1. Introductions
  2. Essay presentation (5 minute maximum)
  3. Questions from interviewers
  4. Questions from the applicant


Notification of Admittance

The applicant will receive a letter indicating his/her status no later than the fourth week in April.


Selection Criterion Point Distribution

    Criterion Points Awarded
    First Aid/CPR Certification 0 = if not certified, 1 = if certified
    Pre-Requisite GPA A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0, GPA will be the points given
    Cumulative GPA Exact points of GPA (ex. if GPA is 3.3, then 3.3 points are awarded)
    Hours of Observation 0=<50 hrs., 1=50 hrs., 2=>50 hrs.
    Letters of Reference 0-5 points
    Previous Experience 0=no previous experience, 1=50 hour requirement, 2=previous experience
    Content of Essay 0-5 points
    Interview Impressions 0-5 point

Program Requirements for Athletic Training Students


Students in the Athletic Training Education Program are required to meet specific requirements in addition to university requirements for graduation.  Many of the ATEP requirements are mandated by CAATE and are designed to prepare students for the Board of Certification examination upon graduation.  The following is the minimum requirements for athletic training students.

  • 1st year students:  Average of 10 hours each week
  • 2nd year students:  Average of 15 hours each week
  • 3rd year students:  Average of 20 hours each week


Clinical Experiences


The field experience rotations are designed to provide the students the opportunity to practically apply what they have been learning in the classroom.  Each student is required to have a minimum and maximum number of field experience hours each semester.

During the field experience, the students may only utilize the clinical proficiencies that they have passed off during the clinical experience courses.  Therefore, the field experience rotations will be as specific as possible to the courses which the student is currently taking or has previously taken.


First Year Student Athletic Trainers

First year athletic training students will rotate through four seven-week clinical rotations on the UNI campus.  These rotations will include a variety of male and female sports, as well as high-risk and low-risk sports.

UNI Athletics and Athletic Training Facilities

UNI Athletics


Second Year Athletic Trainers

The second year students will have three 7-week long field experiences off campus.  The locations of the off campus sites include, but are not limited to, the following:

    Cedar Valley Medical Specialists

    Waterloo East High School

    Waterloo West High School

    Columbus High School

    Cedar Falls High School

    Waterloo Black Hawks Hockey

    Covenant Sports Injury Center

    United Medical Park

    Agape Physical Therapy

    Waverly Orthopedic & Physical Therapy Center


Third Year Student Athletic Trainers

Third year students will have one (1) year-long rotation at one of the field experience sites, and will be considered the Head Student Athletic Trainer for that rotation.  Third year students will work closely with the ACI assigned to that site during the team's pre-season, in-season, and post-season activities.